Get started with the network editor

Once you have created a new project, let's learn how to use the main interface in building your project schedule - the network editor. The network editor offers an 'infinite' canvas with a floating menu bar that offers a host of features to quickly build and navigate through your project schedule.

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Learn about the menu options

The menu

Click on the image to learn more about the various features available. The basic description is listed below.

  • Logo : Go back to the project dashboard.
  • Navigate and connect : Scroll through the canvas, multi-select and spacing tools. Connector tool.
  • New task : Add a new task to the schedule.
  • Update : Refreshes the data with the server while executing all project algorithms for most optimized end dates.
  • Undo/Redo : To revert any changes.
  • Resources : Takes you to the project page to manage resources.
  • Filters: Used to filter the tasks displayed on the editor.
  • Plots: Takes you to the various charts of the project.
  • Search: Find tasks on the editor.
  • Settings and save: Goes to the project settings pages; saving allows for quick image download of project data.
  • Zoom and center: Buttons to zoom in/out, return to default and for full screen mode.
  • Learn about the the task box

    The task details box

    Click on the image to learn more about the task details.

  • Task Description: 3 lines to describe your task.
  • UID: Unique id for your task (auto generated).
  • Duration: Best case date for this task to complete.
  • Related << and >> : successor and predecessor tasks.
  • Projected finish: When this task is scheduled to be complete.

  • Resources: Area to enter resources needed for a task.
  • Most likely/Worst case: Most likely task completion and worst case task completion durations.
  • Projected dates: Planned start, and projected finish dates.
  • Flags: Important insights about your task.
  • Notes: A place for your to capture notes/comments/updates.
  • Gantt Chart: Swimlane descriptions and checkboxes for Gantt Chart display.

  • How do I use the network editor to create a schedule?

    Step 1 Energer

    Click on the project's name on the projects dashboard to open the network editor

    That should open a blank network editor canvas with a floating menu. Familiarize yourself with the menu options above.

    Step 2 Energer

    Add a task

    There are three ways you can add new tasks to the project;

  • Click on the task icon on the menu and click anywhere on the page to add a new task at that location.
  • Drag the task icon from the menu to anywhere on the page; the third way is covered in the next step.
  • Each task has a number of information fields, the basic need for any task is to add a brief description of the task and the duration of the task (think of this duration of the best case duration).

    Step 3 Energer

    Add additional tasks

    The third way to add tasks .

  • Click on a task and click on the task icon on the bottom right to add a successor task to the current selected task.

  • Add a few additional tasks and try few different types of durations for these tasks; standard duration nomenclature works in all duration fields.
  • 'd', 'day', 'days' - number of days (Treated as business days).
  • 'w', 'week', 'weeks' , 'wks' - number of weeks (we use 5 days per week for our calculations).
  • 'm', 'mon', 'month', 'months' - number of months (we use 20 business days per month for our calculations).
  • Calendar days feature is coming soon and will use the 'c' designator such as '5cd' to span 5 continuous days including weekends.
  • Do make use of the zoom levels or spacing tools to ensure the tasks are organized properly.

    Step 4 Energer

    Setup Relationships between tasks

    To establish a relationship between tasks you can use the "connect tool". There are two ways to use the connect tool.

  • Use the menu bar: Click on the connect tool on the menu bar, then click on the parent task and then the successor task to establish the relationship between the tasks.
  • Use the icon on the bottom right of a task: Clicking on any task brings up the shortcut icons, click on the connect icon and click on any other task; this will set this up the current task as the parent and the task that was clicked as its successor.
  • When you establish a predecessor and successor relationship between tasks, note how the related [ "<<" and ">>" ] section on the task box updates automatically to list the related tasks. Add a few more tasks and create a few more relations.

    Step 5 Energer

    Sync/Update the project

    When you have created the project schedule/network, click on the update button; this will run various algorithms to calculate the projected start/end dates for all your tasks, calculate appropriate buffers for your project and refresh the page to provide you the latest insights.

