Welcome to the Grindstone 4 manual. It was last updated on September 18th, 2017.

Basics

Grindstone holds on to several different kinds of data. Those pieces of data relate to each other as shown in this chart:

alt text

Work Items

Grindstone is designed to track time spent working on specific jobs, tasks, goals, etc. Each of these is represented by a work item. Work items have names and notes, both of which are optional.

People

Grindstone also keeps a record of who is logging time, which it represents as a person (plural: people). People have names, which are optional except when using Grindstone Sync.

Properties

Grindstone allows the creation of additional, user-defined fields for work items, called properties. There are two types of properties: free form and list. Free form properties allow any text, apart from line breaks and carriage returns. List properties require that a list of valid values for the property are maintained by the user in the form of list values. This is useful for avoiding human error when dealing with a property the domain of which truly is limited to a finite list (e.g. clients, projects, priority levels, etc.).

Time Slices

Each period of time logged against a work item is called a time slice. Each time slice is associated with one work item and one person. Time slices have a start time, and end time, and notes fields. The notes field is optional, the others are not.

Assignments

Grindstone stores each unique person's due date, estimate, or complete date per work item using assignments. Each assignment is associated with one work item and one person, and there can only be one assignment per each unique combination of work item and person. Each field of an assignment is optional. Assignments are also used to manage permissions in certain configurations of Grindstone Sync.

Views

Views are Grindstone's most basic way of displaying information and allowing users to interact with data. There is a type of view for each type of data as shown by the chart above (see Basics), with the exception of free form values.

Views provide access to functionality specific to the type of data being viewed. For those details, see:

For functionality common to all views, see Views.

Functionality

Main Window

The main window of Grindstone looks like this:

Main Window

It has five main areas:

Main Menu
Grants access to primary functions such as creating and opening databases, configuring options, and quitting Grindstone
Stopwatch
Displays information about and controls for governing time tracking; only area shown when in Stopwatch mode
View List
Displays the available views and controls for managing views
Selected View
Displays the currently selected view in the View List, and its accompanying controls
Sync Status
Shows the status of the connection to Grindstone Sync

Project Management

In order to track time, Grindstone needs to know a thing or two about what is being worked on. That's where the project management features come in to play. This section is all about the tools that are available to define that work and categorize it.

Work Items

Managing Work Items

If a Work Items view does not exist, create one by following these steps:

  1. Click the View menu
  2. Select New Work Items View
  3. Click the OK button

To start creating a new work item:

  1. Click the Grindstone menu on the top of the main window
  2. Select New
  3. Select Work Item

Alternatively, to start creating a new work item from a work item view, do any of the following:

To start modifying work items:

  1. Click a work item view in the view list
  2. Select the work items to modify in the selected view
  3. Do any of the following:
    • Click the Modify button (the icon is a pencil) on the top of the list of work items
    • Right-click one of the selected work items and select Modify
    • Double-click a single work item to modify
    • Press the enter key

To modify the work item currently being timed:

  1. Click the Grindstone logo just to the left of the work item's name in the Stopwatch on the top of the main window
  2. Select Modify Timed Work Item

To delete work items:

  1. Click a work item view in the view list
  2. Select the work items to delete in the selected view
  3. Do any of the following:
    • Click the Delete button (the icon is a trash can) on the top of the list of work items
    • Right-click one of the selected work items and select Delete
    • Press the delete key

Important Deleting work items will also delete all assignments and time slices associated to them.

Work Item Editor

The window that is shown when creating or modifying work items is the Work Item Editor. It has the following fields:

Name
The name of the work item
My Estimate
The estimate for the assignment associated with the work item and the current person
My Due Date
The due date for the assignment associated with the work item and the current person
My Complete Date
The complete date for the assignment associated with the work item and the current person
Notes
The notes for the work item
Property
The value for a property for the work item

When modifying more than one work item, Grindstone will at first show only the values all work items being modified have in common. If the work items have different values for a particular field, a Multiple Values - Click to Set button will appear over the value of the field. Click that button to instruct Grindstone to set the value of that field for each work item being modified to a value.

When using Grindstone Sync and creating a new work item, an additional Create Assignments for People section will be displayed. This allows the user to select one or many people for which to create assignments to the new work item.

Click the OK button or press the enter key to create or modify the work item(s). Click the Cancel button or press the escape key to cancel creating or modifying the work item(s).

Note The enter key short-cut will not work when the Notes field has focus, so that line breaks may be entered. To confirm creating or modifying the work item using only the keyboard from within this field, hold down the control key and press the enter key.

Assignments

Managing Assignments

If an Assignments view does not exist, create one by following these steps:

  1. Click the View menu
  2. Select New Assignments View
  3. Click the OK button

To start creating new assignments:

  1. Click the Grindstone menu on the top of the main window
  2. Select New
  3. Select Assignment

Alternatively, to start creating new assignments from an assignment view, do any of the following:

To start modifying assignments:

  1. Click an assignment view in the view list
  2. Select the assignments to modify in the selected view
  3. Do any of the following:
    • Click the Modify button (the icon is a pencil) on the top of the list of assignments
    • Right-click on one of the selected assignments and select Modify
    • Double-click a single assignment to modify
    • Press the enter key

To delete assignments:

  1. Click an assignment view in the view list
  2. Select the assignments to delete in the selected view
  3. Do any of the following:
    • Click the Delete button (the icon is a trash can) on the top of the list of assignments
    • Right-click one of the selected assignments and select Delete
    • Press the delete key

Assignment Editor

This window that is shown when creating or modifying assignments is the Assignment Editor. It has the following fields:

Estimate
The amount of time it is predicted the assignment will take
Due Date
The date the assignment is due
Complete Date
The date the assignment was completed

A field will start as a button labeled Click to Set when any of the following conditions are true:

Otherwise, a field will start with a value already displayed when all of the following conditions are true:

Values left blank will be cleared for the assignments being created or modified. To do this deliberately, delete the text for Due Date or Complete Date using the backspace or delete key, or set an Estimate equal to 0:00:00.

When creating new assignments, a list of people and a list of work items will also be displayed. Use the control and shift keys to select more than one entry in each list. Grindstone will create a new assignment for each unique combination of person and work item, or modify an existing assignment if one already exists per a given unique combination. For example, when three work items and two people are selected, up to six new assignments may be created.

Click the OK button or press the enter key to create or modify the assignment(s). Click the Cancel button or press the escape key to cancel creating or modifying the assignment(s).

Completing Assignments

Grindstone has three quick functions for setting the complete date of an assignment:

Set Complete at End
Sets the complete date to the end of the latest time slice entered for the same person and work item
Set Complete at Now
Sets the complete date to the current date and time
Set Incomplete
Unsets the complete date

These functions are available from assignment and work item views. When used from a work item view, they apply specifically to the current person's assignment per the work item operated upon.

