Other Settings (many settings are pro mode only)

You can open (or close) the Other Settings window by pressing Alt+O (which is why we have so many settings on this one screen: so you can get to them easily with one key combination). Tip: Users accustomed to earlier versions can continue to bring up Other Settings with Shift+Z as well.

All settings that change the look of TimeTo™ instantly react as you adjust the setting, so you can immediately see what the repercussions will be.

Many settings are unavailable in Light Mode. Those settings are grayed out when you view the Other Settings window in Light Mode.


Day/Multiple Day Views

Moon (month view too): Check this checkbox to have the phase of the moon (a fully white circle is a full moon, while a dark circle is a new moon) appear at the top of all schedules (day, multiple day and month). Choose Eve or Morn to select whether you will see the moon as viewed in the morning or the evening (The moon changes quickly -- a degree every two hours -- so it's shape is different between morning and evening).

Show Schedule Statistics (at top): Check this checkbox to have a row of schedule statistics appear at the top of each Day View and multiple day view. For details on the what statistics are included, see Day View.

Show Which Week of Year (month view too): Check this checkbox to have the week number since January 1 appear in day views within the Schedule Statistics (if Show Schedule Statistics setting is checked) and on the Month View within the cell of the first date of each week.

Hide Gaps of Less Than x Minutes: Check this checkbox to have any gaps between items in a Day View or multiple day view of less than the number of minutes you designate not appear at all. Use this feature to either hide all gaps, or to hide gaps too small to bother with. So, for instance you could set it to hide gaps under 9 minutes to keep your view tidy. Or, since there are less than 9999 minutes in a day, set it to 9999 to avoid any gaps appearing at all. You can set the number of minutes from 1 to 9999.

Shade Every 2nd Row: Check this checkbox to shade the background of every second undone item in the Day View and multiple day views. Done items have the background color you choose for them in Colors Settings, no matter if this checkbox is checked or not.

On My Multiple Day View, Only Show Appts.: Check this checkbox to suppress the appearance of fluid items on the My Multiple Day View. Use this setting if you wish to be able to quickly examine many days at a time for what times have already been reserved for appointments items, without the distraction of seeing the fluid items as well.


Item Detail on Day/Multiple Day Views

Show Begin Times on Undone Items (and gaps) : Check this checkbox to have the begin time appear to the left of all undone items and gaps on the day View and multiple day views.

Show Begin Times on Done Items: Check this checkbox to have the begin time appear to the left of all done items on the Day View and multiple day views.

Show End Times on Gaps: Check this checkbox to have the end time, rather than just the begin time, appear on gaps (free time) in Day View and multiple day views. For instance, checking this box will have 7:00-7:45 appear instead of 7:00.

Show Project Name (before Item Title): Check this checkbox to have the name of the item's project (if the item has a project) appear before the item's title in the Day View, multiple day views, Alphabetical View, and Priority View.

Show Value of Billable Time: Check this checkbox to have the value of your time appear to the right of the duration on each item in the Day View and multiple day views, as a reminder of how much time is warranted spending on the item if you have billable work that is being put aside to get the item done, or to help you assess the potential of delegating the item to someone else to free yourself up. The value is calculated based upon the Hourly Rate set in the Value Of Time Settings from the Settings menu.

Show How Late Conflicts Will Be: Check this checkbox to have flexible items in the Day View and multiple day views that are currently scheduled to end after their deadline show late they will end (for example, "(ending :15 late)") to the right of the duration, in red. (This phrase will not appear on printouts.)

Strikethroughs Through Done Items: Check this checkbox to have strikethroughs appear through the titles of done items in the Day View and multiple day views. (Items cannot have both a strikethrough and an underscore, therefore if you enable strikethrough on done items, underscored done items will not show an underscore when listed in the day view and multiple day views (but they will still have the Underscored property.) Tip: Unchecking this can be useful when viewing or printing past days views where everything is done and thus the strikethrough only serves to obscure reading rather than differentiating done from undone items.

Hide Done Items: Check this checkbox to suppress the appearance of items that are marked Done on the Day View and multiple day views, and hide projects that are marked done in the Projects List. (You can also enable or disable this setting by choosing Hide Done Items from the View menu or by pressing Ctrl+Shift+D ...for more information on this feature please refer to the Hide Done Item help topic.)

