The Plans iPhone planner

In addition to the three core views, there are four areas of planner functionality within Plans in the plan preferences screen which can be useful:

  • Reminders integration
  • notifications
  • auto-scheduling
  • iCal export

Reminders integration
If Use reminders is selected Plans will create a Reminders list with the same name as the plan, and a reminder for each task.

The reminder start and due dates are set to the task dates (note these cannot be set in the Reminders application itself but the due date is displayed). If the plan has a notification option set the reminder will have an alarm set for the date.

From then on the Reminder list and the plan tasks are linked:

  • if the reminder is marked complete, the task is also completed
  • if the task is completed the reminder is completed
  • if the task is deleted, the reminder is removed
  • if the task start or end date is changed the reminder alarm is changed.

Again, complex to describe but the result is that if you select Use Reminders then Reminders is linked to the plan, used for all notifications and can be updated from either app.

Through Reminders this gives Plans iCloud support across all devices for execution, with plan creation and update carried out on iPhone.

If Use Reminders is not set the default is for Plans to provide notifications. These can be set for both start and due dates, and for each the time of the notification can be set to 08:00, 16:00 or Off. (Note that unlike a todo list a planner such as Plans does not have the concept of times, just dates.)

Auto scheduling
Again in the plan preferences Auto-schedule may be set to All, Sub-tasks or Off.

If set to All, Plans will automatically reschedule all tasks to start after the preceding task. The first task is manually set; from then on all tasks are automatically set to follow one after another. As tasks are moved they are automatically rescheduled.

If set to Sub-tasks Plans will schedule all subtasks within parents. The first sub-task within a group can be set to any date, all sub-tasks following it are automatically rescheduled.

iCal export
In the plan preferences there is an Export to iCal button. If selected an iCal calendar is created with the same name as the plan and with an all-day event for each task.

Once exported to iCal a plan can be re-exported whenever required. Removal of the calendar is done within iCal.