Mimosa Help Pages - www.mimosasoftware.com/help

Introduction

What is Mimosa?
Mimosa Tutorial
Concepts and tools

Mimosa views

Resources view
Events view
Weeks view
Timetables view

Mimosa menus

File menu
Edit menu
View menu
Tools menu
Options menu
Window menu
Help menu

Mimosa utilities

Resource editor
Event editor
Collection editor
Event info browser
Timetable browser
Selection window

How to...

Print or publish
Optimise timetables
Optimise student selections
Optimise room usage
Import/export with Clipboard
Import/export with text files
View statistics
Schedule in bulk mode
Schedule by blocks
Schedule intakes
Create cycling timetables
Vary room usage
Split events
Define resource roles
Add timetable comments

More about Mimosa

View summary
Menu summary
Network
Frequently Asked Questions
Technical specifications
Installing Mimosa
Licence statement
Buttons and shortcuts
Troubleshooting

What is Mimosa?

Mimosa will help you solve your scheduling problems however complex they may be. The software has been designed in close collaboration with hundreds of educational establishments around the world, evolving over a period of more than 10 years. It now contains more than 700 different features and options giving almost endless possibilities to create the timetables you want. The basic scheduling flow, however, remains simple and intuitive, allowing you to view and modify your schedule from the perspective of any resource making it easier for you to create a schedule that will satisfy all the demands that are placed on you.

Mimosa is a natural choice for schools and universities of all sizes since it has been designed from the start to address the challenges of academic scheduling. However, Mimosa is not tied to the academic world. You are free to define whatever resource types you need and create schedules for any combination of resources. Mimosa has been used to schedule conferences, seminars and many other time and resource dependent activities in a wide variety of business domains.

Mimosa is famous of the following reasons:

The power of Mimosa comes from these core features:

The open data format used by Mimosa can be used to integrate with any other software you may be using. Mimosa Software can provide consultancy and integration services to help you with this if needed.

For more details on the capabilities of Mimosa refer to the technical specifications. To see how Mimosa works in practice read the tutorial.

The Scheduling Challenge

Contrary to simple booking systems which have few dependencies, scheduling is in many cases much more complicated. Each event (or event as they are called in Mimosa) contains a variable number of resources (or resources), that should be kept linked together in timetables. When hundreds or thousands of activities and resources are linked together, the resulting system becomes dynamic and multidimensional. Humans cannot easily manage and memorise the contents of several matrices and their dependencies and the complexity of creating timetables even for a very small school may easily increase. This is where Mimosa comes in.

Mimosa is not only a resource (or room) reservation application. The purpose of this kind of application is only to manage bookings of resources at given time-periods. In many cases, these tasks can be implemented with a spreadsheet application. The complexity arises, when resources (such as rooms, teachers, groups) are not independent, but linked together at certain time-periods. With the help of events, Mimosa enables to link up to 240 resources of any kind in each event, and it automatically takes care that conflicts cannot occur. An event cannot be scheduled at a time when any of it's resources is already reserved for another event. The simpler room resource reservation functionality is a subset of Mimosa that comes as a by-product.

Often the primary goal is to create a feasible solution, which does not have any overlaps of resources, that is, the same resource should not be occupied by two or more activities at the same time. A secondary goal is to make schedules that are meaningful, without scattering activities randomly across the timetables, by grouping related events. Users should have the possibility to view the data from different angles and make decisions that lead to better solutions, but in no case lead to errors.

None of the resources have conflicting timetables

One of the resources (Group 1) has conflicting timetables

When the user has created the activities (courses, exams, meetings, etc.) that link the resources (teachers, classes, rooms, equipment, etc.) together, Mimosa automatically takes care that their timetables never overlap and provides several visual tools that allow you to find the permissible options and schedule activities to timetables in the best possible way.

Mimosa allows you to create timetables automatically or manually, and in any combination of these two approaches. Creating timetables manually often requires similar talents to those needed for solving the tasks below. Mimosa will support your efforts by not allowing you to make any mistakes, enabling you to undo and redo your changes to find what works best and by ensuring all your hard work is safely stored on disk.

Once you have started to input your data in Mimosa, you will soon forget how complicated a task you are actually working with. You do not necessarily need any pencil or paper while you work, since all data is now at your fingertips, and you can forget all those pitfalls and conflicts you previously tracked. You can easily jump from one window to another, view the data from any angle, find, sort, browse and schedule first, then add any of the missing resources. You can print your reports on any printer or as web pages, or select one of the numerous Clipboard formats, and use your spreadsheet software as your companion.

Core concepts in Mimosa

Events and resources

Contrary to institution-specific solutions, the basic concepts in scheduling, such as classes, teachers, rooms, students and equipment, are not explicitly defined in Mimosa. The common name we use for these basic building blocks is resources. The user, with the help of categories, defines the different resources that will be used. Each resource has a key, with a maximum length of 15 characters, and a name, with a maximum length of 200 characters. As an example, the resource category "Teachers" might contain one resource for each teacher in the school, the resource name would be the name of the teacher and the resource key would typically be formed from their initials.

Resources are the things you are creating timetables for. In schools and universities resources are, in most cases, teachers, rooms and students or sets of students (groups or classes) but may also include equipment such as projectors and other teaching aids. You can define whatever resources you like and, with the help of categories, you can give names and shortcuts for each type of resource you create.

In schools and universties, you can define the resources either by groups or by individual students or by both:

Scheduling is done through events. An event in Mimosa can represent any activity in the real world that needs to be scheduled in your timetables. The event definition indicates which of your resources need to be present and how many periods need to be reserved from their timetables in order to perform the real world event or activity. A one-off event, like a meeting, may only need one time period to be scheduled whereas a recurring event, like a course of periods, may be scheduled over several time periods per week over several weeks. Events can be categorised like resources and must be supplied with codes and names.

Note that you do not need to know or attach all resources to events before you can schedule them. For instance, you can create events having only the teacher and/or room and attach rest of the resources after scheduling.

In schools and universities events are typically used to schedule courses on different subjects, each of which may require the presence of a teacher, a group of students and a room (the resources) and which may take place several times a week over several weeks (the periods of the event and their allocation to the weeks of the schedule). However, events can also represent meetings, exams, self-study periods, maintenance periods for rooms or equipment, planned absences or any other real world event or activity that needs to be considered in your timetables.

Events, resources and timetables:

Linking of events with resources and timetable slots creates a complicated system which if often difficult to manage by humans. Mimosa is a tool which is intended to solve all problems associated with timetables. Even in most complicated setups, Mimosa takes care that conflicts (or clashes, or overlaps) in timetables cannot take place.

Weeks x Days x Slots:

The time frame over which events are scheduled is split into weeks (1-255), days of the week (1-7) and daily time periods (1-30). The maximum number of time periods you can use for your schedules is 53,550 (=255x7x30). The parameters for the scheduling time frame are set in Options|Limits and Options|Time.

There are several ways to split a school year into weeks. Some schools follow exactly the same timetable each week throughout the year and therefore use only one week for scheduling, some may change the timetable every week and need to schedule each week separately while others may divide the year into terms or semesters and create a different timetable for each period (i.e. one week per period). All these variations can be handled by the Mimosa calendar. You can even work with several school years at once since the maximum capacity of 255 weeks is more than large enough for that.

In Mimosa one week can even be defined to represent many calendar weeks. This gives you great flexibility in deciding how you schedule your events when they repeat in different patterns through the scheduling period; you can schedule one week and copy it the required number of times or you can just define and schedule one week and give it a length of the required number of calendar weeks.

Timetables

In Mimosa you create timetables for your resources by scheduling the events you have allocated to each of the weeks of your schedule. When you schedule an event in the timetable of one resource Mimosa automatically schedules it in the timetables of all the other resources required for the same event, taking care that no conflicts occur. You can easily switch between the timetables of the different resources required for an event when doing this. When all events have been scheduled you can publish the timetables for each resource for each week of your schedule.

Examples of educational environments where Mimosa is used

Mimosa Tutorial

This tutorial describes the basic concepts used in Mimosa, introduces the steps you would normally take to create your timetables and then gives step-by-step instructions how to create your first Mimosa file. The tutorial does not describe the many alternative ways you could do things, the purpose is simply to show the easiest and most straightforward path to create a small Mimosa file.

Often the best way to learn to use a new tool is just to start using it. If you have not already done so, download Mimosa now. It doesn't cost anything to try it out. Familiarize yourself with the concepts used in Mimosa and then follow the steps below to create a simple Mimosa file. Jump into other help topics whenever you want to find out more. You may also find it useful to open the presentation version of this tutorial in .pdf format from the Mimosa support page.

Scheduling flow

The most common usage of Mimosa is to create and print working timetables for classes, students, teachers and rooms (or any other resources that apply). The typical work flow for this process is shown below though Mimosa does not force any particular methodology on you, you are free to work as you please, going back and forth between the views and adding data as and when you want.

Note that the path is different (and simpler) if you just want to create one weekly timetable that is repeated throughout the scheduling period. In this case you do not need to go through the Weeks view to allocate events to weeks since, if you only have one week, Mimosa will automatically do it for you. For some more sophisticated use cases you can also schedule events without using the Timetables view, for example, if the event schedules are predefined and the application is used just to detect and prevent conflicts. In such cases you can use the Instant Scheduling feature to schedule the events as you create them in the Events view.

Mimosa can create and optimise your timetables automatically after you have created the needed resources and events, but it is recommended first to create a small sample file and schedule periods manually in order to see how the application works interactively. Due to the many exceptions in scheduling it is quite unusual to be able to complete the scheduling process fully automatically.

If you have been working with some other tools previously you can usually avoid a lot of unnecessary retyping and get the data into Mimosa via one of the many Clipboard selections available.

Read through this high level description of the scheduling process before going on to the step-by-step instructions that follow for creating your first Mimosa file.

1. Define options

The Options menu is used to set the time frame for scheduling (your calendar) in the Limits and Time tabs. You can also define the categories for resources and events in the Categories tab. You can save the settings you use as defaults since they will mostly likely remain the same from year to year. They are stored along with the data file so you do not need to adjust the settings even if you work with multiple schedule files.

2. Create resources

The Resources view is used to create and manage your resources (such as classes, students, teachers, rooms, subjects and so on). Resource codes, names or categories can be used as sorting criteria in the view. You can use the commands in the Edit menu or the corresponding buttons to insert, edit or delete resources.

In order to create timetables you first need to define the things you want to create timetables for. In Mimosa these are called resources and they are defined and managed in Resources view. In schools and universities resources are, in most cases, teachers, rooms and students or sets of students (groups or classes) but may also include equipment such as projectors and other teaching aids. You can define whatever resources you like and, with the help of categories, you can give names and shortcuts for each type of resource you create. Once you have created a few resources go to the Events view to start defining which of your resources need to be present for each of the events or activities you want to schedule in your timetables.

Typical examples of resources categories are teachers, rooms, groups, persons, equipment. Up to 240 resources can be associated for each event and the maximum number of events + resources is 8191.

Examples of resources:

Groups:

Teachers:

Roomss:

Subjects:

Students:

Equipment:

You can save a lot of time and import some or all of your resource information from a spreadsheet application. Organise the information so that the first column contains the Codes, the second column the Names and the third column the Categories of the resources:

(Edit|Paste from the Clipboard)

3. Create events

Having created all, or at least some, of the resources you will activate the Events view and begin to create events in the same way that you created your resources. In addition to the key and name of the event you must also define, for each event, the number of scheduling periods you plan to use for the event and the resources that need to be present for the event to be performed (typically these would be the number of periods you plan for the course and the teacher, room and student group to be taught). A maximum of 128 resources can be added to each event. Maintaining the list of resources is accomplished with the Insert and Remove buttons. (Note that you can also edit the event lists for each resource from the resources view.)

An event in Mimosa can represent any activity in the real world that needs to be scheduled in your timetables. The event definition indicates which of your resources need to be present and how many periods need to be reserved from their timetables in order to perform the real world event or activity.

In schools and universities events are typically used to schedule courses on different subjects, each of which may require the presence of a teacher, a group of students and a room (the resources) and which may take place several times a week over several weeks (the periods of the event and their allocation to the weeks of the schedule). However, events can also represent meetings, exams, self-study periods, maintenance periods for rooms or equipment, planned absences or any other real world event or activity that needs to be considered in your timetables. You can define your own event categories in Options|Categories.

Mimosa will not allow you to schedule an event in a timetable unless all the required resources are available in the selected period, nor will it allow you to schedule more than the planned number of periods for each event. If you don't want to limit how often a particular event may appear in your timetables you should enter a large enough number for the planned periods. You can freely define the periods of your schedules (days, times and names) in Options|Time.

Examples of common event structures:

Group, teacher and room:

Group, two teachers and rooms:

Two groups, one teacher and room:

Two groups, two teachers and rooms:

Teacher, room and a list of students (personalised timetables):

As with resources, use the codes and names systematically; events can be sorted according to the same criteria as resources. See List of Events.

