Navigation and Usability Tips & Tricks

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Team members, project managers, resource managers, executives and administrators


Ease of use and the user experience is the most important factor in the adoption of project software. Invite all team members to this session to learn the one-click shortcuts and other navigation tricks.


  • Learn practical tips and tricks that savvy project managers use to save time
  • Walk away knowing the shortcuts of the project software

Key Points


Project Insight offers many navigation and usability shortcuts to make using our software easy. You want your entire team, including your project managers, team members, executives, customers and even external vendors to be able to move around in the software and access the data they need.

Customizing Your Dashboard

One of the best ways to access the information you care about is to use Project Insight’s customizable dashboard. Each individual stakeholder can set up their dashboard with the information that is important to him or her.

Project Insight allows you to work with the software in the way in which you are most comfortable and in a way that supports your business process.

What you’re seeing here is a typical management or executive dashboard.

You have a list of projects with their status, start and end dates and percentage complete.

Then you have a pie chart of projects by type.

And then also a resource allocation chart.

Expand and Collapse

All of this information may be important to you, but in some cases, you want the information easily accessible to you, but you may not want to see it all the time.

Instead of having to keep adding and removing it from dashboard to accomplish that, just hide it.

Click on the down arrow on the header bar of item box, such as the chart of Project Types, to collapse it.

That data is still there, it is just hidden.

You can tell that by the direction of the arrow. When it is pointed to the right, the information is collapsed.

To show the information again, just click on the right arrow.

That is very simple. Keep the information easily accessible, but hide it if you don’t need it all the time.

Dashboard Layout

This dashboard layout contains three columns - one for the list of projects, one for the project type pie chart and one for the resource allocation bar chart.

However, the Project Insight dashboard is very flexible and you can change your layout.

Hover on the Display Options icon and click Dashboard Layout.

You can choose from 12 different layouts. You can see that the current one chosen has sections across the top, a full width section and then two more sections at the bottom.

Change the layout by clicking on a different one.

For example, click on the option just to the left of the current one.

This has one full width section along the top, then two sections below it, and then another full width section.

Click Save.

Project Insight automatically repositions the existing items according to the new layout.

The list of Projects takes the full width.

Then the two charts show in two sections below that.

In this case, you may want to collapse your list of projects, so that you can see the charts better.

Click on the down arrow on the Projects header.

You can change the layout whenever you want. Hover on the Display Options icon and click Dashboard Layout.

Select the original layout.

Click Save.

Project Insight remembers that you collapsed the Projects list and keeps it displayed that way.

Click on the arrow on the projects list to expand it again.

Adding Items to Dashboard

If you want more data on your dashboard, you can add it.

Hover on the Display Options icon.

You can see all the items you can add to the Dashboard.

Of course, you will only be able to see the data that you have permissions to see.

Hover on Charts.

You can see there are a number of predefined charts that you can choose to put on your dashboard.

There are charts to show you different information about Issues.

And also a number of different charts to show you information about projects, including charts by project health status.

The Project by Type Pie Chart is the one that is currently displayed.

And then at the very bottom is the Resource Allocation Entire Portfolio By Month chart which is also currently on your dashboard.

These are some predefined charts and graphs that you can choose.

Of course, you can also create your charts and graphs with the reports option and that is covered in more detail in the Creating and Running Portfolio and Project Reports training session.

You can also put reports on your list.

Hover on Reports.

You can have up to four different reports on your dashboard.

Click on Report 1.

This puts a report component on your dashboard.

Click on Notifications.

A Notifications stream has been added to your dashboard.

Drag and Drop on the Dashboard

If you want to move the items on your dashboard around, you simply have to click on the header bar of the item you want to move and drag it.

Click on the Resource Allocation Entire Portfolio by Month header bar and drag it to under Projects.

It pushed the Reports component and the Notifications down and put the chart in.

Now click on the Notifications and drag it to the empty right column.

That’s how simple it is to move items around on the dashboard.

If you have an item that is really long, such as the Notifications, then it is always a good idea to collapse that section and then move items around.

For example, if you want to move the Project Types chart to appear beneath notifications, it would be a long way to move it.

You can do that, but it is easier to just click on the down arrow on the Notifications to collapse it.

Click on the header bar of the Projects by Type chart and drag it underneath Notifications but don’t drop it yet.

You can see that when I’m moving items, the dashboard form changes to show dashed lines that delineate each of the sections on that layout.

Use those dashed lines as your guide to know which section the item will display in.

Drop the item and as soon as you do that, the guidelines disappear.

To see that again, click on the blue header bar of the Resource Allocation Entire Portfolio By Month and drag it to the middle column.

