Entering Tasks

To begin building a project, enter the major steps to reach your goal in roughly the same order that you expect them to occur. (Don't worry if you're not quite accurate about the sequence of events; Project makes it easy to reorganize tasks in your schedule at any time.) / i

You can use the Project Guide to help you enter tasks. Display the Project Guide toolbar (simply right-click any toolbar and click Project Guide), and click the Tasks button. In the Project Guide pane, click the List the tasks in the project link. You see helpful information on entering tasks.

For the sample project (organizing a corporate annual meeting), follow these steps to create your first task — booking the meeting space:

1. Click the Task Name column in the first row of the Gantt table.

2. Type Book Meeting Space. The text appears in the cell and in the entry bar that is above the Gantt table.

3. Press Enter to accept the text.

Tip You also can accept an entry in a cell by clicking the check mark button that's located to the left of the entry bar, by pressing a directional arrow key on your key* board to move to another cell, by clicking another cell with your mouse pointer, or by pressing Tab.

Information begins to appear in your schedule. For example, Project lists the task name in the Task Name column and makes a corresponding entry in the Duration column. The question mark in the Duration column represents an estimated duration. (Remember the default setting in the Schedule tab of the Options dialog box?

The default length of new tasks is estimated at one day. The question mark that you see in the Duration column represents the estimation that Project makes.) According to the Start column, the task begins today. In addition, a task bar reflects the one-day duration of the task graphically.

Chapter 4 contains more information about estimated durations.

If you use the scroll bar that is located at the bottom of the Gantt table to move to the right, you see the Finish Date entry. Because this is a one-day task, it will be completed by the end of the day.

Tip You also can drag the bar that divides the Gantt table from the Gantt Chart to expand the visible area of the Gantt table.

Using either your mouse pointer or the down-arrow key, move to the second row in the Task Name column and enter Schedule Speakers as the next task. Then enter the following tasks in the next four rows: Arrange for Audio/Visual Equipment, Order Food, Send Invitations, and Mail Annual Reports. Your schedule should now look like that shown in Figure 3-10.

Cross-Reference

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Project Management Made Easy

Project Management Made Easy

What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.

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