This guide should only take a few minutes to work through. Hyper Plan is powerful and flexible, but you only need to know some basics to get started. If you have ever planned something by sticking colored notes to a wall, then you already understand most of what you need to know.
Hyper Plan is a based on a few simple concepts:
Cards: Typically you will want one card for each task or element in your plan. For example, you might want a card for “get a quote for website design”.
Properties: Every card in a plan has the same set properties. For example, “Title”, “Duration”, “Cost”, “Status”, “Person assigned to” or “Due date”. You can have as many or as few properties as you want. Choose whatever properties are important to you in your planning.
Values: Each card has a value for each property. Values can be dates (e.g. "1/2/2015"), numbers (e.g. "10"), text (e.g. "urgent") or empty.
Layout and color: Hyper Plan can lay out and color cards in lots of different ways, according to their property values. For example, you can layout cards in columns by their status, rows by who they are assigned to and color them by their priority.
Filters: You can control which cards are visible using filtering.
Totals: Display totals by row and column. A bit like pivot tables in Excel®, but much easier!
Charts: Create bar charts, sliced and diced in various ways. For example, the amount of effort assigned per person by category.
Connections: Show relationships between cards.
Open a sample
Let’s open a sample plan and have a play.
Select File>Open and choose the project plan sample that was installed into your Documents/HyperPlan folder.
Here we have a card for each task:
- The card column is set by the value of the "Status" property for each card: to do/doing/blocked/done.
- The card row is set by the value of the "Person" property of each card: Andy/Claire/John.
- The card color is set by the value of the "Priority" property: high/medium/low.
- The text displayed on the card shows the "Title" property value.
If you hover over a card, a tooltip will appear with all the property values for that card.
The plan will be zoomed back to show all the cards while Zoom fit is pressed in. You can also zoom in/out on the cards using the zoom buttons, the zoom slider or the mouse wheel (if you have set the mouse wheel to zoom in the Preferences window).
Double click on one of the cards in the "doing" column to edit it and change the "Status" drop-down list to "done".
Click OK and notice how the card moves to the "done" column.
Select a card and drag it to a different row and/or column. Double click on the card and notice how the "Status" and/or "Person" "properties of that card have been updated.
Click away from a card and drag out a rectangle to select multiple cards. Select Edit>Edit Card(s)... from the main menu and type in their "Status" property as "unassigned". Notice how a new column is created for the "unassigned" cards.
You can also select multiple cards using Ctrl+click (Windows)/Cmd+click (Mac).
If you are dragging multiple cards note that holding down the Shift key and dragging horizontally preserves the column values of the cards. Similarly holding down the Shift key and dragging vertically preserves the row values of the cards.
Layout and color
We can slice information in multiple ways. In the Layout/Color section of the Left pane:
- Change the Arrange rows (Y) by drop-down list from "Person" to "Priority".
- Change the Set card color by drop-down list from "Priority" to "Duration".
The cards are now colored according to their duration. We can change the colors used by clicking on the small button next to the Set card color by drop-down list. Currently minimum duration tasks are shown in red and maximum duration in green. Click on the red and green color buttons in the Colors tab to use different colors, e.g. orange and blue.
Click OK when you are done.
Now let’s change the priorities so that "high" is shown as the top row and "low" as the bottom row. Click the small button next to the Arrange rows (Y) by drop-down list. Change the order in the Ordering tab by selecting "high" and "low" and re-order them using the up and down arrows.
Click OK when you are done. You can also change column or row ordering by clicking in column/row headers and dragging.
The "Priority" rows are defined by the "Priority" values of all the cards. This means that deleting all the cards with a particular "Priority" value will remove that row. You can avoid this by making "low", "medium" and "high" pre-defined values. Again click the small button next to the Arrange rows (Y) by drop-down list. Then click on the Pre-defined Values tab and click the Add current values button.
There will now be "low", "medium" and "high" rows, even if you delete all the cards. Click OK when you are done.
You can also add pre-defined values by right-clicking on a column header and selecting Add Column Left or Add Column Right from the pop-up menu. Similarly for rows.
Now let’s total the duration by "Status" and "Priority". Change the Show total for drop-down list to "Duration".
Gray rectangles are now shown with the total duration for each row and column. Check in cells to also show totals for each cell. Zoom in or use the magnify cursor if you can't read them easily.
Change the Arrange columns (X) by drop-down list from "Status" to "Person". Notice how the totals update. The totals will also update if you drag cards between rows and/or columns.
Let’s hide all the "done" tasks. In the Filter section set the drop-down list to Hide and type in "done". All the cards that have status "done" will be hidden (also any cards with "done" in another property or in their Notes field).
Use the Ctrl+F (Windows)/Cmd+F (Mac) shortcut to toggle the Filter section open/closed.
The Charts Tab
You can easily display bar charts in the Charts tab.
- Set the Show drop-down to the numerical property you want to use for the height of the bars (you can also show the number of cards).
- Set the By drop-down to display a bar for each value of that text property.
- Set the Per drop-down to display a chart for each value of that text property.
You can change the appearance of the chart in the Appearance section of the Charts pane.
The Table Tab
You can also edit your data in the Table tab.
Currently the rows are colored by the status of each card. You can change this in the Appearance section.
Note that changes in the Table tab update the Cards and Charts tabs. Try it.
The Properties tab
You can see, edit and re-order all the properties in the Properties pane.
Adding new cards and properties
To add a new card either:
- select Edit>Add card; or
- click the Add card toolbar icon; or
- use the Ctrl+I (Windows)/Cmd+I (Mac) shortcut; or
- Alt+Left-click (Windows)/Option+Left-click (Mac) on a cell in the Cards pane.
- Press the Tab key in the last cell of the Table pane.
To add a new property select Edit>Add property (or use the Add property toolbar icon or Ctrl+Shift+I (Windows)/Cmd+Shift+I (Mac) shortcut). You can set the Type to Automatic, Text, Numeric or Date. If you choose Automatic Hyper Plan will infer the type as Text, Numeric or Date from the data values. All existing cards will have the new property value set to the Default value.
Connections can be used to show relationships between cards, including: dependencies (e.g A before B) and hierarchy (e.g. A comprises B and C). Connections are only available in Hyper Plan Professional Edition. See the Professional Edition documentation for more details.
You can undo and redo edits using Edit>Undo and Edit>Redo.
Starting a new plan
Select File>New to create a new empty plan. Discard any changes to the sample plan. Try adding your own cards and properties.
Have a play and see what else you can find out. Happy planning! ;o)
Once you are a bit more familiar with Hyper Plan, then please check out the expert tips page. This has information on:
- Icon overlay
- Stored views
- Printing and exporting
- Opening CSV files
- Quick add
- Multiple-user/multiple-computer environments
- Running from a memory stick
- Keyboard shortcuts
- Drag and drop
We also have a frequently asked questions page.