FacileThings

New Project Management: Subprojects and Much More!

AUTHOR: Francisco Sáez

We have just released the new Projects section. Besides integrating the new design that we had introduced with the Dashboard and that we will be incorporating gradually in the sections left, we have changed all internal programming to improve significantly performance and execution speed. We have also added tons of improvements. But let’s go step by step.

new subproject feature

Searching Projects

If you have a lot of projects in different stages, you’ll probably struggle when you need to find one particular project between all your lists and it will probably take you too much time. The new project-searching tool that you’ll find in the lower part of the project list will allow you to find any project in a matter of seconds. You just need to type in a few letters and all the projects that contain them will show up.

projects search

You can choose one project from the list using either the mouse, or the up, down and enter keys. Once you’ve selected a project, the Project List will open up automatically in the place the project is.

Likewise, when you create a new project, this will be added to the In progress list and it will be automatically selected.

Focus on goals and areas of responsibility

The Focus on tool found in the upper part will allow you to focus just in one goal and/or area of responsibility.

focus-on tool

Once you’ve selected one goal and/or one area of responsibility, the project list will be reduced only to show those projects related to the selection.

Note: In the next few days we’ll add the same feature to the Dashboard.

General improvements and changes

  • When you want to focus on one particular project, you’ll need to check the star-shaped icon that is placed on the left side of the projects in progress list. The project will be moved to the first places of the list, and its actions will also be shown on the top of the general Next Actions list.

focus on projects

  • Before, you had to complete a project in order to delete it. Now you can delete a project in any moment, regardless of the state in which it finds itself. And warning: Now, when you delete a project, all its next actions and all the support material will be moved to the trash.

project header

  • Now you have a rough estimation of the project’s execution time, that is just a sum of the estimation time of all the next actions of the project.
  • Before, all the actions of a project inherited the Goal and Area of Responsibility from the project they belonged to. Now, though they still do it, you can modify the Area of Responsibility of any action independently (you need to edit the task to do so).
  • Before, when you had one project in the Waiting state, none of its actions appeared in the general lists to avoid unnecessary distractions. However, some of you have argued that, even if a project is "waiting”, the actions of its Calendar and Waiting For lists should be present in the general lists, to avoid missing an event or monitoring work that needs to be done by others. We believe that this makes a lot of sense, so now the items belonging to the Calendar and Waiting For lists will be shown in the general lists, even if the projects are on “waiting” state.

Subprojects

Sequential projects can have subprojects. Probably some of your projects will be made up of groups of tasks that, though related, could be managed as side projects. The new Subprojects feature will let you organise properly this type of components.

project with subprojects

To create a subproject, you just need to give it a name, since the subproject inherits the rest of the main-project characteristics.

When you add a subproject to a project it is as if you had another list of Next Actions working at the same time. The first action from both the main project and the subproject will be shown in the general Next Actions list, therefore you can work on the different parts of the project simultaneously.

The Add Action button allows you to add a new action to the main project or to any of its subprojects. You’ll see a dropdown list with all the subprojects that exists (if they do). In addition, we’ve added the possibility to add notes and checklists at the same time you create a new action.

adding action to a subproject

You can send one task directly to a subproject while you are processing it, since subprojects also appear in the project lists, with the format project > subproject.

processing subproject actions

To delete a subproject there should be no actions related to the subproject in any of the lists (not even in the Trash).

Sorting the sequence of Next Actions

You can drag and drop actions to alter the sequence of the next actions in a project, and even move one action from one subproject to another one. In tablets the “drag and drop” option is not possible, so we’ve added some sort icons that will let you sort the actions if you are working with an iPad.

sort icons

This icons will let you move each action upwards or downwards, and send them to the beginning or the end of the list. In addition to using them when using a tablet, it can be useful to use them when you simply have too many actions on the list. You can activate the icons when you need to move actions, and deactivate them to gain space and clarity when you don’t need them.

When using a tablet, you won’t be able to move graphically one action to another subproject. In this case, you’ll need to edit the action and change the subproject with the “Project” field of the Perspective section.

Note: Before, there was a button to save all changes once you had modified the order of the task. It doesn’t exist anymore, the changes are saved automatically with every movement.

Improvements in the Kanban-type planification

There are projects that don’t follow any sequential flow and the interdependence of the tasks is more complicated. In this cases, you can use the Kanban-type planification that, even if manual, is strong and flexible enough to manage any workflow.

kanban-type project

With this kind of planification, just the actions that are on the Doing list of the Kanban will appear in the general lists of actions.