To use Set Complete at End:

  1. Click an assignment or work item view in the view list
  2. Select the assignments or work items set complete as of the ends of their latest associated time slices
  3. Do any of the following:
    • Click the Set Complete at End (or Set My Complete at End) button (the icon is a next track/chapter symbol) on the top of the list of assignments or work items
    • Right-click one of the selected assignments or work items and select Set Complete at End (or Set My Complete at End)

To use Set Complete at Now:

  1. Click an assignment or work item view in the view list
  2. Select the assignments or work items set complete as of now
  3. Do any of the following:
    • Click the Set Complete at Now (or Set My Complete at Now) button (the icon is a checkmark) on the top of the list of assignments or work items
    • Right-click one of the selected assignments or work items and select Set Complete at Now (or Set My Complete at Now)

To use Set Incomplete:

  1. Click an assignment or work item view in the view list
  2. Select the assignments or work items set incomplete
  3. Do any of the following:
    • Click the Set Incomplete (or Set Incomplete for Me) button (the icon is a no symbol) on the top of the list of assignments or work items
    • Right-click one of the selected assignments or work items and select Set Incomplete (or Set Incomplete for Me)

Properties

Managing Properties

If a Properties view does not exist, create one by following these steps:

  1. Click the View menu
  2. Select New Properties View
  3. Click the OK button

To start creating a new property:

  1. Click the Grindstone menu on the top of the main window
  2. Select New
  3. Select Property

Alternatively, to start creating a new property from a property view, do any of the following:

To start modifying a property:

  1. Click the Properties view in the view list
  2. Select the property to modify in the selected view
  3. Do any of the following:
    • Click the Modify button (the icon is a pencil) on the top of the list of properties
    • Right-click the selected property and select Modify
    • Double-click the property to modify
    • Press the enter key

To delete properties:

  1. Click the Properties view in the view list
  2. Select the properties to delete in the selected view
  3. Do any of the following:
    • Click the Delete button (the icon is a trash can) on the top of the list of properties
    • Right-click one of the selected properties and select Delete
    • Press the delete key

Property Editor

The window that is shown when creating or modifying properties is the Property Editor. It has the following fields:

Name
The name of the property
Notes
The notes for the property

The type of property (list or free form) can only be chosen as the property is being created. To enter a list of possible values and constrain the property to only being blank or one of those values, tick the Specify a List of Possible Values for This Property box.

Click the OK button or press the enter key to create or modify the property. Click the Cancel button or press the escape key to cancel creating or modifying the property.

Note The enter key short-cut will not work when the Notes field has focus, so that line breaks may be entered. To confirm creating or modifying the property using only the keyboard from within this field, hold down the control key and press the enter key.

Managing List Values

When creating a list property, Grindstone will automatically generate a list value view filtered just to show list values for that property and switch to it. The assumption is that the next step is to enter list values for the new list property. To manage the list values of a property that has already been created, select the list values view for the property in the view list. If such a view does not already exist, follow these steps:

  1. Click the Properties view in the view list
  2. Right-click the list property for which to manage list values
  3. Select Quick View
  4. Select List Values

To start creating a new list value:

  1. Click the Grindstone menu on the top of the main window
  2. Select New
  3. Select List Value

Alternatively, to start creating a new list value from a list value view, do any of the following:

To start modifying a list value:

  1. Click a list value view in the view list
  2. Select the list value to modify in the selected view
  3. Do any of the following:
    • Click the Modify button (the icon is a pencil) on the top of the list of list values
    • Right-click the selected list value and select Modify
    • Double-click the list value to modify
    • Press the enter key

To delete list values:

  1. Click a list value view in the view list
  2. Select the list values to delete in the selected view
  3. Do any of the following:
    • Click the Delete button (the icon is a trash can) on the top of the list of list values
    • Right-click one of the selected list values and select Delete
    • Press the delete key

To enter new list values from a list value view quickly, click the Quick Entry button (the icon is a plus sign with a lightning bolt), type the name of a desired list value for the new list property, and then press the enter key. Repeat as necessary to populate the list.

List Value Editor

The window that is shown when creating or modifying list values is the List Value Editor. It has the following fields:

Property
The property for which the list value exists
Name
The name of the list value

The property can only be chosen as the list value is being created.

Click the OK button or press the enter key to create or modify the list value. Click the Cancel button or press the escape key to cancel creating or modifying the list value.

Toggle Listing

Although whether a property is list or freeform cannot be changed after it is created, Grindstone does provide the Toggle Listing function, which will do the following:

To access this function:

  1. Click the Properties view in the view list
  2. Select the property to toggle from free-form to list or from list to free-form in the selected view
  3. Do any of the following:
    • Click the Toggle Listing button (the icon is three horizontal lines) on the top of the list of properties
    • Right-click the selected property and select Toggle Listing

Important Using the Toggle Listing function causes Grindstone to create a new property and delete an old property that are semantically similar. Views will adjust by eliminating any sub filters that referred to the old property and ignore the creation of the new property. This circumstance can cause the actual behavior of a view to cease conforming to the meaning of the view as understood by users.

Time Tracking

The whole point of Grindstone's time tracking is to offload to an app all the labor of keeping meticulous notes on when work starts and stops, without sacrificing accuracy or precision. A user needs only to quickly update Grindstone on their work status when it changes, and Grindstone manages the log by creating time slices as appropriate.

Grindstone features the Stopwatch, which is responsible for giving users a summary of exactly what Grindstone thinks is going on, and quick ways to make changes. To make interactions with the Stopwatch as unobtrusive as possible, Grindstone also features Stopwatch mode. In this mode, the entire Grindstone interface is tucked away except for the Stopwatch, and the Stopwatch floats above other apps so users can always see it and potentially interact with it. Users can work and track their time accurately without ever having to use the full Grindstone interface.

Stopwatch

The Stopwatch appears just below the main menu on the Main Window. It consists of the following interface elements (from left to right):

Grindstone Logo
Animates while Grindstone is timing and displays the Stopwatch drop-down menu when clicked
Timing Display
Displays the time duration indicating progress while timing, as indicated by the user's preference in the Stopwatch drop-down menu's Timing Display Mode
Timed Work Item
Displays the name of the work item currently being timed and allows the user to type the name of a work item to switch timing to
Select Work Item
Displays the current list of work items when clicked, allowing the user to select a work item to switch timing to with the mouse
Stop Timing
Stops timing when clicked
Toggle Interface
Toggles between the full interface and Stopwatch mode

In addition to a few Stopwatch-specific user preferences, the Stopwatch drop-down menu features a collection of handy time tracking accoutrements:

Modify Timed Slice
Starts modifying the current time slice; particularly useful for adding notes to a time slice
Move Timed Slice
Another way to move the current time slice to a different work item (in addition to right-clicking on the Select Work Item button)
Split Timed Slice
Opens the current time slice in the timeframe editor; particular useful for correcting recent minor time tracking mistakes (e.g. when one should have started timing a different work item several minutes ago)
Modify Timed Work Item
Starts modifying the current work item; particularly useful for accessing the notes for the work item and the user's complete date, due date, and estimate

There are several preferences governing the behavior of the Stopwatch and Stopwatch mode. For more information, please see Options.

Away Detection

Grindstone tries to sense when the user has left the computer by a number of different means:

If a work item is being timed when Grindstone senses the user has left, it will stop timing. When the user returns, Grindstone will ask the user what happened for the interim during which they were gone. Once the user answers Grindstone, it will make the appropriate adjustments to their timing data.

There are several preferences governing the behavior of away detection. For more information, please see Options.

Time Slices

Managing Time Slices

If a Time Slices view does not exist, create one by following these steps:

  1. Click the View menu
  2. Select New Time Slices View
  3. Click the OK button

To start creating a new time slice from scratch (without timing):

  1. Click the Grindstone menu on the top of the main window
  2. Select New
  3. Select Time Slice

Alternatively, to start creating a new time slice from scratch from a time slice view, do any of the following:

To start modifying a time slice:

  1. Click an time slice view in the view list
  2. Select the time slice to modify in the selected view
  3. Do any of the following:
    • Click the Modify button (the icon is a pencil) on the top of the list of time slices
    • Right-click on the selected time slice and select Modify
    • Double-click a single time slice to modify
    • Press the enter key

To delete time slices:

  1. Click a time slice view in the view list
  2. Select the time slice to delete in the selected view
  3. Do any of the following:
    • Click the Delete button (the icon is a trash can) on the top of the list of time slices
    • Right-click the selected time slice and select Delete
    • Press the delete key

Time Slice Editor

The window that is shown when creating or modifying time slices is the Time Slice Editor. It has the following fields:

Person
The person for whom the time is logged
Work Item
The work item for which the time is logged
Start
The starting date and time for the time slice
Duration
The amount of time between the time slice's start and end
End
The ending date and time for the time slice
Notes
The notes for the time slice

When modifying a time slice, the person field will be disabled, since time cannot be reassigned between people.

