Calendar Repeating Events should allow excluding dates

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tlearley
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Calendar Repeating Events should allow excluding dates

Postby tlearley » Mon Nov 21, 2011 1:52 pm

It is very awkward to create repeating events and then deal with conflicts only after trying to save.

The best process for scheduling events is to first look for possible conflicts, and then schedule the event around that conflict with exceptions. As the current calendar works, you create the event, find the conflicts by trying to save, then lose your work, and start all over after the conflicts have been eliminated (only if they can).

There seems to be no way to create exceptions for repeating events. More often that not, the new repeating event must adjust to events already scheduled instead of the other way around. Rarely can repeating events be created without bumping into some conflict that cannot be simply eliminated.

here is an example from localendar.com of how repeating events can be handled much easier:

repeating.jpg
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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Mon Nov 21, 2011 7:50 pm

tlearley wrote:It is very awkward to create repeating events and then deal with conflicts only after trying to save.

The best process for scheduling events is to first look for possible conflicts, and then schedule the event around that conflict with exceptions. As the current calendar works, you create the event, find the conflicts by trying to save, then lose your work, and start all over after the conflicts have been eliminated (only if they can).


I'll agree that it is awkward, but you shouldn't have to lose your work. Here's what I do:

  1. Click Add Event to start creating a new event
  2. Fill in all the details, including location/rooms, repeating rule, etc.
  3. Click Create Event; if there are no conflicts I'm done.
  4. If there are conflicts, take note of them (if there are several, I capture the screen so I can work off the saved screen shot).
  5. Change the location to "No Location"
  6. Click Create Event. This will definitely work (as long as all the other data is correct, and the only problem was conflicts).
  7. Remove each individual date that had a conflict.
  8. Edit the event
  9. Specify the desired location/rooms
  10. Click Update Event
  11. Specify that you are updating the Entire Series
  12. There should be no conflicts anymore, so the save should work.

tlearley wrote:There seems to be no way to create exceptions for repeating events. More often that not, the new repeating event must adjust to events already scheduled instead of the other way around. Rarely can repeating events be created without bumping into some conflict that cannot be simply eliminated.

here is an example from localendar.com of how repeating events can be handled much easier:


That image is so small that it is hard to read, but it looks like in the top section is a fairly typical means for specifying repeats, similar to what is on the lds.org calendar. But on the bottom is an optional section for specifying dates to omit.

That's a good idea -- it will enable you to eliminate the conflicting dates from the repeating rule at the time you create the event. And it's easier than the extra steps in the procedure I described above.
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russellhltn
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Postby russellhltn » Mon Nov 21, 2011 8:09 pm

aebrown wrote:11. Specify that you are updating the Entire Series
12. There should be no conflicts anymore, so the save should work.


Except, when you do step 11, you get the warning "Important! If any of the events in this repeating series were previously edited separately from the rest of the original series - by any user - those edits may be overwritten by this action. Continue?"

So you're saying that this new edit doesn't overwrite the changes you made in step 7?
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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Mon Nov 21, 2011 8:16 pm

RussellHltn wrote:Except, when you do step 11, you get the warning "Important! If any of the events in this repeating series were previously edited separately from the rest of the original series - by any user - those edits may be overwritten by this action. Continue?"

So you're saying that this new edit doesn't overwrite the changes you made in step 7?


That's correct. I've done this lots of times.

But note that what I did in step 7 was to remove specific instances. The warning talks only about events that were previously edited, so the warning does not apply.
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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Mon Nov 21, 2011 11:17 pm

RussellHltn wrote:So you're saying that this new edit doesn't overwrite the changes you made in step 7?


I've done additional research, and discovered that the warning seems to apply only to the specific fields you have modified. For example, if you edit a particular instance of a repeating event to have a different title, but then you edit the title for "Entire Series", that change will overwrite the title you entered for the one instance. Similarly, if instead of deleting a particular instance of the repeating event, you edit that instance and specify a different location, then when you edit the location for the series, saving that series change will indeed reset the location for the exceptional instance, and you will have a conflict again.

But if you have made one instance have a different location, and then you modify the title (a different field) for the entire series, the title will change, even for that exceptional instance, but the different location for that exceptional instance will still remain.
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russellhltn
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Postby russellhltn » Tue Nov 22, 2011 2:12 am

That's good to know. Given the V1 to V2 transition, I was expecting "exceptions" to reappear in their normal spot.
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dshep2020
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Postby dshep2020 » Tue Nov 22, 2011 8:26 am

That is a good tip aebrown. I don't know why I never thought to set the location to "No Location" to work around the conflicts and then delete the offending instances. Very nice! I will be sure to give you proper credit when others think I am smart! ;)

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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Tue Nov 22, 2011 3:17 pm

dshepher wrote:That is a good tip aebrown. I don't know why I never thought to set the location to "No Location" to work around the conflicts and then delete the offending instances. Very nice! I will be sure to give you proper credit when others think I am smart! ;)


I would note that this very solution is also in the Calendar Help, at Strategies for repeating event patterns (it's the 5th one). So if you want to point people to a resource for this situation, point them there, and they will probably learn some other things they didn't know before.
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