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1  General Category / F.A.Q. / A few hints on dealing with scheduling on: July 17, 2020, 04:37:15 PM
I had a lot of trouble understanding scheduling when I started with this app. Here's what I've worked out so far. These comments are for when creating the schedule in planning mode.

-> Let the app work out the project schedule. You just provide it with the necessary information to do so. This means you don't generally enter dates in the project plan, except for the first objects in the plan. The app rigidly follows the constraints you add and will think nothing of recalculating all the dates you filled in if they violate the constraints.

-> If an object has predecessors, the start date will automatically be when the last predecessor is complete.

-> Keep in mind that the first object(s) in a nested diagram still has the predecessors of the parent diagram.

-> The fixed start date option, like the late start option, is for *delaying* the start date of an object that has predecessors. Avoid using late start and fixed start date together on an object, because it can result in confusing behaviour. This is because changing the late start changes the fixed start date, but not the other way around. Avoid using these options on objects without predecessors, because the late start is then meaningless and confusing.

-> You can only manually assign an *arbitrary* start date to an object if it is:
   i. In a folder, and
   ii. Without predecessors, and
   iii. Without a nested diagram
Make sure your project starts with such an object, otherwise you won't have control over when the project starts.

-> Assuming work doesn't happen 24/7, create a calendar that constrains when work happens. Doing this at the start and setting it as the default calendar will save choosing the calendar for each object.

-> Calendars control the conversion between hours, days and months. Suppose you set a calendar with seven hours of working each day. You then create an object that uses that calendar, and enter 0.5 days of execution time. If you switch units to hours, you'll get 3.5 hours, not twelve hours, because the calendar says there are seven working hours in a day. It's usually best to stick to the units you entered the execution time in, otherwise you'll end up with strangely precise times on your objects.

-> The calendar doesn't include non working days when it calculates working hours in a day. So if you enter eight working hours a day from Monday to Friday, it won't include the weekend when it calculates that one day of execution time equals eight hours.

-> Don't enter the execution time of objects with nested diagrams. The execution time is already calculated from the nested diagram.

-> Don't enter both the end time and the execution time of an object, as you'll end up with a second execution time shown on the object in brackets. Enter the execution time and let the software calculate the end time.

-> I've been trying to understand what confirming an object means conceptually in planning mode. It seems to be just a way to help you go through the objects in order of precedence when filling in the scheduling information. An object isn't added to the plan and won't show up on the Gantt chart until you confirm its predecessors on the diagram.

-> If you select "analyse diagram as a project" and complete all the prompts, it will schedule everything that isn't on the critical path as late as possible, while still allowing a time buffer to protect the critical path from overruns that feed into the critical path. The idea is to not prematurely use resources by doing tasks needlessly early. This is why objects end up with late starts that you haven't entered.

-> The app doesn't do resource levelling. If you have two independent tasks, the app may schedule them in parallel even if you assign yourself to both tasks at 100%. Create links between the tasks to force them to be scheduled sequentially, even though neither is dependant the other.

-> By default, the plan is updated as actual execution times are known. Whenever you modify the actual schedule of an object, it will overwrite the planned schedule to match. The idea is that the plan is a continually updating forecast instead of showing how far behind you are. The original schedule is not kept, so backup the project at the start if you want to keep it. You can stop this behaviour by unchecking the "sync plan with reality" checkbox.

-> Sometimes you have a fixed deadline and need to set the planned execution time of each object so it fits in the time available. If the plan says you don't have enough time, adjusting the execution times to fit the time available is a great way to ensure you miss your deadline.
2  General Category / F.A.Q. / Re: Is this app still being maintained? on: April 15, 2018, 11:31:11 PM
I posted awhile back that I was having difficulty with iCloud sync, which still isn't working.

Also, I find if I forget to enter a few records, it's too much effort to compare every transaction on my statement to the app to find discrepancies. I was hoping that we'd get the ability to import records. My bank provides them as downloadable csv and quicken files. Then ideally, the app could use the retailer name in the statement to put the transaction in the right spending categories.