Click the OK button or press the enter key to create or modify the assignment(s). Click the Cancel button or press the escape key to cancel creating or modifying the assignment(s).

Note The enter key short-cut will not work when the Notes field has focus, so that line breaks may be entered. To confirm creating or modifying the property using only the keyboard from within this field, hold down the control key and press the enter key.

Timeframe Editor

The window that is shown when modifying a timeframe is the Timeframe Editor. Modifying timeframes occurs when the user splits a time slice, edits a gap in the gap detector, or responds to the return from away notification by telling Grindstone that their time away has complications.

The left side of this window displays controls for adding new time slices to the timeframe. To add a new time slice to the timeframe:

  1. Select a work item
  2. Select a range of time with the sliders on the bottom
  3. Click the Add Time Slice button

Or:

  1. Select a range of time with the slices on the bottom
  2. Double-click a work item

The right side of the window displays the timeframe as it will be logged, with each time slice represented by:

Use the controls for each time slice to make adjustments as necessary. Grindstone will automatically clip and remove time slices to prevent overlap as adjustments are made.

Click the OK button or press the enter key to log the time as represented by the time slices on the right side of the window. Click the Cancel button or press the escape key to discard any changes to the timeframe.

Moving Time Slices

If time was ever accidentally logged to the wrong work item or needs to be moved for reorganization purposes, follow these steps:

  1. Click a time slice view in the view list
  2. Select the time slices to move
  3. Do any of the following:
    • Click the Move… button (the icon is a clock with an arrow in the corner) on the top of the list of time slices
    • Right-click one of the selected time slices and select Move…
  4. Select the desired work item
  5. Click the OK button (or just double click the work item)

If the currently timed slice needs to be moved, one can also:

Splitting Time Slices

If time was ever logged omitting details or otherwise without the desired precision, follow these steps:

  1. Click a time slice view in the view list
  2. Select the time slices to split
  3. Do any of the following:
    • Click the Split… button (the icon is a clock with an arrow in the corner) on the top of the list of time slices
    • Right-click one of the selected time slices and select Split…
  4. Use the Timeframe Editor as desired to split the time slice

If the currently timed slice needs to be split, one can also click the Grindstone logo in the Stopwatch, select Split Timed Slice, and then complete steps 4 and 5 above.

Finding and Filling Gaps in Time

If time was not logged for a given period and recovery of that time is necessary, follow these steps:

  1. Click the Grindstone menu
  2. Select Gap Detector
  3. Use the controls on the top of this window to choose what periods of time could contain the sought gaps of time
  4. Recover the gaps
    • One or more gaps should be directly assigned to a given work item as time slices:
      1. Select one or more gaps
      2. Click the Assign button (or just double-click the gap if there is only one)
      3. Select the desired work item
      4. Click the OK button (or just double-click the work item)
    • A gap should be split and assigned to multiple work items:
      1. Select the gap
      2. Click the Edit button
      3. Use the Timeframe Editor as desired to specifying the time slices for the gap
      4. Click the OK button

Click the Close button or close the Gap Detector window when satisfied.

Merging Time Slices

If one or more time slices for the same work item and person are logged back to back, it may be desirable to merge them together. To do so:

  1. Click a time slice view in the view list
  2. Select the time slices to merge
  3. Do any of the following:
    • Click the Merge button (the icon is two arrows merging together) on the top of the list of time slices
    • Right-click one of the selected time slices and select Merge

Important The Merge function will not rearrange time slices in any way. It will only merge them, and only if they are for the same work item and person, and are adjoining or overlapping. If there is even one second between two otherwise adjoining time slices, they will not be merged. Use the Gap Detector to resolve these gaps quickly and use Merge again.

Views

Views are Grindstone's most basic way of displaying information and allowing users to interact with data. There is a type of view for each type of data as shown by the chart in the Basics section (with the exception of free form values).

Views provide access to functionality specific to the type of data being viewed. For those details, see:

This section deals with functionality common to all types of views.

Managing Views

The views currently available are displayed on the left side of the main window. Each entry in this list consists of:

To start creating a new view, do one of the following:

Then, select the menu option that corresponds to the type of view desired.

To start modifying a view:

  1. Click a view in the view list
  2. Do any of the following:
    • Click the Modify Active View button (the icon is a pencil) on the top of the view list
    • Right-click one of the selected view and select Modify Selected View
    • Double-click the view to modify

To delete a view:

  1. Click a view in the view list
  2. Do any of the following:
    • Click the Delete Active View button (the icon is a trash can) on the top of the view list
    • Right-click one of the selected work items and select Delete Selected View

View Editor

The window that is shown when creating or modifying views is the View Editor.

It allows the user to specify the name of the view using the Name field.

Views feature two ways to refine the list of entries they display out of all the entries possible: Quick Search (see Quick Search) and Filters (see Filters). Both of these features can be active at once.

If the Notify me when something is added to this view box is checked, Grindstone will do exactly that. This can occur because views continuously monitor all potential entries in order to add them to the view when they are changed to fall within the parameters of Quick Search and/or Filters, and vice-versa: to remove present entries when they are changed to cease falling within the parameters. This option exists because the view is unlikely to have the user's undivided attention when entries are added, which might be important to the user.

Click the OK button or press the enter key to create or modify the view(s). Click the Cancel button or press the escape key to cancel creating or modifying the view(s).

Managing Columns

Views feature many more columns than they show by default when they are created. They can be rearranged by clicking and dragging on their headers. They can sorted by clicking their headers. They can be toggled on or off with the menu shown when clicking on the Show or Hide Columns button (the icon is bars with an eye) above the list of entries, on the right.

Columns

In addition to the aspects of view entries listed below, properties are also available.

