FacileThings

New Improvements: Calendar Integration and More

AUTHOR: Francisco Sáez
tags Improvements Integrations Project Management
New Improvements: Calendar Integration and More

This weekend we have updated the FacileThings web application. This update brings a good number of improvements, especially in the calendar integration with Google and Outlook.

Calendar integration

Colors. Now, when you connect a Google or Outlook calendar to FacileThings, we collect information about the color with which they are represented in the Google Calendar and Microsoft Outlook programs, so that you can see a very similar design in the FacileThings calendar views:

For example, if you sync a Google calendar and an Outlook calendar that looks like this:

google and outlook calendars

In FacileThings you will see the following:

FacileThings calendar

When you connect a new calendar to FT, you can define two new integration options:

  • Area of Focus. If you associate a calendar with an Area of Focus, all items on that calendar will be assigned that Area of Focus when they get synced with FT.
  • Read only. If you mark a calendar as “read only”, the synchronization will be carried out in only one direction, and FacileThings will not modify any events in the original calendar even if they are modified in FT. This option can be useful with corporate calendar that should not be changed.

new calendar synchronisation options

Calendar views. In addition to displaying events with the original calendar colors and design, calendar tags are now not shown in event descriptions to make the calendar more readable. Also, if you hover over an event, you’ll be able to see the full description in a tooltip.

calendar tooltip

Notes: The color of the calendar is obtained at the time of connecting the calendar to FT, so if you later change the color of the calendar in Google/Outlook, you will have to disconnect and connect the calendar again to render it with the same color. Similarly, the “read only” and “area of focus” fields are assigned when connecting the calendar to FT. To modify this information it is necessary to disconnect the calendar and reconnect it again.

We’ve modified the internal Outlook integration process to detect when a calendar has stopped syncing.

Outlook can stop synchronizing a calendar for a number of reasons. The most common is that you have changed your Outlook account password, but there are other, not-so-obvious technical reasons.

When this happens, the new process tries to reconnect the calendar automatically without disturbing the user (some of the disconnect reasons allow this possibility). If this is not possible, the system will immediately send an informative email to the user to make the reconnection manually. Normally this reconnection involves re-entering the user’s credentials, which is why it cannot be done automatically.

Print Lists

We have created a PDF report so that you can print the action lists with a similar layout to the application. The report will show the print date and the filters that were being used at that time.

To obtain it, go to the Lists option and click on the “printer” icon that appears in each list, on the top right.

PDF report of next actions list

Project management

We have updated the interface of the project list so that you can have the lists you want open at will (In progress, Waiting, Complete). This prevents annoying list moves from occurring when completing projects or moving them from one list to another.

project list

In the “Calendar” tab of the project, the actions that are still hidden in the Tickler File are now also shown. They are shown with the grayed stripes indicating that the events are not active.

project calendar list

In the Settings section of the Account there is a new configuration parameter to set the type of project you prefer by default, sequential or kanban. Any new project will be created with the default type, although it can be changed later.

default type of project setting

Other small improvements

  • Now when you try to delete a file associated with any item, the program will require confirmation.
  • In the same way, the program will ask you for confirmation when you want to delete a checklist, to avoid accidents.
  • In the action choice criteria, two time units have been added: 1.5 hrs and 3 hrs.
  • The search tool allows you to locate actions by their identifier using “id:”. (some users have requested this possibility).
  • Payments made by SEPA transfer are treated as immediate payments so as not to cause unnecessary delays in the use of the application. This type of payment usually takes a few days to confirm, but now the subscription is updated at the same time the process is started.

Bugs fixed

  • In the Clarify option, people tags written in Chinese or Russian were not correctly detected. That problem has been corrected.
  • In the Weekly Review, in the step to review the Next Actions list, the “hide projects” filter did not work correctly after updating or moving any item in the list.
  • When a predecessor action was moved to the Reference Material or Someday/Maybe list, the successor actions would get stuck. Now they are unlocked automatically.
  • In the tasks delegated to other FacileThings users, there was an error in the comment notification link. In addition, the name of the person who made the comment did not appear in the email. It has been fixed.
avatar
Francisco Sáez
@franciscojsaez

Francisco is the founder and CEO of FacileThings. He is also a Software Engineer who is passionate about personal productivity and the GTD philosophy as a means to a better life.

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10 comments

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Commented 4 months ago Cyrus

An outstanding update that provides many small life improvements. FaceilThings keeps getting better and better!

avatar Cyrus

An outstanding update that provides many small life improvements. FaceilThings keeps getting better and better!

