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StephenUK 01-27-2008 04:12 PM

Journal with quasi categories
I would be interested to know what approach others would adopt.

I am creating a journal, in fact broken down into months.

For each month there will be three categories of entry. Flights. Other expenses. And notes.

I would like to be able to apply a filter so as to see the entries for each category alone, in a given month.

I want to enter the items in chronogical order in a single list for each month and would therefore prefer not to have three sub-headings for each month.

It is, of course, possible, to set up three parallel separate Journals for each type of entry and to logically link each entry to the master journal, but that is a bit hard work because each entry must then be appropriately linked manually. (I assume it can't be automated).

Alternatively, I can, by way of template facility, create three different types of text note each with a different icon. Presumably I can then have a different tag attibute for each of the three icons, creating each entry using the appropriate icon. I can then presumably search for the chosen attibute (ie effectively searching for all entries with similar incons).

Is this latter approach feasible and commendable, or is there a more obvious way to do things?

ashwken 01-27-2008 10:57 PM

Re: Journal with quasi categories

Originally posted by StephenUK
I would be interested to know what approach others would adopt.

I am creating a journal, in fact broken down into months.

For each month there will be three categories of entry. Flights. Other expenses. And notes.

I would like to be able to apply a filter so as to see the entries for each category alone, in a given month.

I want to enter the items in chronogical order in a single list for each month and would therefore prefer not to have three sub-headings for each month.

For each "item type" (catagory) - Flight, Expense, Notes - will the same data (attributes) be tracked for all Items of the same category?

For example a Filght Item might track Depature and Arrival data, ticket cost, club miles...

If this is true, then it lends itself to a Template and a user-defined Form.

Searching on (Item) is (Template Name) gives a starting point.

Additional consideration: the Flight Item also lends itself to being an Appointment or Task, either of these default Templates should be considered as a starting point. If syncing with Outlook is required, then I don't think you can modify the Form.

If syncing with Outlook is not required, then the (Begin/End) Time, (Begin/End) Date, Reminder, and Recurring attributes can be used on a user-defined Form to create Reminders for the Item.

Assuming a structure of:

Journal\Year\Month\Item (Flight, Expense, Note)

If you go the Template and Form route it's diffcult to set the Default Template value for the Month Item, a work-around would be Month Template and populate it with one each of the Items (Flight, Expense, Note) and use these as the basis for new Items within the Folder (using Copy). 'Course as your entries grow these "dummy" Items may scroll out of view in the Data Explorer.

You might consider setting Tools | Options | Misc - Insert Time/Date As: Custom

%Y-%m-%d - %H:%M:%S - [begin user text]
or some variation, then Alt-Z when naming a new Item. Inlcuding (Item Title) as the first Attribute of a Form is helpful.

Just some toughts of the top of my head.

This is an interesting project.

ashwken 01-27-2008 11:38 PM

Something Else Just Occured to Me
An alternate path would be to create a single Form that contains the required Attributes to create a Reminder, and all the other fields that are unique for each Category (Flight, Expense, Note) - use the same Template for all Items. Some fields will not be used, depending on the Category that the Item will become.

This will allow the assignment of this single Template as the Default Child for Month.

You'll need some method of assigning a Category value or differientiation among the Items.

You could create an Attribute for Cat_Value and restrict the choices to (Flight, Expense, Note), or assign a specific icon to each Item - means running the Item Attribute Pane (Ctrl-4), the Icon Attribute can not be placed on a Form. Either way it requires user interaction to define the Item's category.

EDIT: I'd probably go the separate Template for each Category (Flight, Expense, Note), keeps things more focused.

StephenUK 01-28-2008 11:56 AM

Ashwken, thank you for that. I've just flown out to Slovakia from the UK on business, but will play around with your very helpful suggestions when I get back to the UK and UR! It is extremely kind of you to answer so fully. Stephen

ashwken 01-28-2008 02:02 PM


These suggestions will require a bit more detail to "flesh out", if the overview is not enough come back and talk some more. I'd be interested in how this developes.

Some of the methods we are having to employ under v.3x may be changing in v.4 - Item Title derived from Attributes would have an impact on many design decesions. As would improved attribute mapping to Outlook, and improvements to the Calendar may also have an impact on design considerations.

Safe Traveling.

ashwken 02-01-2008 02:16 AM

Travel Journal Example-1
1 Attachment(s)

Here's some details that flesh-out these ideas, I need to split the over two postings.

screen - TravJur - 01
_UR Folders contains the default Folders created from File | New
_UR Icons contains some relavent imported icons

See these related threads:

The Attributes Pane shows the user-defined Attributes (Category = Travel). All of these attributes are String except for Ticket Cost which is money. For the String attributes Keywords and Auto-complete properties are selected (default).

