As a whole the user manual was well done. It would have been nice if the manual had been broken up into smaller pages. This would have made loading the manual faster, navigating simpler and increased user interactivity i.e., made the tutorial more interactive.

PlaNet - User Manual

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. About this Manual
  3. Starting the Application
      3.1 System Requirements
      3.2 Installing the Software
      3.3 Starting PlaNet
      3.4 Login to PlaNet
  4. The Meeting Management System
      4.1 The Main Screen
        4.1.1 Schedule Viewing
        4.1.2 Schedule Printing
        4.1.3 Changing your Password
        4.1.4 Exiting PlaNet
        4.1.5 Meeting Details
        4.1.6 Meeting Selection
        4.1.7 Adding a New Meeting
        4.1.8 Scheduling a Periodic Meeting
        4.1.9 Modifying a Meeting
        4.1.10 Cancelling a Meeting
        4.1.11 Cancel Meeting Attendance
        4.1.12 Finding Common Time
      4.2 A PlaNet Tutorial
  5. The PlaNet Administration System
      5.1 Employee Administration
        5.1.1 Adding a New Employee
        5.1.2 Deleting an Employee
        5.1.3 Modifying an Employee's records
      5.2 Location Administration
        5.2.1 Adding a New Meeting Location
        5.2.2 Modifying a Meeting Location
        5.2.3 Deleting a Meeting Location
  6. Notifications
  7. Looking for Help
  8. Error Handling
  9. Known Bugs and Deficiencies
  10. Index

1. Introduction

PlaNet is a multi-user software package used for the organization of office meetings and personal activities. PlaNet, a diary and time management system, was specifically designed to facilitate and support the coordination of meetings across groups of co-workers.

PlaNet is composed of two main components, the Meeting Management System (MMS) and the PlaNet Administration System (PAS). The MMS is the primary application to be used by all employees, while the PAS is used only by appointed PlaNet system administrators. This multi-level access allows for two types of users with different sets of functionality. PlaNet is under the authority of administrators since they will issue and maintain accounts.

With regard to input, this application is mouse and keyboard driven. Generated output is graphically displayed on the screen, while options for saving and printing are also available.

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2. About this manual

This manual is intended as a basic guide for the installation and operation of PlaNet. This system has been designed to accomodate all levels of users and the focus of this manual is to act as a fast and easy reference to the PlaNet application.

Due to production demands, which dictate that the manual be produced prior to the completion of the software, inconsistencies may exist between this manual and the delivered software. To account for this, we have ensured the on-line help will accurately reflect the latest changes.

Please note that "click" refers to clicking the left mouse button throughout this manual.

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3. Starting the application

3.1 System Requirements

To operate PlaNet, you will need:

3.2 Installing the Software

To install PlaNet:

3.3 Starting PlaNet

To start your PlaNet application:

3.4 Login to PlaNet

In order to protect the privacy of all employees, PlaNet will prompt you to enter your Login ID and Password before displaying the PlaNet Main Screen. Login names and passwords are obtained through system administrators.

To log into the system:

Once the system has verified that you have entered a correct login and password, it will display the "Notices" screen. In the event you have entered an incorrect password or login id, an error message will be displayed and prompt you to try again. You may click the Cancel button if you wish to quit at any point in the login session.

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4. The Meeting Management System

Since the MMS allows you to keep track of your schedule, it is a powerful time management tool. It will maintain a calendar of meetings for employees and also provide the ability to schedule group meetings quickly and easily.

When a meeting is arranged, it is automatically added to the schedules of all employees you have requested to attend. Notifications are automatically sent to inform attendees of the new addition to their schedules.

4.1 The Main Screen

Main Screen
The main calendar screen is simple and concise which will add to our productivity.

This screen is the "heart" of the PlaNet system. It enables you to easily view and change your schedule. On the left hand side of the window, a calendar is displayed. On initial login to the system, the current month will be displayed. You may view a different month by clicking on the "Previous" or "Next" buttons.

The PlaNet system stores a 13 month viewable calendar. You can go back one month previous to the current month and up to one complete year ahead of the current month.

