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June 14, 2024

#BigTip: Calendar view in BigPicture at a glance

Project Management

A typical calendar shows when you’re available, when you’re busy, and what tasks need your attention.

BigPicture’s Calendar view focuses on your project tasks. By default, it displays all project items on a calendar instead of on the Board, Gantt chart, or WBS hierarchy.

You may find a calendar-style project layout helpful during your monthly or quarterly reviews. With quick filters, team members can narrow the visible scope to see only their tasks.

Let’s dive into the Calendar view to see how it can help you stay organized and manage your project tasks.

Accessing the Calendar view

The Calendar view in BigPicture is located in the Calendar module. Click the module switcher and select “Calendar” from the drop-down menu. You’ll see a traditional calendar view.

A calendar view in the Calendar module. (screenshot from BigPicture for Jira, data center)

 

If you can’t see the Calendar module, a colleague with the Jira, App, or Box Admin security role can enable it in the box settings.

Change how you view your BigPicture calendar

You can adjust the Calendar view in several ways to suit your needs.

Under the “View” menu, you’ll find options to customize how the module displays your tasks.

Adjust the calendar view layout

BigPicture is best viewed on desktop devices. Depending on your screen resolution and the volume of tasks, you can set the layout to Compact, Regular, or Wide. These options change the size of the taskbars, fitting more but smaller items (compact) or fewer but larger items (regular and wide).

If you’re working on a small screen, like a laptop, you can zoom in and out of your browser view to see more or fewer elements. Use quick filters to display fewer items in a given month, improving your experience with the Calendar module.

Change the calendar view layout to track your tasks more comfortably. (screenshot from BigPicture for Jira, data center)

 

If your view can’t display all the tasks, don’t worry – Even if you have dozens of tasks planned for each day, you can still easily look them up.

Each cell in the calendar represents a day, showing the number of project items (tasks and milestones) scheduled. Click “Show all tasks” on a selected day to list all tasks starting, ongoing, and finishing on that day.

A task list featuring tasks planned for a given day, including their assignee and progress status. (screenshot from BigPicture for Jira, data center)

Add color to your tasks

The “Heatmap mode” and “Task color” options color the taskbars according to their status or your manual color choices. Task status colors reflect Jira’s codes (green for “Done,” blue for “In Progress,” and gray for “To Do”). To change a taskbar’s color, right-click and select a color from the palette.

For visual people, color-coded bars spanning across the calendar can make tasks easier to identify and track. (screenshot from BigPicture for Jira, data center)

Set the first day of the week

ISO 8601 recommends Monday as the beginning of the week in daily life and business practices. But many organizations don’t follow this recommendation, and you don’t have to either 🙂.

BigPicture lets you set Saturday, Sunday, or Monday as the first day of the week, aligning with your team’s preferences.

Saturday, Sunday, or perhaps Monday starts your business week? (screenshot from BigPicture for Jira, data center)

Focus on the task duration or end date

The Calendar view lays out tasks in rows across the month. Depending on your needs, you can switch to “End date mode” to display tasks as one-day events on their final day, making the view cleaner and helping ensure you don’t miss any deadlines.

The “End date mode” shortens the taskbars to their final date. (screenshot from BigPicture for Jira, data center)

Travel in (project) time

The Calendar view displays the monthly view. Use the arrows (chevrons) in the upper navigation menu to change the month or year. Quickly jump to today’s date or use the date picker to select a specific month and year.

Use the upper menu buttons or date picker to change your calendar view’s month (and relevant year). (screenshot from BigPicture for Jira, data center)

 

Alternatively, scroll down to travel into the future months or scroll up to revisit the past ones.

Using the calendar view to manage project items

BigPicture’s Calendar module gives you an overview of what’s to come and lets you reschedule tasks and milestones or create new tasks directly on the calendar.

Check today’s and upcoming tasks

The “Upcoming tasks” panel on the right side of the Calendar view lists all tasks relevant to the current month, grouped by consecutive days starting from today. The list remains up-to-date even if you change the date view.

