Setting a Task’s Finish Time in Excel

When creating a schedule in an Excel spreadsheet, you will have a Start date and Finish date. But there is also a time associated with those dates, and if you don’t set it, your tasks may appear to finish earlier than expected. In the example below, both tasks finish on the seventh day, but the blue task finishes at 12:00 a.m. and the red task finishes at 11:59 p.m., almost a full day later. Paying attention to the times associated with your dates in Excel will help you ensure that a task is scheduled correctly.

This blog will go over an addition to make to the formula in your Excel spreadsheet to change the time of your task Finish date.

By default, Excel will have the time set to midnight when you create dates for your schedule. This can cause the task to look it it is finishing earlier than you anticipate.

If we have a schedule with tasks that need to finish at the end of the day, we should adjust the Finish date formula to extend the time. At the end of your Finish date formula, add +0.9999, as seen in the screenshot below.

Adding the +0.9999 to your formula will change the time of your Finish date to 11:59 pm, which will tell OnePager that the task finished at the end of the day, instead of at the beginning

Once you have applied the addition to your formula and validated the time change, you can create your chart in OnePager. You will then see that the task with the time change extends to the end of the day, while the task with the time not changed is at the beginning of the day.

In the example above, we created an Excel schedule where tasks begin at midnight and end one minute before midnight the following day. This works well for basic scheduling. But if you want your Excel schedule to more closely match a normal workday of 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., you can modify the start and finish times in Excel accordingly.

This entry was posted in Best Practices, Excel Tips by Josh. Bookmark the permalink.

About Josh

Josh has over a decade worth of experience in IT. Eight years of that was in healthcare doing IT Security (IAM) and Clinical Application Support. He now brings that experience to OnePager, where he provides support and brings new users up to speed with training sessions. Josh is an avid backpacker and enjoys spending nights deep in the woods outside of work.

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