5pm interface is easy to navigate — everything is within a click or two. The left panel shows projects and tasks, and the right panel shows the activity inside them (comments, files, etc).
When you select the Group level (a group is a set of projects; by default, projects are not grouped into any groups and are located in the global "All Groups" area) on the top of the table in the left panel, the right panel shows the activity across all its projects AND tasks, latest on the top. Selecting a project shows all its activity AND the activity within its tasks. You can easily switch from a global group view, to a project view, or a single task view with a just a click
5pm interface is easy to customize — you can add/hide columns, change their size and order, or resize the panels to fit them.
Each user can customize his/her own 5pm interface. For example, a manager may decide to go with a more detailed view, including columns like Deadline, Priority, Team, Progress, etc.:
... while other users may want to see a compact view with only project/task names and their deadlines:
You can also edit project/tasks name, deadline and other fields directly in the left panel.
Projects & tasks are in a custom sort order by default — new ones are added to the the top, but they can be dragged in any order you want. Custom sort order is shared between all users.
To sort by a specific column, just click on the column header in the left panel. The custom sort order column is the first one, with the double arrow icon.
You can also drag tasks between projects. Dragging a task into another task makes it into its sub-task. You can also drag comments from the right panel into a different project/task in the left panel, in case you posted it into the wrong one.
Filters allow you to adjust your projects/tasks list (filters are individual — they do not change other people's view). You can hide the non-active ones (closed or on-hold), or just hide the ones closed more than X days ago. You can also filter them by team members (people assigned to projects/tasks) and custom tags.
If you combine the filters "show only active projects/tasks" and "show only ones assigned to me" — you, basically, get your current to-do list:
Since tasks are organized into projects, you have to unfold each project to see its tasks. Also, when you sort by fields like Deadline, it will sort the tasks separately, inside each of their projects.
If you want to see all your tasks in a flat list, across all the projects, so you can also sort through all of them, switch to My Tasks View:
If you still want to be able to see the task's project name, simply add the "Project" column to this view, using the interface customization.
My Tasks View shows your tasks by default, but can be switched to show any person's tasks (or tasks not assigned to anybody).
In the right panel, in the Activity tab, you can scroll through comments, files and progress notes (can be added to tasks only) and post new ones:
You can turn on User Logs to see who did what. The deletion logs have the "restore' link to help you restore a message, task or even a whole project deleted by mistake.
File attachments can be easily buried between other messages. To make it easier to locate them, use the Files tab:
Finally, the last one to cover in the main view is the Info tab. It contains the selected project/task details in a compact read only form, plus some useful links.
Are you new to 5pm? Do no worry, 5pm is very easy to use and does not require any training — you can start using it right away. Here are a few steps to get you started:
1. Create your first Project and Task: Use the "+" button on the top of the left panel:
A form will open in the right panel. Just type in the name (the rest of the fields are optional) and submit the form (you can use the CTRL+Enter keyboard shortcut):
Once you create the project you can add a Task to it in the same way. You can read more about it here.
2. Assign a Team to a Project or Task. You could add users to a project/task when you are creating it, or you can edit it later by selecting the project/task in the left panel and clicking "details" button on the top of the right panel.
You can assign one or many people to the project and task teams.
Task Team can be the same as the Project Team, or it can be different. This allows extra flexibility: you do not have to add every project team member to the task team (which is usually smaller). You can even add a new person to the task team that is not even part of the project, instead of adding this person to the whole project. This allows for more efficient tasks filtering (for example, when filtering tasks assigned to you) and more targeted email notifications (no need to "bombard" the whole project team about every single task).
3. Add Comments to Projects and Tasks. Once you select a Project or Task in the left panel, you will see the comments form on the top of the right panel (Activity tab):
You can add formatting to your text, attach files, send email notifications about it, report progress and hours spent (for tasks only) — you can read more about it here.
4. Close completed Tasks. The easiest way to close a task is by simply clicking the checkbox icon in the front of the task name:
There are other ways to close tasks, with options like sending email notifications — you can read more about it here.
Those are the simple steps to create projects and tasks, assign people to them, exchange comments with your team, and close tasks when they are done.
This is all you need to know to start using 5pm right away, while exploring other features as you go.