Tutorial - using Gantt charts

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Introduction

Gantt charts in combination with Action items are a flexible way to perform your project management. The actions indicate a starting date and duration (in days) so you plan a range of days for that specific action. Actions allow an indication of how much the action has progressed. Let's go through the process of using a Gantt chart to visualize a small project.

Creating actions

Create a folder and a few actions. Make sure you give them a duration of a couple of days. See Figure 1 for an example action dialog.

action item
Figure 1

Once a few actions have been added, click on the 'Gantt' button in the menu ribbon and enable 'Show Gantt chart' and 'Show progress'. The first option displays the date display, and the second option fills each bar to indicate the 'progress' value from the action dialog.

Your screen might look a bit like this (here the user has right-clicked on the 'Build home' folder; also, a number of other items were included next to just actions):

organiser planner
Figure 2

What is shown onscreen

If you look more closely at the above screenshot, you can see the Organiser visualises the various items slightly differently:

Also notice that the folder items show a summary date range for all the visible items in that folder. This allows you to quickly oversee a planning period for each folder or subfolder (for large projects you can subdivide the actions to be taken into folders; a tutorial on folders can be found here).

The actions are ordered by their start date, so things that start sooner can be found at the top of the list in each folder. Last but not least, notice the fat black line; this indicates 'today'.

Modifying the planning

You can change the original plans as the project comes along. This can be done for entire folders and for individual items.

To change a single action, right-click on the item and choose whether to reschedule the action forward or backward in time, or modify the original duration. This can be done per day, week or 4 weeks. The screenshot below shows how the user modifies the selected action and reschedules it to take place one week later.

free planner
Figure 3

Modifying an entire folder can be done by right-clicking the folder (in the item list view) and selecting similar menu items. The changes will apply to all items in that folder and its subfolders.

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