Project management is kind of a big deal, with college level courses, workshops, and seminars taught every day. Big companies hire people with these credentials to help them plan and manage their projects.
With software like OmniPlan, both the trained and untrained can manage personal and work projects with relative ease. It does help, however, to know what you’re doing before trying to organize a mission critical project, even if it is one for home, like building a dog house. All projects are made up of similar things, like timelines, human resources, financial considerations, and the like.
Let’s take a look at how to use OmniPlan to create a new Project – the first step to managing it.
When you launch OmniPlan, you’ll start in the Document Browser. Tap the plus button to begin your next project.
Double tap the project name (in the title bar) to edit the project title. Then, tap the project info button (second from the right near the top – it looks like a suitcase icon) to bring up a dialog box in which you can set all the details about your project. If your project is an abstract concept, still in the planning stages, tap on the Dates area and set it to Undetermined. Then the timelines can say T+1 days or T+2, to refer to relative timing, rather than specific dates. Tap Direction to set whether the project will be planned backward from a big end date, like when planning a conference, or forward from a big start date, like teaching a class. Tap Granularity to set how to schedule the tasks that will make up your project, choosing Daily, Hourly, or Exact time periods. If your tasks will mainly be completed within single days, try Hourly. If the project is a longer one, try Daily. These will round your task due dates and times to the nearest hour or day, respectively. If you want to schedule things using more specific times, use Exact.
Other options include things like setting Duration and Effort units, or Effort Conversions, if your project isn’t part of a standard eight hour workday or 40 hour workweek. You can also tap the Calendar tab at the top to set the normal workday hours, which will help when planning to allocate resources that include other people.
Once your project is set up, tap out of the info dialog to return to the timeline. You can tap on the View menu at this point to Filter by Resource, Status, Type, or Visible Date Range (once you’ve populated your project with tasks), toggle OmniPlan to track any changes, and even choose a Light or Dark Theme.
Add Tasks, set them on a timeline with Milestones (see yesterday’s tip), and you’ll be well on your way to managing that project large or small, work related or home-based.