PlaNet allows you to see at a glance whether or not you have any meetings on a particular day. When the top half of a calendar button is highlighted, this indicates that you have scheduled meeting(s) in the morning. Similarly, if the bottom half of the button is highlighted, you have meeting(s) in the afternoon. If the entire button is highlighted, this means you have meetings scheduled for both the morning and afternoon.

This window can be minimized, maximized or closed at any time by using the buttons located on the title bar.

4.1.1 Schedule Viewing

When you first enter the PlaNet system, the details for the current day will be displayed. These details are located in the text box to the right of the calendar display. The titles, locations, start times and durations for all meetings on that day are displayed. You may scroll through this listing using the mouse and scroll bars.

It may be easier for the user to look at a list of acending numbers instead of point form bullets. Provides a more sense of order of things.

To view meeting details:

This will result in the "Meeting Details" screen being displayed. Further details of how to use this screen can be found in the "Meeting Details" section.

4.1.2 Schedule Printing

To print your schedule for a particular day:

Your schedule will be printed on the printer that is currently configured as your default printer.

4.1.3 Changing your Password

In order to ensure the confidentiality and security of your schedule information, PlaNet has made it easy for you to change your password at any time. Changing your password can only be accomplished from the main screen.

To change your password:

At this point, PlaNet will verify the information entered is correct. If you have inadvertently made a mistake, a message will be displayed informing you that an error was made, and you will be required to try again. Once the new password is accepted, it must be used the next time that you login to the PlaNet system. If at any time you do not wish to proceed with changing your password, simply click on the "Cancel" button to quit.

4.1.4 Exiting PlaNet

To exit the PlaNet system

4.1.5 Meeting Details

How do we get back to the main screen from the meeting details screen? The user manual does not seem to indicate how this is to be accomplished.

The "Meeting Details" screen will pop up after you have highlighted a particular meeting and clicked the "Meeting Detail" button at the main screen. At the Meeting Details screen, it will display the meeting title, start time, end time, date, location, originator's name, meeting description, and attendees list.

As the originator of a meeting, you can modify the meeting information, cancel the meeting and find common time when attendees are availble to attend the meeting. As the attendee of a meeting, you can remove your name from the attendees list. Both originator and attendees can create new meeting for themselves by use the "New Meeting" function.

4.1.6 Meeting Selection

Are conflicting meetings highlighted in any way in the meeting list section?

Clicking on a particular day on the main screen calendar will display the list of meetings for that day.

To view details for a particular meeting:

The meeting is highlighted in the meeting list in the top left corner of the screen. If there are conflicting meetings, these also displayed in the meeting list. The last entry in the meeting list box allows you to schedule a new meeting. This procedure is discribed in the "Adding a New Meeting" section. The selected meeting details: meeting name, date, start time and end time are displayed on the top-right hand side of the screen. A list of employees who will attend the meeting is found at the bottom of the screen.

4.1.7 Adding a New Meeting

To add or schedule a new meeting:

From the main screen:
* Click the "New Meeting button"


From the "Meeting Details" screen:
* Double-click on New Meeting in the Meetings list


  • Enter the new meeting name in the "Meeting Name" field
  • Select the Location from the Location drop box
  • Enter the date, start time and end time.
  • The "Notes" field is optional
  • Identify people whom you want to attend the meeting from the Company Personal list box. Select their name in the list, and use the "Add" (>>) button to place them in the Attendees box or you can use the "Remove" (<<) to remove a person from the attendees list
  • Click OK
  • Does the user have to press the "Add" (>>) button for each attendee or can the user highlight each attendee and press the "Add" button once.? Does the orginators name automatically appear in the Orginator Field?

    At this point, if there is no room conflict, the meeting will be added to the schedules of all employees listed in the "Attendees" box. If you wish to quit while adding a meeting, you can click on the Cancel button to exit. The information will not be saved.

    As you adjust the Meeting Date, Start Time and End time, you will notice that some of the names in the Company Personnel and Meeting Attendees areas will lighten and italicize, or return to normal. Bold text indicates that the individual's schedule does not have a conflict with the current time. Lightened, italicized text indicates the person is already booked at some point during the selected time. This feature will help you choose a conflict free time and date for your meeting. Likewise, the Find Time tab has a feature specifically designed to find common available time amoung a group of employees. This is discussed in the Find Common Time section. If an attendee has a conflict, you are still permitted to request their attendance.

    4.1.8 Scheduling a Periodic Meeting

    To schedule a periodic meeting, one that will occur over a regular interval:

    The adding a periodic meeting is very well done and straight forward.

    Correction to the above procedure: The second line should read ..."Click the periodic TAB in the 'Meeting Details' dialog"

    4.1.9 Modifying a Meeting

    Meetings can only be modified by the originator of the meeting.

    To modify a meeting:

  • Edit the meeting details you wish to change in the "Meeting Details" screen.

    When an originator has modified any information for a meeting, all attendees are notified of the alterations.

    This section is a little lacking in content. A actual example would be nice so the user is sure of their actions.

    4.1.10 Cancelling a Meeting

    The Cancel Meeting function is exclusively provided to meeting originators. They reserve the right to remove a meeting from the schedules of all meeting attendeees.

    To cancel a meeting:

    At this point the "Cancel Meeting" dialog will appear to verify your request. To accept, click OK and to quit, click Cancel.

    4.1.11 Cancel Meeting Attendance

    To cancel your attendance in a meeting:

    At this point the "Cancel Attendance" dialog will appear to verify your request. To accept, click OK and to quit, click Cancel.

    4.1.12 Finding Common Time

    The feature is used to find common available time among a list of meeting employees.

    To find common time:

    Now, a list of common times will be shown in the "Dates and Times" list box. If no common time exists, you will be notified.

    4.2 A PlaNet Tutorial

    A sample guide to MMS

    This section will take you through a series of tasks which are designed help you to familiarize with the system. This section will guide you from the initial logging on to exiting the system. The MMS system allows you to view, modify, delete and add meetings for yourself and has the power to allow you to schedule meetings with other employees.

    Upon envoking the system you are confronted with "Login" screen.

    At this point you are required to enter your login ID and password. The login ID and password are assigned to you by your system administrator. Enter your login ID and password in their respective fields. Once authentication is validated you will be prompted with a notification screen if you have any notices.

    You will also be propted with the MMS main screen. (refer to 4.1)

    The main screen will be the focual point of navigation through the MMS system. From here you are able to view and modify your schedule; look up help; print your schedule; change your password; add a new meeting; cancel existing meetings; cancel meeting attendance; and go into meeting details and view specific details about your meeting schedules.

    In the the main screen, the calendar is represented by a series of buttons which allow you to choose various dates and times.

    Let's follow an example, beginning at the main screen. The main screen enables you to perform most tasks:

    Changing Password:

    For security reasons, it is a good idea to change your password regularly, especially if the password has just been assign to you by the system administrator. You'll want to be able to remember your password, so choosing a new one is usually preferred. This section describes how you would go about changing your current password.

    The "Change Password" screen enables a user to change their own password. Users are required to enter their desired new password twice to ensure that any inadvertant typographical errors do not prevent them from accessing PlaNet.

    To change his/her password, a user must do the following:
    Again use of numbers instead of bullets would provide a more clear step by step tutorial for the user.

    To avoid the password change, the user can press "Cancel". It is recommended, but not required, that users change their password once every two months.

    The main screen will appear again as your upon pressing the button.

    Cancel Meeting Attendance:

    In the event you have an schedule conflict or a more important obligation, you may remove yourself from attending a particular meeting. PlaNet will allow you to do this so with ease in the main screen.

    For example, you would like to take yourself out of the "Distribution (Europe)" meeting scheduled for Nov. 26, 1997 at 11:30 AM.
    Same as above. :)

    Pressing "OK" will accept your decision. Presssing "Cancel" will abort your choice. You will then be prompted with the main screen again.

    Add a Meeting:

    If you want to call (create) a meeting, this can also be done within the main screen. Pressing the "New Meeting" button will lead you to a new screen that allows you to:

    Putting the functions in a list may be a little easier for the user to see all of the functions you can do.

    Add New Meeting; Modify existing meetings; call periodical meetings; find common time for a particular meeting; and cancel a meeting.

    This walk through is good. It covers most everything I need to know and also tells me that this is the place to do certain things. Tells user that they have a choice of what information they can provide and how to do it.

    Now let's go through the process of creating a new meeting; within this you can choose to call periodical meeting or find a common time for a meeting.

    1. Select "New Meeting" in main screen will lead you to the detailed meeting. Override the title by entering a new meeting title. Your name will appear under "Meeting Originator".

    2. Identify people listed in the "Company Personnel" area who you would like to attend. Select their name, and use the "Add" (>>) button to book them as a "Meeting Attendee". The "Remove" (<<) button performs the reverse operation. You may not remove yourself from a meeting you schedule.

    3. "Meeting Notes" may be used to communicate any message to all invitees. Providing a note is optional but is usually good practice.

    4. Should a periodic meeting be desired, this is the time to request it. We talk about this below. For now, we'll assume just the one meeting is being scheduled.

    5. Pick a location from the "Location" drop box.

    6. If you have a particular date and time you would like to hold the meeting, select this by adjusting the "Meeting Date", "Start Time" and "End Time" areas. (An alternative is to use the "Find Time" feature, discussed below.) As you adjust these parameters, you will notice that some of the names in the "Company Personnel" and "Meeting Attendees" areas will lighten and italicize, or return to normal. When a name is in bold text the person's schedule is free at the selected time; when the text is lightened and italicized the person is already booked at some point during the selected time. You are still premitted to request them at your meeting, but realize they have a conflict and may not attend.

    7. Press "OK", and the meeting will be scheduled. If you press "Cancel Meeting" instead, the meeting will be cancelled.

      View/Modify Meetings:

      Once you're in this screen all meetings that you have scheduled will be visible for you to view. To view the details of a meeting, highlight the meeting from the "List of meetings" list box. The details of the desired meeting will be displayed on the upper right hand side of the screen.

      For example, you want to add another attendee to the "Supplier 8 Evaluation" meeting, highlight the meeting by clicking this name. You will see all the details pertaining to this meeting. Assume you are the originator of this meeting and you wish to add a new attendee. Simply select the person's name(s) you want to add to the meeting and then press the ">>" button to add their name(s).

      Similarily you can modify any fields in the detailed information.

      If you are the originator (your name will appear in that "Originator" box), and you may change some of the attributes on this section of the screen.

      If you are not the originator, you are only permitted to view this information.

      In the above there are two additional options that can be used, you can either set a periodic meeting(s) or find a common time among all the attendees in a meeting.

      Periodic Meeting:

      We are unclear as to how we would accomplish removing a periodic meeting from the employee's schedules. If we want to remove all of the meetings that we scheduled with a periodic meeting command, would we just cancel one of the meetings to cancel them all or would we have to cancel each of them individually?

      At times you might want to schedule regular meetings for a certain day of each month and MMS allows you to do so. To schedule a periodic meeting, select the "Periodic" tab and the bottom section will change to the periodic screen.

      This section of the screen is to allow the user to indicate if a meeting will be regularly scheduled over a particular interval. Periodic meetings are meetings scheduled for the same time and held over a regular interval. The following intervals are available:

      • Daily
      • Daily, including weekends
      • Weekly
      • Every second week
      • Monthly
      • Quarterly (once every 3 months)

      To request a periodic meeting, check the "This meeting is periodic" box, and select a time interval between meetings. "Period Start" is the day of the first meeting; "Period End" is the day after which no more of this meeting will be scheduled. If you don't want a periodic meeting, uncheck the "This meeting is periodic" box.

      Find Common Time

      The implementation of the finding of a common time is well done. This provides us with the power we need for the system while not overburdening the program for everyday use.

      Sometimes you may want to schedule a meeting, and want all personel, or subgroup of employees, to attend this meeting, the "Find Common Time" is the best way to find a meeting when attendees are available.

      The user will enter the desired meeting duration, start and end dates for the search, and earliest and latest times for the meeting. Once the times has been specified, press the "Search for Available Time Now" button to begin the search. PlaNet will provide a list of times, any of which will not conflict will all meeting attendees' schedules. PlaNet will use the date and time the user selects. The user will be informed if no such time exists.

      Cancel Meeting:

      Now suppose, as originator, you want to cancel a meeting the you've previously scheduled. This can be done in the "Meeting Details" by first selecting the appropriate meeting, then press the "Cancel Meeting" button.

      You will then be prompt with the "Cancel Meeting" dialog box that asks for your choice.

      Pressing the "OK" button to accept the choice you just made, or abort by pressing the "Cancel" button.

      To return to the main screen press "OK" in the meeting details screen.

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      5. The PlaNet Administration System

      Very informative with the Administration screen and functionality description of the buttons and display box.

      The PlaNet Administration System (PAS) provides administrators with the ability to manage employee records and meeting locations. It is important to note that only those employees with administrator status will have access to this dialog. Upon successful login to the system, an administrator will always be presented with both the administration screen and the main screen.

      Administration Screen

      5.1 Employee Administration

      Selecting the Personnel button on this dialog allows additions, deletions and modifications to be made to the employee records in the PlaNet database. NOTE: All these tasks are accessible exclusively from the PlaNet administration main screen (PAS).

      5.1.1 Adding a new employee

      To add a new employee to the Personnel list:

      • Click on the Personnel radial button
      • Click the "Add New" button

      This will bring you to the add new employee dialog box.

      The screenshot makes the description easy to follow.

      In this dialog, you are required to:

      • Fill in the first name, last name, login and password of the employee you wish to add to the system. Adding comments is optional.
      • If the new employee will be an administrator, click on the administrator check box.
      • Click OK

      At this point, PlaNet will attempt to add the new employee to the database. In the event that any of the information provided is incorrect or already exists in the database, an error message will appear describing the type of error.

      If you need to quit at any point while adding a new employee, you may click on the Cancel button to exit. Any information filled in the dialog at this time will not be saved.

      5.1.2 Deleting an Employee

      The description is good and easy to understand except that it doesn't specify whether to type first name or last name for searching the employee to be deleted.

      To delete an existing employee from the Personnel list:

      • Click on the Personnel radial button. The Company Personnel list box includes the names of all employees currently in the database.
      • Select the employee(s) name within the Company Personnel list box you wish to delete. (This is achieved in two ways; you may scroll through the list and highlight the name by clicking on it or you may type the employee's name to navigate through the alphabetically ordered list and then highlight the name by clicking on it.)
      • Click the "Delete" button

      At this point, a dialog box will appear to verify your request. If you wish to proceed with the deletion, click OK and all information pertaining to this employee will be removed from the database. If you do not wish to proceed, click the Cancel button and the employee information will remain in the database.

      5.1.3 Modifying an Employee's Records

      Overall, the Modification of an Employee Record description is clear and concise. However, a check should be drawn in the 'Administrator' button so that the user who only reads this section of the manual doesn't left wondering what exactly this button does/serves to do?

      To modify an existing employee in the Personnel list:

      • Click on the Personnel radial button.
      • Highlight to appropriate name from the Company Personnel list
      • Click on the "Modify" button.

      This will bring you to the modify employee dialog box.

      In this dialog you are required to:

      • Edit the information contained in first name, last name, login, password, comments and administrator fields as desired
      • Click the OK button

      At this point, PlaNet will attempt to accept all changes and update them in the database. In the event that any of the information provided is incorrect or already exists in the database, an error message will appear describing the type of error and allow you to try again.

      If you need to quit at any point while modifying an employee's records, you may click on the Cancel button to exit. Any changes to employee information at this time will not be saved and the original information will remain unmodified.

      5.2 Location Administration

      Selecting the Meeting Rooms button on this dialog allows additions, deletions and modifications to be made to the employee records in the PlaNet database. NOTE: All these tasks are accessible exclusively from the PlaNet administration main screen (PAS).

      5.2.1 Adding a New Meeting Location

      Good functionality and as above quite clear and concise. However, what is 'button .A'? is that a hidden thing or a spelling error? and what happen if a non-existant meeting room was entered?

      To add a new location for meetings:

      • Click on the "Meeting Rooms" radial button
      • Click on the "Add New..." button.A
      • In the edit box, type the name of the new meeting room you want to add
      • Click "OK".

      In the event you have entered a name that already exists, you will be required to enter a new name. If, at any point, you wish to quit, click the Cancel button quit.

      5.2.2 Modifying a Meeting Location

      To edit the name of a location that already exists:

      • Click on the "Meeting Rooms" radial button in the PAS main window.
      • Click on the "Modify..." button.
      • In the edit box, type the new name of the existing meeting room and click on the "OK" button when finished.The room name will now be changed and updated in the system database, and in the schedules of employees who were attending meetings in the edited location.
      Screenshot helps easing the pain of reading the very long sentence below it.

      The new name must be different from all other room names, and it may not be left blank, or an error message will be generated and you will be required to enter another name. You can always quit the modification of a location name by clicking on the "Cancel" button to quit. window.

      5.2.3 Deleting a Meeting Location

      To delete a meeting location:

      • Click on the "Meeting Rooms" radial button
      • Click on the "Delete" button.

      At this point, a Delete Location dialog will be displayed to verify your request. The confirm the deletion, click the OK button. To abort the deletion, click the Cancel button. The original information will remain unchanged.

      You will not be permitted to delete a room that is currently scheduled currently to hold meetings. The system will give you a "request failed" message explaining why you were not able to remove the meeting room, and return you to the PAS main window.
      Looks good and easy to understand. However, this manual doesn't tell the user what happen if the meeting location doesn't exist in the data base system.

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      6. Notifications

      The notice screen is displayed as soon as you have successfully logged into the PlaNet system. It contains a listing of notices whose purpose is to inform you of any changes to your schedule. These notices are automatically generated when:

      • Another employee has arranged a meeting which he/she wants you to attend.
      • The details of a meeting in which you were already scheduled have been changed by the meeting's originator.
      • Your attendance is requested at a meeting, but there is a conflict with your current schedule.
      • A meeting you were previously scheduled to attend has been canceled.
      • An employee, whose attendance you have requested at a meeting, can not attend.

      All your notices are listed and kept in the "Notices" box.

      Reading the details of a notice:

      • Click the mouse on the appropriate notice

      This will cause the corresponding details to be displayed in the "Notice Details" box.

      Deleting a notice:

      • Click on the appropriate notice
      • Click on the "Delete" button in this window

      This Notices window can be minimized, maximized or closed by using the buttons located on the title bar.

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      7. Looking for Help

      In order to get help with how too use the PlaNet system, you may click on the "Help" button located on the right hand side of the PlaNet main screen. This will result in a window being displayed containing a description of how to use the system.

      Context-sensitive on-line help is also provided to ease the transition from beginner to expert user.

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      8. Error Handling

      Whenever an error occurs in the system, dialog boxes will be generated and displayed to describe the source of the error. Closing the error dialog will allow you to make the appropriate modifications or allow you to seek on-line help.

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      9. PlaNet Deficiencies

      Possible bugs and deficiencies of the PlaNet system:

      • Periodic meetings can not be deleted simultaneously. Once a periodic meeting is created, each meeting is treated individually. This means that if you wish to delete all periodic meetings, they have to be removed separately.

      • Printing of schedules is limited to one single day at a time. ie) You can not print one month or one week at once

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      10. Index

      Administration Administration Screen screen shot

      Cancel Changing passwords


      Delete Error Handling
      Exiting PlaNet
      Find Common Time
      Main Screen
      Meeting Details
      Meeting Management System (MMS)
      Meeting Selection

      Modify Notifications
      PlaNet Adminstration System (PAS)
      Printing Schedule

      Starting System Requirements
      Table of Contents


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