You can always import all or part of your event information also from a spreadsheet application:

1. Organise the information so that the first column contains the Codes, the second column the Names, the third column the Categories and the fourth column the PLANNED number periods of the events.

(Edit|Paste from the Clipboard|2 Codes, names and PLANNED periods)


2. When you have the required resource and event codes in Mimosa, you can also paste the event structures - the events and their resources. Organise the information so that the first column contains the Code of each event and the next columns the codes of the Resources that have been attached to it.

(Edit|Paste from the Clipboard|2 Replace event resources)

4. Allocate periods to weeks

When at least one of the events is created, you can then activate the Weeks view and start to allocate the events over the weeks of your calendar. This can be accomplished manually, with the Insert button or with the other commands in the Edit menu.

In Weeks view you can allocate the periods you have planned for your events to the different weeks of your schedule. If you only have one week in your schedule all periods will be allocated automatically to that week and you can go directly to the Timetables view to schedule your events.

You can define the number of weeks in your schedule in Options|Limits and give them names and align them with the calendar in Options|Time but you can also add weeks here by clicking in an empty column to add weeks and rename them by clicking on the column headers.

You can import your weekly allocated periods also from a spreadsheet application:

(Edit|Paste from the Clipboard)

Typically, the goal is to allocate the planned periods of your events as evenly as possible across the weeks of your calendar to balance the load on your resources (students and teachers) and to take account of any dependencies between them (e.g. if one event must be completed before another can start). The View menu contains several tools to help you control this process.

5. Create timetables

Once events have been created and they have been allocated to the weeks of your calendar you can start to schedule the events to specific time periods with the Timetables view. Across the top of the view you will see selection boxes that allow you to choose, from left to right, the resource whose timetable you wish to use as the Master Timetable for scheduling, the event you wish to schedule and the week you want to schedule it in.

In the Timetables view you create timetables for your resources by scheduling the events you have allocated to each of the weeks of your schedule. When you schedule an event in the timetable of one resource Mimosa automatically schedules it in the timetables of all the other resources required for the event, taking care that no conflicts occur.

If you only have one week in your timetables Mimosa will automatically allocate all your events to that week. If you have more than one week (defined in Options|Limits) you need to allocate your events to weeks in the Weeks View before you can schedule them in this view.

You can select the timetables and events in any order for scheduling and you can make bookings to timetables to prevent scheduling to inappropriate slots.

You can select the Insert or Erase mode (by typing the [Insert] or [Del] key), depending on whether you wish to schedule or unschedule your events. Then, simply by highlighting the area in the timetable on top left and clicking the appropriate action button or by double-clicking the cell you want to change you can start to schedule your events to specific periods in the timetable. You can quickly schedule each event that has been allocated to the selected week by selecting the events one by one from the list of possible events. Once all the events have been scheduled in the current timetable you can use the Search Button (or type [F3] key) to find the next timetable with events that need to be scheduled.

When scheduling events that have more than one related resource in the Master Timetable you will see the related timetables on the right. These show how the same data is reflected in the timetables of the other resources that make up the event. The synchronisation between the timetables is maintained by Mimosa for you. By double-clicking any element in a supporting timetable you can switch it with the Master Timetable to make it the active resource for viewing and updating the schedule. In this way you can easily switch between resources to, for example, first schedule the event from the point of view of the teacher and then switch to the class timetable to see how it fits with the other events scheduled for the class (possibly with different teachers).

Mimosa helps you through the scheduling process by automatically showing you those events and resources that are relevant to the timetable you are viewing, by indicating which of these are complete, by allowing you to quickly switch between the timetables of the related resources and by allowing you to easily locate the next event to be scheduled. Whenever you attempt to schedule (or unschedule) an event in a timetable, Mimosa will prevent you from creating inconsistencies and will ensure the change is immediately reflected in the timetables of all the other resources that are required for that event.

All four of the previously described Mimosa views (Resources view, Events view, Weeks view and Timetables view) access the same data. You can view and edit the data through any of the Mimosa views you like and in any order you like but, for the most part, the basic flow is the same as described above.

You can manage timetables in Mimosa with the help of 10 alternative scheduling tools. Select from this link the most appropriate and effective tool for your scheduling requirements.

6. Publish timetables

Having created the timetables you can print them, and a whole host of other reports from your data, or you can copy data to the Clipboard for further analysis. All reports can be printed in HTML format and the data can be shared with other users of the internet or intranet.

Create your first Mimosa schedule with these simple steps

In the following steps you are instructed to create timetables based on a couple of resources and events. Although this small example does not represent any real application it does give you a quick introduction to the work flow described above. Once you have created this small example you will have a good understanding of the basics and be better equipped to dive in to the help files and start creating your own schedule with real data.

The data used in this example is installed in the subfolder data of the installation folder, with the file names

You can access these files directly by selecting File|Open a sample file from the Mimosa File menu.

If you think you are really in too much of a hurry to input any data to test this application you can instead invoke the interactive wizard that creates a random sample file (by selecting File|Make a demo file) or you can just open the sample files listed above (by selecting File|Open) at the appropriate point below.

Four Mimosa views

Step 1 - Invoke Mimosa and get started!

Step 2 - Create your first resource

Resources are the entities you are creating timetables for. In educational institutions resources are typically groups of students, teachers, rooms or equipment. The different kind of resource types are called categories. You can create your own categories and use Mimosa anywhere!

Step 3 - Create some more resources

To make this example quick but a bit more realistic, create a few more resources. In most cases, the same list of resources can be used every year and Mimosa permits you to enter thousands of them - you can also create resources you do not need yet.

Step 4 - Create your first event

Without the resource dependencies captured in a Mimosa event definition creating timetables would be a trivial task and you would not perhaps need this application at all! You can use events in Mimosa to schedule courses, exams, meetings or any other activities you need.

Step 5 - Add resources to events

Each event needs to have at least one resource to be able to be scheduled and you can select up to 240 resources for each event, depending on your requirements.

Step 6 - Add some more events

Adding some other events will help you to understand how they add more complexity. Events often use the same resources in different contexts, for example one teacher (a resource) may teach many courses (events), so the more events you have the more restricted your scheduling options become. Events cannot be scheduled at the same time if they share a common resource (unless you specifically allow this for a certain resource category in Options|Timetables).

Following the instructions above, create other basic courses (i.e. events) containing one (random) group, teacher and room

Explanations for the other terms in this view:

Step 7 - Take a look at your resources!

When you take a look at your resources, you will see how the information you have entered in your events reflects also in this view. For instance, PLANNED is now the total number of periods planned for each resource, calculated from all the events they are attached to.

Step 8 - Start creating timetables!

To be able to create timetables, you had to create some resources first and then connect them to events. When you create timetables, Mimosa lets you do the scheduling and print or publish them from the point of view of any of the resources you have defined. You can always select the timetable you want to access. Mimosa automatically takes care that all timetables will be synchronised according to the event definitions you have made, you only have to schedule each event to one resource's timetable. Thus, if you do the scheduling from the groups' point of view, for instance, also the timetables of teachers and rooms are updated accordingly.

Step 9 - More tools in timetables

When you schedule more and more events you will note that there are less and less options (or empty cells) available for scheduling. Therefore you may need to remove already scheduled periods, move them to other cells and so on. Whatever Mimosa tools you use, you do not have to worry about making double-bookings (or conflicts) and you can always Undo and Redo all your actions.

Step 10 - More events and colours

Step 11 - Weeks view

Note that if you have intially set the maximum number of weeks to = 1 in Options|Limits, you do not necessary need this Weeks view at all, since all periods are automatically allocated to the only week and they are ready to be scheduled in Timetables view.

When you increase the number of maximum weeks (for instance to 5), you can reuse the same events and allocate their periods on several weeks.

To fill the grid with weekly periods, you can enter their values directly to the cell, but you also can use for instance the menu selections Edit|Copy week and Edit|Paste week to copy the periods of selected events from one column to another column and edit them afterwards.

When you [Double-click] the grid, the sums of the periods by resources become visible. This enables you to change allocate the periods of events to weeks, but in the same time keep track of the weekly load of resources.

Using the tools in Weeks view, you will create the needed periods for each week and they are ready to be scheduled in Timetables view.

Examples of special events

All your event structures do not necessarily fall into Group-Teacher-Room combinations. For instance, rooms may be dedicated to a specific group or teacher attached to the event. In this case rooms are not needed at all and the events are then Group-Teacher combinations. In many universities, groups are often omitted and the course events take the form Teacher-Room and so on. Below are other typical examples of special event structures - Mimosa does not set any limitations to your requirements or creativity!

Step 12 - Publish timetables

When you are happy with your timetables the next task is to print them on a printer or as HTML-files to be published on the web.

Sample output format of one the many report layouts that are available.

All Mimosa features were not covered in these steps

This brief tutorial only scratches the surface of Mimosa's capabilities. Explore the application and the help files to discover these and many more useful features designed to help you solve your problems...

Using the Clipboard

The Clipboard represents one of the many productive tools in Mimosa which enable you to input your data faster if they are stored in a spreadsheet application. Using Clipboard you can also create statistics in over 40 formats which are helpful in calculating course loads and costs.

In most cases it is more productive to input your data with the help of the Clipboard. Use your favourite spreadsheet application, input your data there and copy it to the Clipboard, then go to Mimosa and paste it from the Clipboard there.

1. In your spreadsheet application, input the following table:

2. Select the above area and then select Edit|Copy (or equivalent) in your spreadsheet application to copy it to the Clipboard.

3. Go to Mimosa and activate Resources view (click the button on top of the screen).

4. Select in Mimosa Edit|Paste from the Clipboard - 9 new resources should appear.

5. Go to your spreadsheet application, input then the basic information of the following 7 events:

6. Select the above area and then select Edit|Copy (or equivalent) in your spreadsheet application to copy it to the Clipboard.

7. Go to Mimosa and activate Events view (click the button on top of the screen).

8. Select Edit|Paste from the Clipboard|1 Codes, names and PLANNED periods - the list of 7 events should now appear.

9. To add also the resources to events via Clipboard, go to your spreadsheet application and input the following table:

10. Select the above area and then select Edit|Copy (or equivalent) in your spreadsheet application to copy it to the Clipboard.

11. Select (in Events view) Edit|Paste from the Clipboard|2 Replace event resources to add resources to the events.

Note that in the last operation, the first column contains event codes and the next columns the corresponding resources that should be added to that event. All event and resource codes in this table must already exist in Mimosa.

After this operation, you should have 9 resources and 7 events. Steps 9-11 are often easier to perform in Events window, since the application checks that the resources to be added to events are valid in cases when events have already been scheduled.

Concepts and tools

Below is a alphabetical list of selected concepts and tools used in help pages.

ALLOCATED periods

ALLOCATED periods is the total number of periods of an event that have been allocated to weeks in Weeks view. For this reason, ALLOCATED is always less than or equal to PLANNED (=the maximum number of periods), but greater than or equal to SCHEDULED, which is the total number of periods that has scheduled. For resources, ALLOCATED is automatically calculated from the events which are linked with that resource.

When all planned periods of an event or resource have been allocated to weeks, ALLOCATED=PLANNED. If the maximum number of weeks equals 1, all planned periods (PLANNED) are automatically allocated to this only week, and in this case ALLOCATED automatically equals PLANNED. In this case, Weeks view is not needed.

For other fields in events and resources, see

Code, Name, Category, PLANNED periods, SCHEDULED periods, LINKS

Block scheduling

With block scheduling you can schedule all periods in Timetables view into predefined slots referring them simple with their block numbers. In this selection you can define those slot numbers for each week separately, and copy and paste them across weeks and with the Clipboard. Block scheduling enables you to utilise the slots in the timetables more evenly and also publish the timetables simpler, by attaching the current block number to the name or code of each number. For more information, go to Block scheduling.

In block scheduling you often use a predefined set of possible schedules, which often makes scheduling simpler, since you can just pick schedules from the existing set. You can use tool Edit|Copy schedules in Events view to copy schedules from other scheduled events to the current event. This tool always checks that the copying is permitted and does not cause conflicts. You must first create one template schedule for each block type and then copy them to other events.

Bookings, all-day activities and holidays

Bookings are used as a synonym for the concept blocked, unavailable and restricted slots. Bookings are used to prevent scheduling periods in unwanted weeks or timetable slots. In most cases bookings are user-defined constraints that block out scheduling of periods in undesired slots in the timetables of resources (such as groups, students, teachers, rooms, and so on), due to holidays, meetings or any other activities. You can also create and schedule events as booking, which has the advantage to combine two or more resources together, for instance when reserving two rooms in the same time.

Note that all-day activities and holidays are just special cases of bookings. In these cases bookings are set to all slots in a selected day. You may have to check [X] Align Mimosa weeks with calendar in tab Options|Time to ensure that they occur when intended. Use the tool Make all day activity in Options|Limits to manage this kind of bookings and set them descriptive captions.

