Microsoft Projects Without Dates?

Microsoft Projects Without Dates

I really enjoy that preceding cartoon! Have you ever needed to create a project in which the tasks are not tied to specific start dates and finish dates? One of the questions that comes up occasionally in the Microsoft Project user group on the internet is how to create a projects without dates! Amazingly enough, that functionality is built into Microsoft Project, but good luck finding it. In this blog post, I will teach you how to create a project that isn’t tied to specific dates. If you’d prefer to watch the YouTube video, click here or on the thumbnail below.

projects without dates

Projects Without Dates: Step 1: Set a Start Date for the Project

The first thing you need to do is to set a start date for the project.

  1. Click the Project tab to display the project ribbon and then click the Project Information button in the upper right corner of the project information dialog.
  2. Pick a start date for the project. For example, if it’s projected that the official start date will be somewhere between January and June of 2024, pick a ballpark start date of March 4th. When you click the OK button, Microsoft Project updates all of the dates in the start and finish columns and updates the time scale bar as well.

Remove the Dates in the Start and Finish Columns:

  1. Right-click on the Select All button (the blank button immediately above the row 0 ID number), and on the shortcut menu, choose the More Tables item in the More Tables dialog. Leave the Entry table selected, but then click the Edit button in the Table Definition dialog.
  2. Click the Date Format pick list button. This is the date format that will be applied specifically to the Entry table. It will not affect any other tables at all.
  3. Down near the bottom, there is an unusual date formatting code called W4/4. Select that date format, click the OK button, and then click the Apply button.

Microsoft Project replaces all of the start and finish dates with this unusual code. For example, notice that for the first detailed task, Interview and Select Architect, the code is W10/2 for the start date and W10/4 for the finish date. W10 means week number 10 from the week containing January 1st. The /2 indicates the day of the week measured from Sunday as day number one. So, this task starts on Monday, which would be day number two. The finish date is W10/4, which means the fourth day of the week starting from Sunday.

Remove the Dates from the Time Scale Bar:

  1. Double-click anywhere in the time scale bar.
  2. Click the Label pick list button and go clear down to the bottom.
  3. Choose the item called Week 1, Week 2 from Start. When you choose that and click the OK button.

Microsoft Project now displays the date formatting as the week number from the start date of the project. The first week of the project is obviously week number one, the second week is week number two, and so forth. Now in this project, you don’t see any dates in the Gantt chart view. It’s an acceptable view to the client. This is how to address the unusual problem that some people face with Microsoft Project. Now you know how to create a project that isn’t tied to specific dates. If you found this guide helpful, please subscribe to my YouTube channel and give the videos a like. If you’ve got questions or comments, feel free to leave them below. Happy project managing! See you in my next article!

About the Author: Dale Howard

Hello there, esteemed Microsoft Project enthusiasts! It is with great pleasure that I introduce myself as Dale Howard Microsoft Project MVP, a seasoned veteran in the world of Microsoft Project. With a remarkable track record of being awarded the prestigious Microsoft Project MVP (Most Valuable Professional) title for an incredible 20 years in a row, I am humbled to share that I currently hold the distinguished position of being one of only 11 Project MVPs across the entire globe. To say that this achievement is exciting would be an understatement. It is a testament to my unwavering dedication, passion, and expertise in the Microsoft Project domain.

Why Should You Learn from Dale Howard Microsoft Project MVP?

Throughout my illustrious career, I have relentlessly pursued excellence, striving to be at the forefront of technological advancements and best practices in project management. Being a Microsoft Project MVP has endowed me with a wealth of knowledge and experience that I eagerly share with other users of this remarkable software. It has been my privilege to assist countless individuals and organizations in harnessing the full potential of Microsoft Project to effectively plan, execute, and monitor their projects. Through my extensive involvement in the Microsoft Project community, I have built a strong network of like-minded professionals, and together, we continuously strive to innovate and push the boundaries of project management excellence. As an MVP, I not only possess an in-depth understanding of Microsoft Project but also have access to exclusive resources, early product previews, and direct communication channels with the Microsoft Project development team. This unique advantage allows me to stay ahead of the curve, ensuring that I can provide the most up-to-date and relevant guidance to fellow Microsoft Project lovers.