Column Description per View Entry Type
Assignments
List Value
Total number of assignments for associated work items
Person
Total number of assignments
Work Item
Total number of assignments
Block Time (Quarter Hours)
Assignment
All time slice Durations for associated work item and person rounded up the nearest quarter of an hour and then summed
List Value
All time slice Durations for associated work items rounded up the nearest quarter of an hour and then summed
Person
All time slice Durations rounded up the nearest quarter of an hour and then summed
Time Slice
Duration rounded up the nearest quarter of an hour
Work Item
All time slice Durations rounded up the nearest quarter of an hour and then summed
Block Time (Tenth Hours)
Assignment
All time slice Durations for associated work item and person rounded up to the nearest tenth of an hour and then summed
List Value
All time slice Durations for associated work items rounded up to the nearest tenth of an hour and then summed
Person
All time slice Durations rounded up to the nearest tenth of an hour and then summed
Time Slice
Duration rounded up to the nearest tenth of an hour
Work Item
All time slice Durations rounded up to the nearest tenth of an hour and then summed
Complete
Assignment
Yes if the assignment has a When Complete value; otherwise, No
Time Slice
Yes if the assignment for the associated work item and person has a When Complete value; otherwise, No
Date
Time Slice
Calendar date for time slice Start
Day of Month
Time Slice
Day of the month for time slice Date
Day of Week
Time Slice
Day of the week for time slice Date
Day of Year
Time Slice
Day of the year for time slice Date
Due
Assignment
Yes if the assignment has a When Due value; otherwise, No
Time Slice
Yes if the assignment for the associated work item and person has a When Due value; otherwise, No
Duration
Assignment
Sum of Duration for all time slices for associated work item and person
List Value
Sum of Duration for all time slices for associated work items
Person
Sum of Duration for all time slices
Time Slice
Amount of time between Start and End
Work Item
Sum of Duration for all time slices
End
Assignment
Latest End for all time slices for associated work item and person
List Value
Latest End for all time slices for associated work items
Person
Latest End for all time slices
Time Slice
End of the time slice
Work Item
Latest End for all time slices
Estimate
Assignment
Estimate of the assignment
List Value
Sum of Estimate for all assignments for associated work items
Person
Sum of Estimate for all assignments
Time Slice
Estimate of the assignment for associated work item and person
Work Item
Sum of Estimate for all assignments
Estimate Ratio
Assignment
Sum of Duration for all time slices for associated work item and person divided by Estimate of the assignment
Time Slice
Estimate Ratio for the assignment for associated work item and person
Estimate Remaining
Assignment
Estimate of the assignment subtracted by sum of Duration for all time slices for associated work item and person
Time Slice
Estimate Remaining for the assignment for associated work item and person
Hours
Assignment
Sum of Hours for all time slices for associated work item and person
List Value
Sum of Hours for all time slices for associated work items
Person
Sum of Hours for all time slices
Time Slice
Number of hours between Start and End
Work Item
Sum of Hours for all time slices
List
Property
Yes if a list property; otherwise, No
Month
Time Slice
Calendar date for the first day of the month immediately prior to time slice Start
Month of Year
Time Slice
Month of the year for time slice Date
Name
List Value
Name of the list value
Person
Name of the person
Property
Name of the property
Work Item
Name of the work item
Notes
Property
Notes of the property
Time Slice
Notes of the time slice
Work Item
Notes of the work item
Overdue
Assignment
Yes if the assignment has no When Complete value and When Due value that has passed; otherwise, No
Time Slice
Yes if the assignment for the associated work item and person has no When Complete value and a When Due value that has passed; otherwise, No
Person
Assignment
Name for associated person
Person
Name for person
Time Slice
Name for associated person
Property
List Value
Name of the list value's property
Property Values
Assignment
Applies subfilters to associated work item property values as text
Time Slice
Applies subfilters to associated work item property values as text
Work Item
Applies subfilters to work item property values as text
Start
Assignment
Earliest Start for all time slices for associated work item and person
List Value
Earliest Start for all time slices for associated work items
Person
Earliest Start for all time slices
Time Slice
Start of the time slice
Work Item
Earliest Start for all time slices
Time Since Complete
Assignment
Amount of time since When Complete
Time Slice
Amount of time since When Complete for assignment for associated work item and person
Time Since End
Assignment
Amount of time since latest End for any time slices for associated work item
List Value
Amount of time since latest End for any time slices for associated work items
Person
Amount of time since latest End for any time slices
Time Slice
Amount of time since End
Work Item
Amount of time since latest End for any time slices
Time Since Last Complete
List Value
Amount of time since most recent When Complete for any assignments for associated work items
Person
Amount of time since most recent When Complete for any assignments
Work Item
Amount of time since most recent When Complete for any assignments
Time Slices
Assignment
Total number of time slices for associated work item and person
List Value
Total number of time slices for associated work items
Person
Total number of time slices
Work Item
Total number of time slices
Time Until Due
Assignment
Amount of time until When Due
Time Slice
Amount of time until When Due for assignment for associated work item and person
Time Until Next Due
List Value
Amount of time until next When Due for any assignments for associated work items
Person
Amount of time until next When Due for any assignments
Work Item
Amount of time until next When Due for any assignments
Week
Time Slice
Calendar date for the first day of the week immediately prior to time slice Start
Week of Month
Time Slice
Week of the month for time slice Date
Week of Year
Time Slice
Week of the year for time slice Date (in accordance with the ISO 8601 Date and Time Format)
When Complete
Assignment
When Complete of the assignment
Time Slice
When Complete for assignment for associated work item and person
When Due
Assignment
When Due of the assignment
Time Slice
When Due for assignment for associated work item and person
When Last Complete
List Value
Most recent When Complete for any assignments for associated work items
Person
Most recent When Complete for any assignments
Work Item
Most recent When Complete for any assignments
When Next Due
List Value
Next When Due for any assignments for associated work items
Person
Next When Due for any assignments
Work Item
Next When Due for any assignments
Work Item
Assignment
Name for associated work item
Time Slice
Name for associated work item
Work Item
Name for work item
Work Items
List Value
Total number of associated work items
Year
Time Slice
Year for time slice Date

Quick Search applies a simple text search to all characteristics of a candidate entry, displaying it only if at least one characteristic contains the text entered by the user.

To apply a quick search to a view:

  1. Click a view in the view list
  2. Click the Quick Search text box on the right, above the list of entries
  3. Enter the phrase for which to search

To apply a quick search from the View Editor:

  1. Click a view in the view list
  2. Do any of the following:
    • Click the Modify Active View button (the icon is a pencil) on the top of the view list
    • Right-click one of the selected view and select Modify Selected View
    • Double-click the view for which to apply a quick search
  3. Click the text box below Quick Search
  4. Enter the phrase for which to search
  5. Click the OK button

While a quick search is active, the Quick Search textbox will have a pulsing background and display an “X” button. Click the "X" button to cancel the quick search.

Filters

A filter applies a user-defined test to a single characteristic of a candidate entry. Entries are displayed only if all filters are satisfied (or if there are no filters). Filters may be managed from the View Editor.

Filters consist of:

Characteristic
An aspect of the candidate entry to be tested
Test
The kind of test to apply
Value (or Values)
The value (or values) to use as the standard of the test
Negate
When toggled on, the filter is satisfied when the test fails instead of when it succeeds
Case Insensitive
When toggled on with text characteristics, all tests ignore upper case vs. lower case

To manage filters:

  1. Click a view in the view list
  2. Do any of the following:
    • Click the Modify Active View button (the icon is a pencil) on the top of the view list
    • Right-click one of the selected view and select Modify Selected View
    • Double-click the view for which to manage filters

To add a new filter, click the Add Filter button (the icon is a funnel). To toggle negation of a filter, click the Negate Filter button (the icon is the outline of a funnel). To toggle case-insensitivity for a filter, click the Case Insensitive Filter (this icon is a funnel with A's). To delete a filter, click the Delete Filter button (the icon is a funnel with an “X”).

The characteristic is the first drop-down box. The test is the second drop-down box. For most tests, the value is the third element in the filter's interface.

For filters testing with Is Element In, the list of elements appears below the characteristic and test. To add a new element, enter or select it using the area just below the list of values and then click the Add Element button (the icon is a funnel with three dots). To delete an element, select it in the list of elements and then click the Delete Selected Elements button (the icon is a funnel with three dots and an “X”).

For filters testing with Apply Subfilters, the list of subfilters appears, indented, below the characteristic and test of the parent filter. To add a new subfilter, click the Add Subfilter button (the icon is two funnels with a plus sign). Subfilters are just like filters, except using property values instead of built in characteristics. Thus, the first drop-down will be the list of properties available. When using the Property Values characteristic in the parent filter, all properties will be available. When using the Property Values (Select) characteristic in the parent filter, only list properties will be available.

