Advanced Use of the Nonworking Time Calendar

How to Create a Nonworking Time Calendar

Hey there, in my previous article, I walked you through the basics of understanding the Nonworking Time Calendar in Microsoft Project. Now, I’m going to dive into a more advanced use of this feature. If you’re unfamiliar with the Nonworking Time Calendar, don’t worry – I’ll break it down step by step. If you would refer read a similar article that includes screenshots, click here or click the thumbnail below.

Nonworking Time Calendar

Troubleshooting Scheduling Mysteries

Have you ever encountered a scheduling mystery in your Microsoft Project? You know, those perplexing situations where your task’s Gantt bar looks like it’s been split in two, with the little ellipsis (…) symbol in the middle?

The good news is that most scheduling mysteries can be traced back to resource calendars. In the case of those odd task splits, it’s almost always caused by the calendars of the assigned resources. But here’s the cool part: you can use the Nonworking Time Calendar to solve these mysteries. Let me show you how in the following steps:

  1. Access the Nonworking Time Calendar – First things first, you’ll need to access the Nonworking Time Calendar. Double-click the Timescale bar at the top of your Gantt Chart screen. Now, select the “Non-working time” tab in the Timescale dialog.
  2. Pick a Resource Calendar – Next, click on the “Calendar” pick list. This will reveal a list of calendars, including base calendars and calendars for project team resources.
  3. Apply the Resource’s Calendar – In the “Calendar” pick list, select the name of the resource you suspect might be causing the issue. Microsoft Project will display the nonworking time for the resource, including vacation time, as gray shaded vertical bands on the Gantt Chart screen.
  4. Confirm the Nonworking Time – When you look at the Gantt Chart screen, you should now be able to see that nonworking time for the resource in question is the reason for the task split.

Important Note: Don’t forget to switch back to the base calendar in use as the Project Calendar after troubleshooting with resource calendars.

Creating a Custom View

When I need to troubleshoot resource scheduling issues, I like to use a special combination view featuring the Task Usage view in the top pane and the Gantt Chart view in the bottom pane. Would you like to be able to use this custom view in your own projects? Follow these steps:

  1. Apply the Task Usage view.
  2. Click the “View” tab to open the View ribbon.
  3. In the Split View section of the ribbon, select the “Details” checkbox.
  4. To the right of the Details checkbox, click the pick list and select the Gantt Chart view.

Using this custom view, you can compare the schedule of a task as shown in both the Task Usage view and the Gantt Chart view. I personally find this view very helpful in discovering why there are task splits in my projects.


That’s a lot of ground we’ve covered! I hope these insights into Microsoft Project’s scheduling mysteries help you manage your projects more effectively. Happy scheduling!

If you have questions, please add them in the Comments section below. If you would like to have a formal class on using Microsoft Project, here is a link for my classes.

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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.

Dale Howard Project MVP
Dale Howard
Microsoft Project MVP “20 Years”

About Me

Hello there Microsoft Project lovers! I’m Dale Howard and I’ve been a Microsoft Project MVP (Most Valuable Professional) for 20 years in a row and I’m currently one of only 26 Project MVPs in the entire world. Pretty exciting, right!?

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.

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.

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.

If you’ve got a question about Microsoft Project, Project Online or Project Server, check out some of these community post areas below where I am the moderator and have been answering questions on these message boards for over 20 years.

My Students Include:

parker aerospace
us air force
sandia national laboratories
conoco phillips

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