Carl here. This week’s ProjHugger post continues the “Top 10 problems new (and not so new) Project users have, and what you can do to ease the pain” series. This week: Top 10 Problems, #9: Enter fixed dates.

The default view in Project is the Gantt Chart, and the part of that view to the left is a table—the Entry Table by default. The table exposes several columns, each of which is labeled with a field name. In the default view you might see six or so columns. Two of these columns are labeled "Start" and "Finish" and for any given task you are free to enter a date into either or both fields, or pick a date from the handy drop-down date-picker.

But let me offer you some unsolicited advice about setting the Start or Finish date values: in most cases, don't do it! I know the date fields are right there in front of you, and often you do indeed know when you think some task should start or finish. So what's the harm in just setting those dates in the Project UI? It seems so easy, even inviting. Resist, my friend! Fight the temptation.

This relationship is constraining me

Let's work through a problem to get to the bottom of this.

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Cheers, Carl