Characteristics

Characteristic Description per View Entry Type
Assignment (Select)
Assignment
Direct selection match
Time Slice
Direct selection match of assignment for associated work item and person
Assignments
List Value
Total number of assignments for associated work items
Person
Total number of assignments
Work Item
Total number of assignments
Block Time (Quarter Hours)
Assignment
All time slice Durations for associated work item and person rounded up the nearest quarter of an hour and then summed
List Value
All time slice Durations for associated work items rounded up the nearest quarter of an hour and then summed
Person
All time slice Durations rounded up the nearest quarter of an hour and then summed
Time Slice
Duration rounded up the nearest quarter of an hour
Work Item
All time slice Durations rounded up the nearest quarter of an hour and then summed
Block Time (Tenth Hours)
Assignment
All time slice Durations for associated work item and person rounded up to the nearest tenth of an hour and then summed
List Value
All time slice Durations for associated work items rounded up to the nearest tenth of an hour and then summed
Person
All time slice Durations rounded up to the nearest tenth of an hour and then summed
Time Slice
Duration rounded up to the nearest tenth of an hour
Work Item
All time slice Durations rounded up to the nearest tenth of an hour and then summed
Calendar Days Since Complete
Assignment
Number of calendar days since When Complete
List Value
Minimum number of calendar days since When Complete for any assignments for associated work items
Person
Minimum number of calendar days since When Complete for any assignments
Time Slice
Number of calendar days since When Complete for assignment for associated work item and person
Work Item
Minimum number of calendar days since When Complete for any assignments
Calendar Days Since End
Assignment
Minimum number of calendar days since End for any time slices for associated work item
List Value
Minimum number of calendar days since End for any time slices for associated work items
Person
Minimum number of calendar days since End for any time slices
Time Slice
Number of calendar days since End
Work Item
Minimum number of calendar days since End for any time slices
Calendar Days Until Due
Assignment
Number of calendar days until When Due
List Value
Minimum number of calendar days until When Due for any assignments for associated work items
Person
Minimum number of calendar days until When Due for any assignments
Time Slice
Number of calendar days until When Due for assignment for associated work item and person
Work Item
Minimum number of calendar days until When Due for any assignments
Calendar Months Since Complete
Assignment
Number of calendar months since When Complete
List Value
Minimum number of calendar months since When Complete for any assignments for associated work items
Person
Minimum number of calendar months since When Complete for any assignments
Time Slice
Number of calendar months since When Complete for assignment for associated work item and person
Work Item
Minimum number of calendar months since When Complete for any assignments
Calendar Months Since End
Assignment
Minimum number of calendar months since End for any time slices for associated work item
List Value
Minimum number of calendar months since End for any time slices for associated work items
Person
Minimum number of calendar months since End for any time slices
Time Slice
Number of calendar months since End
Work Item
Minimum number of calendar months since End for any time slices
Calendar Months Until Due
Assignment
Number of calendar months until When Due
List Value
Minimum number of calendar months until When Due for any assignments for associated work items
Person
Minimum number of calendar months until When Due for any assignments
Time Slice
Number of calendar months until When Due for assignment for associated work item and person
Work Item
Minimum number of calendar months until When Due for any assignments
Calendar Weeks Since Complete
Assignment
Number of calendar weeks since When Complete
List Value
Minimum number of calendar weeks since Complete for any assignments for associated work items
Person
Minimum number of calendar weeks since When Complete for any assignments
Time Slice
Number of calendar weeks since When Complete for assignment for associated work item and person
Work Item
Minimum number of calendar weeks since When Complete for any assignments
Calendar Weeks Since End
Assignment
Minimum number of calendar weeks since End for any time slices for associated work item
List Value
Minimum number of calendar weeks since End for any time slices for associated work items
Person
Minimum number of calendar weeks since End for any time slices
Time Slice
Number of calendar weeks since End
Work Item
Minimum number of calendar weeks since End for any time slices
Calendar Weeks Until Due
Assignment
Number of calendar weeks until When Due
List Value
Minimum number of calendar weeks until When Due for any assignments for associated work items
Person
Minimum number of calendar weeks until When Due for any assignments
Time Slice
Number of calendar weeks until When Due for assignment for associated work item and person
Work Item
Minimum number of calendar weeks until When Due for any assignments
Complete
Assignment
Yes if the assignment has a When Complete value; otherwise, No
Time Slice
Yes if the assignment for the associated work item and person has a When Complete value; otherwise, No
Date
Time Slice
Calendar date for time slice Start
Day of Month
Time Slice
Day of the month for time slice Date
Day of Week
Time Slice
Day of the week for time slice Date
Day of Year
Time Slice
Day of the year for time slice Date
Due
Assignment
Yes if the assignment has a When Due value; otherwise, No
Time Slice
Yes if the assignment for the associated work item and person has a When Due value; otherwise, No
Duration
Assignment
Sum of Duration for all time slices for associated work item and person
List Value
Sum of Duration for all time slices for associated work items
Person
Sum of Duration for all time slices
Time Slice
Amount of time between Start and End
Work Item
Sum of Duration for all time slices
End
Assignment
Latest End for all time slices for associated work item and person
List Value
Latest End for all time slices for associated work items
Person
Latest End for all time slices
Time Slice
End of the time slice
Work Item
Latest End for all time slices
Estimate
Assignment
Estimate of the assignment
List Value
Sum of Estimate for all assignments for associated work items
Person
Sum of Estimate for all assignments
Time Slice
Estimate of the assignment for associated work item and person
Work Item
Sum of Estimate for all assignments
Estimate Ratio
Assignment
Sum of Duration for all time slices for associated work item and person divided by Estimate of the assignment
Time Slice
Estimate Ratio for the assignment for associated work item and person
Estimate Remaining
Assignment
Estimate of the assignment subtracted by sum of Duration for all time slices for associated work item and person
Time Slice
Estimate Remaining for the assignment for associated work item and person
Hours
Assignment
Sum of Hours for all time slices for associated work item and person
List Value
Sum of Hours for all time slices for associated work items
Person
Sum of Hours for all time slices
Time Slice
Number of hours between Start and End
Work Item
Sum of Hours for all time slices
List
Property
Yes if a list property; otherwise, No
List Value (Select)
List Value
Direct selection match
Month
Time Slice
Calendar date for the first day of the month immediately prior to time slice Start
Month of Year
Time Slice
Month of the year for time slice Date
Name
List Value
Name of the list value
Person
Name of the person
Property
Name of the property
Work Item
Name of the work item
Notes
Property
Notes of the property
Time Slice
Notes of the time slice
Work Item
Notes of the work item
Overdue
Assignment
Yes if the assignment has no When Complete value and When Due value that has passed; otherwise, No
Time Slice
Yes if the assignment for the associated work item and person has no When Complete value and a When Due value that has passed; otherwise, No
Person
Assignment
Name for associated person
Person
Name for person
Time Slice
Name for associated person
Person (Select)
Assignment
Direct selection match for associated person
Person
Direct selection match
Time Slice
Direct selection match for associated person
Property
List Value
Name of the list value's property
Property (Select)
List Value
Direct selection match of list value's property
Property
Direct selection match
Property Values
Assignment
Applies subfilters to associated work item property values as text
Time Slice
Applies subfilters to associated work item property values as text
Work Item
Applies subfilters to work item property values as text
Property Values (Select)
Assignment
Applies subfilters to associated work item list property values
Time Slice
Applies subfilters to associated work item list property values
Work Item
Applies subfilters to work item list property values
Start
Assignment
Earliest Start for all time slices for associated work item and person
List Value
Earliest Start for all time slices for associated work items
Person
Earliest Start for all time slices
Time Slice
Start of the time slice
Work Item
Earliest Start for all time slices
Time Since Complete
Assignment
Amount of time since When Complete
Time Slice
Amount of time since When Complete for assignment for associated work item and person
Time Since End
Assignment
Amount of time since latest End for any time slices for associated work item
List Value
Amount of time since latest End for any time slices for associated work items
Person
Amount of time since latest End for any time slices
Time Slice
Amount of time since End
Work Item
Amount of time since latest End for any time slices
Time Since Last Complete
List Value
Amount of time since most recent When Complete for any assignments for associated work items
Person
Amount of time since most recent When Complete for any assignments
Work Item
Amount of time since most recent When Complete for any assignments
Time Slice (Select)
Time Slice
Direct selection match
Time Slices
Assignment
Total number of time slices for associated work item and person
List Value
Total number of time slices for associated work items
Person
Total number of time slices
Work Item
Total number of time slices
Time Until Due
Assignment
Amount of time until When Due
Time Slice
Amount of time until When Due for assignment for associated work item and person
Time Until Next Due
List Value
Amount of time until next When Due for any assignments for associated work items
Person
Amount of time until next When Due for any assignments
Work Item
Amount of time until next When Due for any assignments
Week
Time Slice
Calendar date for the first day of the week immediately prior to time slice Start
Week of Month
Time Slice
Week of the month for time slice Date
Week of Year
Time Slice
Week of the year for time slice Date (in accordance with the ISO 8601 Date and Time Format)
When Complete
Assignment
When Complete of the assignment
Time Slice
When Complete for assignment for associated work item and person
When Due
Assignment
When Due of the assignment
Time Slice
When Due for assignment for associated work item and person
When Last Complete
List Value
Most recent When Complete for any assignments for associated work items
Person
Most recent When Complete for any assignments
Work Item
Most recent When Complete for any assignments
When Next Due
List Value
Next When Due for any assignments for associated work items
Person
Next When Due for any assignments
Work Item
Next When Due for any assignments
Work Item
Assignment
Name for associated work item
Time Slice
Name for associated work item
Work Item
Name for work item
Work Item (Select)
Assignment
Direct selection match for associated work item
Time Slice
Direct selection match for associated work item
Work Item
Direct selection match
Work Items
List Value
Total number of associated work items
Year
Time Slice
Year for time slice Date

