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The top level view in Projects is called MainForm or Project List. It shows you the available projects registered by the application. The format consists of several columns, each showing different information about the projects. On colored versions, some projects may be grayed out, indicating that a project is not "active". This will be described more fully later.
The first column indicates the priority of a project. Projects' priorities range from 1 to 5, with 1 being the highest and 5 being the lowest priority. You can set the priority of a project directly by tapping on the number and choosing one of the values from the pop-up list. By default, projects are sorted by their priority. If you change the priority of a project, the item will be reordered into its proper position in the list. If you feel you don't need this column and want to have more space for other columns, you can turn it off. (See Preferences).
The next available column shows you the begin date of each project. Every project must have this value set to a valid date; it cannot be set to "no date". The column displays only the day and month of the date. Because of the small screen on PDAs, I've decided not to show the year portion of the date. Tapping in a cell of this column will open up the appropriate project and bring you directly to the GeneralPage. This column is turned off (hidden) by default so you need to check the Preferences to make it appear.
The most important column displays the Project name. Tapping on it will open up the project to the ToDoPage. This column cannot be turned off; it is always visible.
In the same column (at the end of the Project name column) you will find something like "2/16" or "7/26". This is referred to as the To-Do information and displays the number of to-dos for the appropriate project. While the first number counts the completed items, the second number shows the total amount of (all) to-dos for a project. These "To-Do Numbers" can be used as a kind of status, telling you how far a project has progressed. You may be wondering why this information is not shown as a graphical progress bar, or something similar. Well, remember that PDAs have a very limited screen size and resolution where small graphics are sometimes hard to read. You may then wonder why it it is not displyed as something like "84\%" to show that a project is 84 percent complete. This would be a possible solution, but it is not very practical since it is not accurate enough. Reading that 8 tasks out of 28 are completed is more helpful information, in my view. Once again, if you do not need this information you can turn it off. (See Preferences).
As of version v1.8.2a you are able to define your own project states. The column next to the project name (or ToDo Information) shows the first letter of the current state of a project. You can also turn this column off. By tapping the column, a list with already defined states will appear. If you choose the last entry in the list you can edit the states, in the same way that you edit categories. Note that there can be only 16 states. On colored devices you can also define a color for each state. The same color will be used to draw the projects' information on the MainForm.
In previous version (v1.8.1 and below) you could choose to hide all projects that were not active. This option has been changed. Now you can filter projects by their states. Just check the Preferences.
There may be a note icon in the last column. If there is such an icon it indicates that a text memo is associated with the project. Tapping in that column opens the project directly to the MemoPage. This column is always visible; it cannot be hidden.
As of version v1.8.1 of Projects, you can display an additional column which will show the category of each item in the project list. Tapping on a category cell, you can select and assign a new category to the appropriate project on the fly, just like you can set the state or the priority of an item. This column can also be hidden from view by using the Preferences dialog. If this column should be shown, it will be displayed only if your are viewing "All" items.
Tapping on the Show... button will pop up the Preferences dialog. Here you may set the sort order of the project list. Beside choosing to have Projects sort the list automatically, you can also do it by hand (manually). If you choose to sort manually, new projects will be created at the top of the list. To reposition a project in the list, tap on its name, then hold down the pen and drag it to the desired position. This works much like in the built-in Memo application. Note that you need to tap into the project name column to make it work. The abbreviation "asce." stands for ascending while "desc." means descending. Further, you can turn off some of the previously mentioned columns by unhooking the appropriate check boxes. One special check box is ...Only. If you check this box, only projects in the defined state will be listed. If this checkbox is unhooked all projects will be shown.
Finally, to create a project all you need to do is to tap on the New... button. A small dialog will appear where you need to enter a name for the new project. Project names must be unique whithin the Projects application, they may be up to 27 characters long, and may contain any characters available on the Palm OS.
As of version 1.8.0 there is a small ToDos button beside the New... button. Tapping this will open up the QuickView, which lists all the currently shown projects along with their to-dos. This enables the viewing of items across project boundaries. This view has no caption associated with it. To show the menu you need to tap on the "Menu" soft button in the left bottom corner beside the Graffiti area. The two horizontal arrows allow you to quickly jump to the next or previous project in the list. Tapping the check boxes of to-do items allows you to mark an item as "complete". Tapping on the item itself will open up the ProjectForm to the ToDoPage with the cursor on that item, if it was a to-do item. If you tap on the project name it simply opens the ToDoPage but does not select an item. As of version v1.8.1, if you choose a paritcular to-do category for a project while in QuickView, you will see listed only the corresponding to-do items for each project. With the v1.8.2 version you can also filter to-do items by their priority.
To switch the category currently displayed on the MainForm you can use the popup trigger in the upper right corner of the form. If you have set a hardware button on your PDA to launch Projects, then pressing the button repeatedly will cause the MainForm to cycle through all available cateories, while skipping those which are empty. Just have a try.
Updated Sun Mar 9 11:03:46 CET 2003
"Peter Novotnik "peternov1 (at) gmx.de"