The right windows scheduler tool makes a world of difference. It can eliminate tedious tasks you’re your to-do list forever! On the other hand, choose the wrong tool and you will lose time due to errors. With so many options on the market, making a smart choice might feel overwhelming.
Instead of looking at dozens of features and tests, you should take a straightforward approach. Use these questions to make a select the right Windows scheduler tool for you.
1) How will scheduling computer tasks make your life and work better?
Instead of starting with technology issues, let’s begin with the big picture. Scheduling and automating tasks are only valuable in the service of a larger goal. For example, ask yourself when you usually leave work. Is it 5 pm, 6 pm or even later? In that case, you might be stuck late at the office because you are overloaded with tasks. Scheduling those tasks to run without you means you can head home early without feeling tired.
2) What are the ten computer tasks that you regularly do each month at work?
The previous question was about finding your why to use a Windows scheduling tool. Next, let’s take a closer look at the day to day tasks you need to do. Here are some of the most common tasks that developers and business analysts have to manage each month.
- Upload a current customer list to a supplier for mailings (this is an excellent way to reduce your mailing costs because you will send less mail to out of date addresses)
- Extract financial data from PDF files (e.g., obtain customer data from paper forms without typing)
- Update databases with new dates, names and other important fields
- Backup a mission-critical database to multiple locations (i.e., you might have an overnight database backup for the most important data and monthly backups with less critical data)
- Excel automation, such as updating financial reports and update calculations.
- Automate your Office 365 calendar: set a trigger to create a schedule (e.g. “Review Q1 Software QA Report”)
Not sure which Windows tasks you carry out most frequently? There’s an easy way to get a list of your most important tasks. We call it the Sent technique. Open your sent mail folder in your email application. Look for reports, files, and other materials you have submitted to customers, managers and other people in the past week or month. If you are sending a report or an update to somebody important, that tells you it is an important task.
3) What specific Windows applications do you use for repetitive tasks?
In this step, you will identify specific Windows applications used in the previous step. For example, you may have a small list of apps like Office 365, PDFs and an SQL database. If you have a long list of applications, we suggest choosing three to five applications at first. When you are first getting started with automating Windows tasks, it is essential to start with a small number of applications. With that approach, you will avoid getting overwhelmed.
How VisualCron Helps A Software QA Analyst To Become More Successful
Becoming productive with Windows scheduling is easy when you use VisualCron. Let’s take the example of a software quality assurance (QA) analyst, Lisa. She works in a small company that is currently struggling to ship new software features on time. Lisa is frustrated with working late nights repeatedly. Here is what she wrote to answer three questions
1) How will scheduling Windows tasks make Lisa’s life better?
Lisa is currently working about fifty hours per week and still isn’t getting everything done. Working this many hours means that she is tired and sometimes make mistakes on critical reports. As an analyst, Lisa isn’t measured based on revenue or other traditional business metrics. Instead, she is measured based on quality and meeting deadlines. Automating Windows tasks with a high degree of reliability will help her look good at work and get home on time.
2) Which software QA tasks can be scheduled?
In reviewing her work responsibilities, Lisa identifies four critical weekly tasks that must be performed on time. Each of these tasks requires obtaining or providing information to another stakeholder. If any of these processes break down, the entire software development process will slow down. Here are a few examples of software QA tasks to be scheduled.
- Sort software bugs in the database and prepares a weekly report. Each week, new software bugs are reported and these need to be organized for analysis. VisualCron helps carry out this work. Lisa schedules this task to run at 7 am on Mondays to summarize the previous week’s reported bugs with database automation.
- Summarize software developer quality checklists. Each month, software developers at the company submit quality checklists for review. Lisa uses VisualCron to extract data from PDFs and load them into a database.
3) Which applications should Lisa start with?
For software QA work, Lisa decides to focus on two Windows applications. First, the company’s Windows SQL server, which manages software development bug reports and other details. Second, PDF files which contain additional quality information.
VisualCron is a great productivity solution for software QA analysts like Lisa for a few reasons. First, she noticed the fact she works with Windows applications. Second, we can see that Lisa is responsible for a large number of deadlines. That means much stress for her to keep up with demands from customers, managers and other people in the company.
Your Next Step To Choose A Windows Scheduler Tool
Not sure yet whether VisualCron is the right scheduling application for your company? The analysis will only take you so far. Now, it is time to make a decision. Take the free trial and schedule tasks with one application this week. If you want, you can keep experimenting with VisualCron for up to 45 days! You could be saving hours each week by scheduling your Windows tasks to run while you’re at home. Click here to download VisualCron.