Tests

Test Description
Equal To (=)
Any
Characteristic must be the same as the value
Less Than (<)
Date
Characteristic must be earlier than the value
Number or Duration
Characteristic must be less than the value
Text
Characteristic must alphabetically precede value
Greater Than (>)
Date
Characteristic must be later than the value
Number or Duration
Characteristic must be greater than the value
Text
Characteristic must alphabetically follow value
Less Than Or Equal To (<=)
Date
Characteristic must be earlier than or the same as the value
Number or Duration
Characteristic must be less than or the same as the value
Text
Characteristic must alphabetically precede or be the same as the value
Greater Than Or Equal To (>=)
Date
Characteristic must be later than or the same as the value
Number or Duration
Characteristic must be greater than or the same as the value
Text
Characteristic must alphabetically follow or be the same as the value
Starts With
Text
Characteristic must start with the value
Ends With
Text
Characteristic must end with the value
Contains
Text
Characteristic must contain the value
Is Contained In
Text
Characteristic must appear within the value
Is Element In
Any
Characteristic must be the same as one of the values
Apply Subfilters
Property Values
All subfilters based on work item property values must be satisfied

Quick View

Several common types of views based on relationships are available to be created and configured quickly using the Quick View feature. To use the feature:

  1. Choose which type of entry is to serve as the basis (e.g. all of the work items associated with a particular list value, or all of the time slices associated with particular people)
  2. Select a view that contains the basis entries in the view list
  3. Select the one or more entries that will serve as the basis
  4. Right-click one of the selected entries
  5. Select Quick View
  6. Select the type of related entries sought

Quick Entry

List Value, Person, and Work Item views enable the Quick View feature, which allows simple text-based creation of new entries. To use this feature:

  1. Choose a List Value, Person, or Work Item view in the view list
  2. Click the Quick Entry button (the icon is a plus sign with a lightning bolt)
  3. Enter the name for a new entry
  4. Press the return or enter key
  5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 as desired

Quick Entry is aware of the filter settings for the selected view, and will automatically set the values of the new entry's characteristics to ensure it will appear within the view. Because of this, Quick Entry might not be able to work if any of the following conditions are true concerning the view:

However, when attempting to use Quick Entry in one of these conditions, an option to alter the condition so that Quick Entry can work will be offered.

Reporting

Exporting Views

The most direct method of extracting data from Grindstone is to export a view. When a view is exported, Grindstone will use the currently displayed columns, sorting, quick search, and filtering.

To export a view to a file:

  1. Select the view to export in the view list
  2. Click the Export… button (the icon is a box with a left-facing arrow)
  3. Choose the location and format of the file to export
  4. Click the Save button

To copy entries from a view to the clipboard:

  1. Select the view from which to copy entries in the view list
  2. Select one or more entries in the view
  3. Do one of the following:
    • Click the Copy button (the icon is two sheets of paper)
    • Right-click one of the selected entries and select Copy
    • Hold down the control key and press the C key

Graph

Graph can be used to produce charts and tables of data that give an overview of data in a view. To use Graph:

  1. Select a view (except for a property view) in the view list
  2. Do one of the following:
    • Click the Graph button (the icon is a group of charts)
    • Click the View menu and select Graph

Graph can also be accessed directly from the view list by right-clicking on a view and selecting Graph.

The Graph window has the following controls along its top:

Aggregate
Drop-down box to select the aspect of the view entries that are being summed to produce data points
Category Delineation
Drop-down box to select the aspect of the view entries that are being used to separate the view entries into groups a way in which they are alike, and thereby determine the number of data points to create
Series Delineation
Drop-down box to select the aspect of the view entries that are being used to separate the view entries a second time, thereby creating an additional dimension of data points to create (only visible when Multi-Series is available and toggled on)
Palette
Drop-down box to select the color palette to use when drawing a chart
Chart Type
Drop-down box to select the type of chart to create (or to create a Table)
Multi-Series
Toggle button available to all chart types except pie and doughnut, as well as tables
Stacked
Toggle button that determines whether data points in the same category are stacked visually on top of each other
Presets
Drop-down box to select a previously created preset for the view entry type
Add/Update Preset
Button to add a new preset or update a preset (the icon is a plus sign)
Delete Preset
Button to delete a preset (the icon is a trash can)
Generate Graph
Button to use the current settings to produce the desired chart or table
Copy
Button to copy the currently visible chart or table to the clipboard (the icon is two sheets of paper)
Export
Button to save the currently visible chart or table to a file (the icon is a box with a left-facing arrow)

Aggregates

Aggregate Description per View Entry Type
Assignments
List Value
Total number of assignments for associated work items
Person
Total number of assignments
Work Item
Total number of assignments
Block Time (Quarter Hours)
Assignment
All time slice Durations for associated work item and person rounded up the nearest quarter of an hour and then summed
List Value
All time slice Durations for associated work items rounded up the nearest quarter of an hour and then summed
Person
All time slice Durations rounded up the nearest quarter of an hour and then summed
Time Slice
Duration rounded up the nearest quarter of an hour
Work Item
All time slice Durations rounded up the nearest quarter of an hour and then summed
Block Time (Tenth Hours)
Assignment
All time slice Durations for associated work item and person rounded up to the nearest tenth of an hour and then summed
List Value
All time slice Durations for associated work items rounded up to the nearest tenth of an hour and then summed
Person
All time slice Durations rounded up to the nearest tenth of an hour and then summed
Time Slice
Duration rounded up to the nearest tenth of an hour
Work Item
All time slice Durations rounded up to the nearest tenth of an hour and then summed
Duration
Assignment
Sum of Duration for all time slices for associated work item and person
List Value
Sum of Duration for all time slices for associated work items
Person
Sum of Duration for all time slices
Time Slice
Amount of time between Start and End
Work Item
Sum of Duration for all time slices
Estimate
Assignment
Estimate of the assignment
List Value
Sum of Estimate for all assignments for associated work items
Person
Sum of Estimate for all assignments
Work Item
Sum of Estimate for all assignments
Hours
Assignment
Sum of Hours for all time slices for associated work item and person rounded to ten-thousandths
List Value
Sum of Hours for all time slices for associated work items rounded to ten-thousandths
Person
Sum of Hours for all time slices rounded to ten-thousandths
Time Slice
Number of hours between Start and End rounded to ten-thousandths
Work Item
Sum of Hours for all time slices rounded to ten-thousandths
Hours (Round Down to Quarters)
Assignment
Sum of Hours for all time slices for associated work item and person rounded down to the nearest quarter of an hour
List Value
Sum of Hours for all time slices for associated work items rounded down to the nearest quarter of an hour
Person
Sum of Hours for all time slices rounded down to the nearest quarter of an hour
Time Slice
Number of hours between Start and End rounded down to the nearest quarter of an hour
Work Item
Sum of Hours for all time slices rounded down to the nearest quarter of an hour
Hours (Round Down to Tenths)
Assignment
Sum of Hours for all time slices for associated work item and person rounded down to the nearest tenth of an hour
List Value
Sum of Hours for all time slices for associated work items rounded down to the nearest tenth of an hour
Person
Sum of Hours for all time slices rounded down to the nearest tenth of an hour
Time Slice
Number of hours between Start and End rounded down to the nearest tenth of an hour
Work Item
Sum of Hours for all time slices rounded down to the nearest tenth of an hour
Hours (Round to Quarters)
Assignment
Sum of Hours for all time slices for associated work item and person rounded to the nearest quarter of an hour
List Value
Sum of Hours for all time slices for associated work items rounded to the nearest quarter of an hour
Person
Sum of Hours for all time slices rounded to the nearest quarter of an hour
Time Slice
Number of hours between Start and End rounded to the nearest quarter of an hour
Work Item
Sum of Hours for all time slices rounded to the nearest quarter of an hour
Hours (Round to Tenths)
Assignment
Sum of Hours for all time slices for associated work item and person rounded to the nearest tenth of an hour
List Value
Sum of Hours for all time slices for associated work items rounded to the nearest tenth of an hour
Person
Sum of Hours for all time slices rounded to the nearest tenth of an hour
Time Slice
Number of hours between Start and End rounded to the nearest tenth of an hour
Work Item
Sum of Hours for all time slices rounded to the nearest tenth of an hour
Hours (Round Up to Quarters)
Assignment
Sum of Hours for all time slices for associated work item and person rounded up to the nearest quarter of an hour
List Value
Sum of Hours for all time slices for associated work items rounded up to the nearest quarter of an hour
Person
Sum of Hours for all time slices rounded up to the nearest quarter of an hour
Time Slice
Number of hours between Start and End rounded up to the nearest quarter of an hour
Work Item
Sum of Hours for all time slices rounded up to the nearest quarter of an hour
Hours (Round Up to Tenths)
Assignment
Sum of Hours for all time slices for associated work item and person rounded up to the nearest tenth of an hour
List Value
Sum of Hours for all time slices for associated work items rounded up to the nearest tenth of an hour
Person
Sum of Hours for all time slices rounded up to the nearest tenth of an hour
Time Slice
Number of hours between Start and End rounded up to the nearest tenth of an hour
Work Item
Sum of Hours for all time slices rounded up to the nearest tenth of an hour
Time Slices
Assignment
Total number of time slices for associated work item and person
List Value
Total number of time slices for associated work items
Person
Total number of time slices
Work Item
Total number of time slices
Work Items
List Value
Total number of associated work items

