Timeboxing

Place tasks on your calendar to plan out exactly when you'll work on certain tasks.

Purpose

In Sunsama, you can timebox (or timeblock) tasks onto your calendar. This helps you decide exactly what task to work on when and for how long.

At a basic level, you'll timebox tasks on to the calendar by dragging and dropping them onto the calendar view. As soon as you do this, a corresponding calendar event is created on your underlying primary calendar.

Walkthrough

How to use

Adding a task to the calendar · 1:24

The simplest way to timebox a task is to grab the task and drag and drop it onto the calendar view at a time where you want to work on it. You can also right click on a task and click "Add to calendar" and Sunsama will try and find a good spot for you to work on that task.

Once a task has been added to the calendar, we say that a "working session" has been created for the task. Sunsama will also re-order your task to nearest sensible position in your task list.

Before you add a task to your calendar, it's a good idea to set a time estimate on the task. That way, the corresponding calendar event will be of the right size.

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Use "Add to calendar" on iPad

There are known issues that prevent dragging and dropping tasks to the calendar on the iPad and other large touchscreen devices.

If you use one of these devices, you can timebox a task by clicking the "..." menu on any task, then clicking "Add to calendar".

Understanding your timeboxed task · 2:48

From the task card view, you'll now see the start time of your task in the top left corner.

If you click on any working session for a task from the calendar or the task itself, you'll be shown the task details page. From here, you can click to edit any of the underlying calendar events, or delete individual working sessions.

Updating planned time · 3:17

Once a task has a working session, you'll no longer be able to adjust the planned time from the planned time menu. Instead, you'll need to edit the working session's duration. You can just resize it on the calendar view or edit the event details page.

Updating actual time · 4:09

Once the end time of your work session has passed, Sunsama will automatically fill in the "actual time" based on the total time of the working sessions on that day. If you want to change this you have a few options:

  • Change the working session by resizing it on the calendar
  • Manually edit the actual time
  • Run the timer on a task to track actual time

Moving a task to a different day column · 4:46

If you move a task to a different day column, the associated working session will be removed. Since your schedule can vary day by day, it doesn't make sense to move the working session forward by 24 hours. Instead, we recommend timeboxing the task again.

If you'd rather do this in one fell swoop, you can instead move the working session on the calendar.

Moving a working session to a different day · 5:36

If a task has a working session and you move that working session to a different day on the calendar view, the associated task will also move to that day.

Multiple working sessions on the same day · 6:18

There's a few situations where you might want to have multiple working sessions of a task. For example, if you want to work on a task for an hour before lunch and another hour after lunch.

If you want to create multiple working sessions, just drag and drop the task to the calendar again or use the "Add to calendar" button again.

Calendar settings and customizations · 7:05

In your account settings, under "Timeboxing", you can control which calendar working sessions are created on, their privacy, transparency, and default duration.

If you have any of these concerns, you should review your Timeboxing Settings:

  • I don't want colleagues to see my task working sessions on my calendar.
    You can change your default privacy option or place working sessions on a totally different calendar just for your working sessions.

  • I don't want my tasks cluttering up my primary calendar.
    If you are worried about your tasks "blocking" time on your calendar when colleagues try to book meetings or when external tools try and calculate your availability, you can change the "Availability" setting.

  • I don't want to get notifications from my calendaring app for my tasks.
    The notifications and reminders you get from your calendaring app can be controlled on a per-calendar basis. You can add your working sessions to a separate calendar that has notifications turned off.

Best practices

Read the follow on guide for Timeboxing Pro Tips