SkedPal 2.5 will be released by end of August (we were hoping to do it earlier.) There are a number of exciting new features that have been built into this version based largely on feedback and suggestions provided by the beta user community. The following is a brief description of the new changes we have implemented. We hope you like them!
Just because we have designated 40, let’s say, of available hours in time maps, does not mean that we want to schedule them all. It might not be possible at all, given the occurrence of unprecedented issues which leads to tasks taking much longer than anticipated. To solve the problem, we have introduced buffers. These are extra times added to your tasks.
In the new version 2.5, you can define buffers for any or all of your tasks. Now, in the application settings, you can find the following options:
Buffers for your Google/Exchange fixed appointments
You’ve probably noticed that if you have a fixed appointment on your Google or Exchange calendar from 10:00 to 11:00 AM, SkedPal assumes that you are available the minute after (or before) this event. But, what if you need to commute to the next activity? Or just need some time to switch contexts before you can get started with your next task? With version 2.5, you can also set a fixed buffer time before and/or after all fixed appointments. This can be set at the calendar level. In other words, if you have more than one calendar, you can set these buffers differently for each calendar.
Holidays have a varied impact on different tasks. For example, you probably want to complete personal tasks on a holiday, while not scheduling any work-related tasks. Version 2.5 will enable you to sync a holiday calendar from Google or Exchange. This will sync all holidays with SkedPal. Then, for each Time Map, you can indicate if you’d like to block your time or ignore it.
Option to sync with Google/Exchange as Busy or Free
As shown in the above image, you’ll be able to sync your tasks to your Google or Exchange calendar as busy events, or as free events.
A more organized Focus Filter
The Focus filter is now divided into sections that will help you to see your scheduled tasks in a list format for each week:
In addition, a new filter is added to see and manage all of your repeating tasks.
Completed Tasks & Events
With version 2.5, the task time blocks that you completed will stay on your calendar so you can look back and find out what you’ve done over the past days at a glance. What is now included in this is that you can even mark complete your fixed events from Google or Exchange. They are an integrated part of your schedule during the day. So, why not mark them complete too?
As much as we try to fine tune our preferences in the Time Maps, priorities and time frames, sometimes a task we really want to get scheduled doesn’t get scheduled. Before version 2.5, you could not manually schedule a task in the hot list as ‘unavailable.’ Now, you will see that task at the top of the calendar so you can schedule it at any date or time you want. In addition to hot items, you can even schedule a task at a specific time right at the outset when you create the task. Hopefully, you don’t have many of those.
Long tasks and partial completion
So, if you have a 6 hour task, and you have 2 hours scheduled for today, you’ll be able to partially complete the task for just 2 hours. Version 2.5 will provide an option for multi-event tasks to complete only one time block, or complete the entire task.
Sidelining fixed events from Google or Exchange
Have you ever had a reminder event set in Google Calendar, and then SkedPal avoids scheduling during that time? Now, you can sideline that event so SkedPal can schedule over that event. In addition, your Free/Available events from Google or Exchange did not sync across to SkedPal. Now, you’ll be able to see them in SkedPal without blocking your time.
Set default values for task duration, or Minimum Block Length
Now, you can set your own values for default task duration and Minimum Block Length.
More colors for your projects
When defining the color for your project, tag, or Time Map, you’ll see more options now. In addition, the events from Google will have their original color as set in Google.
Count of tasks in each project
The left pane will now show the count of tasks for each project. In addition, some other changes and adjustments have been made to the left pane to make it easier to use:
There are numerous improvements made in the mobile apps. Mostly, they were bug fixes, and enhancements of existing features. For example, the sync process works much better now. As another example, swiping the calendar day view to other days works much smoother.
In addition, almost all the new features in desktop 2.5 are made available in the mobile app.
One new feature that is worth mentioning here is the ability to drag & drop your time blocks on the calendar.