Filter on group header colors, drag & drop panels, seamless updates and more.
We constantly add little improvements to the tool. We feel these improvements are individually not important enough to spend a blog article on but all these little things do add up. So we decided to give a short overview of what we worked on in the last couple of weeks:
1. You can now filter on the color of the headers of the groups in your chart. So you can choose to only see the groups with an orange header. Or the ones with a green header and a red header. This makes the tool just a bit more flexible. As before you can assign your own color scheme to your chart and have each color mean a different thing. It could be project status, a region, different departments in an organization, whatever you can think of. And by filtering on group color you can create a view for each status, region or department.
2. You can now drag some of the bigger panels around in the tool. Just pick them up by their title at the top of the panel. It’s a small improvement and doesn’t add much more value to the functionality of Tom’s Planner as a planning tool but we found it just ‘feels’ nicer when you can move them around. And that’s important too.
3. When someone else makes a change to a chart that you are looking at the tool will notify you that a more recent version of that chart is available. Then, 10 seconds later, the chart will update itself automatically. We give you this little heads up because the update interrupts your workflow for just a short instance and we don’t want it to be a surprise.
However, if you have a chart just open on, for instance, a big screen against the wall in the office these notifications can be a bit distracting and it’s okay for the chart to just update itself instantly without showing any notifications at all. Well from now on that’s how it works. When the tool registers that no one has interacted with the chart for at least 10 seconds it will assume it is okay to just update the chart instantly without any notifications. If you are actively doing things with the chart (like scrolling around, zooming in/out or applying filters to it) it will first give you a heads up and show you a notification.
4. More than 700 thousand people have signed up for Tom’s Planner in the last 10 years. Due to the free trial period lot’s of people sign up to just give it a try. And Tom’s Planner is not for everyone so it’s normal that a fair percentage of the accounts get abandoned at some point. This results in that more than half of these accounts haven’t been used in the past 2 years. So after ten years, it seemed like a good idea to do a big cleanup. Which we did last month. This makes the database quite a bit smaller and faster for that matter. Which results in shorter loading times of the tool. It’s a small improvement, but these things add up. We do these kinds of things regularly (making small speed wins) just to make sure Tom’s Planner stays as snappy and fast as possible instead of it getting slow and bloated over time as we see happening with a few of our competitors.