New Item

Create new items by choosing New Item from the Insert menu (or press the Insert key), or by double-clicking in any open gap on any view.

The various fields and checkboxes will default to the preferences you designate for each one in New Item Preferences from the Settings menu. (pro mode only)

Tip: You can also create a new item containing the text in the paste buffer (from any Windows program) on the current Day View by pressing choosing Paste from Edit menu (or pressing Ctrl+V): the text in the paste buffer will become the title for a new item with all other properties set to follow your New Item Settings (from the Settings menu).


Here are all the features in the Item Properties window, in order of appearance. Many of them are only available in pro mode:

Title: The title field can contain up to 1000 characters. To insert a new line within a Title, press Ctrl+Enter (for a complete list of keyboard shortcuts when editing Titles, see Keyboard Shortcuts. Leading spaces in titles are automatically removed, thus making sure that leading spaces don't cause such items to get wrongly sorted at the top of alphabetical lists. Trailing carriage returns are also removed (thus avoiding seeing the "..." in a title when viewed on a schedule which would mislead you into thinking there is more text to be viewed when in fact there is not). Titles can optionally include two special kinds of phrases which add powerful features: variables and triggers.

Tip: If you make a habit of starting each item title with a verb, you'll get more done, as you'll force yourself to describe the "next action" required to bring the matter towards its objective.

Tip: If you have listed more than one action in a title, consider separating the actions with Ctrl+Enter, so that the first one (the next action) will appear alone when the item appears in views. Also, if you have listed a series of action in a title, consider checking the Offer To Clone When Item Done checkbox... then when the first action is completed you can mark the item Done, accept the Offer To Clone, delete the first action from the list and still have an item that contains the remaining actions.

Triggers (st@rt and st@rtyes)

By adding special phrases to the end of the title of any item, you can program the item to launch itself or one or more activities on your computer. These are the things you can do:

This is especially handy for critical tasks. Triggers increase your efficiency by opening the right file or program at the right time, thus also helping avoid procrastination.

Triggers are launched in one of two ways: either manually (when you start the item) or automatically (when the item is scheduled to begin).

How to add a trigger to an item: To have any item offer to start (as if you had chosen the Start command or pressed F5) at the item’s Set Start Time, add the phrase “st@rt” to the end of the item’s title. (Example item title: Have lunch at noon st@rt. If you set the Set Start Time to 1pm, then at 1pm TimeTo™ will ask you if you would like start the item Have lunch at noon or not.)

To have the item offer to start at the item’s Set Start Time and also launch a Web site, program, or file, add the phrase “st@rt” followed by the filename of the Web address, program, or file. (You can use drag and drop to establish this as well... see the advanced notes below.)

(Example item title: Check the weather st@rt

(Example item title: Call the office using Skype st@rt "c:\program files\skype\phone\skype.exe" /callto:echo123 )

(Example item title in Windows 8: Call the office using SkypeOut st@rt "c:\program files (x86)\skype\phone\skype.exe" /callto:+16137286777 )

(Example item title: Edit my daily journal st@rt c:\My Documents\journal.doc)

(Example item title: Launch my batch file that copies my TimeTo™ data to a compact flash card st@rt c:\batch\TimeToCF.bat)

To have the item automatically say Yes to the confirmation to start the item at the item's start time, replace "st@rt" with "st@rtyes". (Example item title: Have lunch at noon st@rtyes).

To have the item start at the item's Set Start Time without confirmation and also launch a Web site, program, or file, add the phrase "st@rtyes" followed by the filename of the Web address, program, or file.

After starting the item, TimeTo™ can also mark the item Done if you'd like. If you inserted "st@rt" or “"st@rtyes" in all lower case letters (as in all the above examples), the item is started. However, if you capitalize any part of the word "st@rt" or "st@rtyes" then it will be marked as Done as well.

You can manually start an item that includes "st@rt" or "st@rtyes" at any time before the prescribed time by selecting the item and then choosing the Edit > Start command (or press F5). This is very useful for testing what you have just set up. (If the item has a blank Set Start Time or a fluid start time, this is the only way to start the item.)

This opens up a world of possibilities. Every routine task that you have to perform on the computer can be one step closer to being done if you let TimeTo™ take the first step. Here are some examples of what you can do:


Advanced tips regarding triggers

Drag and drop: In many cases, you can create a st@rt trigger without even having to type it: you can use drag and drop, which avoids your having to figure out the filename of what you wish to start:

  1. Highlight the item on your TimeTo™ schedule to which you wish to add a st@rt (you must create the item first if it does not yet exist). (Do not have the the item open for editing).
  2. Drag and drop the filename of the program or file from Windows Explorer or your Windows desktop onto the TimeTo™ schedule window. (No matter where on the TimeTo™ schedule you drop it, it will be added to the currently highlighted TimeTo™ item, not the one you happen to drop it onto.)

