What is a Task Template?
The Task Templates feature in Tend allows you to create groups of tasks based on typical management practices. Applying a task template to a planting allows you to quickly add multiple tasks at the same time. This saves you time so you don’t have to add each task individually and prevents you from having to think about what task should be scheduled for each crop. Task templates are flexible enough that a single template can be used for a group of crops such as Brassicas, or they can apply to just one crop such as Garlic.
Tasks in a task template can be linked with key planting dates such as greenhouse sow date, field planting date, first harvest date, etc. This means that if you need to adjust your planting dates, the linked tasks will all be updated automatically. For example, if your fields are too wet you may need to move your planting date forward a week.
Creating a New Task Template
To create a new task Template, navigate to the Task feature, then select the Templates option in the middle of the page, and then click on the blue “New Template” button.
You’ll be asked to give the template a name, and then you can begin adding tasks to the template. Click on the blue “Add Task” button on the left side of the screen which will open a window where you can enter task details such as:
- Task Type - Cultivation & Tillage, Fertilize & Amend, Pest & Disease, Irrigate, Weed, etc.
- Description - include custom notes about the task
- Task Method - based on task type: Bed Prep, Fertigate, Laying Drip, etc
- Application Rate
- Linked with Date - you can select from the following dates to link your task to: Field Planting/Sowing Date, Greenhouse Start Date, First Harvest Date, Last Harvest Date
You can enter the number of days and select whether the task should be scheduled before or after the selected planting date.
Below is an example of a task template for Brassicas. Notice that all 5 of these tasks are linked to the Field Planting/Sowing Date.
Editing tasks in a Task Template
Once you’ve added a task to a task template you can hover your cursor over the task to make the following changes by clicking one of the three buttons on the right:
Edit - opens the task details so you can make changes
Duplicate - creates an exact copy of the selected task
Delete - removes the task from the task template
Note: When you make a change to a task template you will be asked to choose between the following options:
If you select the first option no changes will be made to plantings that you’ve already applied the template to. If you select the second option all associated tasks will be updated except for tasks that have already been marked complete.
Deleting or Duplicating a Template
To delete a task template or to make an exact copy of a template, select the task template from the list and click on the Delete or Duplicate buttons to the right of the template name. This can help save time if you’re building out several task templates with similar tasks and schedules.
Applying a task template to a single planting
To apply a task template, open a planting and click on the “+ Apply Template” button in the upper right corner. This will automatically add all the tasks from the task template to the planting based on the links you’ve created with planting dates.
Applying a task template to multiple plantings
You can apply a task template to multiple plantings at once using the Bulk Edit feature. Select the plantings from your crop plan by checking the box to the left of the planting in the list and click on the Edit button at the top of the screen. Then select “Apply Task Template” from the list of details, select the template you want to apply, and click Update.
When you apply a Task Template to a planting, you are adding all the Tasks in the Template to that planting, and these Tasks will appear automatically on your Task Calendar. In some diversified growing situations, this could result in a large number of duplicate Tasks being added to your Task Calendar.
To avoid this Calendar cluttering, we recommend you apply Task Templates to a single planting that is representative of a larger whole, rather than applying a Template to every planting you add to your Crop Plan.
For example, say you plant out a new succession of lettuce every two weeks. In each of these successions, you have four different varieties of lettuce. You add these varieties into your Crop Plan as four separate plantings, so you can track their performance independently. If you have a Lettuce Task Template that you want to use to manage your lettuce crops, we recommend only applying your Lettuce Template to one of your four varietal plantings per succession. That way, when it’s time to cultivate the lettuce (or do whatever you have to do!) your Task Calendar will display one lettuce cultivation Task instead of four.
Common uses for Task Templates:
Organic certification documentation
If your farm is certified organic, efficient record keeping is a top priority. Creating Task Templates for the activities you need to track for organic certification helps you fold record-keeping seamlessly into your day while generating a searchable Records database of your activities, so you can always find your information when you need it.
For example, if you want to track all of your fertility applications for your organic certification documentation, you can create a Task Template that contains all of the input and amendment Tasks that you routinely perform for each planting you grow.
Linking these Tasks with planting dates helps you to record your fertility applications across the planting’s entire lifecycle. Say you always apply kelp to your plantings while they’re in the greenhouse, and then you apply kelp a second time after they’re planted out into the field. You could add two kelp application Tasks to your Fertility Template, one linked to the plantings’ greenhouse sowing date and another linked to the field transplant date.
Whenever one of these Tasks is completed, Tend automatically creates a Record of the fertility application activity that includes the date, input type, the crops and fields it was applied to, and which crew member applied the input. When you need to retrieve your certification Records, simply navigate to the Records Feature and apply applicable display filters to rapidly access the information you need for your reporting.
Using Task Templates for recurring Tasks
To do this, create a new Task Template for the repeating Task.
Then add the first iteration of the recurring Task to the template, linking the Task to the appropriate key planting date.
Next, duplicate the Task, updating the days before/after value for the linked planting date as needed.
Repeat this process until you’ve created all the necessary iterations of your repeating Task. You can now apply the template to relevant plantings to quickly add recurring management Tasks to your Calendar.
Important note about recurring Tasks in Tend
Beyond the Task Templates, there is not currently a tool in Tend for duplicating Tasks or creating recurring Tasks.
Because Task Templates contain multiple Tasks linked to a planting’s key planting dates, they can be used to apply repeating Tasks to particular plantings during finite time frames (eg. you weed your overwintering garlic every three weeks for six months).
Task Templates cannot be used to create indefinitely recurring tasks associated with plantings (eg. pruning your blueberry bushes each winter) or for creating repeating Tasks that are not associated with a planting (eg. checking irrigation pumps or ripping fields for drainage each year). Indefinitely repeating Tasks and Tasks not associated with plantings must be manually added to the Task Calendar individually.
You can schedule Tasks several years into the future in Tend, so you could, for example, add your annual mulching Tasks for the next several years to your Task Calendar in one sitting, but Tend does not currently have a tool that will automatically generate this recurring Task for you each year.