Create single and recurring tasks

With Project 2010, you can create tasks (task: An activity that has a beginning and an end. Project plans are made up of tasks.) to break the project work (work: For tasks, the total labor required to complete a task. For assignments, the amount of work to which a resource is assigned. For resources, the total amount of work to which a resource is assigned for all tasks. Work is different from task duration.) into smaller pieces. Some project managers refer to tasks as "activities" or "work packages."

What do you want to do?


Create a new task

Add a task to a task list

  1. On the View tab, in the Task Views group, click Gantt Chart.

Task View Area image.

  1. In an empty Task Name field, type a task name and then press ENTER.

Insert a task between existing tasks

  1. Select the row below where you want a new task to appear.
  2. On the Task tab, in the Insert group, click the top part of the Task button.

Task Insert Area image.

  1. Type the task name in the inserted row. The task IDs are automatically renumbered after you insert a task.

Add a task in the Network Diagram view

  1. To switch to the Network Diagram view, on the View tab, in the Task Views group, click Network Diagram.

Network Diagram button.

  1. On the Task tab, in the Insert group, click the top part of the Task button.

Task Insert Area image.

  1. Type the task name in the new task box.

You can use an outline (outline: A hierarchical structure for a project that shows how some tasks fit within broader groupings. In Project, subtasks are indented under summary tasks.) to organize your schedule (schedule: The timing and sequence of tasks within a project. A schedule consists mainly of tasks, task dependencies, durations, constraints, and time-oriented project information.) as you enter tasks, or you can wait until you enter all of your project tasks. When you outline a schedule for your project, you simplify its organization so that your project is easier to create, manage, and maintain.

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Create multiple tasks

If you are adding several tasks with resource assignments (assignment: A specific resource that is assigned to a particular task.) and task dependencies (task dependencies: A relationship between two linked tasks; linked by a dependency between their finish and start dates. There are four kinds of task dependencies: Finish-to-start [FS], Start-to-start [SS], Finish-to-finish [FF], and Start-to-finish [SF].) at one time, you may find it helpful to enter this information into your project by using the Task Form view.

  1. On the View tab, in the Task Views group, click Gantt Chart.

Task View Area image.

  1. On the View tab, in the Split View group, select Details.

Split View area image.

The window is split to display the Gantt Chart view on the top and Task Form view on the bottom. You cannot view the timeline while viewing this split view.

  1. In the Gantt Chart view (top), click the first empty row at the end of the task list.
  2. In the Task Form view (bottom), type information about the new task:
    • In the Name box, type the new task's name.
    • In the Duration box, type the task duration.
    • If you want the task duration to remain fixed regardless of resource assignments, select the Effort driven check box.
    • In the form columns, type detailed information about the task (such as the assigned resources and predecessor tasks).
  3. Click OK to save the new task, and then click Next to move to the next row in the Gantt Chart view.

 Note   You cannot use the Task Form view to enter subtasks into your project. To create subtasks, indent and outdent tasks in the Gantt Chart view.

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Create a recurring task

If a task repeats at set intervals, enter it as a recurring task (recurring task: A task that occurs repeatedly during the course of a project. For example, you might define the weekly status meeting as a recurring task.). If it does not repeat at set intervals, enter it as a regular task every time that it occurs.

  1. On the View tab, in the Task Views group, click Gantt Chart.

Task View Area image.

  1. Select the row below where you want the recurring task to appear.
  2. On the Task tab, in the Insert group, click the bottom part of theTask button and then click Recurring Task.

Insert Task menu image.

  1. In the Task Name box, type the task name.
  2. In the Duration box, type the duration of a single occurrence of the task.
  3. In the Recurrence pattern section, click Daily, Weekly, Monthly, or Yearly.
  4. Select the check box next to each day of the week that the task should occur.
  5. In the Start box, enter a start date and do one of the following:
    • Select End after, and then type the number of occurrences for the task.
    • Select End by, and then enter the date you want the recurring task to end.

 Note   If you don't enter a date in the Start box, Project uses the project start date.

  1. In the Calendar for scheduling this task section, select a resource calendar from the Calendar list to apply to the task. If you do not want to apply a calendar, select None.

 Tip   If you want to apply a calendar, but not tie that calendar to scheduling for the task, select the Scheduling ignores resource calendars check box.

When you insert a recurring task, the task IDs are automatically renumbered and a recurring task indicator (indicators: Small icons representing information for a task or resource that are displayed in the Indicators field. The Indicators field is located to the right of the ID field and appears in a number of tables.) Icon image appears in the Indicators Indicator column heading column.

If you assign resources to a recurring summary task by typing resource names in the Resource Names field, the resource will be assigned to the total work on the recurring task and not to the individual recurring tasks as they occur.

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Learn tips for working with tasks

To define your tasks most effectively, consider the following guidelines:

  • Break down tasks to the level of detail that you want to track. You should break them down in more detail for riskier areas.
  • Make sure that tasks have clear criteria for completion.
  • Define the tasks that are short compared with the overall project duration. Shorter tasks allow you to more easily estimate time and resources.
  • Avoid defining such things as vacation or training as tasks. Instead, you can set resource calendars (resource calendar: A calendar that specifies working and nonworking time for an individual resource. A resource calendar differs from a base calendar, which specifies working and nonworking time for more than one resource.) to account for nonworking (administrative) time.

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Applies to:
Project 2010