This results in "st@rt" followed by the filename being added to the selected item's title. For example, if the selected TimeTo™ item has a description of Daily journal and you drag your daily journal file from c:\temp\journal.doc, the TimeTo™ item description will now read Daily journal st@rt c:\temp\journal.doc . If you wanted a "st@rtyes" or other trigger instead of a "st@rt", manually edit the word after creating the item using drag and drop.

Temporarily disabling all triggers:
You can temporarily disable all "st@rt" and "st@rtyes" activity by checking the Suppress St@rt And St@rtyes checkbox in Settings > Other Settings.

Command line parameters: Some programs allow command line parameters to be passed to them to further control how they launch. You can add such command line parameters to st@rt and st@rtyes commands if you wish: simple add them at the very end (example: "launch my batch file st@rt c:\batch\TimeToCF.bat /od ")

Launching more than one file with one trigger:
You can have more than one file launch at once (so that two things will open at once, for instance a Word document and a spreadsheet, or two spreadsheets). If you are launching more than one program, each item must be separated by a comma. If you are launching more than one item and you don't specify the program then a comma is also required. When there are space characters embedded in the file names, and there is more than one argument, you must enclose in double quotes. (Note that you cannot include a Web site in a multiple launch: Web sites can only be launched alone.)

Special treatment of .wav files: To help users who want specific sounds to accompany specific events, .wav files named in a trigger are launched by TimeTo (rather than launching the application associated with .wav files). Thus if you were to add the phrase "st@rtyes c:\windows\media\chord.wav" to the end of an item's title, then that sound file will immediately play when the item is started, without a program like Windows Media Player having to launch to play the file.

About trigger syntax:

If you don’t specify the full path to the filename (example: st@rt c:\my documents\journal.doc), but instead just name a file (example: st@rt journal.doc) then TimeTo™ will first assume the folder that TimeTo™ is stored in, then search on the path defined in your path established by Windows.

If the program name is omitted, TimeTo™ will launch the program based on the File Types settings in Windows (Windows Explorer > Tools > Folder Options > File Types). If you wish, you can name both the program and a file, to force a different program than the one defined in File Types to launch the program.

The program name can include a full path (for example, C:\Windows\System32\Notepad.exe) or it can be just the program name (for example: Notepad.exe). In the latter case, the program must be locatable by Windows by methods it typically uses (such as the PATH setting in the environment). Either way, the ".exe" part must be included.

You can include quotation marks around the string (for example, "c:\program files (x86)\textpad\textpad.exe") if you are concerned that there is some ambiguity regarding spaces within folder or file names, however it usually isn't necessary: TimeTo™ will typically figure it out without having to add quotation marks. (If you do, be sure to use quotation marks, not single quotes, as single quotes will certainly fail.)

You can add extra spaces before "st@rt" or "st@rtyes" to make your item title easier to read, without any effect on how it behaves.

Examples of correct syntax:

- st@rt C:\Annual Reports\Report.txt (no quotation marks are required)

- St@rt "C:\Annual Reports\Report.txt" (quotation marks are optional when there is only one argument, even when there is a space within)

- st@rtyes Notepad.exe "C:\Annual Reports\Report.txt" (quotation marks around filename because it has a space within and there are two arguments)

- st@rtyes C:\Windows\System32\Notepad.exe “C:\Annual Reports\Report.txt” (program has full path name to make sure TimeTo™ can find it)

- st@rt C:\Annual Reports\Report1.txt, C:\Annual Reports\Report2.txt (commas included, to launch two of same file type at once)

- st@rt “C:\Annual Reports\Report1.xls”, “C:\Annual Reports\commentary.txt” (commas included to launch two different file types at once)

- st@rt Notepad.exe “C:\Annual Reports\Report1.txt” “C:\Annual Reports\Report2.txt” (no comma required, because notepad.exe will open both files)

- st@rt \test\amman.txt, \test\phone.txt, \test\phone.xls (commas used, to allow three or more files to open at once)

Examples of incorrect syntax:

- INCORRECT: st@rt 'c:\annual reports\report.txt' (single quotation marks won't work: you must use double quotes)

- INCORRECT: st@rt Notepad "C:\Annual Reports\Report.txt" (.exe missing from Notepad)

- INCORRECT: st@rt “Notepad.exe C:\Annual Reports\Report.txt” (file name itself must be in double quotes, because it has embedded space AND there are more than two arguments)

- INCORRECT: st@rt Notepad.exe C:\Annual Reports\Report.txt (file name itself must be in double quotes, because it has embedded space AND there are more than two arguments)

- INCORRECT: st@rt C:\Annual Reports\Report1.txt C:\Annual Reports\Report2.txt (comma required when there is more than one thing to be launched)

- INCORRECT: st@rt C:\Annual Reports\Report1.txt, (cannot launch multiple things when one of them is a URL)

exec and autoexec:
(You can still use the phrases "exec" and "autoexec" instead of "st@rt" and "st@rtyes", for backward compatibility with earlier versions.)