Many of these user-defined Attributes are re-used on more than one Template, for example, Client and Job Ref are used on all four Templates - this could be seen as evidence that these attributes should actually move off the Form and become Folders (Grouping Header).

On the other hand, if you are tracking chronological activity it is possible that Items within a chronological stream could be assigned to more than one client (and you could have more than one Job Ref for the same Client within the chrono stream).

The attributes Vendor, Ticket Ref, and Ticket Cost appear on both the Flight and Expense Template - just seemed to make sense (Source of Cost, Reference of Cost, Cost Amount).

There are four user-defined Templates, all based on the Text Template:

0 - Month-Trip-Leg
1 - Flight
2 - Expense
3 - Note

These Templates names have been prefixed with numbers to take advantage of Menu Mnemonics.

See this related thread (Menu Numonics):

It should be noted that the Default Child Template value for each of these user-defined Templates is the respective Template itself. This allows the user to select any existing Item in the chrono stream, then press Insert to create a new child Item of the same type. After data entry is complete, Ctrl-Shift-Left Arrow will move the Item into the chrono stream.

Additionally, you could use Alt-Z instead of Insert to create new child, then the Item Title for the new Item will take on any Custom Date/Time formatting you might have set in Options | Misc.

See this related thread (Alt-Z Behavior):

Flight, Expense, and Note Templates all contain the necessary attributes to create a Reminder.

screen - TravJur - 02
This screen simply lists the user-defined Forms that were created.

ashwken 02-01-2008 02:32 AM

Travel Journal Example-2
1 Attachment(s)
screen - TravJur - 03
0 - Month-Trip-Leg Template

StephenUK's original request was for a chronological stream of Items under a Month parent (Grouping Header), but this sample structure also lends itself to grouping by Trip (a Trip can have many Legs - sub-groupings) and a Trip can encompass work for more than one Client and/or more than one Job for a Client.

Another consideration is that this parent Item (Grouping Header) could be based on the Task Template, just depends on how you look at things and what your needs are.

I've placed copies of Flight, Expense, Note Templates as children of the Month Template, this may or may not be useful. Although it does provide a starting point for a new Month group, these children are still just copies of the original Templates.

If you want to set some default values for these children, for example a default Client and/or Job Ref (a Trip for a single Client and Job), then these values will need to be set in the original Templates (which could then be copied anew to the Month Template - delete the existing children).

Default Template values can be changed as your needs change, so placing these Templates as children for the Month Template may or may not be of any benefit. Also, new Items created will be derived from the original Templates.

screen - TravJur - 04
01 - Flight Template

To build a chronological stream you'll need to consistently use Alt-Z to name (or create) your Items, this could get a little confusing because for a Flight Item the Alt-Z date is going to refer to the Date that the Item was created, not the Depature Date of the Flight. You'll probably need to include some decriptive text after the Date/Time that is meaningful, or Name the Item using the same format as your Alt-Z value.

EDIT: You could Alt-Z to create, then edit the Date portion of the Item Title to push the Item into the future.

%Y-%m-%d - %H:%M:%S - Text
Also see Options | Trees - Alpha sort when adding child.

These are just some fields that seemed to make sense, there may be other data that you wish to track for a mode of Transportation instance.

screen - TravJur - 05
2 - Expenses Template

This Template is essentially the same as the Flight Template except that it does not contain the City_Depart and City_Arrive fields.

screen - TravJur - 06
3 - Note Template

This Template is the same as Expense except that I've dropped the Ticket Ref and Ticket Cost attributes.

screen - TravJur - 07
This screen shows some useage examples. Also, moved the Contacts Folder out of the _UR Folder holding area.

screen - TravJur - 08
Shows an example Search (Search Pane Ctrl-0). Also the searches in Events and Popular may hold elements of required user-defined searches.

Anyway, this is my take on the situation, a place to start.

ashwken 02-01-2008 03:48 AM

Travel Journal-3
Something just occured to me...

You could create a new Form, 4 - Data-Img, based on Month, add fields as desired.

Assign this Form to the UR default Document Template - gives you a header over the viewer area.

Incoming documents (copy/link) could have default attribute values set in the Document Template if these values were going to the remain the same for a period of time.

And/Or the new Form could be assigned to a copy of the Document Template and use as needed.

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