Whether you are a seasoned project manager seeking to enhance your skills or a novice navigating the intricacies of project planning, I am here to assist you every step of the way. Through my articles, webinars, and training sessions, I aim to empower individuals and organizations to unlock the true potential of Microsoft Project, enabling them to achieve their project goals efficiently and effectively. Join me on this exhilarating journey as we delve into the realm of Microsoft Project, exploring its vast capabilities, uncovering hidden gems, and conquering the challenges that lie ahead. Together, we can transform the way projects are managed, revolutionizing the world of project management, one keystroke at a time. So, buckle up and prepare yourself for an unforgettable adventure in the fascinating universe of Microsoft Project.

Ask Questions on the Forums or Contact Me Directly

If you post a question about any of Microsoft’s PPM tools on the public message boards, look to see who the moderator or person that has answered the questions and you see, it’s frequently me answering your questions. Some people like to golf, I love Microsoft Project helping the community get to understand Microsoft Project much better.

Books I’ve Written on Amazon

I’ve been teaching students at all levels for over 20 years and have taught thousands of users around the world. I’ve written and co-authored 23 books on Microsoft Project, Project Online, and Project Server so if you’re like me and like to read over watching a video, you can Check Out My Books on Amazon.

Check Out My YouTube Channel

For the people that like to watch videos, check out my YouTube channel. If you post a question in the comments, I’ll be happy to answer questions or create a new video to answer your question. 

See Other Questions I Answer on the Message Boards

If you’ve got a question about Microsoft Project, Project Online or Project Server, check out some of these community post areas.
Microsoft Tech Community
Reddit Project Online Community
LinkedIn Project and Planner Group

Here’s some other blogs and message boards that I answer questions on:

Dale Howard Microsoft Project MVP

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What is Microsoft Project Dynamic Scheduling?

Microsoft Project Dynamic Scheduling is a feature within Microsoft Project that allows you to create flexible project plans, update schedules based on changing circumstances, and optimize resource allocation.

How can Microsoft Project Dynamic Scheduling benefit my project management?

Microsoft Project Dynamic Scheduling can benefit your project management by enabling efficient planning, increased productivity, and the ability to adapt to changes, allowing your projects to thrive.

What role does dynamic scheduling play in effective project management?

Dynamic scheduling plays a crucial role in effective project management by helping you stay on track, manage resources efficiently, and meet project goals.

What features does Microsoft Project offer for dynamic scheduling?

Microsoft Project offers various features and functions for dynamic scheduling, allowing you to create flexible project plans, update schedules in real-time, and optimize resource allocation.

How does dynamic scheduling optimize resource allocation?

Dynamic scheduling in Microsoft Project optimizes resource allocation by providing a flexible project schedule that can adapt to changes in resource availability, ensuring efficient utilization and maximizing productivity.

How does dynamic scheduling streamline project execution?

Dynamic scheduling streamlines project execution by providing a real-time, updated project schedule that enables effective communication, task prioritization, and timely decision-making throughout the project lifecycle.

How does dynamic scheduling enhance collaboration within Microsoft Project?

Dynamic scheduling enhances collaboration in Microsoft Project by offering collaborative features that promote effective communication, facilitate teamwork, and foster a shared understanding of project goals and progress among team members.

How does dynamic scheduling help track progress and manage risks?

Dynamic scheduling in Microsoft Project helps track progress and manage project risks by providing real-time updates and customizable reports that allow you to identify potential bottlenecks, mitigate risks, and take proactive actions to keep your project on track.

How can dynamic scheduling in Microsoft Project leverage data and insights for continuous improvement?

Dynamic scheduling in Microsoft Project provides valuable data and insights for continuous improvement by analyzing project performance metrics, identifying trends, and making data-driven decisions to enhance project outcomes and increase overall efficiency.

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