In addition to the new design, there are other changes and improvements to the Kanban-type projects:

  • We’ve added the total number of actions in each column, in order for you to have a clearer idea of the amount of work you’ll need to do in each project.
  • We’ve added the attach-files option in the Kanban tasks, something that was clearly missing in the previous version.
  • In long projects, when the Done column is growing non-stop, it ends up been unuseful. Now you have the option to work with two to three columns, to taste. You can set each project to have the “done” list be shown within the Kanban or outside the Kanban as another list.

three-column kanban

two-column kanban

5 comments

936994f19c677a9f7e23e7c97c4fbbc8
Commented over 2 years ago Gustav

Nice work! I especially like the improved reordering of tasks and project search, well done!

However seeing :start removed is a disappointment. I start-dates a lot and they are as relevant within a project as outside projects (e.g. remind about feedback after 10-15 days, but not before).

It would be nice if the project search divided projects into the three columns in the result as well, so you can see what results have what state.

Also showing the total length on the left project menu (so you can get an overview of all your projects at the same time) would be nice.

But most I'd like to see :start back, especially as part of a chain of sequential actions. I.e. that subsequent actions aren't shown as Next until after the start date either. Thanks to kanban and subprojects it is now easy to setup custom workflows to override the action if you don't want the start-date (or waiting for) stopping subsequent tasks.

936994f19c677a9f7e23e7c97c4fbbc8 Gustav

Nice work! I especially like the improved reordering of tasks and project search, well done!

However seeing :start removed is a disappointment. I start-dates a lot and they are as relevant within a project as outside projects (e.g. remind about feedback after 10-15 days, but not before).

It would be nice if the project search divided projects into the three columns in the result as well, so you can see what results have what state.

Also showing the total length on the left project menu (so you can get an overview of all your projects at the same time) would be nice.

But most I'd like to see :start back, especially as part of a chain of sequential actions. I.e. that subsequent actions aren't shown as Next until after the start date either. Thanks to kanban and subprojects it is now easy to setup custom workflows to override the action if you don't want the start-date (or waiting for) stopping subsequent tasks.

B106331265724a910e735e2ebf3895a3
Commented about 2 years ago Steve

Great update. Looking forward to trying it out.

B106331265724a910e735e2ebf3895a3 Steve

Great update. Looking forward to trying it out.

8bb2c9a97155fbcffcc91ca918d103c7
Commented about 2 years ago Cyrus

Everything in this update is a step in the right direction except the removal of :start. While I appreciate the fact that it was a headache for some, for those of us who used it and used it well, the removal of the function is an unwelcomed change.

I would like to see a better implementation of :start within the application that addresses the concerns and issues noted rather than just a flat removal altogether.

8bb2c9a97155fbcffcc91ca918d103c7 Cyrus

Everything in this update is a step in the right direction except the removal of :start. While I appreciate the fact that it was a headache for some, for those of us who used it and used it well, the removal of the function is an unwelcomed change.

I would like to see a better implementation of :start within the application that addresses the concerns and issues noted rather than just a flat removal altogether.

Fcb879f1bc70aa0f661b842011f280fb
Commented about 2 years ago Francisco Sáez

Thank you guys, for your feedback.

Gustav & Cyrus, I'd like to know better how you used the ":start" command within the projects in order to consider if it's worth activating it again, or we need to improve the way it worked. Can you please open a ticket within the app to discuss this matter with me? Thanks!

Fcb879f1bc70aa0f661b842011f280fb Francisco Sáez

Thank you guys, for your feedback.

Gustav & Cyrus, I'd like to know better how you used the ":start" command within the projects in order to consider if it's worth activating it again, or we need to improve the way it worked. Can you please open a ticket within the app to discuss this matter with me? Thanks!

Fcb879f1bc70aa0f661b842011f280fb
Commented about 2 years ago Francisco Sáez

Hi guys,

We have listened to your feedback and re-enabled the use of the ":start" command in the Projects section. We've also made some tweaks so that the behavior of this command is not so confusing in this section.

Thanks so much!

Fcb879f1bc70aa0f661b842011f280fb Francisco Sáez

Hi guys,

We have listened to your feedback and re-enabled the use of the ":start" command in the Projects section. We've also made some tweaks so that the behavior of this command is not so confusing in this section.

Thanks so much!

Posts are closed to new comments after 30 days.

Try FacileThings FREE for 30 DAYS and start living at your own pace

No credit card required for the free trial. Cancel anytime with one click.