Title editing commands:

To select all the text from the cursor to the end of the text, press Ctrl+Shift+End.
To move to the beginning of a note, press Ctrl+Home.
(Therefore to select all text, press Ctrl+Home, then Ctrl+Shift+End.)

To start a new line of text, press Ctrl+Enter.
To move to the beginning of the current line, press Home.
To move to the end of the current line, press End.
To move to the beginning of the current word, press Ctrl+LeftArrow.
To move to the beginning of the next word, press Ctrl+RightArrow.
To move to the end of the Title, press Ctrl+End.
To select to the beginning of the current line, press Shift+Home.
To select to the end of the current line, press Shift+End.
To delete to the end of the current line, press Ctrl+Delete.
To undo or redo the most recent edit or deletion, press Ctrl+Z.

Note (appears in item properties window in pro mode only): Each item or project can have a Note attached to it. For a full briefing on Notes, please read the Note help topic.

Alarm checkbox: Check this checkbox if you would like to be reminded of the timing of an item via a reminder dialog and optionally hearing a sound. When the alarm goes off, a reminder dialog appears, offering you the option to "snooze" the reminder by a number of minutes of your choice (TimeTo™ remembers the number of minutes you now specify and then uses that number as the suggestion for the next snooze). If TimeTo™ is not minimed, the snooze dialog also offers you options to immediately Done or Delete the item. Aside for the obvious use of setting an alarm to remember a meeting, you can also use alarms on items without a set start time: for instance, you may want to be reminded five minutes before the end of a 30-minute activity you have promised yourself to spend no more than a half hour working on.

To adjust the alarm sound, choose Alarms Settings from the Settings menu.

Items that have the Alarm setting checked will have one of these indicators to the right of the item in views:

Tip: you can reset an "alarmed" or "snoozed" alarm by simply unchecking then checking the Alarm checkbox.

You can temporarily Suppress Alarms, Suppress Alarm Repeats and/or Mute Alarm Sounds from the Alarms Settings window.

Alarm button: Click the Alarm button to adjust the properties that will govern the behavior of the Alarm (if you don't, then the alarm will simply default to the preferences you have set for each property of the Alarm window that appears when you press the Alarm button in New Item Preferences (from the Settings menu)).

On The Day: Specify how many hours and/or minutes before or after the event the alarm should go off. You can specify up to 24 hours. To have the alarm sounds when the event begins, simply set it to "0 hours, 0 minutes before". If you choose a before time that would put the alarm in the past, the alarm will simply sound within the next minute.

Start Time (latest possible): If you choose for the alarm to go off relative to the Start Time, then the alarm will go off based upon the Set Start Time. If the item has a fluid start time instead of a Set Start Time, then it will go off when time has run out to start it in time to finish by the deadline (for instance, if you have an item with a Latest Begin Time of 11am and Duration of 15 minutes, then the Alarm will go off based on a 10:45am start time).

End of Planned Duration: Instead of choosing the Start Time, you can choose to have the alarm go off relative to when the planned Duration is reached. For an item with a Set Start Time, the end time is the Start Time plus the Duration. For an item with a fluid start time, the end time is the time it must start in order to complete by its deadline plus the Duration. For a Started item, the end time is based upon the time item was started plus its duration. You could set an alarm to warn you when only five minutes remain in a meeting, or to warn you when you have exceeded your planned time for working on an item. An example of using End Of Planned Duration would be that if you start an item at 10am that has a Duration of 30 minutes and the Alarm is set to go off 5 minutes before the End of Planned Duration, then the alarm will go off at 10:25am.

Also Dial Mobile, Pager, Skype #, SMS, or E-mail: Check this checkbox to have TimeTo™ dial a call at the designated time (in addition to showing the alarm dialog and sounding an alarm sound). Any number or address you put in this field is saved in your New Item Preferences, and applies to all existing alarms (in other words, you can't store a different number or address for each alarm: they all use the same one). This feature can dial a Skype call, or send an SMS or e-mail message (from your default e-mail program) instead of a modem call depending on the format of the number you provide:

Daily Reminders On Other Days: Daily reminders are alarms that repeat daily up to and including the day of the event (or following the day of the event). So, in addition to setting an alarm that sounds On The Day (as described above), you can also request a daily reminder once a day on every day leading up to the event or following the event, for up to 99 days in either direction. (For example, you may wish to be reminded every day leading up to a birthday: setting the Daily Reminder "For 3 Days" will result in a reminder 3 days in advance, 2 days in advance, 1 day in advance, and on the day itself, in addition to the On The Day alarm you may have set for the item). These reminder messages will appear the first time you launch TimeTo™ each day (or at midnight if TimeTo™ is already running). To defeat daily reminders for a particular event, simply leave the For X Days field set to zero. Daily reminders attached to a split item will go off based on the date of the earliest split instance.

