Tracking appointments and tasks with Task Coach

Task List

After customizing the settings dialogs to suit your needs, you can start creating tasks. Task Coach groups appointments and tasks in categories that can be additionally divided into subgroups. The software supports very flexible handling of categories and subtasks, thus always giving you an accurate reflection of the extent to which the overall task has progressed.

You first need to create the individual categories, to which you will be assigning the tasks you need to manage. To do so, either click the left New category button in the Categories pane on the right-hand side of the program window, or select New | New category from the main menu (Figure 3). In the clear-cut dialog, you can then enter a name for the new category and add comments as needed. You also can also add attachments to the respective categories in the Attachments tab.

Figure 3: Dialog box for creating categories or modifying existing categories.

If you want to create subcategories in the newly created category, either right-click the new category and select New subitem icon or select the New | New subcategory from the main menu. In the same dialog as for a main category, you can now enter the required information. In the right-hand section of the program window, Task Coach then lists all the categories and subcategories you entered in list form.

To delete or modify a category or subcategory in the list, right-click the item in question and select Delete or Edit in the menu. In the same context menu you can also move items using Cut, Copy, and Paste or Paste as subitem. Task Coach supports random insertion within a hierarchy. If you have created a complex category structure, you can simplify the search for individual groups significantly using the search box in the top right corner of the Categories subwindow. Entering a search term opens the corresponding settings dialog for your category or subcategory so that you can modify it immediately.

The next step is to create tasks and assign them to categories. To do this, open the task dialog from the menu with New | New Task or click the New task icon on the left in the Tasks pane of the program window. The settings dialog for task management has far more options than that for categories, comprising a total of 10 tabs. Apart from defining tasks, you can also define billing for periods based on predefined hourly rates and take into account delivered costs, which makes the software interesting for use by freelancers and service providers.

Start by entering a name and optional description for the scheduled task in the Description tab of the dialog box. In the next tab, Dates, enter the corresponding data for the task in question; you can also enter real-time information that differs from the scheduled start time here. If you want to be reminded of the task at a certain time, you can also define this in the Reminder field. If the task is a regularly recurring activity, you can define relevant time periods and repetition intervals in the Recurrence section (Figure 4).

Figure 4: With the flexible appointment dialog, you can set individual parameters for each task.

Other important configuration options for entering a task can be found in the Progress and Categories tabs. If you enter a task that you have already started, you can specify the percentage of the job already completed in the handy slider beside Percentage complete. If a task comprises several parts, you can also define here that the main task is marked as done after all subtasks are completed. In the Categories tab, you can assign the pending task to one or more categories. While doing so, you can select one or more subcategories within a category.

The Budget tab is tailored to the needs of freelancers and service providers who bill their customers for services provided at fixed hourly rates. To do this, you need to enter the expected time allotment for completing the order in the Budget box at the top. Task Coach then adds up the present time overhead, and the time you have left as defined in your time budget, in the Time spent and Budget left fields.

In the bottom part of the window, enter the your hourly rate in the Hourly fee box and your lump sum charge in the Fixed fee box. The software displays the current turnover in the Revenue box; this value is calculated continuously in real time on the basis of the time you have already spent on a task (Figure 5).

Figure 5: Transparent billing of a task – thanks to budget management.

To help keep track of multiple subtasks, you will find a list of the total time spent on a task, broken down by each period of work devoted to a subtask in the Effort tab. The elapsed time is updated for a task in progress.


Once you have entered a task and defined dates for it, the two timer symbols in the button bar of the program window will start and stop or resume tracking times. This means you can invoice with to-a-minute accuracy, even if you are unable to work continuously on a task as intended.

At the same time, the icon to the left of the task in question changes. The program displays work in progress entries in the list with a small timer to the left; after stopping the timer, a button, whose color depends on the processing status, appears to the left of the respective list item. If you completed a task prematurely without using up the originally specified time budget, you can set the task status to "completed" manually by pressing the green check mark in the toolbar of the Tasks section. Task Coach now marks this task as completed by placing a green check mark to the left of the task in the list view, stopping the timer, and highlighting the task in green. After double-clicking the completed task, the Budget tab reveals the total time spent on the task and the exact amount to be billed to your customer, whereas periods in which you actively worked on the task are broken down to the minute and listed in green in the Effort tab.


A well-filled appointment calendar with multiple simultaneous tasks always comes with the risk of losing track of something. Task Coach, however, offers very sophisticated control features to help you. In addition to color coding of the individual tasks listed in the Tasks pane, the software also reminds you in good time before the due date of an assignment – if you defined a date. Additionally, you can use the View | Filter menu to display tasks by specific categories and subcategories. You also can search the fields in the toolbars of the task and category panes for entries and thus quickly find the desired content in an extensive list view.

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