SkedPal uses Fuzzy Planning: instead of referring to specific times – such as ‘Prepare document at 3 p.m.’, we schedule our time in a rougher manner by referring less specifically to time – ‘Prepare document sometime in the next couple of days.’
To schedule a task in SkedPal, you will need to specify two key elements:
- What is the rough/estimated duration for this task? Is it a 5-minute task, or will it take several hours to complete it?
- What is the time frame for completing this task? Do you intend to complete it today? Maybe, sometime this week? Or, someday you don’t know yet.
Once you specify these two elements, all you need to do is to click on UPDATE SCHEDULE:
Defining your preferred times for scheduling
Needless to say, you don’t want SkedPal to schedule your grocery shopping at 10pm, or schedule a lunch break at 9am. Most tasks have preferred days and times for scheduling. There is a powerful tool in SkedPal, called Time Map. A Time Map is a weekly template that allows you to specify your preferred days and hours. Read more about Time Maps here.
PINNING: Fine-tuning the scheduled time blocks
SkedPal automatically schedules your tasks based on your preferred times set in the Time Maps. But, you can still adjust and fine tune your schedule by pinning your time blocks on the calendar.
- A pinned time block will not move after you click on UPDATE SCHEDULE unless it falls in the past, and you still haven’t completed the task.
- If a task duration is 4 hours and you’ve pinned a time block of 1 hour, the remaining 3 will dynamically be scheduled after your click on UPDATE SCHEDULE.
- You can un-pin a calendar time block by right-clicking (Mac: Control click) on the calendar time block, and selecting ‘un-pin’ in the context menu. This will allow the next UPDATE SCHEDULE to dynamically schedule the task.
Scheduling at the project level
SkedPal allows you to set your planning details at the project level. In other words, instead of planning individual tasks one by one, you can set a time frame for the total project completion time. SkedPal, then, automatically schedules your tasks in a way that they are all completed before the planned completion time of the project.
There are two modes for scheduling projects:
- Sequential Scheduling: If the tasks in your project need to be scheduled one after completion of the other, use the Sequential mode:
- Parallel Scheduling: If there is no dependency between your project tasks, use this mode. Just turn off the Sequential switch.
Using Hard Due Dates
Unless you have a hard deadline for a task or project, avoid using this property. SkedPal treats tasks, or projects with a hard deadline less flexible, and it will be harder for you to defer them in your Weekly Focus workflow.
On the other hand, if you do have a hard due date, make sure you use it to safeguard your due date when your change your plans.
Scheduling tasks with sub-tasks
If you have a big task that you can break it down into smaller steps, always use sub-tasks. You make the task(s) below a task as sub-tasks by selecting them and pressing the tab key:
- To make a task a sub-task, select one or more tasks, and press the TAB key.
- To undo, press the SHIFT and TAB key.