Alarms Settings: Click this button to launch the Alarms Settings (the same command as appears on the Settings menu), to make changes to how all alarms behave, such as what sound is played.

Tip: If you would like this item to play a sound other than the one designated in Alarms Settings, add a st@rtyes trigger to end of the item's title, specifying the .wav file you would like played. For instance, if you add the phrase "st@rtyes c:\windows\media\chord.wav" to the end of the item's title, that sound plays when that item's start time arrives. (You can play other sound files as well using this technique such as mp3 files, however if you specify a .wav file then TimeTo™ will play it from within TimeTo™ whereas if you choose another kind of sound file then TimeTo™ will launch the program associated with that kind of file, such as Windows Media Player, to play the file.

Tip: On a network, alarms will go off on all computers viewing the schedule. Therefore, where many people view the same schedule, you may wish to Suppress Alarms (from the Alarms Settings window) on certain computers.

Tip: If you have more than one alarm set to go off at once, TimeTo™ will space the alarms one minute apart so as not to overwhelm you.

Set Date: Choose a Set Date for the item, or...

Flexible Date (pro mode only): Choose either a Set Date for the item, or a Flexible Date optionally bounded by an Earliest Begin and/or a Deadline date and time. (To learn ways of quickly typing all sorts of dates and times, please read the help topic Tips on Typing Dates, Times, and Durations.) Flexible Date items are eligible for rescheduling to a different date by Balance All Days and other Balance menu commands, while Set Date items are not. You don't have to enter an Earliest Begin date and/or time unless there is some reason why it would be best to defer starting working on the task now (consider the Earliest Begin Date as the equivalent of putting an item forward in a physical tickler file...TimeTo will then bring it up for you when appropriate). The Deadline field is much more likely to be important to fill. If you are currently in a Day View or multiple day view, the Earliest Begin date and Deadline default to the date of the viewed date.

Tip: Later, you can toggle an item between Set Date and Flexible Date from any day view or multiple day view by pressing F2 (or choosing Flexible Date from the Item Properties submenu).

Set Start Time: You can choose a specific Start Time for the item (thus making it an "appointment item") or leave it blank, or...

Fluid Time Of Day (pro mode only): Choose either to set a specific Start Time for the item (thus making it into an appointment with others or just yourself) or a fluid time optionally bounded by an Earliest Begin and/or Latest End time of day. You can use the up and down hour keys directly to the right of the Earliest Begin and Latest End time of day to move both up or down by an hour at a time (this is particularly useful if you are planning an interaction with someone in another time zone and wish to accommodate their availability).

Tip: To account for travel time to a meeting, put the time the meeting starts in the title of the item, then set the Set Start Time and Duration to include your travel time.

Use the Work Hours button to quickly set the fluid time range and Days of Week choices to those that match your work hours. Pressing the Work Hours button replaces the Earliest Begin and Latest End times within your range of Work Hours (as you define in Work Hours Settings from the Settings menu), selects all the weekdays in the Days of Week settings described below, unchecks After Work Hours if it was checked, and changes the Set Date to the next workday if it was currently on a weekend date. Unclicking the Work Hours button clears the Earliest Begin and Latest End fields and unselects all the weekdays. (After you click or unclick Work Hours, you can further customize the Earliest Begin, Latest End and Days of Week, with such further choices thus taking precedence over the Work Hours button's setting).

After Work Hours (pro mode only): Check the After Work Hours checkbox to further limit the item to be only scheduled after the end of your Work Hours (as you define in Work Hours Settings from the Settings menu), or anytime on the weekend or a Work Holiday. As a convenience, clicking the After Hours checkbox also clears the Latest End field and checks the Saturday and Sunday buttons as well.

Days of Week (pro mode only): If the item has a Flexible Date, optionally specify on which days of the week the item can be scheduled. If you leave all days of the week selected or leave them all unselected, TimeTo™ will schedule the item on any day of the week. The Weekdays and Weekend buttons quickly flip the selection for the five weekdays or the two weekend days with one click.

Duration: Specify your prediction of how long you expect to spend on the item. In Pro Mode, If you type a Duration that is longer than your total Day Bounds (that is, the distance between the Earliest and Latest bounds specified in Day Bounds Settings), then TimeTo will (after offering you the alternative of reducing the Duration to not exceed the Day Bounds) automatically check the Splittable checkbox and change the item from Fixed Date to Flexible Date if it had a Fixed Date.

Tip: To adjust the duration of an item later from any view (without having to open its properties window), user the Shorter Duration (Alt+Left) and Longer Duration (Alt+Right) commands: these command works in either five-minute or one-minute increments, depending upon your Alt+ Left/Right Increments setting in Other Settings.

