What’s New in SmartPlans 3.0
SmartPlans 2.0 features group tasks – the ability to drag one task on top of another to create a group, then drop other tasks into it. With SmartPlans 3.0, we’ve taken this one step further by giving those Groups “Milestone” status. Milestones are automatically assigned deadlines based upon where they fit in your Project. And Milestones automatically have pop-up alerts. Its an excellent way to keep you on task by breaking up your Project into manageable groups of tasks. Best of all, Milestones now sync with your iPhone or iPad Calendar and appear in the “All Day Events” section.
By default, all Projects are “critical path” – which means, the tasks inside a project are all meant to be accomplished sequentially. Now, in SmartPlans 3.0, it is possible to have dependencies – that is, links from one project (or group of tasks) to another. In this way you can link any Project to a Milestone within another project. This allows you to have multiple, side-by-side items – for example, doing research on the next chapter while writing the current one.
In SmartPlans 2.0, the Gantt chart showed top-level Projects. Now, each Project cascades open to show Milestones and Tasks. You can further drill down to “Milestone” view to see the individual tasks inside a particular Milestone. Key to this is a new “task name” column which shows the names of all of the Milestones or Tasks in the cascade view. This works as a navigator; just tap on a name and the Gantt chart will automatically scroll to put that item in focus.
We thought about creating a calendar inside SmartPlans but then it occurred to us that the iPhone and iPad Calendars are already quite useful. Plus, their calendars sync with our other Smart apps – SmartPad for iPad and SmartCal for iPhone – and they can be shared with other external calendar as well, such as iCal on your Mac, Google and Outlook. So instead, we have a new feature that integrates both levels of a project – Milestones and Tasks – directly into your device calendar. The way it works is simple: Milestones are placed in the calendar’s “All Day Events” pane at the top. Tasks are placed into the actual calendar as ‘events’ at a time that you specify. For example, Tasks from your “Write a Novel” project are placed into your calendar each day at 7:00pm. If you set up your Project to allow for spending two hours a day on “Writing a Novel” then it will automatically place tasks into your device calendar in the 7-9pm time slot. You can option to sync both Milestones and/or Tasks. We still offer to sync tasks with Toodledo, but we do not recommend that you do both.
Most people like to see a record of the tasks they have completed, inside their Project folder. However, some people find that distracting as they only want to focus on the currently active tasks. No problem. We’ve added a simple toggle button that allows you to show or hide your completed tasks.