Delineations

In addition to the aspects of view entries listed below, properties are also available.

Delineation Description per View Entry Type
Complete
Assignment
Yes if the assignment has a When Complete value; otherwise, No
Time Slice
Yes if the assignment for the associated work item and person has a When Complete value; otherwise, No
Date
Time Slice
Calendar date for time slice Start
Day of Month
Time Slice
Day of the month for time slice Date
Day of Week
Time Slice
Day of the week for time slice Date
Day of Year
Time Slice
Day of the year for time slice Date
Due
Assignment
Yes if the assignment has a When Due value; otherwise, No
Time Slice
Yes if the assignment for the associated work item and person has a When Due value; otherwise, No
Month
Time Slice
Calendar date for the first day of the month immediately prior to time slice Start
Month of Year
Time Slice
Month of the year for time slice Date
Overdue
Assignment
Yes if the assignment has no When Complete value and When Due value that has passed; otherwise, No
Time Slice
Yes if the assignment for the associated work item and person has no When Complete value and a When Due value that has passed; otherwise, No
Person
Assignment
Name for associated person
Person
Name for person
Time Slice
Name for associated person
Property
List Value
Name of the list value's property
Week
Time Slice
Calendar date for the first day of the week immediately prior to time slice Start
Week of Month
Time Slice
Week of the month for time slice Date
Week of Year
Time Slice
Week of the year for time slice Date (in accordance with the ISO 8601 Date and Time Format)
Work Item
Assignment
Name for associated work item
Time Slice
Name for associated work item
Work Item
Name for work item
Year
Time Slice
Year for time slice Date

Grindstone Sync

Grindstone Sync is a service that allows teams of Grindstone users to track their time together.

Connecting to Grindstone Sync

To connect to a Grindstone Sync Cloud Subscription, follow these steps:

  1. Click the Grindstone menu
  2. Select Change Database…
  3. Click Create a new database
  4. Click I'm working with a group of folks that collaborate using Grindstone Sync
  5. Click Grindstone Sync Cloud
  6. Enter a Grindstone Sync login
  7. Enter a personal login
  8. Enter a personal password
  9. Choose whether to encrypt the database (and enter the encryption password twice if encrypting)
  10. Click the Click Here to Confirm All of the Above

To connect to a Grindstone Sync Server, follow these steps:

  1. Click the Grindstone menu
  2. Select Change Database…
  3. Click Create a new database
  4. Click I'm working with a group of folks that collaborate using Grindstone Sync
  5. Click Grindstone Sync Server
  6. Enter a Host
  7. If instructed to do so, change the default settings for Port and Use SSL
  8. Enter a personal login
  9. Enter a personal password
  10. Choose whether to encrypt the database (and enter the encryption password twice if encrypting)
  11. Click the Click Here to Confirm All of the Above

Once a database is paired with Grindstone Sync, the personal password will no longer be required. To see a list of the databases paired with Grindstone Sync (and perhaps revoke their access), see Managing Paired Clients. To ensure that a password is required anyway each time that particular database is opened, use the Encryption feature.

Offline Mode

When Grindstone is unable to connect to Grindstone Sync, it will still open and allow normal usage. During this time, it will attempt to reconnect to Grindstone Sync. Once it reconnects successfully, all changes made by the user while offline will be attempted. Any that fail due to conflicts will be reversed.

Security

Setting Own Password

All users can change their own password. To do that, follow these steps with the relevant database open:

  1. Click the Grindstone menu
  2. Select Grindstone Sync
  3. Select Set Your Own Password
  4. Enter the Old Password
  5. Enter the New Password
  6. Type the new password again for Confirm Password
  7. Click the OK button

Managing Paired Clients

To see the list of databases paired with Grindstone Sync:

  1. Click the Grindstone menu
  2. Select Grindstone Sync
  3. Select Manage Your Paired Clients

To revoke access to a database, follow these steps:

  1. Select the database for which to revoke access to Grindstone Sync
  2. Click the delete button (the icon is a trash can)

Supervision

Normal users of Grindstone Sync can only see their own assignments and time slices. Administrative users can see all assignments and time slices. In between these two roles, Grindstone Sync allows for supervisors.

Supervisors can perform administrative actions (see and manage the assignments and time slices of other people), but only for specific people as specified by an administrator. Supervision can also be implicit: supervisors can perform administrative actions for people supervised by those they supervise, with as many levels of supervision as may be desired.

For more information on setting up supervisors, see Person Security.

Administration

All of the features listed in this section are only available to administrators.

Getting Grindstone Sync

Grindstone Sync comes in two varieties to choose from:

Grindstone Sync Cloud Grindstone Sync Server
Hosting By Epiforge using the Microsoft Azure Cloud By customer
Pricing $5 per user per month $5 per user per month
Billing Monthly, in arrears Annually, up front
Number of teams 1 per subscription 1 per server
Grindstone 4 live synchronization
Graph API
Encrypted connection (optional; customer provides SSL certificate)
Quick setup
On-premises data

To create a Grindstone Sync Cloud Subscription, click here. To purchase a Grindstone Sync Server, click here.