It is not allowed to schedule any event to a slot where a booking is set, or schedule an event to a slot which already has some other event scheduled. It is not allowed to set a booking to a slot which already has an event scheduled.

Use weekly bookings for events in Weeks view and timetable bookings in Timetables view. For both kinds of bookings you can define three different captions in Options|Categories that are shown in slots where bookings are made on week grid or in timetable cells. If you do not want to show the texts of some of the bookings in your timetable reports, you can always use a blank caption.

You can apply bookings in all kind of resources for any reason to indicate when slots are not available to schedule events.

You can select from three captions of bookings and you can change them in Edit|Change booking type or right-click to invoke the pop-up menu containing the same selections.

Type the [SPACE] key to make a booking into an empty slot or cancel the booking from the slot which already has a booking set (such as /////).

You can make, cancel and copy bookings in several ways and in several views:

When changing the bookings in a single timetable, go to Timetables view, select a range of slots and press the [SPACE] key or use the menu selection Edit|Make or cancel bookings.
When copying bookings from one or more timetables to other timetables and/or weeks,
Select Edit|Copy bookings or Edit|Copy timetable to subsequent weeks in Timetables view, or
Select Edit|Copy week in Weeks view to copy the bookings contents and Edit|Paste week Special... to paste the bookings of the selected week to other weeks.
Use the selection Tools|Show timetables. Select first the timetable and week of the resource where bookings are going to be copied from and select the slots in the timetable which are included. Clicking the Copy button stores the selection into memory, and when Paste button is clicked on another timetable and week, the selected bookings are copied to this timetable.
You can also create events to be used as bookings. You can enter the event name as booking text and also link several resources together - for instance, to set bookings to several rooms in the same time.

Campuses

You can also define two or more campuses in Mimosa. In room names, enter the character "@", followed by the campus name you want to use. You can apply campus names only to resources which are rooms (belonging to the Category for rooms as selected in Options|Timetables). Campus names can be enclosed in "(...)" or any other Hidden text separators that make them invisible in reports (see Options|Other).

You can define campuses to check that selected resources (such as students or teachers) do not need to switch campuses in the same day - two or more events cannot have more than one campus per day. You can check that in Tools|Check for campus collisions.

You can find more information about using tags in Mimosa in section "Tags".

Note that if scheduling an event to certain days causes a campus collision, these days are marked in red colour in Timetables view. In the example below, scheduling of the event PRI824 from Wednesday to other days than Friday causes a campus collision. To prevent campus collisions also in other intances, it is a good practice to take that into account when coding rooms, just like in the case of room capacities. For instance, the code for the "Room 1234" in "@New_campus" with 30 seats could have for example the code N_1234_030.

Capacity of rooms, seats

If you have checked [x] Show the number of event seats in Options|Other and at least one of the resource names contain the character "#" followed by the number indicating either room seats (in room category) or seat requirements (in other categories), Mimosa displays in Events view also an extra column SEATS containing the difference of the room seats and seat requirements.

For instance, if an event consists of a group with the size of 23 (students), one teacher (1) and one room with 28 seats, the SEATS displays the (positive or negative) difference of the seat capacity and seat requirements: +4 = 28-23-1. In the case when there are less room seats than what is required by the groups and teachers, this number is negative. If the event contains more resources, Mimosa compares the sum of all seat requirements with the sum of seat capacities and displays their difference. All numbers in resources belonging to the Category for rooms are interpreted as seat capacities whereas the numbers in other categories are interpreted as seat requirements.

If the capacity is not defined for some resource, its value is assumed to be equal to 1. For example, teachers and individual students are assumed to have the capacity requirement = 1, if they are not pecified. If the name contains "#0", the requirement = 0.

Example 1: Event has one group, teacher and room (lack of seats)

Resource nameResource typeRequirementCapacity
Group C (#30)Group30-
G. CarneyTeacher1-
Room 330 (#25)Room-25
AllSEATS=-6 (25-31)3125

Example 2: Event has two groups, teachers and rooms (excess seats)

Resource nameResource typeRequirementCapacity
Group A (#35)Group35-
Group B (#25)Group25-
J. HahnTeacher1-
W. WeeksTeacher1-
Room 206 (#30)Room-30
Room 241 (#40)Room-40
AllSEATS=+9 (70-61)6170

When an event is created or edited and at least one of the resources contains the character "#", Mimosa automatically displays the seat difference of rooms and other resources:

You can also optimise the rooms automatically in Events view, by selecting Edit|Optimise room usage.

Categories

Both events and resources can be divided into a maximum of seven categories which you yourself define in Options|Categories. Categories can be used to describe the type of event: basic, middle, advanced or voluntary, for example. For the resources, categories are normally students, classes, teachers, rooms, subjects, equipment and so on. Note that resource categories are often easy to define (persons, spaces, cars, tools, equipment), whereas in case of events there are often more alternatives, based on teaching level, location etc. In business environments, categories have normally different interpretations.

You can also specify those resource types which require conflict checking in timetables. In practice, subjects or similar kind of informative categories are the only resource types that are not dependent on the timetable conflict checking, if you have not selected Prevent conflicts for in selection Options|Timetables.

For each category you also include a descriptive letter or digit as an identifier, such as "C:Classes". Categories can be used to sort and filter the data in several ways. You can easily create reports that are limited to a specific set of all codes.

For other fields in events and resources, see

Code, Name, PLANNED periods, ALLOCATED periods, SCHEDULED periods, LINKS

Clipboard

In general, Clipboard is a temporary storage area for text and graphics that you are copying or moving from one place to another; Clipboard is a common holding area for all Windows applications. Mimosa is a true windows application, which can use this useful feature extensively and bi-directionally. Note that it is also possible to import data into Mimosa easily via Text files. See more information about using the Clipboard on page Import and export with Clipboard.

For instance, you can use your spreadsheet application in several ways with Mimosa and increase your productivity. Spreadsheet applications allow you to format your data very easily in several ways, and you can generate a test file or use the sample file(s) that come along with Mimosa.

1. In your spreadsheet program, input the following table:

2. Paint the above area (A1:C9) and select Edit|Copy (or equivalent) to copy it to the Clipboard.
3. Go to Mimosa and activate Resources view (click the button on top of the screen).

4. Select Edit|Paste from the Clipboard - 9 new resources should appear.

5. Go to the spreadsheet program, input then the basic information of the following 7 events:

6. Paint the above area and select Edit|Copy (or equivalent) to copy it to the Clipboard.
7. Go to Mimosa and activate Events view (click the button on top of the screen).
8. Select Edit|Paste from the Clipboard|1 Codes, names and PLANNED periods - the list of 7 events should now appear.

9. To add also the resources to events via Clipboard, go to the spreadsheet program and input the following table:

10. Paint the above area (A1:D7) and select Edit|Copy (or equivalent) to copy it to the Clipboard.
11. Select (in Events window) Edit|Paste from the Clipboard|2 Replace event resources to add resources to the events.

After this operation, you should have 9 resources and 7 events. Steps 9-11 are often easier to perform in Events window, since the application checks that the resources to be added to events are valid in cases when periods already have been scheduled.

Perhaps the easiest way to see how Clipboard can help your work is to select Edit|Copy to the Clipboard command in Mimosa and then invoke your spreadsheet application. Use the Edit|Paste from the Clipboard command and see how the data will be transmitted via the Clipboard.

Click [Ctrl+L] to view and edit the content of the Clipboard in a table format.

It is a good practice to have these both applications on your desktop simultaneously so that you can transmit data back and forth between those applications. Please note that some spreadsheet applications limit your matrix to 255 columns, and that the Clipboard capacity of Mimosa is 64 kilobytes.

If you want to overcome the 64 kilobytes size limit, you can either copy only a subset of the data to the Clipboard or store the Clipboard content to a text file, by selecting the appropriate text file type in Options|Default Clipboard Target.

With the help of the Clipboard you can:

Note also that using the Clipboard

The Clipboard format supports a TAB-limited text or table type content, compatible with all Windows applications. This means that each field on a single line is separated by a TAB character (ASCII=9) and each line ends with the CRLF character combination (ASCII=13 and ASCII=10). The Clipboard content ends with the NUL character (ASCII=0). This format is very suitable when working with other windows applications having a table form data entry, just like the spreadsheet applications.

Symmetric Clipboard operations:

Note that the following selections produce symmetric data formats. You can copy data from a selected view in Mimosa to the Clipboard, make changes it with another application and then paste it back from the Clipboard using the following pairs of commands ( : Export from Mimosa, : Import to Mimosa).

Resources view:

Edit|Copy to the Clipboard|2 Codes, names and categories
Edit|Paste from the Clipboard

Events view:

Edit|Copy to the Clipboard|2 Codes, names, categories and PLANNED
Edit|Paste from the Clipboard|1 Codes, names and categories and PLANNED

Edit|Copy to the Clipboard|4 Codes and event resources
Edit|Paste from the Clipboard|2 Replace event resources
Edit|Paste from the Clipboard|3 Add to event resources

Edit|Copy to the Clipboard|9 Timetables|1 Code + Week + Day + First slot + Last slot
Edit|Paste from the Clipboard|5 Timetables

Weeks view:

Edit|Copy to the Clipboard
Edit|Paste the Clipboard

Timetables view:

Edit|Copy to the Clipboard|11 Bookings
Edit|Paste the Clipboard|1 Bookings to current week
Edit|Paste the Clipboard|2 Bookings to all weeks

For more examples about Clipboard, go to chapter Import and export with Clipboard.

Codes of events and resources

Each event and resource is supplied with a unique code which contains a maximum of 15 characters. The code column cannot be blank and events and resources cannot have same codes. The code is used as a shortcut to all other information associated with it. It is advisable to select its first characters so that it informs the user as much as possible about the content associated with it, and it also helps the user to identify the right event or resource when it is sorted by code. References to resources and events are often performed on the screen with the help of the code, when there is not enough space to show the name. When printing timetables or other reports, the user often has the option to show either code, name or both.

In case you want to reorganise or rename several codes, you can use Clipboard and code conversion table in selection Tools|Code conversion... and you can also automatically change the codes to upper or lower case in Options|Other. If you have selected Tools|Sort automatically, adding of new resources or events reorganises them again according to non-decreasing order.

If codes are required to be sorted first by categories and then by codes, select first Tools|Sort first by categories. This is usually selected in case of resources, since it groups all resources of the same category.

For other title fields related to events and resources, see

Name, Category, PLANNED periods, ALLOCATED periods, SCHEDULED periods, LINKS

Collections or event resources

Collections or event resources or lists of resources of an event are sets of resources selected for each event (the collection of each event may consist from one to 240 resources). It can consist of only one teacher and one room, or from a list of students plus their teacher, room and subject and so on. When the collection of an event is selected, each of its resources shares the same schedule for that event. When a period of an event is scheduled or unscheduled, the timetables of all resources are scheduled or unscheduled simultaneously.

Collections have a varied structure depending on the event type or institution. Some collections may contain one teacher, room and class/group, whereas some other may contain one teacher, two groups and two rooms. When creating individual timetables, it is typical that collections contain one teacher, one room and several students.

It is possible to solve the same scheduling problem with different set of events and their collections. The structures of the collections are not limited to some template in order to enable using Mimosa in very kinds of environments. For instance, the application can be used (and has used) to schedule conferences by creating an event for each session and constructing the collections of one or more contributors, referee, room and translator.

For instance, when scheduling the rehearsals of an orchestra or theatre performance, users may create collections from participants and room of each session.

You can edit collections in the Event editor, in the Resource editor or in the Collection editor.

Colours

Use the colour dialog below to change the colours of resources, events, screen elements and web items. Pick the colour from the list and select [OK] to accept the selection or [Cancel] not to change the current colour. Click By luminance if you like to sort the colours by lightness and select By name if the colours are going to be sorted by colour name. Select Clear to clear the current colour.

Prefer to use light colours to better contrast the texts which are on web always black. All colours are web compliant, so that they are visible on all browsers.

Clicking the colour button on top of the screen displays a menu containing some of the most frequent colour-related selections:

Comments

In Timetables view you can add comments to each slot in the current timetable. Comments do not prevent scheduling of events or making bookings in the same slot. When timetables are published and the slots contain a booking, the original booking text is replaced with the comment, in other cases the comment displayed in that slot.

After you have added a comment to slot, you can generalise it to all slots of that day, to all slots of the same timetable and to all timetables.

For more information about using comments, see Comment cell.

Conflicts or clashes

Mimosa works proactively and it does not allow users to create conflicts or clashes in the timetables. It shows only the permissible actions and tells user why a special scheduling action cannot be made or why some resources cannot be added to an event. Below are two examples:

Cycling timetables

Cycling timetables (or Rotating timetables) is here a special setting where the user wants to create timetables for a number of days (n) that is larger than the days in a week. Often n is not a multiple of the days in a week. This selection generates an extra set of n timetable weeks (in Weeks view) where each of these n days will appear in turn so that finally each of them appears as often as any other. Mimosa enables you to use n=31 cycles (maximum), but in most cases this number is much smaller.

