Applying & managing date rules on tasks in projects

If you want to create date rules for steps in your process templates, so that they can be re-applied anytime that process gets re-used on future projects, then those instructions can be found here.

You also have the option of creating and managing task date rules on the individual project level.  This page focuses on your tasks at the project level.

How dynamic dates automatically apply in project tasks

Dynamic date rules can cause tasks in projects to be automatically set or automatically change, based on the criteria in those date rules.  

The following events can cause changes to dates on project tasks:

  • At the time of copying a process template to a task list on a project. 
    If the date rules relate to things like the project start date, or another task's due date, etc. then it is likely those dates will be set at this time.  However, if the date that the criteria relies on doesn't exist yet—for example, if a task's start date should be set based on when another task is completed—then that rule won't apply yet, because that other task hasn't been completed yet.
  • At the time the project's start or end date is changed.
    Some task date rules might be based on the project's start or end date.  If those dates change, then any task dates that are based on it will re-calculate and update.
  • At the time a task is completed.
    Some task date rules might be based on another task's completion.  When that task is marked completed, that will trigger the re-calculation of those task dates that are based on that.
  • At the time a task's due date is changed.
    Some task date rules might be based on another task's due date.  If something causes that other task's due date to change—either someone changing it manually, or another date rule changes it automatically—then this could cause any tasks that refer to it to change dates.

How to know if a task's dates are "dynamic?"

When you're viewing an individual project and you're viewing the tasks in that project, it's easy to see which tasks have dynamic date rules, which might cause them to change at anytime.  Look for the lightning bold icon next to the start or due date label:

Even if a task has a dynamic date rule set, you can still manually change that task's date to something else.  However, as long as that dynamic date rule is still in effect (if the lightning bolt is shown), then that could cause your manual date setting to change, if the rule's criteria gets met.

How to disable a task's dynamic date rule

You can easily disable a dynamic date rule on any task by deleting that dynamic date rule.  Here's how:

  1. Open a project, then go to its Tasks and find the task with the date rule(s) you want to disable.
  2. Click the calendar icon to view the task's dates
  3. Click anywhere on the task to go into editing mode.
  4. Click the "manage date rules" link
  5. Click "Delete rule" to delete it and disable it from applying in the future.

Notes about deleting a task's date rule(s):

  • Deleting a date rule will not immediately change or delete that task's start or due date.  If you also want to remove the start or due date from the task, then click the date, then click the "x", then click "Update".
  • Deleting a date rule from a task in a project does not impact the process template (if any was used), in any way.

How to change a task's dynamic date rule:

You can easily make adjustments to any dynamic date rules on any task.  Here's how:

  1. Open a project, then go to its Tasks and find the task with the date rule(s) you want to disable.
  2. Click the calendar icon to view the task's dates
  3. Click anywhere on the task to go into editing mode.
  4. Click the "manage date rules" link
  5. Make changes to the date rule(s).
  6. Click the "Update" button to save those changes.

Notes about updating a task's date rule(s):

  • Updating a date rule will not immediately change or delete that task's start or due date.  If you also want to change the start or due date on the task, you can do this in one of two ways:  You can manually make the change, or you can click "recalculate" (more on this below).
  • Updating a date rule on a task in a project does not impact the process template (if any was used), in any way.

Recalculate a task's dates based on it's date rules

If you recently changed a task's date rules and you want to manually recalculate or re-save that task's start or due date based on the new date rule, you can do that:

First, make sure you've already clicked "Update" after making changes to the date rule, so that the rule is saved.

Then reopen that same task, go back to that same date rule, then click "recalculate".  This will instantly update that task's start or due date based on the date rule criteria.

If a date rule causes a date to be invalid...

It is not possible in ProcessKit to ever save a task's start date that later than the due date, or vice versa.

In some cases, when dynamic date rules are in place, the logic behind these rules might lead to calculating an invalid date (for example, a date rule that would cause a task's due date to come before the task's start date).

If/when this would potentially happen, ProcessKit will simply ignore that date rule and the date(s) will not be saved.  Only valid dates will be saved.

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