Security

Change the Grindstone Sync security settings by following these steps:

  1. Click the Grindstone menu
  2. Select Grindstone Sync
  3. Select Security

Managing People

If a People view does not exist, create one by following these steps:

  1. Click the View menu
  2. Select New People View
  3. Click the OK button

To start creating a new person:

  1. Click the Grindstone menu on the top of the main window
  2. Select New
  3. Select Person

Alternatively, to start creating a person from a people view, do any of the following:

To start modifying a person:

  1. Click a people view in the view list
  2. Select the person to modify in the selected view
  3. Do any of the following:
    • Click the Modify button (the icon is a pencil) on the top of the list of people
    • Right-click the selected person and select Modify
    • Double-click a person to modify
    • Press the enter key

To edit a person's security settings:

  1. Click a people view in the view list
  2. Select the person for whom to edit security settings in the selected view
  3. Do either of the following:
    • Click the Edit Security Settings button (the icon is a person and a lock) on the top of the list of people
    • Right-click the selected person and select Edit Security Settings

To delete people:

  1. Click a people view in the view list
  2. Select the people to delete in the selected view
  3. Do any of the following:
    • Click the Delete button (the icon is a trash can) on the top of the list of people
    • Right-click one of the selected people and select Delete
    • Press the delete key

Person Editor

The window that is shown when creating or modifying people is the Person Editor. It has the following fields:

Name
The name of the person

Click the OK button or press the enter key to create or modify the person. Click the Cancel button or press the escape key to cancel creating or modifying the person.

Important Newly created people cannot connect to Grindstone Sync until their login and password have been set by editing their security settings.

Integrating New People

Grindstone features a way to quickly integrate people that have been using Grindstone independently into a team that already exists. It can also be used by an administrator to initialize a team using information from a database that was originally used independently. To access this feature:

  1. Click the Grindstone menu
  2. Select Grindstone Sync
  3. Select Integrate New Person

If a new person is being integrated into the team, double-check the name that was retrieved from the database to ensure it is correct, modifying as necessary. If using one's own independent database is being used to initialize the team, check the I am integrating my own data from a previous database box.

Grindstone will attempt to re-use existing team properties and work items rather than create new ones for data from the database. Review the Match Properties and Match Work Items entries. If an existing entry has already been matched, but is incorrect, click Clear. If an existing entry has not been matched, but an appropriate one does exist, click Select and select the appropriate entry.

Once satisfied, click the OK button.

Managing API Keys

Grindstone Sync offers a complete Graph API for third party apps and services to interact with Grindstone Sync data. The documentation for this feature is available here. However, access must be granted to third-party services to access the Grindstone Sync data via API keys.

To manage the API keys:

  1. Click the Grindstone menu
  2. Select Grindstone Sync
  3. Select Manage API Keys

Each API key has an associated name, for the benefit of human beings that need to know which keys are being used by which third-party apps and services. The key itself is randomly generated and cannot be altered.

Databases

Grindstone saves all user project management and time tracking data in database files. To create new a database or open another database:

  1. Click the Grindstone menu
  2. Select Change Database

Encryption

Encrypted databases are saved in a manner that prevents anyone without the encryption password to open the database. Even Epiforge Support cannot “get around” this encryption, so be careful with encryption passwords.

To add or remove an encryption password from a database, follow these steps:

  1. Click the Grindstone menu
  2. Select Change Database Security

Options

To access the options Grindstone provides:

  1. Click the Grindstone menu
  2. Select Options

Appearance

When the Get color and mode from my Windows Personalization Settings box is checked, the behavior is different based on the version of Windows:

Version Hue Saturation Light/Dark
Windows 7 Same as Aero Glass Same as Aero Glass Light
Windows 8.1 Same as Window Color Same as Window Color Light
Windows 10, prior to Anniversary Update Same as User Accent Color Same as User Accent Color Light
Windows 10, from Anniversary Update onward Same as User Accent Color Same as User Accent Color Same as default app mode Personalization setting

For Grindstone 2, Grindstone 3, and Task Force Users

Welcome back! A number of things have changed in Grindstone. But don't worry, we'll get you up to speed in no time.

Teamwork

Grindstone 4 does not synchronize with Task Force. Instead, it synchronizes with a new product called Grindstone Sync. If you are accustomed to using Task Force, here are the things you need to know:

Names of Data

Some of the common kinds of data in Grindstone have new names.

Grindstone 2, Grindstone 3, and Task Force Grindstone 4
Custom Field Property
Task Work Item
Time Segment Time Slice
User Person

Exit Tasks and Time Panes; Enter Views

Views have a much larger role in Grindstone 4 than in previous versions. They are now Grindstone's most basic way of displaying information and allowing users to interact with data. With such importance, they now occupy the vast majority of the screen real estate:

Main Window

There is a type of view for each type of data. For more details, see Views.

The Stopwatch and the Task List Have Joined Forces

You may have noticed in the screenshot above that the Stopwatch is now a part of the main Grindstone window. Please also take note of the Toggle UI Mode button, which causes the Grindstone window to hide everything but the Stopwatch, giving you the familiar Stopwatch interactions to which you're accustomed. Grindstone will also automatically enter Stopwatch mode if it loses focus for 15 seconds, by default.

Migrating Your Old Data

From Grindstone 2 or Grindstone 3

Grindstone 4 can convert databases from Grindstone 2 and Grindstone 3. To convert your Grindstone 2 or Grindstone 3 database:

  1. Click the Grindstone menu
  2. Select Change Database
  3. Click Create a new database (and choose your preferred location to save it, if desired)
  4. Click It's just me
  5. Choose whether to encrypt your new Grindstone 4 database with a password
  6. Click Yes, from Grindstone 2 or Yes, from Grindstone 3
  7. Click the Browse button in the bottom right and select your old database
  8. Click Click Here to Confirm All of the Above

From Task Force

Task Force customers upgrading to Grindstone Sync have an easy migration path via a tool created just for this purpose. Once you get Grindstone Sync and connect to it as an administrator, use the migration tool to copy the data from your Task Force subscription or private server:

  1. Click the Grindstone menu
  2. Select Grindstone Sync
  3. Select Migrate from Task Force

List Properties and List Values

Grindstone 4 supports free form properties (formerly called custom fields) just like previous versions of Grindstone. However, we have also introduced list properties, which allow you to specify a list of values that the property can have. So, if you have a property to denote the client or the project, you can now manually manage the list clients or projects, respectively.

If you're using a database which you've converted from Grindstone 2 or Grindstone 3, or migrated a Task Force subscription, then your custom fields became free form properties to match the behavior of the previous version. To change them to list properties, use the Toggle Listing function.

For more detailed information, see Properties.

Reporting Features

All reporting features from previous versions have been replaced by Graph or Exporting Views in Grindstone 4.

Breakdown and Timesheet

We have included some presets for Graph that mimic Breakdown and Timesheet from previous versions of Grindstone. To access the Graph presets:

  1. Select a time slice view in the view list
  2. Click the View menu, and then select Graph
  3. Click the last drop-down box on the top of the window, reading left-to-right

Selecting one of these familiar presets will configure Graph to represent data as the former reports did.

Grid

To produce a report similar to Grid from Grindstone 3:

  1. Select a time slice view in the view list
  2. Click the View menu, and then select Graph
  3. Click the second-to-last drop-down box on the top of the window, reading left-to-right, and select Table
  4. Click the Multi-Series button that appears to the right side of the drop-down box from the previous step
  5. Use the first three drop-down boxes to adjust what the table will display

Summary

There is not an exact equivalent to the Summary report in previous versions. However, you can export the contents of any view, which is what Summary was for. To export the contents of a view, click the Export… button (second-to-last, beneath the view's name).

Note Export uses the columns of the view as toggled on and arranged. Re-arrange them by dragging and dropping them into position. Toggle them on or off by clicking the Show or Hide Columns button, found beneath Quick Search.

Note Export obeys the filters and quick search of the view. Use these tools as necessary to refine the scope of your export.

Reference

System Requirements

Supported Operating Systems

Minimum System Memory

Required
2 GB
Recommended
8 GB

Minimum Available Storage

Required
20 MB
Recommended
50 MB

Automatic Update

The desktop edition of Grindstone (as opposed to the edition available in the Windows Store) periodically checks for new versions made available by Epiforge. When a new version is available, Grindstone will download it automatically and ask to install it. If the notification is ignored or dismissed, Grindstone will perform the update the next time it starts.