Mimosa offers many different ways to schedule your events in recurring patterns. If Cycling timetables does not suit your needs then you should also consider Block scheduling, Bulk scheduling, Intake scheduling or copying pre-scheduled days (Edit|Copy daily schedules in Events view) or weeks (Edit|Copy week and Edit|Paste week in Weeks view).

The reason behind applying cycling timetables is that there are too many events to fit in a single weekly timetable to represent all needed events of the planning horizon. This same result can be achieved in different methods of Mimosa (in Weeks view), but using cycling timetables enables using same daily timetables over again, which reduces the scheduling effort and which may be more familiar. Cycling timetables means just repeatedly and systematically copying of the schedules of individual days of the source weeks to the days of the destination weeks, which are used for cycling timetables.

This tool can also be found in Weeks view, from the selection Edit|Paste Week Special...|5 Single day from week to week, in case you want to copy each day in turn.

Events

An event in Mimosa can represent any activity in the real world that needs to be scheduled in your timetables. The event definition indicates which of your resources need to be present and how many periods need to be reserved from their timetables in order to perform the real world event or activity.

In schools and universities events are typically used to schedule courses on different subjects, each of which may require the presence of a teacher, a group of students and a room (the resources) and which may take place several times a week over several weeks (the periods of the event and their allocation to the weeks of the schedule). However, events can also represent meetings, exams, self-study periods, maintenance periods for rooms or equipment, planned absences or any other real world event or activity that needs to be considered in your timetables. You can define your own event categories in Options|Categories.

Mimosa will not allow you to schedule an event in a timetable unless all the required resources are available in the selected period, nor will it allow you to schedule more than the planned number of periods for each event without first asking you if you really want to do so.

An event must be linked to at least one resource before it can be be scheduled. Each event can be linked to up to 240 resources.

Each event contains the field PLANNED periods which should be set to the total number of occurrences of the event you plan to have in your timetables across all weeks. For instance, if an event is a one-time event, PLANNED=1, if you plan to have one occurrence of the event each week in an 8 week schedule then PLANNED=8. If you are not certain about the value of PLANNED, you can always set it to a large number initially and correct it after scheduling.

You create and edit events in Events view.

Suppose that the class LineA must study three hours in a week the event called Nursing of People at Different Ages, taught by NICHOLSON in room R112. We use the abbreviation NURSING for that event and go to the selection Edit|New event (or press the [Insert] key) to create it. As with resources, you associate a unique code of at most 15 characters, a descriptive name of at most 200 characters and select the appropriate category (from the list of event categories you created in Options|Categories.

Use the [Add] button in that window to move the selected resources from the right-hand list (green) to the left-hand list (blue), and [Remove] button to do the reverse operation. You can also [Swap] two resources between the both lists. You can pick several resources at once by keeping the [Ctrl] key down while clicking the resources with the mouse.

Resources of this event (3):

All addable resources (10):

With a similar procedure you can create all events of your school, and in most cases events consist of a class, teacher and room, but there are other combinations. If the teacher is required to teach pupils from two classes simultaneously, both classes are added to the left-hand list. To demonstrate this example, create the following event:

Suppose that two teachers divide one class to two smaller groups and give them intensive teaching in two rooms:

Sometimes pupils from several classes are mixed with several teachers. The pupils from classes LineA and LineB are divided among three teachers PACINO, PESCI and PFEIFFER to study 5 hours either Anatomy, Astronomy or Athletics, respectively:

The list of events after adding the examples above might look like the following:

For examples of various event structures, go to Create and edit events.

Export to other calendars

You can use sevaral formats to export Mimosa schedules to other calendar applications used on your desktop (such as MS Outlook), web calendars or mobile phone supporting the formats below:

Use the selection File|File Export|Other file formats. This selection is only enabled if you have checked [X] Align Mimosa weeks with calendar in tab Options|Time so that other applications understand how Mimosa weeks are mapped with real calendar weeks. Check in the same options tab that the selected time periods can be interpreted correctly by the receiving application. Preferably use the format "hh:mm-hh:mm" for the start and end time stamps (for example 08:15-09:00). Note that the receiving application may interpolate your original time period definitions if they are not correct.

In these selections you can select the weeks and resources you want to include, and also to select if you want to create individual files for each resource or merge them into one file.

If you check [X] Add links to .ics files in File|Print|Timetables, Mimosa automatically creates up-to-date .ics files which users can download from the published timetables.

Feasible timetables

Timetables for the resources are called feasible if they do not contain any conflicting periods. There cannot be any pair of events having the same resource in their lists of resources which have occupied the same slot in some of the timetables. Timetables which are not feasible have conflicts or clashes, and they can be automatically removed in the selection Tools|Check for conflicts. This tool enables also to view conflicts without removing them and it copies all conflicts to the Clipboard. Conflicting timetables are not normally allowed in Mimosa, but they can be created only by special actions. For instance, user can in remove checking for conflicts in case of some resources, and permitting of this kind of overlaps in schedules is sometimes mandatory.

Mimosa works in a preventive fashion and it automatically prevents users from creating conflicts in timetables and when timetables are created manually, it also displays available options and enables to clear slots from other timetables to enable scheduling in the active timetable. Feasible timetables are also created with the help of the Initial solution.

Mimosa pre-checks all conflicts, and this approach may differ from other applications, which views and removes conflicts from timetables after the solution is created. It is also possible to create conflicts in timetables intentionally with special tricks, for instance in removing the Create timetables for selection from some or all categories in selection Options|Timetables.

Gaps in timetables

Gaps are empty cells between cells containing periods or bookings. If you have selected [x] Treat bookings like events (when counting gaps) in Options|Timetables, also bookings are considered as periods when gaps are counted. When optimising the timetables, the number of total gaps weighted by their category is the criteria that is minimised. In Timetables view the indicators show the change of the number gaps in timetables if the assumed action is taken.

Note that the number of gaps is not the only criteria for a "good" timetable. When timetables are created automatically, minimising the gaps is the goal function, but there are also additional restrictions user can apply. See details in Optimise.

Import or add data to Mimosa

You can enter all your data into Mimosa manually, but if you have it already available on some other format, you may save a lot of time when using the Clipboard feature of your spreadsheet application or import or add the data with help of Mimosa text file format. You can also use all these three methods in any order.

It is typical to use both of these import methods incrementally, starting first manually and then adding new data from other sources. Clipboard and text file import both work similarly: both will add codes (events and resources) if they do not yet exist, and if they exist, they will update the data with a new content.

Import data with Clipboard:

Use the links below how to import your basic data (resources, events and lists of resourcess) from the Clipboard:

The page Clipboard contains several other examples how to use your spreadsheet application in companion with Mimosa.

Import data with text files:

You may like to take a look at the example on page Import/export data with text files how to use the text files to import, add and export your data.

Initial solution

Initial solution schedules all or selected events into timetables and generates a starting solution, which may be good or bad, depending on the requirements and on the restrictions that are used. You will create the end solution using the optimisation tool. Initial solution never changes the possible previously scheduled periods; it adds new periods in the timetables. See Optimise and Timetables view.

Since Initial solution creates only an approximate starting solution for your timetables, you may have inserted some critical events in Timetables view beforehand. If you have done this, you may have protected those events by locking them with [Ctrl+U] in this window. It is also a good practice to save this solution on disk before you start the Initial solution or you begin to optimise, since you can always read this file again into the application, if something unexpected happens - as it sometimes does.

The timetables are often manually and automatically created. When events are properly selected, it is possible to schedule a lot of "easy" events automatically. It is a good practice lock those events that are not intended to be modified automatically and save the file on disk before making big changes.

Intake scheduling

Intake scheduling permits to use the same schedule or allocation of periods all over again. In some institutions similar kind of events are repeated several times during the school year or over several years (Mimosa allows to define up to 255 weeks/terms in one file). In some cases this tool may save a lot of time, if many events repeat the same pattern over again. There are at least two approaches to solve this in Mimosa, and both are described in detail in Intake Scheduling.

LINKS of events and resources

For events, LINKS are the total number of resources in an event or the size of its list of resources. For resources, LINKS represent the number of events that use this resource as a member in their lists of resources. For each event, the maximum number of LINKS is 240 (size of the event resource list), but there are no upper limit for LINKS (or event references) for resources.

When editing of Events or Event references of resources, LINKS represents the number of items on the left box.

For other fields in events and resources, see

Code, Name, Category, PLANNED periods, ALLOCATED periods, SCHEDULED periods

Lock and unlock events

You can lock events to disable their accidental schedule changes in Weeks and Timetables window. You can lock and unlock an event by clicking [Ctrl+U] or the corresponding button. In selection Tools|Lock events you can lock and unlock several events at once and set locks by resources. Note that locking locks all periods of a selected event.

Locking of events prevents the user from making accidentally mistakes in interactive and automatic scheduling, or when allocating periods to weeks. Lock those events you want to freeze either temporarily or permanently. Another way to prevent user from mistakes is to set Bookings to some of the free cells in timetables. This prevents from scheduling periods in undesired slots.

Matching tags

When you let Mimosa attach rooms to events automatically in Events view, selection Edit|Optimise room usage, also other suitability criteria than the capacity of rooms and seat requirements of other resources may apply. If you want to take the suitability of events and rooms into account, you can add matching tags to event and room names. Matching tags are tags in the names of events and rooms which have the prefix "%". They describe the type of events and the rooms which can be combined together, such as "%Studio" or "%Lab". They can be used to prevent that an inappropriate room would be attached to an event, which has room type requirements.

You can find more information about using tags in Mimosa in section "Tags".

Memos of events and resources

You can attach memos to each event and resource. You can turn this feature on and off with the shortcut [Crtl+K] or in Options|Other and edit memos on all Mimosa views. You can also select to display the entered memos on web reports by checking the options Show event memos and/or Show resource memos in File|Print|Timetables.

Merging Mimosa files

You can merge (or synchronise) one or more Mimosa files together in various ways. The file(s) you are going to merge must first be converted into text format (with the extension .mxt) with the selection File|File Export. The structure of this format is described in the section File formats and it contains all the information of the default Mimosa binary file (with the extension .mfw).

Merging enables several users to view and edit their Mimosa files and merge them together when they want. After files are merged, Mimosa automatically removes possible conflicts from the resulting file. It is also possible to merge the text format files or their subsets created with other applications. The basic tool in merging is the selection File|File Add.

It is also possible to split the merged file back to suitable subsets with the selection File|File Split and to cancel File|File Add with File|File Remove by removing the resources and events which are about to add.

Once you have created the text file (.mxt) from your Mimosa binary file (with File|File Export), it can be merged to a Mimosa file in the following alternative ways:

When other applications create the text format file which is added to a Mimosa file, it is only required that only those entries and their respective section names are listed in the .mxt file. See more information in Import and export with text files.

Names of events and resources

Each event and resource is supplied with a name of 200 characters maximum, which is a description of the content or goal of the event or in case of the resource the name of the student, subject, room, equipment or teacher in question. Name field can also be blank or same as the Code field. The Name can also be used as a sorting criteria.

You can also insert hidden text to Name field, by enclosing the text between special characters (such as {...}, [...], <...>), selected in Options|Other. By default, this additional information is not visible on screen or in reports, but it is seen when the name is edited. This hidden text may include confidential comments. 

For other fields in events and resources, see

Code, Category, PLANNED periods, ALLOCATED periods, SCHEDULED periods, LINKS

Network

Mimosa permits several users to access the same file simultaneously. When several users want to access the same file, the version saved by the latest user overrides all other versions. If several users want to modify the same file, there must be some agreed rules how it is done, but the preferred way is to use the File|Network selection in File menu of Mimosa. Note that this functionality is a generalisation of File|File Add selection in File menu, which enables synchronising of two Mimosa files. When this command is repeated several times, it is possible to combine as many files user wants. It is also possible to use the selection File|File pre-check to check for possible conflicts of two files before they are combined. Note that combining any two files does not change their content on disk. The result of the combination resides in the memory and it should be stored on disk with a different name.

Mimosa utilises its own sophisticated database system, which is not record-based. The reason is that all elements in this database are dependent on each other (courses, resources, timetable items and so on), and therefore a traditional record-based approach cannot be applied, since it violates the integrity of the items. This means that you cannot edit or extract any item of the database without endangering to break its structure.

Since all data items in Mimosa depend on each other, it is practically impossible to access the same file simultaneously, as in the case of many database applications, where the file structure is composed of independent data records. For instance, if some of the users wants to edit some of the resources, the change is reflected to all events, timetables and bookings which are dependent on it, and so on. This dependency indirectly affects all items in a single Mimosa file, and while one user is about to make any change in the file, all other users have to wait until the task is completed, in order to keep the file intact. Since this kind of setting is not very user-friendly, networking is performed by combining or merging the files.

