You can significantly increase the capabilities of the Tasks module by connecting it to an iSheet. Using the powerful functionalities of iSheets within the Tasks module, you can:
- add additional columns of data to your tasks to track key metrics and capture specific information
- show, hide and re-order default and custom columns in the Tasks module to customise the view for different audiences and purposes
- set column conditionality to build in business logic in each task
- group task fields together for better user experience
- set permissions to restrict access to certain groups
- search and filter task metadata
- export and import tasks to Excel for bulk updating
These features enable you to categorise or organise your tasks and present insight to project team members. For example, you could add fields to display region and country in order to assign work to a specific user group, or fields for the estimated and actual hours taken to complete each task to model future legal spend. It is also possible to present data visualisations to show the status of tasks by jurisdiction, for example.
The additional task fields that are added via an iSheet are called Tasks custom metadata.
iSheets that are used to add Task custom metadata are called Task metadata iSheets.
Tasks custom metadata also works with Workflow and Data Visualisation to give maximum flexibility when managing projects.
Identifying metadata iSheets
As of May 2023, metadata iSheets are identified in lists of iSheets with a prefix:
- [DM] represents a file metadata iSheet ('Document Metadata')
- [FM] represents a folder metadata iSheet
- [TM] represents a task metadata iSheet
Enable task custom metadata
A task metadata iSheet is needed to enable Tasks Custom metadata. To create this, click Admin:
In the Admin screen, navigate to iSheets in Module settings. The iSheets screen is displayed:
Here, we need to create a new iSheet and turn on Task Custom Metadata. Click Add > iSheet. The Add iSheet screen is displayed:
In this screen, enter the details of the new iSheet and ensure that you select the Task metadata template checkbox and then click Save.
Once you have created your Task metadata iSheet and configured your views, you can then set a view to display by default in the task list view by navigating to Site admin > tasks and then clicking on the ‘Default task metadata view’ drop down to select the iSheet view you want to display. Doing this will show the custom columns from the selected default view in all tasks unless another iSheet view has been applied to task lists, see below for more details.
You can also apply task metadata iSheet views to you task lists by navigating to Site admin > tasks, clicking on the ‘More actions’ menu adjacent to each task list, then selecting ‘Set metadata view’. Doing this will show the custom columns from the selected view in all tasks belonging to the selected task list.
See the View Custom metadata section for more details
Configure the task metadata iSheet
By default, the Task metadata iSheet contains a number of system-generated columns that are already linked to the Tasks module, including Created by, Created date, Modified by, Modified date, Title, List, Status, Priority, Parent task id, Start date, Due date and Assignee.
You can configure Tasks custom metadata by adding additional columns to the Task metadata iSheet - for example, columns for Jurisdiction or Billing Code. These columns will surface as new data fields in each task, so that you can capture and analyse specific information.
To configure the Task metadata iSheet, navigate to Admin > Module settings > iSheets. In the iSheets screen, click More actions > Manage columns for the Task metadata iSheet that you want to edit fields for (Task metadata iSheets are labelled as such):
The Manage Columns - screen is displayed, showing all the Tasks custom metadata fields in the iSheet:
From here, you can add, group or delete Tasks custom metadata fields.
Add Tasks custom metadata fields
To add Tasks custom metadata fields, click Add column. The Add column screen is displayed:
You can now specify the type of data you wish to collect in the Tasks module.
Please note that Task metadata iSheets can support the same column types as normal iSheets except the Join column type. Refer to the iSheets overview for more information on the core iSheets functionalities, particularly how to add columns in iSheets and the different column types in iSheets.
Once a column is created in the Task metadata iSheet, it will show in the Tasks module as a field to capture information.
Please note that the following task fields; list, assignee, start date, due date, priority and status are now available in the Task Metadata iSheet, but the assignee can only be used in the KPI chart type. The other fields are available in other chart types
Group Tasks custom metadata fields into sections
Tasks custom metadata fields can be grouped together in the task window. In Admin > Module settings > iSheets, click on the Task metadata iSheet and select Allow sections. Click Save.
Then select More actions > Manage columns for the Task metadata iSheet. All existing Tasks custom metadata fields will be grouped under General and you will see an Add new section option.
Select Add new section and name the section. This will then create a new section, which you can add new columns under in Manage columns.
In the task window, you will be able to see the fields under the new section, which can capture specified data:
Conditional Tasks Custom Metadata fields
Task metadata iSheets have the same conditional columns features as standard iSheets. As Tasks custom metadata is configured by Task metadata iSheet columns, you can set column conditions in your Task metadata iSheet so that fields are hidden or displayed depending on the values entered in other fields in the task.
