Deadline Chains help you stay on top of all of your deadlines. Deadline chains are used for important deadlines, ensuring that you never have to worry about remembering what's due next. Once an initial date, like a court date or the date of incident, is entered, prerequisite deadlines and/or subsequent deadlines will automatically calculate based on that date.
All deadlines appear on the project's calendar and the calendars of any follower of that project. Deadlines will also send reminders to all project followers, according to the chosen reminder schedule.
Setting up Deadline Chains requires Org Admin privileges and that the Customs Editor Advanced tool be unlocked.
Creating a Deadline Chain
The first step to creating a Deadline Chain is to add a new chain in the Deadline Chain Advanced tool. After you create and name the Deadline Chain, you can begin adding deadlines.
- Navigate to the Deadline Chain Advanced tool. Click on the hamburger menu in the top lefthand corner, and select “Advanced” from the dropdown. Then, in the lefthand menu, select “Deadline Chains.”
- Add a new Deadline Chain. Choose your Org, if applicable, and select “Create a Deadline Chain.” If you have already created a Deadline Chain for this Org, you will see a field in which you can enter already-created chains and a plus button to add new Deadline Chains.
- Fill out the fields. In the “Edit Deadline Chain” window, choose a name of up to 50 characters, choose the default Calendar behavior, and, if desired, select the jurisdiction. You can also add notes and a URL the Deadline Chain. If added, the link and notes will appear in the project underneath the Deadline Chain name.
- Save. When you have filled out all fields to your satisfaction, click the “Save” button in the bottom right corner.
Before you can use a Deadline Chain in a project, you need to publish your Deadline Chain. Making a Deadline Chain published means that it can be added to any project, so make sure that your Deadline Chain is ready before publishing.
To publish your Deadline Chain, find the Deadline Chain in the Advanced tool, and click on the vertical ellipses to the right of the Deadline Chain name. In the dropdown menu, click “Publish.” Once a Deadline Chain is published, the circle outline next to it will change to a filled circle.
Creating Basic Deadlines
Once you have created a new Deadline Chain, you can begin adding deadlines to the chain. As you add deadlines, you can create dependencies between the different deadlines. This section will focus on basic deadlines. The section on branching and converging below will discuss creating deadline groups.
Follow the steps below to create a deadline.
- Find the Deadline Chain. In the Deadline Chains Advanced tool, find the Deadline Chain where you’d like to add your deadline. You can do this by entering the name of the Deadline Chain in the field to the right of the Org name, and clicking on the correct Deadline Chain.
- Click “+ Add a Deadline.” In the Deadline Chain, you will see two buttons: “+ Add a Deadline” and "+ Add a Group." If your Deadline Chain already has deadlines, these buttons will be at the bottom, underneath the deadlines. We'll focus on adding a group in the next section. Click "+ Add a Deadline" to begin adding a basic deadline. If you do not see the deadline appear, trying scrolling up to see if it's appeared earlier.
- Fill out the fields. In the card that opens up, enter the name of the deadline up to 255 characters and, if necessary, choose a reminder schedule. If desired, you can also add a URL and notes to this deadline, which will appear in that deadline in a project when you click the “i” for more information. Making the deadline dependent on another will be discussed in the next section.
- Save. When you have finished filling out the field, click the “Save” button in the bottom right corner of the card.
Making Deadlines Dependent
Once you have created one deadline, you can begin creating other deadlines and building dependencies between them. Create a new deadline by following the steps above, and then add a deadline dependency by following steps below.
For clarity’s sake, we will call the deadline you’ll be working in “Deadline 2” and the deadline you would like this deadline to be dependent on “Deadline 1.”
- Click “Dependent on another deadline.” In Deadline 2’s card, click the checkmark next to “Dependent on another deadline.” This will open up additional options.
- Choose Deadline 1. Click the “deadline” field and choose the deadline that you would like Deadline 2 to be dependent on from the dropdown. In the project, Deadline 2 will not appear until Deadline 1 is either completed or gets a due date.
- Choose “completed” or “due date.” Click the dropdown “completed” and determine when this deadline should appear. Should this deadline be visible as soon as the first deadline has a due date, or does it not need to be visible until the first deadline is completed?