Click on Notifications and drag it right to the bottom of the form but don’t drop it yet.

You can see the delineation of the full width section and then the two half sections below that.

You probably don’t need the full width for things like Notifications, so drop the notifications in the lower right hand section.

You may want to use the full width section for things like reports or webpages where there is more data and you want it to all show.

First, you want to tell Project Insight what report to display in the report component.

Click on Select a Report in that section.

In the drop down for Report, click on Costing Report - Budget vs Actuals - by Client.

You can see there is not much room to display all the data on the report.

Click on the column header of the report and drag it down to the full width section and drop it.

You can see that the report displays and there are more columns of data so it makes sense to put it in a section that takes up the full width.

If you want to hide it, just click on the down arrow to collapse it.

If you are going to put reports on your main dashboard, you will want to ensure that those reports focus on important information. You don’t want reports with a huge amount of data on your default dashboard because it could take a few moments to load. If you want dashboards with larger reports, then you may want to create a separate dashboard for that and now you’re going to see how you would do that.

Saving Multiple Dashboards

Project Insight will remember the way you set this dashboard and display it that same way again when you login or when you click on My Insight.

This is your main dashboard and your default dashboard, but you can have multiple dashboards.

This enables you to create unique dashboards with different information and easily access it with one click. For example, you could create a reports specific dashboard.

To create a new dashboard, navigate to the bottom of the dashboard and click Save Dashboard.

You have to name your Dashboard. Type in My Favorites.

You can share your saved Dashboards with other Groups of Users, users belonging to different companies or individual users.

Click Save.

You will get a confirmation prompt that it has been saved.

Click Ok.

It is important to note that you are not looking at that new dashboard. You are still looking at your default dashboard.

You can tell by the text up here near the top, where it says Project Insight.

This is the system name that your administrator entered. It may say Project Insight or your company name. Whenever, this system name is displayed, that means you are looking at your default dashboard. If you made any changes to it now, you would be changing your default dashboard, not that new dashboard that you just created.

To display and edit the new dashboard, hover on the My Insight icon, hover on Dashboard and you will see the new dashboard you just created, along with any other dashboards that may have been created previously.

Click on My Favorites.

The dashboard will refresh.

Right now, it still looks the same as your default dashboard, because you haven’t changed anything yet, but now the name of the dashboard is displayed instead of the system name.

Now, you can modify this dashboard.

Click the X icon on all the existing components to remove them.

Hover on the Display Options and click Dashboard layout.

Click on the eighth option. This is a common dashboard layout that a lot of our customers use.

Click Save.

Hover on the Display Options and click Calendar to add a Calendar to your dashboard.

Click on the Calendar header bar and drag it to the left hand section.

Hover on the Display Options, hover on Tasks and select Task List.

That puts a list of the tasks assigned to you on the dashboard.

Hover on the Display Options, hover on Issues and select Issue List.

That puts a list of the issues assigned to you on the dashboard.

Click on the blue header bar of the Issues and drag it to the bottom section that uses the entire width.

Now this dashboard contains very different information than your default dashboard.

Click on My Insight.

Doing that always shows your default dashboard but you can access any other dashboards you create with one click.

Hover on My Insight, hover on Dashboard and click the My Favorites dashboard to display a different dashboard with a completely different layout and different information.

Save Dashboard as your Default Dashboard

You can set a saved dashboard to be your default dashboard.

While the saved Dashboard is displayed, hover on the Display Options.

Down near the bottom, there is a setting called Set as Personal Default.

If you click on that option, all the settings on the default dashboard will be deleted and replaced with the exact same layout and settings as this dashboard.

You still have two separate dashboards, the default one and this saved one, so you can still edit them separately.

Remember to the check the name though, so you know which one you are editing.

Right now, it is still the saved My Favorites dashboard showing.

Set Dashboard as the System Default/Reset Everyone to Default

If you are logged in as a system administrator you will have some additional dashboard options.

Hover on the Display Options and hover on Set as System Default.

You can set up a dashboard and then set it as the system default for everyone.

This is applicable except in the case where you have set your own personal default.

If you have set your own personal default dashboard, then that will be remembered and always used. Your system administrator changing the system default dashboard will have no effect.

However, if your system administrator clicked on Reset Everyone to Default,it will reset everyone’s dashboard back to the default, regardless of whether or not you set your own personal default.

It is recommended that you use caution if you do this. You don’t want to go and change users default dashboards if they have gone to the effort to create them.

Of course, you can always recreate your dashboards, but you will always want to use caution if you are a system administrator and are thinking of using that option.

Deleting a Saved Dashboard

To delete a saved dashboard, click on the Reports icon.

