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Number Tracking in Project

written by: Linda Richter • edited by: Michele McDonough • updated: 7/2/2011

You can use these tricks for working with numbers in your Project. You know -- important numbers like costs and budgets.

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    Welcome to Part 2 in this series on the best Microsoft Project 2007 Tips & Tricks. The techniques offered here and in other, related series' articles are based on my experience with Project, both as an instructor, a project manager and an author.

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    Project 2007's New Budget & Cost Resources

    In Microsoft Project, you can assign budget and cost resources to account for project expenses related to non-labor and non-material items such as resource travel and per diem costs or licensing. These budget and cost resources, when assigned to the project, are assigned at the project summary task level. This way, they apply to the entire project.

    The great thing about these budget and cost resources is that, when assigned, they don't have any impact on your project schedule. In Project, when you modify a resource assignment for any task, due dates and other task dependency relationships update, as well. This is one of the major selling points of Microsoft Project - resource-driven scheduling.

    But, when you denote a resource as a "cost" or "budget" resource, when assigned, these resources do not impact your overall project schedule. You can learn how to create a budget and apply it to a Microsoft Project 2007 plan here.

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    Analyze Your Data in Excel

    Microsoft Project works wonders for managing your project schedule and resources. But, it is somewhat limited when you want to analyze the costs associated with your project. It certainly has the ability to track these costs, but it can't do much beyond storing and displaying the data.

    That's why having the ability to export my Project data to Excel is a huge bonus.

    And, it isn't just great for data analysis. This is also a fantastic function for sharing your Project data with non-Project users. You can learn how to export your Project data here.

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    Are You a Keyboard Freak, Like Me?

    I know keyboard shortcuts don't have a whole lot in common with number crunching, but I find that the people who work with the numbers often prefer to keep their hands on the keyboard instead of the mouse. That's why I've chosen to offer up some Keyboard Shortcuts in this article, as well.

    There are tons of tips listed on Microsoft's site, but here are just a few of the ones I use regularly:

    • Insert a Task [INSERT]
    • Scroll to Selected Task [CTRL]+[SHIFT]+[F5]
    • Link tasks [CTRL]+[F2]
    • Unlink tasks [CTRL]+[SHIFT]+[F2]
    • Open Resource Information Dialog Box [SHIFT]+[F2]

    If you're a keyboard freak, like me, you'll love the keyboard shortcuts offered up by Microsoft for use in Project.

Microsoft Project Tips & Tricks

Project 2007 trainer and author Deanna Reynolds presents the best Microsoft Project 2007 tips along with a few tricks she's learned over the past 15 years of working with and teaching Project.
  1. Customize Project with these Tricks
  2. Number Tracking in Project
  3. More Project 2007 Tips & Tricks