Task Management Improvements and Deferred Tasks
Task Management Improvements
We often find that users create Tasks as a reminder of work, which needs to be completed at a later date.
These Tasks are often not updated regularly, which can make reporting on workloads and user capacity extremely hard for organisation management teams.
TimeTrak 19.3 introduces new features to assist with Task Management including updates to the alerts screen, ability to allocate tasks quickly and a new “Deferred” Task function.
Quick Tasks were added to TimeTrak in version 4.0 and assisted Task-based users immensely with the ability to quickly create a task for reactive work.
Click here for more information on quick tasks see below for more information on Quick Tasks.
In version 19.3, a “Quick Task” field has been added to the Tasks table in TimeTrak to provide the ability to identify tasks that were created via the quick task function.
This will provide the ability to identify tasks created via the quick task function in custom reports as generally, these tasks are reactive and management may or may not want to include them in workload reports.
The default save behaviour for time entries against quick tasks has also changed.
As per below, when creating a time entry against a quick task the default save behaviour is “Save & Complete” which will save the time entry and mark the task as completed.
Right Click Updates “Allocate to Me” and “Add Sub-Task”
In TimeTrak version 19.1, right click update options were added to Task and job grids, which provided the ability for users to quickly update data without the need to load the Job/ Task form.
Adding to this right click functionality against a Task in 19.3 there is the added options to “Add Sub-Task” and “Allocate to Me”, which will allocate the task to the logged in user.
In 19.3 to assist with Task Management there is a new Task Status criteria “Task is deferred” as per below:
Once this is enabled as above at a global level against user profiles, “Deferred Task Review” can be enabled with a review days value like below:
When a task which is marked as deferred has gone past the deferred date, on logging into TimeTrak users will be presented with the alerts screen where they must deal with deferred tasks as per below:
Users can right click and update the status of the task, create an appointment or assign the task to another user.
If the task is still deferred, they can click the defer button, as per below, which will defer the task for the “review days” value set against the users profile.
Once overdue deferred tasks are dealt with, the user will be able close the alerts screen and continue in TimeTrak, however they will be unable to close the alerts screen until these tasks are updated or deferred again.
If a parent task is deferred, then by default all the sub tasks will also be deferred for the same “review days” value.
When a Task is deferred, this information is recorded in the Task Activities table as per below:
When in the Task Grid in TimeTrak, users will now have an additional task tab called “Deferred” to house the deferred tasks as per below:
Updated Alerts Screen
Continuing with the theme of managing tasks, the Alerts screen has had a large refresh in version 19.3.
If there are any Knowledgebases in your TimeTrak database these are now accessible via the alerts screen.
These could previously not be accessed if the user was in the alerts screen due to un-billed appointments, outstanding time or task processing:
“My Tasks and Unallocated Tasks” are also available in the alerts screen, multiple tasks can be updated at once via a multi-select option, and right click updates.
See below example:
This allows users to quickly and efficiently update their task details ensuring that task data is keep up to date meaning that workload can be actively reviewed.
The Task tabs on the alerts screen also have a configurable column chooser like other grids within TimeTrak.
At the bottom of the alerts screen within a task tab the logged in user can review their remaining work against tasks in the next 7, 14, 30 and beyond days if Estimate, Actual and Remaining coloumns are displayed as per below:
These calculations are based on the Remaining coloumn of tasks and their due date.
In older versions of TimeTrak the colours of tasks indicates whether they were overdue or not.
This has been brought back in version 19.3.
- Red = Task Is overdue
- Blue = Parent Task
- Yellow = Selected Task
Updated Job Grid against the Client
The job tab against the client form has also been updated in 19.3 to be the same as other grids within TimeTrak with the ability to filter columns and arrange columns via a column chooser.
Task Tab against clients
In 19.3 there is also a Tasks tab at the client level which allows users to review all tasks against a client instead of going into separate jobs to review outstanding tasks.
Right Click update task on time entry screen
Right click task updates are now also available in 19.3 on the time entry screen as per below:
Multi-Select Updates in Task Grid
Continuing with the theme of task management improvements the task grid also has multi-select so that users can select and update multiple tasks at once via right click updates as per below:
Please note for parent/ child tasks these updates need to be completed in two phases.
Select all children tasks and update, then select the parent task and update.
Additional Task Scheduled Column
On the Task tab of a job there is an additional “Scheduled $” column.
This is to provide the ability to separate billable scheduled time from non-billable scheduled time.
For example, this task has an appointment which is set to “write off” on conversion to a time entry therefore this appointment should be excluded from the scheduled figure as it will not reduce the budget.
Collapsible Sections in TimeTrak Forms
In 19.3 within the Professional website, there is also the added ability to collapse sections that users do not always need to see within Client and Job forms.
This information will be cached to the user’s browser and remembered.
For example: If the postal address against the client is of no relevance this can be collapsed and expanded when needed to ensure only the required information is displayed on screen.
In TimeTrak Professional version 19.3, there is now the ability to set task defaults at a job level as per below:
Once the task defaults are set against a job, when a quick task or task is created for a job these will be the defaults assigned to the task:
An end user at any point can overwrite these defaults.
The job’s default Task Category and Task Type are overwritten if this has been stipulated against a quote line and the Task is imported via a quote line where this has been specified.
In order to specify this against a job’s quote lines the below extra fields will need to be enabled on JOBCOST_LINES:
Once these extra fields are set, users can stipulate the correct task group, category and type.
In TimeTrak within the job via the tasks tab users can then select import tasks
Import from Quote lines and select which quote lines are to be imported as Tasks, “Import Selected Lines”.
As per below the jobs defaults are overwritten by what has been set against the quote line.
There has also been some small improvements to the Import from Excel process, previously if there was any empty rows the file would not import and caused users to save as CSV to strip out any formatting before importing again.
In 19.3, if there are any blank rows these will be ignored as part of the import.
Task titles have a limit of 100 characters; if the import file had a task title that was larger, this would also fail.
In 19.3, if any task titles are larger than 100 characters these will be cut down to 100 characters.
There has also an added field on the tasks table “ImportGrid” which helps to identify what tasks were imported together.
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