The Network concept of Mimosa enables a lot of flexibility and users can easily change the working habits between network and single file access at any time. However, it is a good practice to follow the rules below:

  1. Use the same codes for resources in all files (to enable conflict checking).
  2. Use the same week schema in all files (to ensure that periods fall in same weeks).
  3. Use different code ranges for the events in all files (to prevent that two or more users do not accidentally edit the same event but with different content).
  4. Use different Mimosa file names such as peter.mfw, paul.mfw and mary.mfw (to prevent file overwrites).

Before starting using the commands File|Network or File|File Add, you should start from a single Mimosa file where at least the resources have been created and all weeks defined. This file is then saved with different file names to all users. If you are about to change the resource codes or the weeks, it is wise to inform the other users about that.

When users want to share their files to other users, they select the command File|Network|Write to network, which stores a text file copy of the file into a folder which is accessible by all users and which is defined in File|Network|Select network folder. When all users have stored their files in this folder, the command File|Network|Read from network shows a list of stored files (in the sample case peter.mxt, paul.mxt and mary.mxt), which can then been combined selectively in any order with the Mimosa file user has read into memory. All conflicts are then removed from this combined file, and it can then be stored with a different file name (for security reasons).

This method allows the users to combine the files of other users in various ways and it also prevents from making mistakes accidentally.

Files are combined in the computer memory, and the files on the disk has not been modified. Since the resulting file may have conflicts or it may contains elements that the user does not want to have in the original file, it is always safer to store the content of the computer memory on disk with a different file name, until the user is accepted the changes that has been made. Note that when users combine several files, the combined file tends to grow, and when other users remove unnecessary events or resources, they are not removed from the combined file.

If the name of the current Mimosa file is peter.mfw and you are about to combine the files of Paul (paul.mxt) and Mary (mary.mxt) with this file, it is advised that you do the following:

  1. Save the current file in memory (peter.mfw) on disk with File|Save
  2. Invoke File|Network|Read from network
  3. Save the resulting file on disk with File|Save As and use another file name, such as all.mfw, containing the result of all combined files
  4. Analyse the conflicts and check its content

Note that you can also split the resulting file into smaller parts with File|File Split and you can use the above instructions also, if you are about to use the selection File|File Add to combine files one by one.

Optimisation tools

Mimosa includes several optimisation tools and algorithms either to improve the schedules or the list of resources. These tools reduce the efforts of users if they are about to perform similar tasks manually, and they do not cause any conflicts in the schedules. These tools include a mixture of several kind effective algorithms and heuristics, known in literature often as artificial intelligence, integer, mixed programming and branch-and-bound methods.

Each event has its own a) list of resources and b) schedule (or timetable), although schedules are in most cases edited, viewed and published from the resources point of view. All event schedules linked with a specific resource together constitute the schedule of the resource, and when a) or b) changes, also the schedules of the resources change.

When the event's resource list is optimised, event's schedule is not changed. When the event's schedule is optimised, event's resource list is not changed.

Depending on the optimisation tool you have selected, Mimosa lets you optimise either the schedules of the events or the lists of resources of the events, but not both in the same application. When you have selected to optimise the schedules of events, their lists of resources are not changed, and when you have selected to optimise the lists of resources, the schedules of the events are not changed. In both cases, the schedules of resources will change, and in most cases optimisation means optimisation of the schedules and not the lists of resources.

List of the optimisation tools in Mimosa
SelectionList of resourcesEvent's scheduleSchedules of resources
Initial solution (Tools|Optimise)Not changedNew starting scheduling solution is automatically created according to the set constraints and rulesChanged
Optimise timetables (Tools|Optimise)Not changedSchedules are optimised by minimising the total number of gaps in the schedules according to the set constraints and rulesChanged
Quick optimisation (Timetables view|Edit|Quick optimisation)Not changedAll schedules of the current week are optimised by using the default optimisation rulesChanged
Optimise room usage (Events view|Edit|Optimise room usage)1) Attach rooms to selected events automatically
2) Swaps the rooms in selected events to utilise the existing seat capacities optimally
Not changedOnly the schedules of rooms are changed
Selection optimisation (Tools|Selection optimisation)1) Adds students to alternative events optimally
2) Swaps the students across events optimally in order to satisfy the set requirements
3) Balance the number of students in events
Not changedOnly the schedules of students are changed

Optimising of timetables automatically makes them more compact by eliminating their caps with a set of different kind of change, replace and move algorithms, which constitute a very complicated sequence of operations. The computer can search or those change options much faster than humans, since the number of possible combinations often grows exponentially comparing to the data file size. In selection Tools|Optimise|Optimise timetables you can control the optimisation process with several parameters.

Before timetables can be optimised, you should schedule at least some of the periods into timetables, either manually in Timetables view or automatically in Tools|Optimise|Initial solution. Note that optimisation does not schedule new periods into timetables, does not remove them, but changes their locations in timetables according to specific rules.

You can also lock selected events to exclude them from optimisation or set bookings to timetable slots to prevent undesired results. Creating of timetables is often a combination of interactive solution and optimisation. It is a good practice to schedule first critical periods manually in Timetables view, then lock those events and possible save this solution on disk to ease experimenting with different automatic solutions.

Optimise enables to apply also certain rules for the patterns in timetables in order to prevent undesired results.

PLANNED periods

With PLANNED user defines for each event the maximum number of periods indicating the total number of periods for the whole planning period (semester, year). PLANNED must be selected from the range 1-65565, and for resources PLANNED is automatically calculated from the events which are linked with that resource. The number of periods allocated to ALLOCATED can never exceed PLANNED and for cases with only one week, ALLOCATED is automatically set equal to PLANNED.

When creating events, it is also possible to set a big number in PLANNED field, say 9999, if it is not clear how many periods will be used. After allocating periods to weeks in Weeks view, user can finally set Edit|Set PLANNED = ALLOCATED ... to automatically set PLANNED to the number of real periods.

For other fields in events and resources, see

Code, Name, Category, ALLOCATED periods, SCHEDULED periods, LINKS

Prerequisites

A prerequisite event is an event that must be completed prior to enrolment in a more advanced level event. This is implemented in Mimosa by including the prerequisite event code in the name of the event that is assumed to be started after the prerequisite event is completed. Event names can include several prerequisite event codes. Mimosa checks for all exact matches of all event codes with the event names of other events, and all which are not in assumed order are listed. If event is not allocated to weeks, it is excluded.

Event prerequisites checking is implemented in Weeks view, in View|Check event prerequisites selection.

If the event "ENG_ADV" named "English for most advanced" must be allocated to weeks after the event "ENG_ABC" is completed, add the prerequisite code somewhere to this event name, such as for example: "English for most advanced;pre-req=ENG_ABC" or "English for most advanced [after ENG_ABC]".

You can use Hidden text separators as described in Options|Other to hide the prerequisite definitions from event names in reports (such as separators "[" and "]" above).

For instance, if the event "ENG_ABC" is allocated to weeks 1-5 and the event "ENG_ADV" is allocated to weeks 3-7, the latter event becomes listed, since the latter event starts before the first ends. The event becomes listed also in the case, if they have one week in common.

For example, the event sample above results in the following list of prerequisite problems.

Redo last change in timetables

This selection redoes the last action you undone Timetables view, such as scheduling periods, removing scheduled periods from timetables, moving periods to other slots or setting and removing of bookings. You can also Redo All previous commands, Set Bookmark to the current state that you are about to go back later on or trace the whole History of all actions so far. See the Edit selection in this view.

Mimosa stores up to 2000 last actions in History selection and user can jump back to any previous action or undo all actions. In other views, commands cannot be undone or redone. Therefore it is important that you save your file often on disk.

See also the Timetables view page how to undo changes in timetables.

Resources

In order to create timetables you first need to define the things you want to create timetables for. In Mimosa these are called resources and they are defined and managed in Resources view. In schools and universities resources are, in most cases, teachers, rooms and students or sets of students (groups or classes) but may also include equipment such as projectors and other teaching aids. You can define whatever resources you like and, with the help of categories, you can give names and shortcuts for each type of resource you create. Once you have created a few resources go to the Events view to start defining which of your resources need to be present for each of the events or activities you want to schedule in your timetables.

Typical examples of resources in schools and universities are Groups, Lecturers, Rooms, Subjects, Students and Equipment. Up to 240 resources can be attached to each event. You can either use the default resource categories or redefine them in Options|Categories according to your special requirements. When you create new resources in Resource editor, you can select the resource type from the list of categories you have defined here.

Below the characteristics of the default resource categories are described:

Never define overlapping resources
Resources are unique: for instance, each group (of students) should always refer to the same set of persons. If the same person belongs to several groups, Mimosa cannot prevent scheduling the same person in the same time since it does not know the overlapping definition of the resources. Avoiding overlapping resources often requires to split the resource in smaller parts until the resulting resources are unique.

Roles

It is also possible add specific roles to resources which may vary by events they have been attached to. A role is a user-defined description which is added to selected resources - typically persons - when they are connected to specific events. Roles are descriptive elements only, and they do not affect the scheduling.

See the selection Edit|Manage roles in Events view for more information.

SCHEDULED periods

SCHEDULED is the total number of periods for an event that have been scheduled in Timetables view. SCHEDULED is always less or equal to ALLOCATED, the total number of weekly allocated periods. For resources, SCHEDULED is automatically calculated from the events which are linked with that resource. When all allocated periods have been scheduled, ALLOCATED=SCHEDULED, and at the beginning of scheduling, SCHEDULED=0.

For other fields in events and resources, see

Code, Name, Category, PLANNED periods, ALLOCATED periods, LINKS

Scheduling tools

Mimosa provides several tools for scheduling. Each of the tools can be applied in any order and to any events or resources, and their purpose is either to add periods to timetables, move their locations or remove them timetables. These operations can be done either automatically or interactively. In some tools it is required that periods are already allocated to weeks (pre-set), whereas other tools create the allocation themselves (overwritten). Whatever tool is applied, it will never cause any conflicts in timetables. Using the appropriate scheduling tool can be a considerable time-saver. The scheduling tools and their properties are presented in the following table:

Scheduling toolDescriptionFeaturesMenu selection or view
Timetables - interactive This is the most versatile scheduling tool in Mimosa. It enables to schedule, move and unschedule periods and bookings interactive in timetables, undo or redo up to 2,000 last actions and go back to any previous stage. It also enables to view all other linked timetables while scheduling. This tool can be used to control and change any item in the timetables of the current week, and also change the event resources and weekly allocations on the fly.
  • Interactive
  • Schedule & unschedule
  • Move periods across slots
  • Undo, redo and bookmarking
  • Weekly allocations can be changed
  • Timetables view
    Optimise - automatic This selection enables to create automatically 1) the initial solution, 2) optimise the existing solution, and 3) unschedule selected or all periods from the timetables. All these selections can be used in any order, and users can control which events are managed automatically. These tools are intended to be used for events, which do not require to be scheduled in predefined slots.
  • Automatic
  • Schedule & unschedule
  • Move periods
  • Weekly allocations pre-set
  • Tools|Optimise
    Quick optimisation Optimises timetables of the current week in Timetables view, by using the last optimisation parameters and it also enables to cancel all or selected actions. This tool can be used instantly to check if the current solution of the current week can be improved by optimisation.
  • Automatic
  • Schedule
  • Move periods
  • Undo, redo and bookmarking
  • Weekly allocations pre-set
  • Timetables view:
    Edit|Quick optimisation
    Bulk schedule Schedules periods in user-defined timetable slots, based on selected time-period range, days of week selections and the week range. This tool is very suitable for recurrent events, work shifts or similar kind of repeating events where the desired locations of the periods are set beforehand.
  • Schedule & unschedule
  • User-defined slots
  • Weekly allocations overwritten
  • Events view:
    Edit|Bulk schedule
    Copy schedules across events Copies the schedule from any event to another event, enabling to use previously scheduled events as templates for other events. This tool can be used in conjunction with Edit|Bulk schedule to re-use the repeating event schedules for other events as well.
  • Copy periods
  • Weekly allocations overwritten
  • Events view:
    Edit|Copy schedule
    Copy schedules across weeks This selection copies the schedules from any week to a single week or several upcoming weeks. First a week is copied to memory (in Weeks view with Edit|Copy week) and then the timetables are copied from memory to another week (with Edit|Paste week special|Timetables to this week) or to all remaining weeks (with Edit|Paste week special|Timetables to this and subsequent weeks). This tool is most useful in cases, when the timetables of different weeks have a lot of similarities.
  • Copy periods
  • Weekly allocations pre-set
  • Weeks view:
    Edit|Copy week
    Edit|Paste week Special...
    Instant scheduling Adds periods to and removes periods from timetables instantly and interactive according to user-defined locations when editing the resource list of the event. This scheduling tool is recommended when the user likes to schedule the event in the same time when the resource list of the event is created or edited.
  • Interactive
  • Schedule & unschedule
  • Weekly allocations overwritten
  • Events view:
    Edit|Edit event|Schedule now
    Block scheduling Enables to add periods to timetable slots according to block number table(s), which guide the scheduling in Timetables view. The numbers this application creates (either manually or randomly) helps user to schedule the periods in the timetables according to a pre-defined schema.
  • Interactive
  • Schedule & unschedule
  • Move periods
  • Weekly allocations can be changed
  • Tools|Block scheduling
    Cycling timetables Creates cycling (or rotating) timetables for several weeks, based on the daily event offerings stored in the first weeks. This tool ensures that all days are scheduled equally often in all target weeks. This tools is recommended in cases, when user has too many events to be scheduled in one week, but they could be scheduled in two or more weeks. In this set-up Mimosa automatically spread the days evenly for all target weeks. Cycling timetables is often related to the Block scheduling concept.
  • Automatic
  • Schedule
  • Weekly allocations overwritten
  • Tools|Cycling timetables
    Intake scheduling Allows Mimosa to create a set of similar schedule weeks from one week, with just varying a) students and/or b) groups of each new intake. Intakle scheduling is used schools and companies who repeat the same set of courses (typically from 5 to 10 times a year). Even in cases, when the intake weks overlap, Mimosa can automatically generate other intake files from the basis of the first intake and combine them into one schedule.
  • Automatic
  • Schedule
  • Weekly allocations overwritten
  • Tools|Intake scheduling

    You can optimise the timetables and resource lists in various ways. A summary of current selections using optimisation techniques can be found at Optimisation tools.

