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August 22, 2006 4:56 AM   Subscribe

OfficeApp Filter: How can I seamlessly convert lists of project assignment names and deadlines to a calendar view that can be shared? Or can I?

I'm a new supervisor. My team has a series of deadlines for different assignments - let's say 40 per month. If I have an Excel column of assignment names and one of their respective deadlines (generated from an Access query), is there a way to enter those automatically into a calendar view that can be shared on our network or on the web?

I have tried using the Task function in Outlook, but can only figure out how to show the deadlines in a "timeline" format. I would really like them in a 30-day calendar page. Also I can't just cut and paste the Excel columns, but have to enter them manually in "Tasks."

Our office has the MS Office suite exclusive of Project, Visio and FrontPage. I think it is all '98. There is zero budget, but I am open to any freeware or open source solutions. Bonus points if it's simple enough for an IT-disinclined staff.

Thanks in advance! Apologies if this has a common sense solution, but I am really stumped.
posted by Marnie to Computers & Internet (4 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Marnie, have you seen Basecamp? It's a popular web-based project management application, and it'll let you manage deadlines (viewable online or via RSS and iCal sharing) as well as communications, to-do lists, and files.

There's a free version of the software, but it will only let you manage one project at a time. The other versions are reasonably priced, though: 3 projects at $12/month, 15 for $24, etc.
posted by jacob at 6:28 AM on August 22, 2006

I use a combination of Remember The Milk and Google Calendar. RTM is awesome for keeping track of tasks. It uses keyboard shortcuts to create and edit todos, has a mobile version, priorities, dates, multiple lists, sharing, and I have the iCal feed on my Google Calendar that updates automatically. You can share both RTM and Google Calendar with people in your office and give them read-only rights or editing rights. Plus coloring options in Google Calendar make it really easy to glance and see what is going on. This doesn't do the Access/Excel/Outlook integration you were asking about, but RTM has an import feature that is really easy.

Both are free. One thing to remember is that changes to RTM take up to an hour to appear in Google Calendar.
posted by na2rboy at 8:14 AM on August 22, 2006

I may be oversimplifying, as I'm not exactly sure how complex your data is, but MS Project has a calendar view.

Cut and paste the base information into Project, modify a little bit as necessary - you'll probably have to re-enter the Resource (i.e. people) names to the tasks, as well as the dates - and click on the Calendar view.
posted by Sk4n at 11:22 AM on August 22, 2006

I would give my eye teeth for access to Project, but it's not available to me, and my staff struggles with Outlook.

I greatly appreciate all the suggestions, though. I'm really up a tree dealing with this on my own. This gives me some ideas to look into that I've never heard of before. Thanks, guys.
posted by Marnie at 4:17 AM on August 23, 2006

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