This is the eighth article in a series meant to highlight the mistakes or missteps we see most often in our OnePager support interactions. These are things we wish we could help everyone avoid, and do the proper way instead.
8 – Building up lots of snapshots unnecessarily
The wrong way…
If you have a periodic meeting or presentation in which you’ve been asked to present regular updates of the same plan to the same audience, then there is a good chance you’ve used OnePager’s Update button.
But there are a few options after you click this button. The default is to add a new snapshot, and based on our support interactions, we’re fairly certain this is just what people tend to stick with during their updates.
A snapshot in OnePager is like a “slide” within the OnePager document (.tam file), and you have the option of adding more snapshots over time. Once you have more than one, you’re able to click back and forth between them to animate the change that occurs from one report iteration/slide/snapshot to the next (as shown below).
This is the value of the snapshots feature…to be able to click back and forth between the two snapshots, to animate the change. Animation is a preattentive attribute that will pull your audience’s attention to the items moving, and give them more context as to what has changed between your report iterations.
While using the snapshot feature can be helpful, it can also be inadvertently overused.
Sometimes we’ll see a significant build up, over time, of snapshots. When we have our user click the List All button in the View tab in the ribbon, their list of snapshots looks like the above (or much longer).
As you can imagine, this can build up the size of the OnePager document, significantly, and there are usually snapshots that are no longer usable; they just aren’t something you would display to an audience, because there has been so much change over the course of time that they have lost their utility. Take the below, for example.
There is just too much blank space and blinking (created by change), for these to be useful.
The right way…
This isn’t so much the “right way” as it it just a guideline for keeping your snapshots clean and relevant, if you’re going to use the snapshot feature.
Make sure to go through your snapshots using the List All button on the View tab in the ribbon, and delete any snapshots that are no longer needed. This keep your file size at a manageable level, and retain the usefulness of the snapshots, which is the point.
If you don’t care about your old snapshots being useful, then you might want to rethink your Update process altogether; why not button up a Template and, instead, make a New Project View each time you need a visual?
Or as another alternative, perform an Update > Replace > All Properties over the same snapshot, each time.
As you get to know how the update options work, you’ll begin to figure out what the most efficient and best process is for you.
Have another bad habit that you’ve eliminated or hidden feature that you found recently that helped you be more efficient with OnePager? We’d love to hear your comments!