The right panel shows a list of current tasks starting from today, even though we changed the date on our calendar view to one month ahead. (screenshot from BigPicture for Jira, data center)

 

The icons next to the tasks indicate progress status (gray “T” stands for “To Do”). You can click on each item to see more details in a separate dialog.

Stay up to date with task updates 

If your data’s not up to date, you could miss task updates and other important events. Enable Live sync on the App Configuration page to ensure your calendar items are updated whenever someone changes them in BigPicture or Jira. This feature requires Jira and App Admin access.

Live sync synchronizes task changes made in BigPicture and Jira without your having to reload the calendar page.

Should the task progress, end/start dates, assignee, or status change, Live sync will also update them in the Calendar module. (screenshot from BigPicture for Jira, data center)

Manage tasks directly in the Calendar module

The Calendar module allows you to add, edit, delete, and reschedule project tasks. The changes you make will appear in other BigPicture modules and Jira.

Move a task or milestone to reschedule it

You can move a task across the calendar view to reschedule it. 

Left-click to drag a task from its initial day and drop it to a new one. You can drag and drop tasks with or without the “End date mode.” (Although you may find tasks in the “End date mode” more convenient to move.)

 

Open the task list if you can’t see all the tasks on a particular day. Then, drag the task from the list and drop it in the desired cell on the calendar.

Please note that in the Calendar module, you cannot see the scheduling rules to which your tasks might be subject, which will prevent you from rescheduling them. 

For example, the app might prevent you from moving a task if that task is linked with a strong dependency. Or when the child’s scheduling mode doesn’t allow it to move beyond its parent’s period.

Add and delete a task

Click the “+” (plus) button in the upper right corner and select Jira issue or basic task from the drop-down menu. You can also use your keyboard’s “c” button to create a Jira issue. Next, fill in the task details.

The process of adding a new task using the plus button is the same as in other modules. (screenshot from BigPicture for Jira, data center)

 

As soon as you create a new task, it will appear on the calendar view. One thing to remember: You can’t add tasks with one date or no start and end dates at all. But you can do that on the Gantt chart and WBS in the Gantt module.

To delete a task, right-click on it and select “Delete.” You can also delete a task from the calendar view, task list, and the “Upcoming taskspanel.

Due to the small screen size, we can’t see the tasks on the calendar view. So, we opened a task list to delete a task from the selected day. (screenshot from BigPicture for Jira, data center)

Edit a task or milestone

Editing a project item in the Calendar module is also possible.

Find the task you want to edit. Right-click on it and select “Edit” to prompt a Jira issue screen or basic task modal. Similarly to deletion, you can edit a task on the calendar view, task list, and the “Upcoming taskspanel.

Alternatively, you can inline edit task details directly on the task details dialog which you prompt by clicking on the task.

You can double-click any field to edit its details on the fly. (screenshot from BigPicture for Jira, data center)

Quickly find a task and narrow down the scope

Your calendar view includes a search bar that supports text and JQL. This enables you to find a specific task in a given month quickly. You can also use quick filters to narrow down the visible scope of items.

Overwhelmed with all the tasks on your calendar view? Use the task name, key, or JQL statements to find the exact project item. (screenshot from BigPicture for Jira, data center)

Add markers to specific dates

Markers add an extra layer of visibility to your project. 

You can add multiple markers to the same day or different days throughout the month to mark important events and deadlines or even leave a mental note for yourself 🙂. 

To create a marker, click on the day number. Next, name it, pick a color, and (optionally) leave a short description. You can later edit the marker’s details. Or delete the entire marker if you no longer need it. 

Once created, a marker will add a colored dot to your calendar view, letting you know there’s something important happening that day!

Markers add colorful dots to your calendar view helping you not miss any important deadlines or events. (screenshot from BigPicture for Jira, data center)

Sign up to try BigPicture for free

BigPicture helps you plan, build, and manage complex projects and portfolios. If you’re a visual person, the Calendar module will help you focus on the current month and manage project items conveniently.

Sign up for a 30-day free trial to see how BigPicture streamlines projects of any size, methodology, or complexity. Visit our demo page to try all BigPicture features inside your browser.