Last updated 12/11/2019.
What are fixed schedule visits?
There are a number of different ways that the visits for the each task can be scheduled within Groundleader. How the next visit date is calculated will depend on the schedule type you chose when setting up the task.
For tasks where you need to rigidly set the visit dates either on specific dates or at a specified interval you should set the task to the ‘Fixed’ schedule type.
Setting fixed visit dates
To set the fixed visit dates select the fixed schedule task on the task page and select the ‘Review fixed visit dates’ option. This will open the year planner page.
The year planner for an autumn task before any dates have been added.
The dates highlighted in orange fall outside the tasks start and finish dates. Dates where the number is grey rather than black denote days that are currently in the past. I’m using this year planner on the 21st October.
There are two ways to choose which dates visits for the selected task should be carried out.
- Select dates manually from the planner
- Use the ‘wizard’ to set up recurring dates
Before going any further we need to understand the difference between an normal fixed visit date and an ‘appointment’. Any fixed visit dates set as appointments are automatically added to the job assigner on the correct date. If you use the job assigner to produce your teams daily worksheets appointments are a good way to make sure a visit gets carried out on the correct date. Any fixed visit dates not set as appointments will need to be manually added to the assigner when the tasks urgency reaches 1, just like tasks of any other schedule type.
Appointments are shown as purple on the year planner, normal fixed visit dates are blue. You can select whether to use appointments as default or not by checking the box to the left of the planner.
Manually setting the dates
You can manually select the dates for each visit by simply clicking the desired dates on the planner. Clicking a date will set it as a fixed visit date, clicking again will make it an appointment, and again will remove it.
There are two reasons where you may wish to set a fixed date in the past.
- Clicking a date in the past once will highlight it grey. This indicates the visit will not be done this year but you do want it to be carried out on subsequent seasons.
- Clicking it again will turn it blue, do this if a visit has yet to be logged for this date. If there are more than one fixed visit date in the past only the most recent one can be set as needing to have a visit logged.
Using the wizard
The wizard can be used if you just need to set up visit dates a fixed number of days apart. You choose the date of the first visit, the days between each visit and if you want the visits to carry on till the end of the season or for a set number of visits. Click calculate to fill the planner using your selected criteria.
The wizard filled in to set a visit date every 7 days from the second Tuesday in September until the end of the season.
How the year planner looks after applying the wizard settings shown above.
Here, because we are adding these dates part way through the current season, any of the calculated dates that fall in the past will be marked as grey. As described above, these dates will only come into effect when they are carried over to the next season. Dates in the future are marked blue to show fixed visit dates that have yet to be carried out. If you have it set to create appointments as default these dates would be purple.
Recur dates each year
The year planner can only be used to set a tasks fixed visit dates for one season at a time. The season you get to work with is always the ‘current’ season. If you are setting dates for a season that spans more than one year use the buttons next to the year at the top of the left panel to change the year being viewed. It is possible to have fixed visit dates copy over to each following season. There are three options for how to do this shown on the left side of the page, be sure to check the appropriate one.
- Use wizard values every season. This will automatically run the wizard at the start of each season with your selected settings to get the new visit dates. Using this method will result in different ‘dates’ each year as for example the second Tuesday in September won’t always be on the 10th. It will make sure that the visits fall on the same weekday each year though. This option is only available if you used the wizard to calculate visit dates.
- Copy dates from the planner. This will copy the exact fixed visit dates over from one season to the next.
- Do not copy any dates. Selecting this option will not copy any dates over to the next season. Only use this if you need to specif the visit dates each year.
The next seasons fixed visit dates are automatically calculated when the current season is ended. For more information about seasons check the seasons resources page.
Overview projected dates
If the currently selected task is a ‘Guide’ task there will be an option to ‘Apply projected visits to overview’. This will take the planned fixed visit dates for this task and use them to create projected visit dates for any overview that contains this guide task. Doing this will remove any existing overview projected visits for this guide task. See the overviews help page for more information on overviews.
Saving the dates
It is very important to click the save button at the bottom of the page when you are happy with the fixed visit dates. If you don’t click it the dates will not be stored. This button is also used to save any values you used in the wizard and your preferred method of carrying over visit dates to subsequent seasons.
If you check the year planner after some visits have been completed the actual visit dates will be shown.
Here the visit on the 15th of September was carried out on the correct date so it is shown in Green. The visit on the 21st was not carried out on the correct date so it is shown in red.
Fixed date scheduling
Groundleader sets the next due date for a fixed schedule task by finding the earliest fixed visit date not already completed. When a visit is logged it marks the earliest fixed visit date stored for task as complete. For this to work properly the visits need to be logged in the order they were carried out.