    The algorithms will use the project start date as the initial date from which all the remaining timings are established. Once the page refreshes, you'll see certain tasks where the duration and date are colored in Red. These are the critical path tasks for your project.

    If you have configured resources in your project, this button will perform the critical chain algorithms and optimize the resource utilization and availability for the fastest project completion.

    Step 6 Energer

    Try some filters

    We offer 4 filters to quickly review critical tasks, dependencies, sequences, blockers.

  • Critical filter : Click on this to review critical tasks (the critical path or if resources are modelled, the critical chain).
  • Neighbors: For any task, this filter shows the predecessor and successor tasks. (use this filter to plan upcoming activities, sprints etc. or to review immediate parent task for prioritization).
  • Forward filter : The sequence of tasks that follow this specific task (use this filter to see all activities that are currently 'blocked' until a specific task is complete).
  • Backward filter : The sequence of tasks that precede this specific task (use this filter to understand all tasks that need to be complete before a task can start, or to review a interim milestone).
  • 7
    Step 7 Energer

    Add resources

    The basic task information is present in the top box, double clicking on a task brings up the additional details box where you find extra information about the task. This is where we enter the resource needs, worst case / most likely durations or capture any daily notes regarding a task. To add a resource to a task, just click on the resource section and type in the resource name. (If you want to use resource availability to modify and optimize your schedule, ensure that the resources are listed on the resources page for your project. See the critical chain tutorial for more information).

    Once the project is updated/synced, you can review the resource utilization by clicking on the resources button on the menu. This page lets you visualize how your resources are being used. Please see the Resources tutorial for a more in-depth review of this feature.
    Step 8 Energer

    Setup the gantt charts

    Setting up Gantt charts is simple, to view a task on the Gantt chart, simply select the checkbox in the bottom right of the second box as shown. To add a swimlane, just add the swimlane name in the box to the left (this example shows "Team A")

    The menu bar section describes the other features available (search, saving pictures etc.); do check out our other tutorials for a more in-depth overview of some of our features.
    Pattern Pattern Pattern

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Any task has a range of possible durations, at Energer we express them in these three durations. Note that only the best case (on the first box) is required ; the other two durations can be left at the default. These durations are used for all project algorithms and buffer calculations to predict a completion date for your project.

    Here's an example to give you a real world scenario, let's say your fastest commute to work is 20 minutes (imagine this being a weekend or a day with no traffic , non rush hour, you hitting all the green lights) this is what we would call, best case duration. Generally lets say with normal traffic, you take 30 minutes; this would be your most likely duration. Finally lets say there's a massive traffic jam, plus you might need to stop for gas; days like that, it might be 45 minutes, this is your worst case duration.

    In this example, Energer's algorithms would plan your drive for 20 minutes, however, it knows that you'll probably take 30 minutes and thus adds the difference of 10 minutes as a buffer.

    The undo/redo will remember all actions from a page load event; this means that any time you update/sync your project and the page reloads, the undo/redo resets.

    The update/sync function runs multiple algorithms on your project data, the duration of execution depends on the complexity and size of your network. For most cases it should take less than 15 seconds, but for complex networks this can take a few minutes. .

    Our free plan has a limit of 100 tasks; the Pro and Elite plans do not have any limits. For technical considerations (and to prevent misuse), there are soft limits; if you are working on a complex program and see our error message relating to such limits, please reach out to us so we can remove any restrictions for your project.

    At this moment, we do not offer these constraints. Please check out our backlog to see the priority of feature requests or to request additional features.

    Most of these constraints can be setup using additional tasks on the network, please reach out to us for recommended workarounds.

    Some of the algorithms used are non-deterministic , which means they do not have only one solution, Energer looks for the most optimum solution for scheduling tasks, it is possible in some cases that the algorithm found two different paths ending up with different project dates for interim tasks.