    Split Event

    When you have created an event and have scheduled it at least into two slots, there sometimes comes situations when you want to replace or remove some of the event's resources or add new resources to the event, but you want to perform that only for certain slots or weeks. For instance, you may want to replace a teacher or room for certain time-slots or weeks only.

    Event split tools enable you to split the slots of the event into two disjoint sets without the need of manually creating an event and rescheduling its periods. Event split uses the existing event as the basis and makes the required operations, leaving only the task to replace or attach new resources to the other event (or both events). You can repeat the process for the events that have been split and select of three different cases how the split is made.

    When you split an event, Mimosa creates two non-overlapping events with the same list of resources, keeping the total number of periods unchanged.

    You can split the periods of an event into two events

    When the two new events are created from the original event, their codes are copied from the original and automatically appended by the letters 'a', 'b', 'c',... in order to keep event codes unique. If the original event code information is important and it should be kept visible after split, the best way is to attach the original event code to the new event names. When publishing events in timetables and reports, you many then not to select to display event codes, since the event name already includes the necessary information.

    New event names can be attributed by inserting the original code in front of the new event names, or enclosing it between special characters "[]", "()", "{}", "\\" or "//". If you select the first (default) option sorting the codes by their names sorts them according to their original codes. If you select the other options, you can optionally hide the code when they are printed or published, selecting the same characters also in "Hidden text separators" (see Options|Other).

    Original event:

    New events (after selecting the first attribute option):

    After event split, you can also edit the resource lists of the two new events immediately or perform that later on in events view:

    Tags

    You can use three kinds of tags in the names of events and resources for extra tasks in Mimosa. Tags begin with specific symbols #, @ or %, followed by a number or tag name.

    If you prefer to make the tags invisible in printed or published reports, you can enclose them in Hidden text separators, as instructed on page Options|Other. You can select from the list the pair of separators according to your preference. Anything which is written inside the selected separators is not printed or published.

    Examples of tags: Auditorium (#200 seats) (Room name), Group 3 A (#28) (Group name), Lecture room I [@New_campus] (Room name), Russian for beginners (%Lan_Studio) (Event name), Language room 12 (%Lan_Studio) (Room name).

    You can use several tags in the same event or resource name and they may be enclosed in the same or different pairs of separators or in none. The following expressions are equal in Mimosa, although they differ visually:

    ROOM 206 (#36) (%Studio) (@Old_campus)
    ROOM 206 (#36 seats, %Studio, @Old_campus)
    ROOM 206 #36 %Studio @Old_campus

    Summary of the tags in Mimosa:

    Tag typeSymbolUsed inPurposeSyntaxExamplesSelection
    Capacity#ResourcesTo check that seat requirements do not exceed room capacity # and integer (0-999)
    (default=1)
    Auditorium (#200 seats)
    Group 3 A (#28)
    Edit|Optimise room usage (Events view)
    Campus name@RoomsTo check if a different campus is used twice in the same day @ and campus name (A-Z,a-z,0-9,_)
    (case sensitive)
    Lecture room I [@New_campus] Tools|Check for campus collisions
    Matching tag%Rooms and eventsTo check that room types match with event requirements % and tag (A-Z,a-z,0-9,_)
    (case sensitive)
    Russian for beginners (%Lan_Studio)
    Language room 12 (%Lan_Studio)
    Edit|Optimise room usage (Events view)

    Select Options|Summary info to display a list of all the tags that have been used.

    Timetables

    In the Timetables view you create timetables for your resources by scheduling the events you have allocated to each of the weeks of your schedule. When you schedule an event in the timetable of one resource Mimosa automatically schedules it in the timetables of all the other resources required for the event, taking care that no conflicts occur.

    If you only have one week in your timetables Mimosa will automatically allocate all your events to that week. If you have more than one week (defined in Options|Limits) you need to allocate your events to weeks in the Weeks View before you can schedule them in this view.

    You can select the timetables and events in any order for scheduling and you can make bookings to timetables to prevent scheduling to inappropriate slots.

    In this view you can:

    With Mimosa you can schedule the periods of events in timetables in several alternative ways, depending on your preferences and requirements. Most important tools are presented below:

    Timetables view is the most common way to schedule periods interactively and easily. In this view you can also simultaneously view all the related timetables and also Undo and Redo all the actions you have made.
    If the start and end dates and the time periods for event schedules are known beforhand, Edit|Bulk schedule in Events view is a recommended selection.
    If you prefer to schedule events when attaching resources to events, select Instant scheduling in Events view.
    You can also import schedules from your spreadsheet application by using the appropriate Clipboard selection in Events view.
    You can also import schedules as all other Mimosa data from other applications by using the Import/export with text files tools and the File|File Import or File|File Add selections.
    Timetables can also be created automatically by using the Initial solution selection and optimise the results with the Optimise tool.

    In the selection File|Print it is possible to change the layout of the timetables, such as selecting the elements that are displayed in each cell.

    See Timetables view, Reports.

    Undo last change in timetables

    Reverses actions you perform in Timetables view, such as inserting, deleting or moving periods, or changing the bookings in timetables. Up to 2000 previous actions can be undone. You can also Undo All previous commands, Set Bookmark to the current state that you are about to go back later on or trace the whole History of all commands performed so far. See the Edit selection in this view.

    Mimosa stores up to 2000 last actions in History selection and user can jump back to any previous action or undo all actions. In other views, commands cannot be undone or redone. Therefore it is important that you save your file often on disk.

    See also Timetables view how to redo last changes in timetables.

    Weeks

    In Weeks view you can allocate the periods you have planned for your events to the different weeks of your schedule. If you only have one week in your schedule all periods will be allocated automatically to that week and you can go directly to the Timetables view to schedule your events.

    You can define the number of weeks in your schedule in Options|Limits and give them names and align them with the calendar in Options|Time but you can also add weeks here by clicking in an empty column to add weeks and rename them by clicking on the column headers.

    In this view you can also:

    Recommended prerequisites:

    If you like to align the weeks used in Mimosa to the normal calendar, check in Options|Time the selection [x] Align Mimosa weeks with Calendar and then select the First day of the first week. When this is done, you will see the date range of the active week on bottom of the screen and also in your reports.

    If you have only one term or week in your planning period, this view is not needed (since all periods are automatically allocated to this term or week). In that case, set the Maximum number of weeks or terms to one in Options|Limits. Activate then Timetables view and start scheduling periods manually.

    Resources view

    Click the button below to go to Edit menu selections:

    Click the button below to go to View menu selections:
    Resources view | Events view | Weeks view | Timetables view

    In order to create timetables you first need to define the things you want to create timetables for. In Mimosa these are called resources and they are defined and managed in this view. In schools and universities resources are, in most cases, teachers, rooms and students or sets of students (groups or classes) but may also include equipment such as projectors and other teaching aids. You can define whatever resources you like and, with the help of categories, you can give names and shortcuts for each type of resource you create. Once you have created a few resources you can use the Events view to define which of your resources need to be present for each of the events or activities you want to schedule in your timetables.

    In this view you can:

    Resources are the basic building blocks of the database. Edit the list of resources (such as classes, teachers, rooms and subjects) with the help of the keys [Insert], [Enter] and [Delete] or the corresponding menu selections or buttons.

    For each resource, you have to enter a

    Go to page Create and edit resources to start creating your resources.

    You can create your own categories for resources in Options|Categories and replace the categories suggested here. The maximum number of different categories is 7 and you can create up to 8191 resources.

    You may already have a convention how to add shortcuts to the resources, such as the initials for the names of persons or room number. The only rule set by Mimosa is that a code must be unique (any other resource or event cannot have the same code). These codes are meant for internal use, and you can select to display or hide them when publishing the timetables. The maximum code and name lengths are 15 and 200 characters, respectively.

    Mimosa has been used in various different environments, not only in schools and universities. Resources and resource categories can be built freely for your specific need. Here are few typical examples of the ways how Mimosa has been used:

    Typical examples of resources in schools and universities are Groups, Lecturers, Rooms, Subjects, Students and Equipment. Up to 240 resources can be attached to each event. You can either use the default resource categories or redefine them in Options|Categories according to your special requirements. When you create new resources in Resource editor, you can select the resource type from the list of categories you have defined here.

    Below the characteristics of the default resource categories are described:

    Never define overlapping resources
    Resources are unique: for instance, each group (of students) should always refer to the same set of persons. If the same person belongs to several groups, Mimosa cannot prevent scheduling the same person in the same time since it does not know the overlapping definition of the resources. Avoiding overlapping resources often requires to split the resource in smaller parts until the resulting resources are unique.

    If you start with a new empty file, click first the [Insert] key or the appropriate add button to create your first resource. You will then see the view below where you input the Code and Name for the resource and select the appropriate category for it from the list of available resource categories. When you later on create events, they will be displayed below these fields.

    If you like to enter the teacher name "John Smith" here,

    Replace the suggested code and name ("ComponentX") with something more meaningful and accept your code by clicking [OK]. It is a good idea to create a couple of resources for each category just to test how the system works. At the start, the list of resources may look something like that below:

    The columns PLANNED, ALLOCATED, SCHEDULED and LINKS have at the start the value 0, but their values are determined by the values of the events that use these resources and they are automatically kept intact by Mimosa. You cannot edit them in this view.

    After you have created your resources (and also events) you can view them in a list like the one below, which represent a complete Mimosa file where they have been scheduled. You can sort resources by any criteria and you can change the current resource by clicking [Enter] or F2.

    When some of the resources is double-clicked, the list of events using this resource is displayed on top of the resources (if they exist). Double-clicking some of the resources again hides this list again. This functionality is useful when you like to keep the list of dependent events visible.

    The order of the resources in the list can be changed by clicking the title row, or with the help of the Move up and Move down buttons or by sorting them according to some appropriate criteria (Tools|Sort). Note that it is very easy to import the list of resources via Edit|Paste from the Clipboard, provided you have entered it in a spreadsheet application with a format below Code, Name, Category number):

    Menu selections: Edit

    With Edit menu selections you can modify the list of resources. See also Create and edit resources

    Menu selections: View

    Events view

    Click the button below to go to Edit menu selections:

    Click the button below to go to View menu selections:
    Resources view | Events view | Weeks view | Timetables view

    An event in Mimosa can represent any activity in the real world that needs to be scheduled in your timetables. The event definition indicates which of your resources need to be present and how many periods need to be reserved from their timetables in order to perform the real world event or activity.

    In schools and universities events are typically used to schedule courses on different subjects, each of which may require the presence of a teacher, a group of students and a room (the resources) and which may take place several times a week over several weeks (the periods of the event and their allocation to the weeks of the schedule). However, events can also represent meetings, exams, self-study periods, maintenance periods for rooms or equipment, planned absences or any other real world event or activity that needs to be considered in your timetables. You can define your own event categories in Options|Categories.

    Mimosa will not allow you to schedule an event in a timetable unless all the required resources are available in the selected period, nor will it allow you to schedule more than the planned number of periods for each event without first asking you if you really want to do so.

    Refer to the Concepts and tools help section for a more detailed explanation of the Mimosa event concept.

    In this view you can:

    Recommended prerequisites:

    The event definition indicates how many activities (occurrences of the event) need to be scheduled in the timetable. Mimosa will not allow you to schedule an occurrence of an event in the timetable unless all the resources of that event are available at that time. Each event can contain up to 240 resources and you can define categories for different kinds of events.