To set this up, navigate to Admin > Module settings > iSheets and select More actions > Manage columns for the Task metadata iSheet. Select the column you wish to set conditionality and edit the Column condition settings section.
For example, you might want to show the Billing Code field only if the Client ID field is filled in:
In the task window, the Billing Code field will be hidden until the Client ID field is filled in.
For more information on how to set conditional columns, refer to this article.
Delete Task custom metadata fields
To remove columns from the Tasks metadata iSheet, click More actions > Delete against the relevant column in the Manage columns page:
Create custom task views
From Tasks module by default
Columns added to a Task metadata iSheet will be visible as fields in the tasks window, and any information added to these fields as Task custom metadata will be stored against the task.
To set a default List View that surfaces Tasks custom metadata, you can customise and apply a Task metadata iSheet view to the Tasks module.
First, create the view that you want to display. In Admin > Module settings > iSheets, click More actions for your Task metadata iSheet and select Manage views:
The Manage views screen is displayed:
Either click Add view to create a new view, or click the Default view heading to display the Edit view - screen:
Give the view a name. In the Columns section, you can to add, remove and re-order the selected columns in the way that you want them displayed in the Tasks module. To add additional columns to your Task metadata iSheet and have them show up as options in the Available columns section, follow the Configure Tasks custom metadata section above.
Once you click Save, this configured view can be applied to the Tasks module.
Next, navigate to Tasks in the Module settings menu:
The Tasks screen is displayed:
Click the Default task metadata view drop-down menu to display all available views. Select the view you want to use and then click Save:
By default, users landing on the Tasks module List View will see columns as configured in the selected view.
From Tasks module by List
You can apply configured views (set under Admin > Module settings > iSheets > Manage Views) to different task Lists.
This means that you can surface specific Tasks custom metadata in the tasks detail window and in the columns in List View. You can also control the Tasks custom metadata seen by different groups by setting permissions on Lists.
This can be very powerful from a project management perspective. For example, if a project uses Lists to manage work across different jurisdictions, you can ensure that local counsel can only view and edit Tasks custom metadata fields relating to their jurisdiction.
To apply a pre-configured view to a List, navigate to Module settings > Tasks. You will see the Lists section:
Click the More actions menu next to the list you want to attach a configured Task metadata iSheet view to and click Set metadata view:
The Set metadata view -
Select the view and then click Save.
This will have the following effects on the Tasks module:
- the view applied to the List will be shown when you click into the List title in List View
- the view applied to the List will be shown when you filter for that List
- the Tasks custom metadata selected for that view will be shown in the task window for any task in that List
From iSheets module
Task metadata iSheets function in the same way as normal iSheets. This means that you can view and manipulate Tasks custom metadata directly from the iSheets module.
Any views created in Admin > Module settings > iSheets > Manage views for your Task metadata iSheet will be visible for selection in the default Tasks metadata view selection, the List metadata view selection, as well as directly from the iSheets module.
Follow these steps to add and configure Views in Task metadata iSheets.
Add or edit custom metadata
When adding a new task or editing an existing task, custom metadata fields from the selected Task metadata iSheet are displayed in the task window. You can add or edit a task as normal, and the custom metadata will be saved to Task metadata iSheet.
Turn off sub-tasks in a task metadata iSheet
You can turn off sub-tasks in an iSheet view via the admin menu. To do this, click Admin:
The Admin screen will be displayed. Within the Admin screen, navigate to Module settings > iSheets:
The iSheets admin screen will be displayed. Within the iSheets admin screen, click More actions > Manage views for the iSheet where you want to hide the sub-tasks:
The Manage views screen is displayed. Click on the view you want to hide the sub-tasks from and scroll down to the Filter section:
Enter the rule 'Parent task id is equal to 0' and click Add. Once you have added the rule, click Save. This will add the rule to the iSheet view, hiding sub-tasks from this view.
Search and filter custom metadata
The search functionality is available via the search box in the top right hand of the tasks module:
It allows you to search for specific tasks:
The search itself is not case sensitive and includes all of the metadata relevant to the iSheet.
The filter functionality is available next to the search box:
This displays a list of all available filters, including filtering by list:
If you filter your tasks by List, only the metadata that is set for that List is displayed. For example, if we select Plan transaction as a list filter, only the view applied to that list will be displayed:
And once you have filtered by list, you can further filter if required.