GMD Tutorial – Using Project Blocks To Guide Your Work

This tutorial shows you how Achieve Planner supports the structured style of work and how you can use your project blocks to get your work done.

Working With Tasks TutorialClick Here to View the Tutorial

The most common way of working with project blocks is to take advantage of the appointment reminder that comes up when the project block start time arrives.

When you select a project block appointment in the Reminders Window, the View Tasks button allows you to go to the Tasks tab filtered by that project.

Reminders Window

That will allow you to focus on just the tasks for that project and start working on the most important task first.

Another way to get to the Tasks tab when using project blocks is to right-click on a project block in the weekly schedule. You can use the View Tasks command in the context menu to take you to the Tasks tab filtered by that project.

Once you are in the Tasks tab, you can easily switch to a different project using the Project dropdown in the view bar, or using the Actions -> Switch Project (Ctrl+H) menu item.

GMD Tutorial – Weekly Planning Wizard

Achieve Planner supports several ways to create project blocks in your weekly schedule, each with its own advantages and disadvantages.

Weekly Planning Wizard

The method I use most frequently is the Weekly Planning Wizard, which helps you allocate time to different projects and then select the times when you are going to work on each of those projects during the week using project blocks.

I typically use the wizard as part of my weekly planning routine that I do Monday mornings just after doing a quick scan on my email to identify anything important that may affect how I plan the week.

For now, I’m going to focus on just the weekly planning wizard as a tool you can use to drop project blocks in your schedule.

The Wizard consists of five steps. Steps 1 and 2 deal with reviewing your result areas, goals and dreams, which is something that I typically do separately on Sunday nights.

I’m going to skip these steps for now.

For this tutorial, you’ll want to focus on steps 3, 4 and 5 of the wizard.

Step 3

In this step, you can select your time chart for the week, which will guide you later as you drop project blocks into your schedule.

Step 4

This step is where you decide the amount of time that you want to commit to your various projects this week.

The time commitments you make in this step are used in the next step to determine how many project blocks to create for each project.

Time Commitments

Step 5

In the final step, you use drag and drop to create project blocks for each of your big rock projects identified in step 4.

This step helps you put your big rock projects into your schedule first, and allows you to make time for important long-term projects that may not yet be urgent.

This video shows you how to use the Weekly Planning Wizard.

Weekly Planning WizardClick Here to View the Tutorial

Other Ways of Creating Project Blocks

While the weekly planning wizard is the best way to create project blocks, it only works at the start of the week.

When things change in the middle of the week, you need to do something else to adjust your schedule.

Some additional ways to create project blocks are:

  • Copying existing project blocks
  • Setting the project for new appointments
  • Scheduling project blocks from the Projects tab or Outline
  • Dragging projects from the project’s panel

Working with Project Blocks

This video shows you some other ways to create project blocks in your weekly schedule.

Working With Project BlocksClick Here to View the Tutorial

Moving or Copying Project Blocks

As your schedule changes, you’ll often find it useful to rearrange your project blocks by moving or copying them.

To move project blocks, you can use standard drag & drop:

  1. Click on the project block you want to move and, while holding down the left mouse button, move the block to its new location.
  2. You should see a floating image of the block as you drag it.
  3. Once you’ve moved the block to the place you want, release the left mouse button to complete the drop.

You can also select the project block, use the Edit->Cut menu command, move the selection to the new time for the block, and select the Edit -> Paste command.

To copy project blocks, you can use standard drag & copy drop:

  1. Click on the project block you want to copy and, while holding down the left mouse button, move the block to its new location.
  2. Press and hold down the CTRL key as you drag the block. You’ll notice that the cursor changes to include a (+) sign indicating a copy of the block will be made, and the original project block is now in its previous location.
  3. Move the copy to the date/time you want and release the left mouse button (while still holding down the CTRL key) to complete the copy drop.

Turning Appointments into Project Blocks

You can set or change the project associated with an appointment or project block:

  1. Right-click on an appointment or project block in the Weekly Schedule
  2. Select Set Project from the context menu.
  3. Chose the project from the tree
  4. Press ENTER key or press OK button

The appointment is now associated with the project that you selected.

Using the Projects Panel in the Weekly Schedule

You can create project blocks using the Project’s panel in the weekly schedule.

  1. You should see the Project’s pane hidden at the right edge of the screen. Hovering the mouse over the pane should display it.
  2. <-  expands to  ->   Project's Panel

    Note: If you don’t see the Projects pane, you can display it using the View­->Project Explorer command.

  3. Click on one of the Projects in the tree and, while holding down the left mouse button, drag it into the weekly schedule area.
  4. As you drag the mouse over the weekly schedule area, you should see a “Project Block” for the project. Drag this block to the desired location on the weekly schedule and release the left mouse button to drop it.

You should now have a project block for the project in the weekly schedule.

Using the Master Outline or Projects Tab

To create one or more project blocks from the Projects tab:

  1. Navigate to the Projects tab, or use the Go->Projects command.
  2. Select a Project for which you want to create a project block using the row header.
  3. Select the Actions->Schedule Block command (or right-click on the project row and select Schedule Block from the context menu.)
  4. The Weekly Schedule tab should become active and enter into drop mode. As you move the mouse around the screen, there should be a “project block” attached to your cursor.
  5. When you are ready to drop a project block, just click and release the left mouse button. This will drop a block at the current location.
  6. The weekly schedule will remain in “drop mode” allowing you to continue dropping more blocks on the weekly schedule.
  7. When you are finished dropping blocks, press the ESC key to get out of “drop mode.”

Project blocks work just like appointments, so you can move them, edit them, and copy them just like other appointments.