    For each event, you have to enter a

    In this view you manage the lists of the resources of each event. Each event contains also its own schedule, and when Mimosa merges the schedules of all events of the same resource together, the timetables of the resources are obtained. These are the main results of the scheduling process.

    You can create your own categories for events in Options|Categories and replace the categories suggested here. The maximum number of different categories is 7 and you can create up to 8191 events.

    Events can also used as special activities like meetings, appointments, tests, which occur only once (PLANNED=1), whereas in schools the same event structure is in most cases used several times (PLANNED>1). Events contain sets of resources defining together all teaching requirements for the institution (such as school or university). The number of resources attached for each event can vary from 1 to 240 and Mimosa does not restrict the event structures.

    Samples of most common event structures:

    Note that the event structures may vary according to your needs. Mimosa does not restrict how you want to create the events, which can represent any kind of activities, such as courses, meetings, exams and so on. The common feature for the events is that they all require the use of one or several resources at the same time.


    Example 1: A simple example of a typical school event (one class/group, teacher and room):

    Example 2: Teacher is teaching students of two classes/groups at the same time:

    Example 3: Students of one class/group are split for two teachers:


    If a class/group are split to two events and the events are run concurrently, they should be combined in a same event, containing all resources they require:


    Example 4: Students of two classes/groups are split for three teachers:

    Example 5: Personalised teaching for six students by one teacher:

    Example 6: An example of a meeting (one room, two or more teachers):


    Example 7: Conference presentations or sessions can also be interpreted as events:

    (Typically conference attendees can act in up to three different roles: as chairmen, presenters, and referees. Note that each session can occupy one or several of them. Streams are used in conferences to exclude papers of the same area of interest to be scheduled in the same time).

    Example 8: Music/theatre rehearsals constitute also events:

    (In music rehearsals, also instruments and other needed equipment can be included as resources and scheduled).


    On page Create and edit events the structures of various events are explained in more detail.

    When you select to edit an existing event (by clicking [Enter] or [F2]), the following window is displayed:

    When you create a new event, none of the resources exists in the left box. In this example, events have already been scheduled, and Mimosa allows you to add only those resources to event which do not cause any conflicts. If any of the other events have not yet been scheduled, there are no limitations how to select the resources. You can create new events and edit them anytime, before and after you have scheduled. Mimosa automatically prevents all conflicts and only the currently available resources are listed on the right box.

    You can schedule your event immediately after you have entered it or do it later on. If you are about to schedule this event in the same time on several weeks, you may prefer to select Bulk schedule from Edit menu. You may also click the Schedule now button on the bottom of this view to schedule the course with double-clicks. If the schedules of the current event changes every week or if you have several options to schedule it, use the tools of the Timetables view.

    When the list of events is double-clicked, the list of resources of the event plus its timetable are automatically displayed on top of the event list (if they exist). Double-clicking the list again hides them.

    When creating a new event, you must also supply a list of resources, which are treated as simultaneously with the event plus the total number of periods that must be allocated to weeks (PLANNED).

    If you have checked [x] Show the number of event seats in Options|Other and at least one of the resource names contains the character "#" followed by the number indicating either room seats (in room category) or seat requirements (in other categories), Mimosa displays in Events view also an extra column SEATS containing the difference of the room seats and seat requirements.

    For instance, if an event consists of a group with the size of 23 (students), one teacher (1) and one room with 28 seats, the SEATS displays the (positive or negative) difference of the seat capacity and seat requirements: +4 = 28-23-1. In the case when there are less room seats than what is required by the groups and teachers, this number is negative. If the event contains more resources, Mimosa compares the sum of all seat requirements with the sum of seat capacities and displays their difference. All numbers in resources belonging to the Category for rooms are interpreted as seat capacities whereas the numbers in other categories are interpreted as seat requirements.

    See section Create and edit events for examples about different types of events.

    The order of the events in the list can be changed with the help of the Move up and Move down buttons or by sorting them all according to some appropriate criteria (Tools|Sort). Note that it is very easy to import the list of events and their resources via Edit|Paste from the Clipboard|1 Codes, names and PLANNED periods, provided you have entered it in a spreadsheet application with a specific format below (Code, Name, Category number, PLANNED):

    Menu selections: Edit

    With Edit menu selections you can edit the list of events and the contents of the events.

    Menu selections: View

    Weeks view

    Click the button below to go to Edit menu selections:

    Click the button below to go to View menu selections:
    Resources view | Events view | Weeks view | Timetables view

    In Weeks view you can allocate the periods you have planned for your events to the different weeks or terms of your schedule. If you only have one week in your schedule all periods will be allocated automatically to that week and you can go directly to the Timetables view to schedule your events. Weeks view enables to reuse the same events over again on different weeks, without the need to enter a new event.

    You can define the number of weeks in your schedule in Options|Limits and give them names and align them with the calendar in Options|Time. Alternatively you can add weeks directly in the view by clicking in an empty column and you can rename your weeks by clicking on the column headers.

    In this view you can also:

    For instance, an event has total number of 15 periods, and they must be allocated to three weeks as follows: 5 + 4 + 6 (= 15). Allocating the periods of events to weeks and reuse them several times is the task in Weeks view.

    Recommended prerequisites:

    If you have only one term or week, this view is not needed (since all periods are automatically allocated to the only term or week). In that case, set the Maximum number of weeks or terms to one in Options|Limits. Activate then Timetables view and start scheduling.

    When you increase the number of maximum weeks (for instance to 5), you can reuse the same events and allocate their periods on several weeks.

    To fill the grid with weekly periods, you can enter their values directly in the cells of this grid, but if you think there are enough similarities across weeks, you can also use the menu selections Edit|Copy week and Edit|Paste week to copy the periods of selected events from one column to another column and edit them afterwards.

    When you [Double-click] the grid, the sums of the periods by resources become visible. This enables you to change allocate the periods of events to weeks, but in the same time keep track of the weekly load of resources.

    What are the weeks in Mimosa?

    Weeks in Mimosa are either real calendar weeks or terms. You can select your case from the samples below. Use the selection Weeks or terms in Options|Limits to change the number of columns in this view and Options|Time to synchronise them with calendar.

    1) One week or term - in this case Weeks view is not needed, since all periods of events are automatically allocated to the first week, and their value is equal to the number entered in PLANNED field, which in turn is always equal to ALLOCATED.

    2) Two or more terms - this corresponds the terms in a school year, which varies from two to ten or more. The lengths of the terms are approximately the same. The sum of the allocated periods on each row is equal to the number in ALLOCATED column, which is always less or equal to PLANNED. Terms are not synchronised with the calendar

    3) Calendar weeks - in this case weeks are the same as calendar weeks. The sum of the allocated periods on each row is equal to the number in ALLOCATED column, which is always less or equal to PLANNED. In this case, check in Options|Time the selection [x] Align Mimosa weeks with Calendar and then pick the First day of the first week from the calendar. This option automatically displays the correct date in Timetables view and on reports, based on this information.

    You can also select to display the names of weeks automatically, based on "Dates" or "Week numbers" (EU standard). These shortcuts of the weeks are displayed on the top of week grid.

    4) Variable calendar weeks are also calendar weeks as above 3), but their lengths is variable (1-255 weeks). The number ALLOCATED on each row is calculated as weighted sum of periods using week lengths as weights, and the resulting number ALLOCATED is always less or equal to PLANNED.

    If you are unsure about the right value of PLANNED, you can always temporarily set it a high number enough (such as 9999). You can check from the column ALLOCATED, how many periods are really allocated and later on fix that number automatically or manually (letting PLANNED = ALLOCATED).

    Mimosa prevents you from allocating too many periods

    By default, Mimosa checks that the total sum of allocated periods (ALLOCATED) does not exceed its upper limit PLANNED. If you enter a too big number in a cell that would increase ALLOCATED (=the sum of allocated periods in all weeks) to a number which would be higher than PLANNED, you are warned about exceeding the limit that you have entered as the maximum number of allocated periods for this event. If you are sure you want to enter this number, you can select to allow Mimosa to increase PLANNED automatically (so that PLANNED = ALLOCATED). This flexible option is intended for users who prefer to enter the allocated periods to cells without the built-in validity check:

    This restriction can be temporarily circumvented

    If the number you are about to enter is correct, select [Yes] to let Mimosa increase PLANNED so that it is equal to ALLOCATED. If the number you are about to enter was not correct, select [No]. If you replied [Yes] to this question, you are next asked to ignore this check question in the future and Mimosa does NOT warn if ALLOCATED would become higher than PLANNED. If it happens, PLANNED is automatically set equal to ALLOCATED.

    The default input restrictions (ALLOCATED must be less than or equal to PLANNED) become effective again when you next time come back to this Weeks view.

    User interface in Weeks view

    The user interface and functionality in this view is analogous to spreadsheet applications. The table displays how the periods of each event should be distributed to weeks, and user just enters the weekly periods in each cell. Each column represents a week and each row an event. Each cell in the grid contains also the timetables of that event. You allocate the periods of events to weeks just by entering the appropriate number in that cell. In Timetables view you schedule each column (or week) of this grid in turn.

    This view provides several powerful tools:

    When the grid is double-clicked, the distribution of the periods to the resources of all events is displayed. When the weekly periods of any event is changed, the changes are reflected to the resources as well (if the resources are attached to the changed event). When another cell of this grid is clicked, the resource list of the current event is automatically displayed. Double-clicking the grid again hides this view. For instance, if you [Double-click] the grid on the event BUS186 (see below), it displays the resource list of this event and the periods of its resources.

    After the periods have been allocated to weeks, the final phase of the process is to schedule each the periods of each week. This is done in the Timetables view.

    The work-flow is to enter the numbers of the periods allocated for each event and each week. When you enter a number into a cell, the application checks that its value is within acceptable bounds. It is in impossible to enter a number which has a lower value than the number of scheduled periods in that cell, and similarly the value can not exceed the value defined in PLANNED for the current event. Typing key [+] increases and [-] decreases the cell value by one.

    There exists a vast amount of useful tools and selections in this view. They help in the allocation process in roughly the same way as a spreadsheet program would. Some frequently needed techniques are automated, so by pressing only one key you can save a lot of time as compared with any other tool. You can also copy the grid to the Clipboard and edit or use the solution in your spreadsheet application and the paste the results back to this view.

    Work smart with copy and paste

    You can utilise the similarities of the allocations and proceed vertically, horizontally or in both directions.

    If you can utilise some of the previous allocation work also in upcoming weeks use Edit|Copy week to store this week in memory and then the selections Edit|Paste week or Edit|Paste week Special... to copy the results to other weeks.

    You may also note that the allocations of some events are similar or near similar. Use then the selections Edit|Copy allocation and Edit Paste allocation to copy allocations and/or schedules from one event to another.

    Alternative allocation techniques

    In this Weeks view you can edit the value of each cell of the grid individually to set the number of periods for each event and week, or make bookings to cells to prevent accidental allocations.

    Your preferred way of working can be different from that above, and often you can save a lot of time when using some of the following alternative techniques below. In these techniques, you do not allocate the periods to weeks, since the allocations are always set equal to scheduled periods.

    You can also get the initial allocation from other sources, such as from a spreadsheet application, or you can create that by setting the number of allocated periods in each cell to one (and increasing that number when necessary).

    Menu selections: Edit

    Use the Edit selection to change the current allocation of periods or edit the weeks. In most cases, it is essential first to click the appropriate column and row on the grid before invoking the command, since the actions are dependent on the active cell.

    Menu selections: View

    The most common selections in this menu are easier to activate by clicking the corresponding buttons or using the keyboard shortcuts.

    Timetables view

    Click the button below to go to Edit menu selections:

    Click the button below to go to View menu selections:
    Resources view | Events view | Weeks view | Timetables view

    In this view you create timetables for your resources by scheduling the events you have allocated to each of the weeks of your schedule. When you schedule an event in the timetable of one resource Mimosa automatically schedules it in the timetables of all the other resources required for the event, taking care that no conflicts occur. You can create the timetables, and schedule the events in them, in any order you wish.

    If you only have one week in your schedule Mimosa will automatically allocate all your events to that week. If you have more than one week you should allocate your events to weeks in the Weeks view before you schedule them in this view.

    In this view you can:

    Recommended prerequisites:

    With Mimosa you can schedule the periods of events in timetables in several alternative ways, depending on your preferences and requirements. Most important tools are presented below:

    Timetables view is the most common way to schedule periods interactively and easily. In this view you can also simultaneously view all the related timetables and also Undo and Redo all the actions you have made.
    If the start and end dates and the time periods for event schedules are known beforhand, Edit|Bulk schedule in Events view is a recommended selection.
    If you can copy the schedules from an event to another event, Edit|Copy schedule in Events view can be used.
    If you prefer to schedule events when attaching resources to events, select Instant scheduling in Events view.
    You can also import schedules from your spreadsheet application by using the appropriate Clipboard selection in Events view.
    You can also import schedules as all other Mimosa data from other applications by using the Import/export with text files tools and the File|File Import or File|File Add selections.
    Timetables can also be created automatically by using the Initial solution selection and optimise the results with the Optimise tool.