Use More Vertical Space As Duration Rises: Check this checkbox to have the height of each item in the Day View, multiple day views, and printouts reflect the duration of the item, thus making it easier to see the relative durations of each item. (Shorter items all share the same minimum height, so that all items remain readable.) Printouts will have vertical spacing proportional to the time span: items of longer duration will have more blank space below the row they appear on than those of shorter duration.

Maximum Focus Now Items: Designate the maximum number of items (from 0 to 9) that will numbered on today's day view as Focus Now items. In Focus Now mode, these are the only items that you'll see. Devotees of David Allen and GTD may wish to to set this field to 1. If you set this field to 0, then TimeTo will not potentially show the "<<<Yesterday has items not done" message on the first item.


Item Interface Behavior

Alt+ Increments &1 minute (instead of 5 minutes): Pressing Alt+LeftArrow keys or Alt+RightArrow keys to increase or decrease the duration of an item, or pressing Alt+Up keys or Alt+Down keys to change the Set Start Time of an item, is usually in five minute increments. If you'd prefer that these change in one minute increments, check this checkbox.

Done Command Fills Gap: If you check this checkbox, when you mark an item as Done (either by choosing Edit | Done or by pressing the Spacebar) it will act as if you had selected the Edit | Advanced Timekeeping | Done & Fill Gap command. The result is that as well as the selected item being marked as Done, its duration and begin time will also be altered to occupy all the unused time from the end time of the item that precedes it.

Warn of Conflicts When Scheduling Items: If enabled, TimeTo™ will alert you if save a new or modified item with a time which cannot avoid conflicting with the time span of an existing item. (TimeTo™ checks for conflicts up to one year into the future).

Move View to New or Modified Item: Enable this checkbox to have your screen position in Day Views, multiple Day Views and Priority View change to the position of a new or modified item. For instance, when you create a new item and the new item is scheduled on a day other than a day you are currently viewing, TimeTo™ will change your view to show the day that contains the new item. When you are editing the properties of an item on the Priority View and change the Priority (thus causing the item to change its position in the list) the item will remain the currently selected item. If you uncheck this box then instead the item following the one's whose position changed becomes the highlighted item.

Suppress St@rt and St@rtYes: Check this checkbox to temporarily suppress triggers such as "St@rt" and "St@rtYes" in item titles. (This is especially helpful when viewing someone else's schedule, for instance in a network installation of TimeTo™, as otherwise their triggers could launch events on your computer. Your selection will only affect your viewing of their schedule: their schedule and their experience of it on their computer remains unchanged. As well, St@rt and St@rtYes commands in your schedule will continue to work in the manner that you had them set for your schedule.)

Expected Return

Expected Returns Active: The Expected returns system is a powerful optional feature where TimeTo™ will give higher priority to items based upon how their "expected returns" compare.

When active, you'll see an additional field on the item properties windows called Expected Return, where you can specify the expected return on getting that item done (you could also think of this as the opportunity cost to you of not getting that item done). TimeTo™ then considers the planned Duration of the item, and then calculates the Expected Return/Hour for that item.

When you have Expected Returns Active checked, TimeTo™ will automatically re-rank items of priority Tier A that can potentially be started today by their Expected Return/Hour. All other flexible-dated items will have their ranks left alone (so if you don't want an item ranked by Expected Return/Hour, then don't assign it to Tier A). Items with future Earliest Begin dates are valued at $0 until that date arrives, and thus are ranked lowest amongst the Tier "A" items until that day comes.

When an item has an Expected Return, its Expected Return appears to the right of the item's title in day/multiple day views and the Priority View. Whenever the Expected Return or the Duration of an item changes, it's Expected Return/Hour changes too.

If you have Expected Returns Active checked in Other Settings, TimeTo™ automatically assigns Priority Tier "A" to any item whose Tier is blank to which you add a non-blank Expected Return. Therefore when you add or edit new items, all you have to do is add an Expected Return and TimeTo™ will put them in Tier A (if this is not the behavior you want, then change the Tier field in New Item Preferences to something other than blank or A.)