Splittable (pro mode only): If the item has a Flexible Date, you can check the Splittable checkbox. This results in TimeTo™ potentially splitting the item into two or more shorter "segments" (whenever you make an item splittable, TimeTo™ immediately triggers a limited Balance All Days in order to potentially create such segments) so that it can more easily fit in your schedule. For example, a 3-hour item could be split into one 2-hour time segment and two 30-minute time segments. Segments appear on views like any item, except with the Duration displayed in the form "(2:00/3:00)" (which indicates, for example, that this is a 2-hour segment of a 3-hour item). The minimum duration that any segment will be split into is governed by the Minimum Duration For Splittable Items To Be Split Into setting (in Balance Settings). Once an item is Splittable, you can no longer change it from Flexible Date to Set Date (so if you want to force the segments to a particular day, use the Earliest Begin Date and/or Deadline field to do so). Changes you make to any segment will be reflected in all other segments of that item where appropriate (such as the total Duration, the Deadline, or the Priority). If you Done a segment, the other undone segments are left undone (so if you want to Done them all at once, uncheck Splittable first). If you Start a segment of a Duration of, for instance, two hours, and then mark it Done after only one hour, two hours are removed from the total duration of the item, thus accurately reflecting that you are getting the overall item completed in less time than originally anticipated. To see a list of all the segments of a selected split item, highlight any segment and then choose Split Item Breakdown from the View menu (or press Ctrl+K).

Hide (until startable) (pro mode only): Designating items as hidden is useful if you would like to avoid being distracted by them until they are on today's schedule and startable. Hidden items are invisible on all day views unless you are viewing the current date, and then only become visible once their Set Start Time or Earliest Begin time of day has arrived (or you Start the item). The hidden items are still represented in the schedule in that they take up the correct amount of time, and their Project rectangle and Begin Time appears (assuming you have Show Begin Times On Undone Items enabled in Other Settings). Clicking the Hidden box in the recurring item properties causes all instances of the item to remain hidden (unless you highlight an instance on any view, then either Start it or choose Hidden from the Item Properties submenu of the Edit menu or press Ctrl+F4, to toggle them to no longer being hidden).

Priority (Tier and Rank) (pro mode only)

You can set a priority for each item, however only those with a Flexible Date will be affected by their priority.

An item's priority has two components: the tier and the rank. Each flexible-date item has a relative priority of importance, for the purposes of helping to decide what to do next when time allows you a choice. Priority values are assigned a letter (from A to Z), and a rank number (from 0 to 9999). You choose the tier from a dropdown list (or by typing the desired letter), while you choose the Rank by moving the Rank slider (click the up and down arrows to change the rank by one, or click above or below the thumb to move the rank 20% of the way towards the highest or lowest rank in the tier).

There is also a blank tier, which is ranked even higher than Tier A. The intention is that the blank Tier is assigned to new items which you have not had a chance to prioritize yet: since we don't know how important they are, we assume they are the most important until told otherwise. For this reason, items with a blank Tier are shown with Priority "new" in order to remind you to prioritize them. Thus, the highest priority item would be the one with priority new1, new2, and so on, then A1, A2, and so on, followed by items with priority B1, B2, and so on.

No two items are ever allowed to have the same priority (there are no ties!) and so whenever you raise or lower the priority of an item, TimeTo™ automatically re-ranks all the items that have a priority between the position the item started and the item's new position. For instance, if you move B4 to position B2, then what was at B2 automatically moves to B3, and what was at B3 automatically moves to B4.

Since new items typically start with a blank Tier, awaiting you to assign one (unless you put a letter in the Tier field in New Item Preferences, in which case new items will start with that Tier, so if you don't like the whole "new" construct then specify a non-blank tier letter in your New Item Preferences). How will you assign a non-blank Tier? There are three ways to assign a Tier (and a Rank) to an item:

  1. in the item's properties window, choose a Tier in the Tier field and a Rank with the Rank slider, or
  2. choose Priority View, then drag and drop the item to wherever you'd like it to be in the list, or
  3. choose Priority View and then use the Raise Priority (Alt+Up) or Lower Priority (Alt+Down) commands (from the Balance menu) to increase or decrease the Priority one rank number at a time.

Note for advanced users: There is a fourth way to assign a Tier to an item, but it is only available if you turn on the Expected Returns Active setting (in Other Settings). If so, then any time you assign a non-zero Expected Return to an item that has no tier (whether it is a new or existing item), the item's Tier will automatically switch to item A. As well, TimeTo™ will automatically assign a Rank in Tier A based on giving the highest ranks to items whose Expected Return and Duration result in the highest Expected Return/Hour. (Confused? Please read the help on Expected Returns Active).

The Priority View allows you see all flexible-date items in a list sorted by Priority. Read the Priority View help topic for more on this.

