Congratulations, you have Don't be Late! (DBL) installed so good job! Now, what do you want to do?
Here is the DBL Team's suggested approach to getting up to speed with Don't be Late!
Understand Basic DBL Concepts
'Don't Be Late' plan introduces a unique planning approach that is targeted towards making sure ... well, that you won't be late!
The Don't Be Late! concept is Plan oriented, with each Plan consisting of a series of Steps. These Steps represent:
- Goals that must be accomplished at a specific (fixed) time
- Tasks that take time to complete, and which must be done to accomplish a Goal on time
- Tasks that take time to complete and can be done after a Goal is accomplished
To implement a simple Goal oriented DBL Plan, you will do the following:
- Create a Plan
- Enter a Goal Step, specifying the fixed time for the Step to be completed.
- Enter the Steps that must be completed prior to the Goal, and the time needed to complete each Step.
DBL will then calculate the time when each Task should start and finish. It can actively monitor your progress towards the Goal and provide notifications as to when Plans and Steps should be started.
Note that Steps can be scheduled using "As Soon As Possible" (ASAP) or "As Late As Possible" (ALAP) techniques. ALAP Steps are those that need to be executed BEFORE a Goal, and ASAP Steps are those that are executed AFTER a Goal. For those that have limited scheduling experience this may seem a bit complex, but it will soon be natural and adds to the power of DBL.
Get Familiar with the DBL App
Navigation in DBL is pretty easy, with taps taking you to new pages and the <- buttons are used to return to previous pages as you might expect. Swiping right will bring up a context menu. On some DBL pages there will be Expand/Collapse icons. These allow you see what you like while hiding things you don't want to see at the moment. We value your screen space!
The main DBL pages are described briefly below ... You might want to follow along on your device.
Look Over the DBL Plan List Page
This page contains twoprimary sections of interest; the header and the Plan List.
On the header you will find three icons that will be of interest when you touch them
- = Settings Menu. This is on the left side, and will let you select Settings and other things of interest
- = Plan List Menu. This is on the right side, and will provide some display control and let you send your Plans via E-Mail
- + This is on the right side; touch to Add a new Plan
The Plan List is a list of Plans, grouped by state and start times.
The Start Time is the calculated time this Plan should be started.
To view and edit a Plan, simply touch the Plan row; this will take you to the Plan page. For Future plans, there is a countdown to Plan Start Time, which is updated daily.
Swipe right on a Plan to bring up a context menu for the Plan (Edit, Copy, Delete, E-Mail, Mark Done, etc.).
LOOK Over the DBL Plan Page
This page provides a view of a single Plan and contains three major sections; Header, Plan Overview, and Steps
The Header has two icons that will let you take action on the Plan when you touch them
- = Plan Page menu. Use this to View, Edit, Delete, E-Mail, Mark Done, Hide/Show completed Steps, etc.
- + Add a new Step
This section shows the Plan name, Plan state, Countdown (to Plan start or end time), and the Plan Notes if entered.
This is an ordered list of Steps in the Plan. Each Step has a Step name, time it takes, and start time and date.
On the right is an ICON representing the schedule mode (^ for ASAP v for ALAP, and * for Fixed Start Time).
Tap any step to get to a Step View page, and swipe right on a Step bring up a Step menu to Edit, Delete, Add Ste Above/Below , Mark Done, etc.
And, press and hold a Step to drag it to a new position, reordering Steps within s plan!
Visit the DBL Step Page
This page provides a complete view of a single Step and contains one major sections; Step Detail.
This section shows the state of the step, step Start/Done times, Countdown (to Step start/done), Step notes. Note you can nedit the Step Note by tapping in that area ...
Surprise! These go to the Previous / Next Step. But hey, if the step is active DBL will automatically go to the nest step when this one is complete.
Press this to edit the Step.
Visit the Settings Page
While you can use the default settings to get started, you will need to do some setup in order to send/receive DBL data via E-Mail. To do this go the DBL Start Page and click the = icon in the upper left corner. This will pop up a menu; select Settings.
On the Setting Page you can customize DBL to align with your preferences AND to set up the e-mail system for DBL.
- Font Size: Tap to select Large, Medium or Small font sizes
- Colors: Tap to select a color scheme. For DBL++ a tap will take you to a page where you can choose one of the build in > DBL color schemes or define a custom scheme of your own. That's more fun for sure ...
- Sounds: Click to select the events that you would like enunciated with DBL sounds.
- Voice: If you have DBL++ you can also enable voice; you will want that for sure, right??
- Vibrate: This switch enables vibrate alerts to do along with the sound scheme
- E-Mail Settings: Set these up so you e-mail plans to others, and for easy backup too
- Server: This is the SMTP E-mail server you want to use; the Gmail server is the default
- Address: This is the E-Mail address you want used to send DBL information
- Password: The Password for the E-mail account
Make a simple DBL Plan
It's pretty easy ...
- Pick an upcoming event in your life that you don't want to be late for.
- Tap the + on the Plan List screen, enter the name of the Plan.
- Enter the Goal Step first, with a fixed time and Takes = 0).
- The first Step is always fixed and is either a Goal or Start Step
- Tap the Clock Icon to toggle; this is a hint to DBL to help you enter Steps more easily
- In this case, we want a Goal Step!
- Then enter all Steps that need to be done prior to the Goal. Try adding Step descriptions too.
Once all is entered, DBL will let you know when you need to start each step. For the simple test DBL Plan you probably want to make the Steps 'As Late as Possible'.
Make a more complex DBL Plan
DBL is powerful and flexible, so take some time to learn it. For instance, once you are familiar with base DBL approach, try scheduling a entire Day.
For this enter multiple Goal Steps, and then associated Task Steps that you need to get done before a Goal (ALAP) or after a Goal (ASAP). You can also add Start Steps, with associated Steps that typically are to be done after the Start.
Of course, a Step can serve any of the Step roles ( Goal, Start, Task) or any combination. That is the power of DBL!
Add Recurrence to a DBL Plan
Some Plans may need to be executed on a recurring basis; getting to work on time is an example.
When editing or creating a Plan with DBL++, you can select a recurrence mode (Daily, Weekly).
Send a Plan to a friend
DBL is serious about your privacy and security, and never stores your information where it may be compromised.
To this end it makes use of E-Mail to allow you to share Plans with your friends.
If they also have DBL installed on their device these Plans can be added to their DBL instance, If not, that's OK too and they can view the plan in the E-Mail.
Receive a Plan from a friend
If you are sent a DBL Plan you will see the plan in the E-Mail body.
The DBL Plan is also attached and if you choose to open it the Plan can be imported into your DBL.
Backup your DBL Data
DBL uses the same E-Mail facility to allow you to back op your DBL Plans.
Simply select this option from the Start menu and send the data to a safe target (yourself, for instance!).
The recipient simply saves attachment and can E-Mail it back to the recipient to restore the data.
Upgrade DBL to DBL++
DBL++ is an upgraded version of DBL that includes some valuable and fun additional features and more importantly supports the DBL development community. The cost is less than a cup of coffee and is much appreciated.
Some of the features in DBL++ are:
- Plan Recurrence option
- Custom Color Scheme creation and sharing
- Step Start/Stop interaction