Task Master R2.0 Feature Focus Series: About the Toolbar

The recent release of SharePoint Task Master R2.0 offers powerful new features and performance, providing enhanced task management within SharePoint.

The Task Master team is busy getting ready for the upcoming SharePoint 2010 release—the SharePoint 2007 version is already available—but in the meantime, here’s a look at one of the improved features: the Task Master toolbar.

Task Master’s toolbar now includes more options designed to help you manage your tasks as easily as possible. The following options are new to the toolbar in the R2.0 release:

  • Edit items
  • Show
  • Save
  • Refresh
  • Print
  • Help
  • Filter

Below is an overview of all the available options in the toolbar. We’ll have blog posts that focus on specific options like Multi-line Editing in the future.

Edit Items
The Edit items option allows you to edit multiple task items at once. For example, you can modify the Start Date for one task, assign a resource to another task, and select a predecessor task for yet another task—all from the same UI. This is a great time saver because you don’t have to manually select each task item, modify it, return to the Task List and repeat. Just select the task items that you want to edit, then click Edit items in the toolbar. A dialog box opens up where you can edit your tasks. We recommend that you don’t select more than 50 tasks to edit at a time.

You can edit the following fields in multi-line editing:

Title

WBS

Start Date

Due Date

Parent Task

Predecessor Task

Assignment Units

Duration

Work

% Complete

Assigned To

Show
The Show option lets you focus on specific tasks in the Gantt chart. Select the task items that you want to display in the Gantt chart, then select Show in the toolbar.

Go to Date
Use the Go to Date option to display a specific date in the Gantt chart quickly without scrolling through the chart or modifying the Web Part. Select Go to Date in the toolbar, then either enter your desired date in the field or click  to choose your date. Then click Go.

If you enter a date that is already displayed in the Gantt view, you won’t see any changes. If the interval setting (located in the tool pane under Gantt View Display Settings) has a range of 30 or 60 days, Task Master will display the date that you entered within that 30- or 60-day interval.

To return to your original view, click Default.

New Item
Create a new task item directly from the Task Master UI just clicking New Item. Fill out the information for the task and click OK. The new task item is displayed in the grid and the Gantt view.

At a minimum, provide information for the following fields:

Title

Priority

Status

% Complete

Assigned To

Start Date

*Due Date

*Duration

Parent Task

Predecessor Task

Constraint Type

Constraint Date

Milestone

*Work

Assignment Units

*Before you create the new task item, choose how you want Task Master to create the task: based on Start Date and Due Date, Start Date and Work, or Start Date and Duration. These options are available in the tool pane under Dependency Settings:

  • Choose Start Date and Due Date if you know when the task will start and finish.
  • Choose Start Date and Work if you know how much work is required to complete the task and when the resource can begin working on the task.
  • Choose Start Date and Duration if you know the length of time that it will take to complete the task and when the task can start.

Save
You can choose whether you want Task Master to automatically save your changes each time you make a change to a task or in the Gantt chart, or you can opt to save your changes manually.

To automatically save your changes, select Save changes to my Task List every time a change is made in the Gantt chart in the tool pane under Dependency Settings.

To manually save your changes, do not select this option. The Save button is now available in the toolbar.

Click Save to save your changes. Use the Refresh button to undo recent changes that you have not saved. (See the next section for more on Refresh.) You’ll get a warning message after you click Save, but you can disable the message in the tool pane under Dependency Settings.

Refresh
The Refresh option will undo changes that you’ve made since the last time that you clicked Save. This option is only displayed in the toolbar if you do not select Save changes to my Task List every time a change is made in the Gantt chart in the tool pane.

Here’s how the Refresh option works:
You have a task that is originally scheduled to end on 9/29/2010 at 11 AM.

You edit the task to end on 9/29/2010 at 4 PM.

However, you need to change the task again so that it finishes at its original end date of 9/29/2010 at 11 AM. Click Refresh to undo your change. The task’s Due Date is back to 9/29/2010 at 11 AM.

Recalculate
Recalculate computes the recent changes that you make to the task items, compares the changes against the business logic/rules, applies the changes, and then updates the grid and the Gantt view. Click Recalculate after you make changes to the Gantt view dragging/dropping a task; after you create or edit tasks; or after you select a different Task List to use with Task Master.

For example, the task Project Management Plan is 45% complete.

Update the task to 65% complete.

Then click Recalculate to update Task Master and to reflect the change.

Changing the View in the Gantt Chart
You can choose from several different views to display your tasks in the Gantt chart:

  • Day
  • Week
  • Month
  • Quarter
  • Year

The Default view is whatever view you have selected in the tool pane under Gantt View Display Settings.

To display the week number in the Gantt chart, select this option in the Task Master tool pane under Display Settings.

This only applies to the Week, Month and Quarter views. In the Day view, the hours are displayed. In the Week and Month views, the week numbers and weekdays are shown. In the Quarter view, the week numbers and months are shown. In the Year view, the months and quarters are shown.

Print
Click Print to print a printer-friendly version of the Task Master interface.

Help
Need to quickly look up a definition in Task Master’s new glossary? Want to see the list items and columns in the Bamboo Project Task List? No problem. Simply click Help from the toolbar, and the online documentation opens up in a new browser window.

Filter
The Filter option lets you change the view of the Task List that’s displayed in the Gantt view. The All Tasks view is the default view. You can also select a view in the tool pane under Task Master Configuration > Select a view for filtering. Select your desired view and click Apply and then OK to save your changes.

You can choose from the available views in the Bamboo Project Task List, or you can create your own views in List Settings > Views:

  • Active Tasks: Displays only the tasks that have a status of Active.
  • All Tasks: Displays all tasks, regardless of their status. This is the default view.
  • By Assigned To: Displays tasks according to the resource assigned to the task.
  • By My Groups: Displays tasks according to the group assigned to the task, if applicable.
  • Due Today: Displays tasks that have a due date of today.
  • My Tasks: Displays only the tasks that are assigned to the currently-logged-in user.

You can also filter data within a view to display specific criteria for more flexibility when managing tasks and resources.

To filter a view:

  1. Navigate to the Bamboo Project Task List (or the Task List that you are using in Task Master). Select Settings > List Settings and scroll down the page to Views. Select the view that you want to filter, for example: All Tasks.
  2. Scroll down the page to the Filter section. To filter the view to display specific criteria, select the option Show items only when the following is true.
  3. Configure the filter to display the desired criteria and click OK. In the example below, the filter is configured to display all of Amy Adams’ tasks that have a % complete value of less than 50%. To display more columns to use in the filtering, click Show More Columns.
  4. The Gantt chart now displays the specific criteria in the selected view.

To remove the filter, navigate to List Settings > Views and select the view that contains the filter. In the Filter section, select Show all items in this view and click OK.

Stay tuned on the Bamboo Team Blog for more posts in the Task Master R2.0 Feature Focus series, such as multi-line editing, filtering and more!

The Task Master team welcomes your feedback and comments in the Task Master forum. Interested in Task Master? Get a free 30-day trial!


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