As well, statistics related to Expected Return are included in the Schedule Statistics. These statistics indicate the current expected return value of your time: the total expected return of non-conflicting items in the day's schedule and average expected return/hour (based on the number of hours within your Day Bounds Settings and your Hourly Rate setting in Value of Time Settings) appear in the row of statistics at the top of the day/multiple day view (assuming Show Schedules Statistics in Other Settings is enabled). These statistics are calculated on all items with Expected Return values, not just those in Tier A. This value is not what your time is worth an hour: it is what your expected return is an hour based upon the opportunities before you. "Priceless" items (those with an expected return of 9,999,999) are not included in the calculation of the statistic, because they can easily render the number meaningless.

What are expected returns all about? One of the great challenges of all time management theories is the recognition of the value of balancing importance with urgency. TimeTo™ takes urgency into account by recalculating your schedule to give you a plan that respects all of your appointments and deadlines. However, how about importance? Once we have a plan that won't miss any deadlines, the next challenge is to do things in order of importance, especially since many items that are very important have no deadline at all (and so if we only considered urgency, then such items would always be pushed to the bottom of the list). So TimeTo™ allows you to assign a Priority to each item, then optionally use the Balance All Days feature to automatically schedule flexible-date items taking priority into account. However, if you have hundreds of items, it becomes time-consuming and daunting to priority rank each new flexible-dated item with a priority that properly positions each item relative to all the other items you've given a Priority. This is where Expected Returns can save you time and improve your focus.

The expected returns approach uses currency to find an apples-to-apples way of comparing the importance of items, to help you choose which opportunities to give priority to. [Definition of "expected return": the average outcome expected from an event. For example, if you have a 50% chance of winning a lottery whose prize is $1,000, then the current value of the ticket (its expected return) is $500 (since $1,000 potential return x 50% probability = $500).]. Some situations call instead for considering the "opportunity cost" of a situation: the opportunity cost is the expected absence of a gain that will occur if you don't take advantage of an opportunity.

So, all you have to do in TimeTo™ is estimate an expected return (or opportunity cost) for each item (and you don't have to be exact). If you are working for someone else, think of the expected return in terms of the value to your mandate or the organization (i.e. the potential value you deliver in your role)...in fact, a side benefit of using this feature will be your ability to demonstrate how much value you are delivering! So, for example, if you have an opportunity to land a project which will yield $1,000 of profit, and you figure that by doing a certain activity the likelihood of landing the project changes from 0% to 50%, then the item has an expected return of $500, and thus that is what you would put in its Expected Return field.

You should still assign deadlines to items where you have made a commitment to others to do or deliver something, whether you have assigned an expected return or not (as even if an activity is not currently the most profitable, you still must keep all of your promises or risk losing integrity). However, when no commitments have been made, you can leave deadlines blank, confident that if an opportunity gets deferred until it is no longer relevant, then its because you chose other more valuable things instead (thus in such cases where you are comfortable with an opportunity potentially slipping away, we recommend you note any expiry date of the opportunity in the item's title rather than in the deadline field).

Using expected returns calls for a shift of thinking because you will be replacing self-imposed deadlines with expected returns (thus "risking" that you'll miss an opportunity, when in fact it will really mean that you have chosen other more important things instead). If you are juggling a lot of priorities, then choosing this technique can relieve you from much time spent prioritizing, while opening up a valuable strategy that allows deadlines to become more ambiguous. If you are in sales, it's also a great way of prioritizing sales opportunities that are competing for your attention.

Tricky situations for calculating expected return: It takes practise to quickly estimate expected returns. Here are some tips for trickier situations which you may encounter.

Priceless items: Trying to use currency as a common denominator may seem dissonant with full life balance; however if going to the ball game with your daughter is priceless, then either give it a set date and time (which is the case for most "priceless items") or if it must have a flexible-date then give it the highest Expected Return possible of 9,999,999. This is appropriate for anything you consider non-negotiable, whether it be eating, sleeping, exercise, religious activities, family activities, helping a friend in crisis or whatever is sacred to you.

Marketing activities: What is eliciting a testimonial for your Web site from a satisfied client worth in dollars? It's hard to assign an expected return on something whose value you can't predict. However, predicting is what you need to do, even if it's just an educated guess. If you find guessing too difficult, try asking yourself this question: how much money would you be willing to spend right now for that testimonial? How much would be too much? Your answer is your intuitive valuation of the outcome. Now multiply by the probability of them saying yes, and you have your expected return.