You can also print a list of items very much like the priority view by choosing Print Priority View from the Print submenu of the File menu. This printout includes the option to print the first page only, thus focusing only the most important pageful of flexible-dated items.

The priority of an item governs what precedence it will be given when TimeTo™ dynamically builds your schedule in priority order, using Balance All Days and other features in the Balance menu. All other things being equal, higher priority items are scheduled earlier than lower priority items (for example, item priority A1 may be scheduled today, while item B22 may be scheduled next week.

Why tiers and ranks? Why not just one big numbered list? Here's why: People tend to put new tasks in the middle or upper part of their priority list, causing those older items that have no deadline to tend to get deferred indefinitely. As well, many traditional time management systems use letters to indicate a different level of meaning (e.g. A means a need, B means a want, C means a wish). Having tiered priorities allows you to add a new item and assign it a relative priority using the letter, but then TimeTo™ defaults to giving it a rank near the end of that letter (the second last one, to be precise), so if you add a B task, it starts near the end of the Bs, thus keeping aging items more top of mind, while the newer items can naturally work their way up the list. Some people also use tiers to group tasks of a similar nature that they wish to defer: for example, Tier H could indicate everything you'll do "after you buy the new House". If you don't like the idea of tiers, you can simply let everything stay at the blank tier, and thus only work with rank numbers (or specify Tier A as the default in New Item Preferences, and so everything will be within Tier A).

Expected Return (pro mode only):The Expected Return field only appears if the Expected Returns Active setting (in Other Settings) is checked. You can assign an Expected Return to the item (which will result in an Expected Return/Hour calculated value to appear below the field) between 0 and 9999999. Assigning 9999999 is a special setting: it renders an item "priceless", so use this for items of high value that you cannot assign a monetary value to (for example, attending your daughter's graduation ceremony). Since Expected Return/Hour affects the Priority Rank (see above for more details) of Tier A items, as you type the Expected Return (or modify the Duration), you can see the immediate effect on the Rank. To learn all about the Expected Return concept, please read the discussion accompanying the Expected Returns Active setting.

Prerequisite (pro mode only):

Use the prerequisite feature when it is important that the item not be schedule until after the end time of a particular Set Date item of your choice.

Tip: If you wish to assign a sequence to a series of flexible-dated items, then use the Sequenced feature instead. To better understand the differences between these two features, click here.

Only items with a Flexible Date can have a Prerequisite. The Prerequisite item assigned to the item must be a non-recurring item with a Set Date.

To give an item a prerequisite that is an item with a Set Date, choose the appropriate prerequisite item from the Prerequisite pulldown (the pulldown will show all non-recurring undone items with a Set Date).

Once you have assigned a Prerequisite to an item, the item will not be scheduled by Balance All Days earlier than the Prerequisite item's completion time (whether the planned completion time if the Set Date item is undone or the actual completion time if the Set Date item is done).

You can optionally also set a Must End Earlier value in days and/or hrs and minutes, thus establishing a minimum time gap between the end time of the Prerequisite item and the begin time of the flexible-date item that has the Prerequisite specified.

Note on recurring items and prerequisites: Although this excludes most recurring items, since they must have a Set Date, it is possible to give a flexible date to an exception occurrence of a recurring item, and therefore it is possible to assign a Prerequisite to such an item as well. Advanced Tip: Since the Become Flexible Upon Arrival option makes a recurring item flexible-dated when it's date arrives, you could also assign a Prerequisite to a recurring item and enable the Become Flexible Upon Arrival, resulting in all occurrences engaging the Prerequisite upon arrival.



Check the Recurring checkbox if you wish the item to appear on more than one day, based upon a simple or elaborate pattern, based upon the Recurring Item Properties you choose after clicking the Recurring button for the item. We are unaware of any program that matches the flexibility that TimeTo™ offers with respect to setting the Recurring pattern. You can also include "variables" in the Title of the item that will result in wording changes to the Title depending upon which instance of a recurring pattern you are viewing.

Recurring items can also have exceptions: you can have a series of recurring items (we call them "instances") yet still have the liberty to change the properties of one instance without affecting other instances, and still have the exception instance associated with the other instances. This is very useful for situations such as when one instance of a weekly Monday meeting is changed to another time of day or another day altogether: you can modify the one instance while leaving the series alone.

Recurring instances are indicated as such with an "®" symbol next to the item's title on many views (and exception instances are indicated by "[® exception]").

The Note for all instances of a recurring item are shared, so if you edit the Note from any instance, you'll see the same changes when you select Note on any other instance of that recurring item. Such a note is called a "shared note". (pro mode only)

You can edit all recurrences of an item by highlighting any instance from any view and then choosing the Modify All Recurrences command (from the Edit menu or press Ctrl+Enter). In pro mode, you can get the same result by editing any instance of the recurring item and clicking the Modify Every Instance radio button. (To modify just one instance of a recurring item, while leaving all other instances alone, from any view highlight an instance of the item and choose Modify Item or press Enter as you would for any item: this will result in an "exception instance"... you can get the same result by clicking the Modify This One Only radio button in the item properties of the instance).