- Choose the dependent date. Choose how many days either earlier or later this deadline should be due compared to when Deadline 1 is completed or gets a due date (depending on what you’ve chosen). Use the dropdown menus to choose a number of days, weeks, etc. and then choose later or earlier. You will also have the option of choosing your calendar if you have added any judicial calendars. The calendar will be set as the default you chose for this Deadline Chain when creating it.
- (Optional) Hide in calendars. If this deadline needs to be part of the chain, but you do not want it on your calendar, you have the option to “Hide in Calendar.” This option is usually used for deadlines that are part of the chain but are not dependent on you.
- Save. When you’ve input all deadline dependency information, hit the “Save” button in the bottom right.
Branching and Converging Deadlines
Once you know how to create deadlines and dependencies between them, you can create groups! Groups, or branching deadlines, allow you to create a set of options with different due dates. For example, you may have a range of options for serving a summons, each option with its own deadline. With branching deadlines, you can create a group called “Service of Summons” containing options like “service of summons by person” and “service of summons by mail.” Each deadline will have its own due date relative to the set due date of the group as a whole.
When one option is completed or given a due date, the other options will disappear, and the Deadline Chain will then follow that path, or “branch.” If all options for that group share the same next step, the group can “converge” back to a single deadline, keeping you from the need to create repetitive branches in the deadline chain.
Adding a Group
Since adding a group is similar to adding a deadline, it will be useful to read over the section on creating basic deadlines carefully before following these steps.
- Click “+ Add Group.” In the Deadline Chain where you would like to add the group to, click the “+ Add Group” button. This button will appear under the Deadline Chain name if there are no deadlines yet added, or under all deadlines at the bottom of the screen if deadlines have been added.
- Add name. Adding the group will open up the group card. Choose a name for this group that will help you easily identify the purpose of this group.
- Set the group deadline dependency. If this group should be dependent on another deadline, check “Dependent on another deadline” and choose the deadline this group should be dependent on. Choose whether the deadline should be dependent on “completed” or “due date."
- Add a group due date. Check the box next to "set Group Due Date to:" and choose the number, measurement, and calendar (if applicable). Choose either "later" or "earlier" from the dropdown.
- Add deadlines. Click the “Save Group” button to save the group. Click on the "Add Deadline" button to add additional deadlines within the group. These deadlines can be added just as basic deadlines would, but the due dates of these deadlines are relative to the group due date set in the last step. For example, if the group due date is set for 60 days later, and this deadline’s due date should be in 50 days, the deadline’s due date will be set to 10 days earlier. Add as many deadlines as you need.
- Save. When you have added all deadlines to the group, click “Save” at the bottom of the card for the group. This will save all the deadlines in the group.
Once you’ve created a group, you can choose to converge the group back into a single deadline in the next step or to continue each deadline in the group as a separate branch in the chain. To continue with separate branches, choose the individual deadlines from the dropdown menu when making the next deadline or group dependent. To converge the branches, choose the name of the group from the dropdown menu when making the next deadline or group dependent.
Combining Groups and Deadlines
Once you’ve added a group, you can continue each branch of the Deadline Chain by making additional basic deadlines or groups dependent on any of the deadlines in the group. You cannot, however, make a deadline or group dependent on a group as a whole; the dependency must be on an independent deadline.
Editing and Adjusting Deadlines
Changes made in the Deadline Chains Advanced tool will be reflected in any Deadline Chains in operation in a project, so be careful when making changes to Deadline Chains which are already being used.
Editing Deadline Chains
Deadline chains can be edited in the Advanced tool. To edit a Deadline Chain, click on the vertical ellipses next to the Deadline Chain name and select “Edit.” This will open the “Edit Deadline Chain” window, where you can edit the name, default calendar, jurisdiction, URL, and notes for the Deadline Chain. Changing the default calendar for the Deadline Chain will adjust the calendar of any deadlines using the default calendars to the new default.
Deadlines and groups can be edited or removed in the Advanced tool. Renaming or changing other information in a deadline will not affect other deadlines or groups using that deadline as a dependency. If a deadline is renamed, the dependencies using that deadline will reflect the name change.
However, getting rid of a deadline that is being used as a dependency for other deadlines or groups will affect those deadlines or groups. They will no longer show a dependency. If you need to take out a deadline that is being used as a dependency, you will need to adjust the dependencies in your chain to make sure all deadlines are connected with one another correctly.