Sharpening activities: How much is the value of doing something that will save time later? To calculate the expected return on installing new software, or a faster computer, or learning a skill that will make you more efficient, guess how many hours it will save you a day, multiply by 1000 (that's around three years, a reasonable figure since it is very possible an ever better technique will come along within three years), and then multiply by the current value of your time (which you can get a sense of from the Schedule Statistics)... that's your expected return.

Things that cost more (either in price or opportunity) the longer you leave them: Some things cost more every day. Let's look at few examples:

Month View

Show Set Start Times: Check this checkbox to have the Start Time appear to the left of all items on the Month View that have Set Start Times (this includes done items which, because they are done, now have a Set Start Time).

Only Show Set Start Time Items: Check this checkbox to have only items with Set Start Times appear in the Month View. (This is very useful if you you want to use the Month View as a way to see your appointments only, since appointments all have a Set Start Time.)

Only Show Underscored Items: Check this checkbox to have only items with the Underscored checkbox checked appear in the Month View. (This is very useful if you choose to use the Underscored feature as a way to designate what appears on the Month View.)

Show Count of Days Til Today: Check this checkbox to have the number of days between today and the date on the Month View appear in each cell on the Month View.


Weeks Start Mon (not Sun): Check this checkbox to have TimeTo™ show all displays of weeks going from Monday through Sunday (the ISO 8601 standard) rather than Sunday through Saturday. This affects Month View, the Calendar Window, date pickers, and printing Appointment Calendars that show at least four weeks of dates. This also can affects what week is considered the first week of the year. Note that this setting does not affect what days of the week are considered the weekend.

4-4-5 Calendar Support: Some organizations use the 4-4-5 calendar format to standardize budgeting, accounting, or project planning. In a 4-4-5 calendar, the weeks of the year are distributed into "months" by counting the number of times Friday occurs within each month: January contains 4 weeks, February the next 4 weeks, March the next 5 weeks, and so on in a 4-4-5 pattern through each of the four quarters. This yields four 13-week quarters in a 12-month period. People using this system may refer to months as "4-week months" or "5-week months". Check this checkbox to enable 4-4-5 calendaring in TimeTo™. This will result in:

1st Week of Year is 1st Week: Select whether the first week of the year should be determined based upon whether it contains January 1, whether all of its days are in January, or whether at least four of its seven days are in January (the ISO 8601 standard). Note that this setting has no effect (and cannot be altered) while 4-4-5 Calendar Support is enabled.

Show ___ Weeks On Calendar: Set how many weeks you would like displayed on the Calendar Window and the date picker (on date fields). Note that if you set it to less than 6, there will times where you won't be able to see all dates of the month on the Calendar Window and date picker.

Automatic Balancing

Balance All Days Every ___ Minutes: Check this checkbox to have TimeTo™ automatically Balance All Days periodically, and specify how often, in minutes, it should run. You can set up to 9999 minutes... thus if you'd like it to run once a day, set it 1440 minutes (since there are 1440 minutes in a day). Also, if you set it to exactly 1440, it will run predictably at midnight each day.

Balance Day Every ___ Minutes: Check this checkbox to have TimeTo™ automatically Balance Day periodically, and specify how often, in minutes, it should run.

Balance Life Projects: This powerful feature builds on Stephen Covey's fourth generation planner concept (as encouraged in his excellent books First Things First and the Seven Habits Of Highly Effective People), going beyond Covey's technique. For those who balance their role/goals weekly as per Covey's advice, this tool replaces the need to have a weekly planning session with yourself. Instead, TimeTo™ continuously balances your roles for you. Here's how: any number of projects can now be designated as "life projects" by adding an exclamation mark to the beginning of the project's name (Covey enthusiasts would thus create a life project for every one of their "roles") from the Projects List. With the intent of making sure that you make progress on at least one priority item on each of your life projects every week, checking the Balance Life Projects checkbox causes TimeTo™ to automatically maximize the priority of the most important undone item assigned to each Life Project that TimeTo™ notices that you haven't completed any items for within the past week. Thus, with Balance Life Projects enabled, TimeTo™ will continuously encourage you to make some progress every week on all the important roles you have in your life; thus balancing importance ...automatically. (Note that TimeTo™ will not promote an item that cannot be started today, due to it's Earliest Begin Date, a prerequisite, or a sequence). TimeTo™ will also check once a day for any Life Projects that don't have any undone items, and will warn you if this is the case.