You can delete all recurrences of an item at once by highlighting any instance from any view and then choosing the Edit All Recurrences command (from the Edit menu or press Ctrl+Delete). This deletes the shared Note as well. (To delete just one instance of a recurring item, while leaving all other instances alone, simply choose Delete as you would for any item. In pro mode, if you are already in the item properties, you can instead click the Delete This Instance radio button).

To easily navigate to any instance of a recurring item, find any instance in any view and click it to edit the item properties for that instance. You can then click the Prior and Next buttons to move chronologically from one instance to the next. Once you find the instance you'd like, you can then modify the one instance or click the Delete This Instance radio button to delete that instance. (pro mode only)

Recurring items are eligible to be designated as the Recurring Item to Appear First or Recurring Item to Appear Last each day, as designated in Day Bounds Settings (from the Settings menu).


Recurring Item Properties

Click the Recurring button to designate these recurring properties for the item (if you don't, the item will default to recurring daily).

Limit Recurrences To Date Range: Optionally choose to set a Start Date and/or End Date for the recurring item. If you don't designate a Start Date, TimeTo will default to today's date (since recurring items can only recur into the future. If you don't designate an End Date, TimeTo™ will recur the item forever (or until you assign an End Date at some later point).

Seasonal: Click the Seasonal checkbox to cause the item to only recurr between the dates of the year within the date range (rather than every date within the Date Range). For example, without Seasonal checked if you specify Start Date as Dec 25/2015 and End Date as Jan 2/2018, every date between those two dates will potentially be included. However, if you check Seasonal, then only the dates of Dec 25/2015 through Jan 2/2016, Dec 25/2015 through Jan 2/2017, and Dec 25/2017 through Jan 2/2018 will be included. Therefore this is handy for ranges that you wish to recurr each year, such as:

Note that there is no problem wrapping around through January 1. If you leave End Date blank, the Seasonal checkbox has no effect. Remember that since TimeTo only handles years up to 2068, to make it recurr indefinitely, set the End Date in a very high year, such as 2068.

Frequency: Specify a frequency for the recurrence date:

Date Becomes Flexible Upon Arrival (pro mode only): Choose this option if you would like each instance of the recurring item to change from having a Set Date to having a Flexible Date when the Set Date of the instance arrives. When the date arrives for a particular instance, that instance will become an exception instance.

Tip: Typically the deadline will be blank. However, you can set the Flexible Date field of the item to whatever date you would like before you make it Recurring (or temporarily uncheck Recurring, set the Flexible Date, and then check Recurring again), and thus have the Flexible Date set to that date rather than a blank date upon the arrival of the instance's scheduled date.

Bring Forward Action: Choose what you would like to happen to instances of the recurring item when they are being considered by the Bring Forward Past Undones To This Day command. (pro mode only)

Tip: If you don't want a recurring item to be brought forward but you do want a record of it having happened to remain in your schedule, set the Bring Forward Action to Bring Forward Instance and add "ST@RTYES" to the end of the item's title. This trigger will result in the item getting automatically marked as done when it comes up, without intervention required from you. Thus it won't get brought forward or deleted or shifted, and will remain in your schedule as a record of when it occurred.


Advanced Tip: When you check the Recurring checkbox in an item's properties window, the Set Date changes to "Recurring", the Flexible Date radio button becomes unselectable and the Days Of Week choices are dimmed as well. All other choices that are usually dimmed when Set Date (rather than Flexible Date) has been selected are also dimmed. However, sometimes instances of a recurring item will become flexible later on (either because you make a particular instance into an exception instance, or because an instance may become fluid when its date arrives (because you have checked the Date Becomes Flexible Upon Arrival checkbox). Therefore, you may find it convenient to temporarily uncheck the Recurring checkbox then choose Flexible Date and set many of these properties to the setting you would like exception instances to have when that time comes. By doing so, you avoid having to manually make such settings and also avoid potential problems in forgetting to do so). This technique will work with any item (not just those that are recurring); however the value is normally slight, whereas with a recurring item that is an important part of your schedule, there is much potential to gain by skillfully using this technique.

Variables (pro mode only)

You can put phrases called "variables" within the title of any recurring item to cause conditional phrases to appear in the place of the phrase depending upon the date that the recurring event appears. All of the variables appear in {curly brackets}. If you put more than one variable in a title, only the first one will work. Start your variable in the first 100 characters of the Title: otherwise you won't be able to see the result in views (since the views only show the first 100 characters). Variables are not case sensitive (you can type any combination of upper and lower case and yield the same result). Advanced tip: Once an instance of a recurring item becomes an exception (due to your editing it) its variable content gets locked in: therefore if you ever want to make sure an instance of a recurring item that includes a variable will NOT change, just make any change to that instance and the Title will be no longer vary for that instance.

