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Entering Recurring Tasks

If you have an activity such as a regularly scheduled meeting that you want to include in the task list, you can create a recurring task. When you enter a recurring task, Project asks for the duration of each occurrence of the task and how often the task occurs. The default time unit for duration is one day (d). You can also use minutes (m), hours (h), weeks (w), and months (mo) as time units. Project then schedules each of the occurrences and creates a summary task for the series of events.

To Do: Creating Recurring Tasks

To schedule tasks which repeat during the project, do the following:

Select the task row where you want the task to go.

Choose Insert, Recurring Task from the menu to display the Recurring Task Information dialog box (see Figure 3.8).

Figure 3.8. The Recurring Task Information box gives you great flexibility in defining recurring events.

Enter a name for the task in the Task Name box.

Enter how long each event will be in the Duration box. For example, if the event is to be scheduled for 1.5 hours each time, enter 1.5 hrs in the Duration box.

In the Recurrence pattern section, select the recurring time period (Daily, Weekly, Monthly, or Yearly). Your choice of pattern determines the options that appear to the right for your next selection.

If you selected Daily occurrences, choose the frequency of the event in the list box and select either Day or Workday. For example, the events might take place "every other" Workday.

If you select Weekly occurrences, choose the frequency and the day of the week.

If you select Monthly occurrences, you can define the frequency in terms of the day number in the month or in terms of a specific day of the month. For example, you could select Day 1 of every month or the third Thursday in every month.

If you select a Yearly occurrence, you can define the event as a specific date in the year or as a specific weekday in a particular month. For example, you could select April 15 of each year or the last Wednesday in July.

Finally, you need to define how many times the event (task) will take place. You must specify the date for the first event in the Start date box. If the task takes place at a particular time of day, be sure you add the time of day to the date in the Start date box. In Figure 3.8, the meeting is set to start at 9:00 a.m. every Monday.

You can then specify the last date this event will occur in the End By date box, or enter a specific number of occurrences in the End After box. Project supplies the finish date for the project as a default End By date, but you can change that if needed.

When you have completed your choices, click OK and Project will attempt to schedule all the events. If any of the occurrences fall on a weekend or other nonworking day, Project warns you with the alert dialog box. Your options are to let Project reschedule those occurrences that fall on nonworking days to the next working day, or to have Project omit scheduling those few occurrences. You can also Cancel the recurring task at that point.

For example, if you scheduled weekly meetings for Monday mornings, some of those Mondays may be part of 3-day weekends. Should those meetings be moved to Tuesdays, or should those meetings be cancelled for that week?



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