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Commented 4 months ago Leonid

1. Is it possible to associate one Google calendar with 2 Areas of Focus?
2. Is it possible to associate a Google Tasks calendar with an Area of Focus of FT?

avatar Leonid

1. Is it possible to associate one Google calendar with 2 Areas of Focus?
2. Is it possible to associate a Google Tasks calendar with an Area of Focus of FT?

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Commented 4 months ago Julian

These are excellent quality-of-life enhancements. Really like the updates to the calendar and the project list display! Thanks.

avatar Julian

These are excellent quality-of-life enhancements. Really like the updates to the calendar and the project list display! Thanks.

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Commented 4 months ago Francisco Sáez

Hi Cyrus, Julian. Thank you so much!

Hi Leonid,

1. The goal of associating a focus area to a calendar is that the actions of that calendar can be automatically assigned to that value, saving this work (of course, as long as a calendar is conceptually related to one of your focus areas). Associating two or more areas does not make much sense to me, as it doesn't allow an automatic assignment of that value.
2. There is no integration with Google Tasks at the moment.

avatar Francisco Sáez

Hi Cyrus, Julian. Thank you so much!

Hi Leonid,

1. The goal of associating a focus area to a calendar is that the actions of that calendar can be automatically assigned to that value, saving this work (of course, as long as a calendar is conceptually related to one of your focus areas). Associating two or more areas does not make much sense to me, as it doesn't allow an automatic assignment of that value.
2. There is no integration with Google Tasks at the moment.

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Commented 4 months ago Brendan Howard

That problem of completing a project and having the view jump to the Completed Projects menu was a minor but pervasive annoyance. I'll take the shorter viewable window with the up-down view functionality. Thank you!

avatar Brendan Howard

That problem of completing a project and having the view jump to the Completed Projects menu was a minor but pervasive annoyance. I'll take the shorter viewable window with the up-down view functionality. Thank you!

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Commented 4 months ago Olga

Wow! Thank you so much for the printing option! You made a woman happy! It makes the app for me like 2 times better!

avatar Olga

Wow! Thank you so much for the printing option! You made a woman happy! It makes the app for me like 2 times better!

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Commented 4 months ago Francisco Sáez

Hi Brendan & Olga. Thank YOU! :)

avatar Francisco Sáez

Hi Brendan & Olga. Thank YOU! :)

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Commented 4 months ago John D

Wonderful updates. Awesome job! I love the read only option for calendars. All of these updates and but fixes are great. I like the project list fix too. It always was a little annoying when it switched views.

Now if I could only get my new company to let me connect FacileThings to my Outlook calendar. I could have everything in one place again.

avatar John D

Wonderful updates. Awesome job! I love the read only option for calendars. All of these updates and but fixes are great. I like the project list fix too. It always was a little annoying when it switched views.

Now if I could only get my new company to let me connect FacileThings to my Outlook calendar. I could have everything in one place again.

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Commented 4 months ago Marius

Great upgrade with the calendar - Area of focus relation. Such an relation towards incoming mails would be nice as well. Further is it also possible to make relation to the Area of Focus type. My private calendar is used for multiple personal areas of focus. For example: Home, Sport, Friends. It would be helpfull to filter all those calendar entries away when my professional selection is enabled and vice versa.

Further more. Cascaded filtering/selections would be very nice as well. When I have new inbox item and want to insert all information when clarifying my project list is very long. This makes it hard to find the correct one. When using cascading filtering for example on AoF (type) or goal it would already decrease very much.

avatar Marius

Great upgrade with the calendar - Area of focus relation. Such an relation towards incoming mails would be nice as well. Further is it also possible to make relation to the Area of Focus type. My private calendar is used for multiple personal areas of focus. For example: Home, Sport, Friends. It would be helpfull to filter all those calendar entries away when my professional selection is enabled and vice versa.

Further more. Cascaded filtering/selections would be very nice as well. When I have new inbox item and want to insert all information when clarifying my project list is very long. This makes it hard to find the correct one. When using cascading filtering for example on AoF (type) or goal it would already decrease very much.

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Commented 4 months ago Francisco Sáez

Hi Marius,

Your suggestion is quite interesting. I've noted it down to consider later. Thank you! :)

avatar Francisco Sáez

Hi Marius,

Your suggestion is quite interesting. I've noted it down to consider later. Thank you! :)

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