Click on Miscellaneous.

Under Dashboards, click on the right arrow for Saved Reports to expand that out.

Hover on the My Favorites Dashboard.

When you do that, you will see run/edit icon,

And you will see the delete icon.

Just click on that to delete a saved dashboard.

Changing the Display Options on your Dashboard

Click on My Insight to return to your default dashboard.

To make the items on your dashboard even more flexible and configured to your needs, you can change options to change what information is displayed.

You will notice that on most of the items, there is a display options icon in the header bar.

Click on the Display Options icon for Projects.

This is a common one that you may change.

You can set to display only projects that have a certain type, click in the drop down for that.

Click on the white space on the form to exit out of that.

Or you can set to display only projects that have a certain status, click in the drop down for that.

Click on the white space on the form to exit out of that.

You can also set it to see only projects that you are the project manager or scheduler for.

Or only projects where you have incomplete tasks.

By default, only active projects are set to show, but you can include planning and archive projects as well by checking those.

You can also choose to hide complete projects.

Finally, you can set how you want the project information sorted, with both a primary and secondary sort order.

Click the X to close that layer.

Click on the Display Options for the Resource Allocation Entire Portfolio by Month chart.

You can set date ranges for this chart.

You can also select to include just active projects on the chart or planning or archive.

You can also set to view the allocation by Resource Type/Role.

Click on that to uncheck it.

Click Save.

You can see the bar chart portion of the chart no longer displays.

So you can see that there is a lot of flexibility and of course Project Insight will remember what you set and use those settings each time.

Another common place to change the display options is on your tasks list.

Hover on My Insight, hover on Dashboards and click My Favorites.

Click the Display Options icon for tasks.

You can see that there are a variety of options here. For example, tasks are set to appear 7 days or before their start date. You could increase or decrease those days.

You can see there is also an option to ‘automatically remove my tasks when marked complete’. That’s checked by default.

You can uncheck this to see all complete tasks again. That way you can make any changes to completed tasks, if for example, you made a mistake and needed to correct it.

Some other options to only display tasks that have their predecessors marked complete,

And also to only display tasks that you are assigned as the task owner. If a task has more than one resource assigned, one of those is always the designated owner. Check this if you only want to see those tasks that you are the owner on.

The remaining options, Show Start Date, End Date, Assigned By, the Parent, Description and Path, dictate what data fields you want on the task list form.

For now, just leave the settings as they are, without saving your changes and click the X to close the window.

On It Function

You will notice that on some of the items on the dashboard such as the projects and tasks, there is On It and All text.

If your list is too long, you may use the ‘on it’ feature to narrow down the work. You can manage your work by flagging those tasks that you are actively working on right now.

To do this, hover over the task and select On It.

This way your project manager, your department manager and the other team members can see what you’re working on, without having to write you an email, drop by your desk to ask or phone you.

To limit the number of tasks that you are working with, click on the On It text, to show a list of just those tasks you’re actively working on or click All to show all tasks again.

Project managers can run reports to see a list of all the project or tasks their team is currently working on.

For more information about the On It feature, you can attend the Track Your Time and Enter Expenses training session.

Hiding Items

You can also hide items.

To do this, hover over the task and select the Hide icon.

The task will be removed from the list because by default it doesn’t show hidden items.

You may want to do this if you have maintenance type projects that are always active and you are always logging time against them, but maybe you don’t want to see them as part of your project work.

Maybe you only want to see your tasks for the non-standard or non-day to day projects.

Those aren’t gone. They are just hidden.

To see them click the Show Hidden Items text.

You could unhide them again, by hovering over the task and selecting the un-Hide icon.

You can tell which are hidden because the un-hide icon is showing for them.

Then click on Hide Items Marked Hidden again to turn that option back on.

Left Navigation

So far, you have seen the dashboard and it is taking up the full width of the Project Insight form.

However, there is a very unique feature in Project Insight called the left navigation.

To show that, click on the Expand Left Navigation icon.

This left navigation gives you one click access to the information that is important to you.

You will always see the My Work section in your left navigation.

This gives you quick access to the information that is important to you.

Click on My Work to expand it out. You can see the different items that are in Project Insight.

Click on the arrow next to an item to expand it out, for example click on the arrow next to tasks to see all the tasks assigned to you.

Click on a task and the details for that item appear in the main section of the form.

You can leave the My Work section expanded so you can quickly get to the information you need from anywhere in the system.

You can also expand and collapse the different information in each section in the left navigation.

For example, click on the arrow next to Issues to expand it as well.

Project Insight will remember these settings.

To collapse it, click on the My Work again.