3  General Category / F.A.Q. / Is this app still being maintained? on: April 14, 2018, 07:50:53 PM
I haven’t seen any recent posts. Is this app still being maintained?
4  General Category / Bug reports / Duplicate records after turning iCloud sync off and on on: February 11, 2018, 08:41:12 PM
Hi, the latest records weren't syncing between my iPhone 7 and iPad air 2. Before trying the clear data button I tried turning iCloud sync off and on again. This caused the records to sync but also caused recent record to become duplicated. Some accounts also became duplicated. Deleting the accounts on one device caused error messages to appear on the other device.
5  General Category / Bug reports / Undo button doesn't seem to work on: February 12, 2017, 10:12:28 PM
The undo button never seems to do anything, and is often greyed out.
6  General Category / Bug reports / Mysterious extra diagram on: February 12, 2017, 10:11:19 PM
If I open the queue of tasks, I find under "deferred" some processes for constructing the Nautilus. If I open the diagram they belong to, I find another copy of the Nautilus diagram, like the one in the tutorial, but not executed (I have finished the tutorial). I can't roll up to see where it resides, and if I modify it, the changes are not reflected in the tutorial (i.e. it's not the same diagram).

Of course, there must be another copy of the tutorial somewhere for the restore user guide button to work - perhaps the queue of tasks is picking it up somehow.
7  General Category / Bug reports / Fixed start date changes when analysing diagram as a project on: February 12, 2017, 09:38:07 PM
When analysing a diagram as a project, the start date of the first element is changed to when the element was added to the diagram.

To reproduce:
  • Create a new folder
  • In the folder, add a common process
  • Set the planned start and end date of the process
  • Analyse the diagram as a project
The start date of the element changes to when it was added to the diagram. I can't see any useful reason for this behaviour so I assume it's a bug.
8  General Category / inShort / Re: Resource Overloading? on: February 12, 2017, 07:04:26 PM
I have the same issue. I'm using inShort to map out several small projects I'm working on. I made a separate folder for each project. At the moment I'm not using the scheduling features, but it would be nice to have a high level overview of how much time I'll spend on them.

I need to divide my time between the projects, rather than doing them sequentially, and I'm trying to find the best way to represent that. If I was creating a project plan for some assignment by hand, I'd make a high level guess how long I'd spend on each section, taking into account other commitments, and that would be enough for a small project. For example, if an essay was due in three weeks, I might spend a week on research, a week on drafting etc., remembering that I would not be working on it constantly. Perhaps for my needs making such guesses is the best way to use the application.

Creating dependencies between projects (I would have to use proxies as they are in different folders) feels like it could get messy. It wouldn't represent the fact that I would not spend an entire week drafting the essay without working on any other project.

Alternatively, I could assign a human resource (myself) to each high level element in the diagram, and set the work contribution level to how I wished to divide my time between the projects. (Sometime changing the contribution of a resource affects the expected time; sometime it changes the displayed duration on the Gantt chart - I'm not clear on how this works.)

Maybe it would help to first have a more general discussion on how to manage your time between multiple projects.

9  General Category / F.A.Q. / Small items with potentially long active periods on: January 03, 2017, 09:08:43 PM
Suppose you purchase a small item that lasts a long time, such a pair of scissors, extension lead, or a book. How would you set the active period/period of influence, and is it useful to have a pair of scissors listed as a "current expense" after several years?
10  General Category / F.A.Q. / Buying assets with a finance agreement on: January 03, 2017, 08:51:20 PM
I've just bought a phone on finance. Suppose I intend to keep it for two years, and the monthly repayments are for twenty months. How should I record it in tr.en.d? Should I record it as a recurring monthly expense, with a one month period of influence? Or should I create a new account to represent the loan, add the full cost of the phone as an expense to the loan account (with 2 year period of influence), and then set up a recurring movement of funds into the loan account to represent the repayments?
11  General Category / F.A.Q. / Re: What to do if you haven't used the program for awhile on: January 03, 2017, 07:28:32 PM
I've started with a clean slate. I've added my accounts to the app with their current balances.

The issue is adding expenses which come from an account prior to the date I added the account. For instance, I added my credit card yesterday evening with its current balance. Then I added an expense - the diary I bought yesterday afternoon. Now my credit card balance is shown as incorrect, because the account opening balance already included all prior purchases, including the diary, and the app applied the cost of the diary again.

I was expecting the app to assume that all prior transactions were included in the opening account balance.

Should I have calculated what my credit card balance was before I bought the diary, and used that figure to open the account? This could be problematic if I follow your suggestion and backdate important assets like my car.
12  General Category / F.A.Q. / What to do if you haven't used the program for awhile on: November 26, 2016, 09:36:05 PM
It's been ages since I've used the program, and so account balances are out of date and there is a large gap in the records. I don't think most of the records from that long ago will be useful anymore, so I'm thinking of deleting/reinstalling the program and starting afresh. Alternatively, I could use account balance corrections to bring my accounts up to date and start inputting records again.

A few of the existing records are still current, for instance my car (as I still use it).

What would you recommend?
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