Automatically Bring Forward to Today (at launch, midnight, or exit): Check this checkbox to cause the Bring Forward Past Undones To This Day command to be automatically launched once a day. The launch occurs the first time you launch or exit TimeTo™ on a given day, or whenever the clock passes midnight while TimeTo™ is running. If you don't check this checkbox, then TimeTo™ will instead at these times check to see if there are undone past flexible-date items and offer to show them to you.

Automatically Mark Appointments Done: Check this checkbox to have items with a Set Start Time be marked as Done as soon as the end time of the item arrives.

Main Window and Menus

Light Mode/Pro Mode: Choose which mode you are currently in. This is equivalent to choosing Pro Mode or Light Mode from the Settings menu. You can switch back and forth between the more powerful, yet more complex, Pro Mode and the simpler Light Mode at any time: you won't lose any information or settings by doing so. For a fuller description of the differences, please refer to the Light Mode / Pro Mode help topic.

Toolbar: Check this checkbox to have the Toolbar of icons for frequently used commands appear across the top of the main TimeTo™ window. You can hover your mouse over each item to have a text description appear for each icon.

World Clocks/Stock Ticker: Check this checkbox to enable the World Clocks/Stock Ticker to appear across the bottom of the main window. Time zone names are governed by Time Zone Settings (from the Settings menu) and which ones appear or not across the bottom of the main window is governed by World Clocks/Stock Ticker Settings (from the Settings menu). If the local time in a time zone is outside workday hours (as you have defined in Work Hour Settings), that time zone will appear white on black instead of black on white, thus helping you anticipate if someone you wish to contact in that time zone is likely to be available. If a stock to track has been designated in those settings, the name and current price (delayed up to 15 minutes, requires Internet connection) of that stock appears in the rightmost position, instead of a clock.


Start TimeTo When I Start Windows: Use this checkbox to designate whether TimeTo™ should be added (or removed) from your Windows Startup Group. (Unchecking this checkbox will only remove any shortcut called "TimeTo" from your Startup Group: therefore if you have more than one TimeTo™ installation, or have manually renamed the shortcut file, you should instead manually remove the shortcut to be certain you remove the one you wish to remove.)

Reset Don't Show Again Checkboxes: Click this button to clear all choices where you've previously agreed to never see a certain message again.

Monthly Log Files of Done Items: Check this checkbox to have all done items for a given past date written to the monthly log file once you have no more uncompleted items on that past date. This will not affect in any way how done items are stored or displayed in TimeTo: the information stored in these optional monthly log files are in addition to what is stored in your TimeTo™ schedule. (pro mode only... no log files are written while you are in light mode).

Monthly log files have file names such as Apr07.log (for April 2008) and are plain, unencrypted text files (so they can be viewed and analyzed in programs such as Notepad, Microsoft Word or Excel, or imported into a time and billing system). (Note: the filenames are based upon the language setting of your Windows, so if you are for instance running Windows in French, the file name would be Avr07.log rather than Apr07.log.) You can view any month's log from within TimeTo™ by choose the Day View of any date in the month you wish to view, then choosing Viewed Month's Done Items Log command (from the Reports menu). These monthly log files are created the first time that a past date in a given month has all its items either marked done or brought forward. The monthly log files gain additional content each time a day within that month has all its items marked done (or if you make changes to the details of one of such a date's done items from within TimeTo™). Monthly log files are formatted with tab-separated values, so they can also be read as text files by spreadsheets such as Microsoft Excel. Each row in the monthly logo file represents one done item, with data in this sequence from left to right: Date done (mm/dd/yy), Start Time (for example, 07:00 am), Duration (in minutes), Note ID, Title, Project name ("none" if no project), Job #, Expense (up to 99999.99), Mileage (up to 9999).

Extreme Log: Check this checkbox if you wish TimeTo™ to keep a log of done items for potential import into TimeWise (or any other software package that can import a comma-delimited text file), or if instructed to do so by TimeTo Support in order to have more exhaustive information added to your TimeToErrorLog.txt log file. Whether checked or unchecked, TimeTo™ automatically keeps the error log to not exceed the last 500,000 bytes of entries (this is done once a day, and every time you exit TimeTo™.)

Related Topics
Customizing TimeTo™
Setting up multiple users

Need more help? timetosupport@davidberman.com or www.timeto.org | © 2002-2015 David Berman Developments Inc. All rights reserved.