Everyone will also see the Folders option in their left navigation.

Click on Folders to expand out that section.

Your system administrator will set up folders for you to organize your information.

For example, you have a Projects folder. Click on it, to see all the active projects.

You can navigate to the different folders to access information and for those of you that use Microsoft Outlook and Windows Explorer, you will find this a very familiar way to navigate.

Click on the Folders section to collapse it again.

Project Insight will remember which sections you had expanded or collapsed in your left navigation and always display them the way you last set them.

The Invoices and Administration sections are only available to invoice managers and system administrators. Other users won’t see those options.

Information about those functions can be found in the Generating Invoices and ERP Integration training session and the Determine Your Best Configuration Options and Set Up your Project Insight Settings training sessions.

You can click on a section to move it around.

Click on My Work and drag it after Folders, if you wanted your folders to appear first.

To set it back, click on Folders and drag it after My Work.

If you want to change the size of the left navigation, hover your cursor on the line between the left navigation and the main section until it changes to double arrows, then simply drag it wider or smaller as you need.

Project Insight will remember whatever you set.

Expand and Collapse Functionality

You’ve see the expand and collapse functionality and how it is used on the dashboard items and on the left navigation, but it is also used in other areas as well and basically whenever you see an arrow, next to data, it means you can click on it to expand or collapse that.

One place this is used is reports.

Click on the Reports icon.

Click on Project Reports if it is not already selected.

You can see that there are various sections, such as Saved Reports and Shared Reports and Predefined Reports.

To see the actual reports, click on the right arrow to expand out that section.

For example, click on the arrow next to Saved Reports

You will now see a list of all your saved reports and you can run them right from here by clicking on the report name.

Another very common place that expand and collapse is used is on projects.

Click on Folders to expand that section out.

Click on a Project.

You will see the arrow next to the summary tasks on that project.

Click on it to expand and collapse the list of summary tasks.

Right Click and Other Short Cuts

Another way to navigate is through the right click context sensitive menu options which will give you menu options specific to the process you are doing.

For example, on this task list, right click on a task.

You will see all the functions and options available for that task.

Instead of having to navigate up to the menu options in the upper right hand corner,

you can access the options the same options for that particular item by right clicking instead, right from where you are.

This is very useful if you have long lists of data. You don’t have to scroll all the way up to the top each time, just right click to get to the functions you need.

This isn’t just applicable on tasks. Right click up on the blue header bar near the task list text.

This brings up a set of options that are applicable to the project instead of the task.

Hide Menu

Right click on a task again to bring up the task specific menu items.

You have an option here called Hide menu.

You can click on that to hide the menu for the current item, which is in this case tasks, and display the menu item for the next level up which is projects.

Click on Hide Menu.

Right click on a task again, now it is display the project menu options. If you click Hide Menu again, on the projects specific menu, then it displays the browser specific menu options. So you can do that, to use your browser menu options instead of the Project Insight menu options.

If you want your right click menus back, just press F5 to refresh the page.

Right click on a task again to bring up the task specific menu items to see that they are now reset back to the task specific menu options.

So those right click options are available to you, throughout the software.

Top Menus

The other menu options that are available to you are the global menu options.

If you hover on My Insight, you will see the options that are very common to most Project Insight users.

With one click you can select any of those.

You also have your Reports icon, to take you to reports and also with one click run any of your saved reports.

And you have your favorites icon.

You can make any form in Project Insight a favorite, so you can quickly get to it.

On the left hand side are some other menu options and icons that are not as commonly used.

For example, changing your profile, printing and help.

Search within Project Insight

Project Insight also has a search function that you can use to search for any information in the system.

To start a search, click on the Search icon.

A text box will appear where you can type in your search term and then click the search icon again.

For example, type in Software and click the Search icon.

Any projects, tasks, issues, to dos or any other items that have that term will be displayed.

It will also search the content of Microsoft Office documents and Outlooks emails.

You can just click on an item to see the details.

To narrow down your search, click on the Search icon again.

Click Advanced.

An advanced search display and filters option layer appears.

Enter your search term in Keywords.

Enter Software again.

Now click on the Advanced Search Options section to expand that out.

This is where you can set additional parameters to control the search.

Click in the drop down for Type.

This is where you select what item types you want to search for the data in.

For example, you could select just emails or just files by clicking on those.

Click on the white space anywhere on the form to exit out of there.

You may also choose by who created the item, who last updated the item and also by creation date and updated date.

You can also choose to search only in names of items, instead of anywhere in the item such as description, etc.

Click the Search icon to initiate the search with the parameters that you set.

Online 11/18/2014
Updated on: