Any way to get dependent tasks to drop on Timeline view in a more sensible manner?

I am a very, very heavy user of Timeline view.

Daily, I launch a Task Template that has a set of Subtasks that are basically one big dependency string.

For whatever reason, the tasks always show up on the Timeline mode vertically sprawled out. I cannot imagine anyone using Timeline mode that would want them looking like this, if they have much of anything on their Timeline mode.

Below is a snippet. On the left side is a string that dropped exactly this way. On the right is a string that’s from the exact same template, except that I moved everything as horizontally aligned as possible.

Is there any way for me to manipulate the Task Template that drops these tasks so that they land in-line horizontally as much as possible? Obviously two tasks that have the same due date have to stack one on top of the other vertically, but not things due on different days.

As far as I have observed, the Timeline organization is not user-controllable and tends to be fairly unuseable in most cases, if you’re not willing to custom curate the layout routinely. I think the new Gantt function solves this problem to some extent - would that work for you?

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This is something we hope for our clients as well → a button to clean OR a auto clean that makes sense.

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The only reason I could imagine is that they are spreading out so that you can see large portions of each task name. But, frankly, I don’t know about your thoughts – but for me, I’d much rather see a clean view and have to hover for the task name instead of looking at a spaghetti bowl of scattered tasks.

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It doesn’t seem quite that simple. Note that in Matt5’s example, where he used just 2 rows and this is acceptable for some uses, using just 3 rows for display would enable seeing all labels fully. But the system laid it out with 6 rows and also made it needlessly snarled…3 arrows cross, whereas in the human layout, no arrows cross. This cause me to suspect that the layout algorithm is just really simplistic and inadequate to the task.

It wouldn’t be too hard to write that algorithm; it would balance about these factors, in about this priority:

  • Earliest task on row 1
  • Minimize arrow crossings
  • Keep dependent tasks on a row close to their driver tasks
  • Minimize rows used
  • Maximize label visibility
  • Later start dates have lower rows

Anything I missed?

The Gantt looks nice and I’m still learning how to use it, but it doesn’t do a good job of handling dependencies visually as nice as Timeline does. Even though Timeline does tend to drop Task Templates with dependencies in seemingly higgledy-piggledy ways, at least you can manually organize it and it stays that way (usually! lol) .

The reason the Gantt doesn’t display dependencies nicely is because it’s basically just a List View, with a spreadsheet type Calendar view beside it. I can see how it might be helpful for some but as of yet I haven’t found it particularly helpful for me.