{A|B|C}: Use this rotation variable to rotate through a series of phrases that you specify. For example, to remind yourself to rotate through three different backup sets, construct a recurring item with this title: "Backup to set {A|B|C|D}". This will result in the title "Backup to set A" on the first instance, then "Backup to set B" for the next instance, and so on, revolving back to set A on the fifth occurrence. The phrases can be different lengths. You can have as many phrases as you'd like. For clarity, here are other examples of possible rotation variables: "Take out the {paper|plastic} recycling this week", "{Mary|Joe|Hassan}'s turn to do the dishes".

{Origin Date}, {Origin Dayofweek}, {Origin Month}, {Origin MonthYear}: Use the {Origin...} variables to display the date of the recurrence (before any exceptions are made). For instance, a daily item to remind you to complete your timesheet for that date may be phrased "Complete timesheet for {Origin Date}". If you cause an exception by moving an instance of the recurring item two days later, the phrase will still remain accurate to the date that the timesheet was for. {Origin Dayofweek} yields the day of the week. {Origin Month} yields the current month, while {OriginMonthYear} yields the current month and year. The {Origin Date}, {Origin Dayofweek}, and {Origin Month} variables can optionally also be offset by as many days or months as you wish by saying, for instance {Origin Date -1} to refer to the day before... so you can have recurring items with titles such as "complete last month's payroll for {Origin Month -1}" or "send agenda for next week's {Origin Date +7} weekly meeting" or "plan tomorrow {Origin Dayofweek 1} today".

{Last Done}: Use the Last Done variable to display the date the item was last done. For clarity you may want to add something like: "(Last done: {last done})" to the item's title, resulting in, for example, "(Last done: 10/18/2008)".

{Count Up}, {Count Down}: Use the {Count Up} or {Count Down} variable to present a number that increases or decreases each time the item occurs, starting from a number you specify and counting from the Start Date. For instance, you may wish to keep track of how many antibiotic pills you have left to take every two days, you would set up this item recurring every two days for 48 days: "Take antibiotic (I have {Count Down 24} pills left to take)". If you don't specify a number after "Count Down" (or insert anything other than a number), the count begins at 0. Negative numbers are allowed: the count will simple start with that negative number and still count up or count down from there.

Offer To Clone When Item Done (pro mode only): Check the Offer To Clone When Item Done checkbox to have TimeTo™ offer to create a duplicate item based upon this item's properties when you mark the item as Done (including sharing the same Note, if one existed). If you agree to the offer, TimeTo™ opens the Properties window for the new item so that you can edit it appropriately before saving it. If the item had been started, the suggested duration is the duration that the item had before it was started.

Project (pro mode only): Use the project pulldown if you wish to designate that this item is associated with a project defined in TimeTo's Projects List (from the View menu), or designate it as "none". Since projects can be color-coded, the appropriate colored rectangle will appear next to the item in views. Various reports and statistics (from the Reports menu) can be designated to only include items assigned to a particular project. You can also use the Filters command to filter any view to only include items which have this Project designated. The Project will also appear in monthly log files (if you have enabled the Monthly Log Files Of Done Items setting in Other Settings), which can then be useful for such purposes as providing reporting as to how much time you have spent on a project, or for importing such information into other software. (To learn a lot more about projects, read the Projects List help topic.)

Label (pro mode only): Optionally choose a Label for the item. This is equivalent to choosing the Label command.

Job # (pro mode only): Record a Job # (of up to nine digits) as an indicator that the item is part of a particular job you are working on. You can then use the Filters command to filter any view to only include items which have this Job # designated. You could also use this field to record a job number (or case number or docket number) from other electronic or paper systems you use, to indicate that this item is a part of that job. The Job # will also appear in monthly log files (if you have enabled the Monthly Log Files Of Done Items setting in Other Settings), which can then be useful for such purposes as providing reporting as to how much time you have spent on a job, or for importing such information into other software. It also appears on the Items Report. (Note: if you type any non-digits in the job number, all characters from the first non-digit on is removed when saving.)

Underscored (pro mode only): Choose the Underscored property to have the item appeared underlined in all views. Underscored is an indicator of how vital the item is. You can use the Show Only Underscored Items setting (in Other Settings) to have the Month View only show Underscored items. You can change whether an item is Underscored or not directly from any view by choosing the Underscore command (from the Item Properties menu or press F3). You can print a list of all future Underscored items in chronological order, grouped by month, by choosing the Print Underscored Items List from the Print submenu (from the File menu).

Related Topics
Balance Settings
Balance All Days
Balance Day
Bring Forward Past Undones To This Day

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