    Have you defined one or several weeks in Options|Limits?

    If you have defined more than one week in Weeks or terms > 1 of Options|Limits selection, the periods of the events do not automatically appear in this view before you allocate at least some of them in Weeks view. After that you can pick the active week from the drop-down list and schedule the periods timetables.

    If you have set only defined only one week (Weeks or terms = 1 in Options|Limits selection, you can schedule them immediately since all planned periods are automatically allocated to this week.

    Timetables view layout:

    Note that you can edit only the timetable on the top left (the active timetable). All changes are automatically reflected to other related timetables. When you activate an event, all other timetables connected to this event are shown on the right. When you [Double-click] a timetable on the right, it becomes then the active timetable. You can adjust the width and height of the active timetable by moving the mouse to the locations shown below and clicking the appropriate arrow keys:

    When you type [Ctrl+B], you can view the timetables also in Bird's eye view. This displays all timetables on top of each other horizontally, enabling to compare their content.

    Searching for periods to schedule [F3]:

    At the start you should see a timetable full of green check-marks () to indicate that you can schedule a period anywhere in the timetable, like in the timetable below.

    If you cannot see this view, click the screen and Mimosa tells you the reason for that:

    If you like to view and schedule periods of the specific timetable, event or week, you can use the list boxes on top to find the appropriate item.

    Note that you will edit only the slots of the timetable on the top left. Other timetables you see on the right provide you automatically additional information of other timetables related to the event you are about to schedule.

    You can press the [F3] key or click to search for the next timetable containing at least one unscheduled period. The timetable you edit is located in the top-left corner of this view, and in this timetable you can schedule and remove periods or bookings. Other timetables on the right of this view are automatically displayed according to the resources of the active event to help you to visualise how the changes affect to all related timetables.

    After you have scheduled all periods of the current timetable, the event list is replaced with the following button:

    Click this button to let Mimosa look for the timetables containing unscheduled periods.

    Scheduling and removing periods with double-click:

    Next, double-click some of the slots containing the check-marks () to schedule periods. [Double-click] is the simplest way to manually schedule individual periods and it also works other way round: double-click to remove already scheduled periods from the timetables.

    [Double-click] the slots until all check-marks have disappeared from the current timetable, indicating that this timetable is completed. You can then press the [F3] key or click again to search for the next timetable to be scheduled. Note that Mimosa automatically schedules the periods of the current event to other timetables which are linked with it and it automatically takes care that conflicts cannot occur.

    You can select the next event to be scheduled from the event list below the timetable. Mimosa displays here only those events which are related to the current timetable.

    By default, the columns ALLOC and SCHED contain the numbers of allocated of and scheduled periods of each event on the current week, respectively. The column LEFT is equal to the number of allocated minus the scheduled periods of each event on this week. When all periods of all events of the current timetable have been scheduled on this week, this list becomes empty. Events in this list are sorted in descending according to the unscheduled periods, and if you do not pick any event from the list, Mimosa automatically selects the first event from this list.

    You can select Mimosa to show the numbers in ALLOC and SCHED as sums of all weeks instead of the current week. Go to selection View|Cell display options|Show weekly periods and uncheck this option if required. If you have only one week in your file, this selection has no effect, since the numbers in ALLOC and SCHED are the same in both cases.

    Note that you can schedule only the periods that have been allocated to the current week in Weeks view. In some cases you may like to adjust the number of unscheduled periods (in the LEFT column) instantly, without switching to Weeks view. If you note during the scheduling process that you like to increase or decrease the numbers available periods on some events.

    Adjusting the numbers of unscheduled periods

    You can adjust also in this view the numbers unscheduled periods one by one, without switching to Weeks view. This means that you can easily make minor weekly changes to periods also from this view. Right-click to show the pop-up menu with the following selections:

    You can also press the [+] key to increase or press the [-] key to decrease the number of LEFT periods. When you type the number 0 or select Set LEFT of [Event] to zero, the unscheduled periods of this event on this week are cleared and the event is removed from the list.

    When you select to change the numbers (or unscheduled periods) in the LEFT column, they also automatically adjust the allocated periods of the current event and week in the Weeks view. For example, if you have the number +3 in the LEFT column, it means that you still need to schedule 3 periods of this event.

    If you note that some of the periods of the current timetable are not allocated to the current week, you can add one period of this event to the current week, by selecting Add a new event to this week. When you have selected this option, it displays all relevant events that you could schedule in the current timetable, but you have not allocated any periods to this week in Weeks view. Selecting an event from the list adds one period to the current week and also to the list of unscheduled events.

    When you have scheduled all events of this timetable, the events list becomes empty. You can then switch to some other timetable to find unscheduled events or press the [F3] key to let Mimosa do the searching for you.

    When scheduling periods, some slots become unavailable:

    When you have scheduled more and more periods, you will note that less and less slots become available and a red stop sign () is displayed in those slots. This is caused by the other events using the same timetable as you are currently using.

    What those numbers in the brackets are for?

    In those slots where you can and where you cannot schedule, you may also see numbers (or "indicators") in brackets. You can select to show or hide them in the selection View|Cell display options|Show indicators. These numbers give you condensed information of other timetables which are related to the current timetable and the event that you are just scheduling.

    1. The negative number (such as [-2]) on the right of the stop sign () indicates, that there are events or bookings in two other timetables which prevent scheduling the period in this slot. Double-click this slot to see which timetables and events are preventing scheduling to this slot. If you like, you can also clear these slots from other timetables and continue scheduling the current event.
    2. The positive or negative number (such as [+2] or [-3]) on the right of the check-mark () indicates that scheduling into this slot is possible, and it either reduces (a positive number) or increases (a negative number) the number of gaps in the timetables in this week. If the scheduling does not change the number of the gaps, this number is not shown.

    When you [Double-click] a slot where scheduling is not permitted (for example, containing [-5]), you will see the reason why the intended event cannot be scheduled in this slot. You can optionally select from the list of the conflicting resources (plus their events or bookings) those you want to clear, without displaying their timetables. If you clear them all, you can continue scheduling your current event in this intended slot.

    "Conflicts pre-check": Note that when you click a slot where scheduling of the current event is not permitted (containing the icon ), Mimosa automatically displays a box on the right of this slot, containing the list of timetables which prevent scheduling, plus enclosed the events or bookings in the slots which would cause conflicts, and so you do not necessary always need to [Double-click] this cell to see the list. You can optionally hide this box by clicking on it.

    What are the other timetables on the right?

    When you select an event, you will see on the right also the timetables of other resources of that event. For example, if the event consists of a group, teacher and room and you are about to change the timetable of the group, also the timetables of the teacher and room are visible. This enables to view how the changes affect to other related timetables and which events or bookings prevent you from scheduling the current period. You do not need to schedule the event to these timetables separately, since all other relevant timetables are always automatically updated when you change the timetable on top left.

    You can change the contents only in the timetable on the left, but you will see the same indicators also in the timetables on the right and when changes are made in the timetable on the left, they are automatically reflected to the other timetables as well. Double-clicking a timetable on the right moves it to the left.

    The indicators and the numbers guide you in the scheduling by showing information also of those timetables which are not currently visible. When you schedule, it is a rule of thumb to prefer those slots which have a big positive number, since on average it will keep the number of gaps low.

    You can select to display or hide the indicators in View|Cell display options|Show indicators. When scheduling or unscheduling, you will also see the "hint box" on the bottom right on the screen guiding you about the basic operations you can do on the active slot. To show or hide these hints, you can click Ctrl+Alt+H].

    Scheduling and unscheduling several periods with one click

    If you are about to schedule or unschedule several periods with one click, first paint an rectangular area in the timetable and then click the [Schedule] button () or the [Unschedule] button (), respectively. For the same effect, you can alternatively press the [Insert] or [Delete] key after painting the area. For instance, you may like to schedule a row of periods on the same day or clear a range of selected slots.

    Make or cancel bookings (restrictions):

    In similar way, you can set and remove bookings, which indicate that the slots where they have been set, are not available for periods in that timetable. Select the area in the timetable and press the [SPACE] key (or click ) to set bookings or cancel them. You can select from three captions of bookings and you can change them in Edit|Change booking type. You cannot schedule periods on slots where bookings have been set, and you cannot set a booking to a slot where periods have already been scheduled.

    Type the [SPACE] key to make a booking into an empty slot or cancel the booking from the slot which already has a booking set (such as /////).

    After all periods have been scheduled:

    After you have scheduled all the periods in all timetables, the screen looks like the one below:

    The colours of the events displayed in each timetable are selected by Mimosa, unless you have not set colours to them in Events view. If you like to change the colour palette Mimosa is using, go to Options|Colours.

    You may also note that:

    1. Conflicts in scheduling of periods and setting of bookings are prevented.
    2. Permissible and impossible scheduling options are shown.
    3. Other timetables related to the active event are shown.
    4. Information about the quality of timetables is displayed.
    5. Navigation and changing of timetables affecting to the current timetable is enabled.
    6. You can undo and redo up to 2000 last changes and go back to any previous or bookmarked step.

    There are several ways to navigate to the desired timetable, event or week you like to start with. If you are using this view for the first time, you can do the following:

    1. Click the Find button or press the [F3] key to find the first timetable, which has unscheduled periods.
    2. Click from the event list (below the timetable) the event you are about to schedule or remove.
    3. [Double-click] a slot in the timetable where you find a green check-mark.
    4. Repeat these steps until all green check-marks have been gone.

    If you see resources, events and weeks listed in the list boxes on top of the screen you can start creating timetables. Although you can create then automatically (in Tools|Optimise|Initial solution), we recommend that you start from here, since it is more than probable that you like to edit the timetables manually sooner or later. Even if you prefer to create timetables automatically, there always will be some need to alter the current solution, and also to place some of the periods into predefined slots.

    periods of the events are automatically scheduled in the timetables of their resources. When scheduling or removing a period, the changes in other connected timetables of this event are automatically changed. You can alternatively schedule the event immediately when you create or edit events in Events view, as described in Instant scheduling. In both cases, changes always affect the same timetables in a similar way.

    If you have several weeks or terms in the school year, you first select the timetables of the week you are going to edit from the Weeks list on the top right. After that you might like to select the timetable from the Resources list. If you do not see green check-marks in the current timetable, select another timetable from the list or click [F3] to let Mimosa automatically find the next incomplete timetable for you.

    If all periods of the current week or term have been scheduled, you are prompted to move to next week or term (if it exists).

    You need to be focused only on the timetable which is located on the top left, while Mimosa automatically takes care of all background tasks needed to keep all other timetables synchronised and Mimosa informs also about possible scheduling options. When you change the active event, the other timetables are changed according to its resources. Double-clicking a timetable on the right moves it to the active timetable to the top left.

    Moving periods to other locations:

    In order to use this option, the selection View|Cell display options|Show move options must be checked.

    It is often simpler to use the selections of Edit|Move block to... to move periods to other locations. When you press the [F7] (or the [Shift+F7]) key, Mimosa automatically moves the selected block to the next (or previous) available location in the timetable, and finally back to the original location.

    After all periods of an event have been scheduled, it is easy to move a sequence of periods to some other location within the timetable with just one mouse click. When you click the active time table slot twice, Mimosa displays all other available locations for the active event using the move icon () and a blue number in brackets. Note that you can also split the current sequence of periods in two parts, and the available locations are indicated for the rest periods in the sequence. When you click this slot again, move options disappear.

    The same operation can be performed in two stages, by first removing the current sequence and scheduling it into the new location, but using the move option saves unnecessary mouse clicks and you can also see in advance all available options.

    Instead of clicking the first period of a sequence of periods, you can alternatively click some of the next periods to gain more options to move the rest of the sequence to another location. This operation will split the sequence into two parts, leaving the previous periods in their original position.

    Note that when you click other than the first period from a row of periods, you will typically gain more options to move, since the row of periods is shorter. The numbers (for example [3]) indicate the first slot where the periods can be moved from the active slot.

    Undo and redo

    You can Undo and Redo all operations (up to last 2000 steps), such as scheduling, removing and moving of periods and bookings, using the buttons () and (), or the shortcuts [Ctrl+X] and [Ctrl+Y], respectively. In the Edit menu selection you can also Undo all and Redo all changes, and also set a bookmark to the state you want to revert back later on.

    Changing several cells at once

    It is also possible to first paint a rectangular area of slots on Master timetable and then use selections to schedule or remove periods or set or cancel bookings in this area:

    Use the Timetables list or the arrows keys (down and up) to select the timetable on the top left corner. You can then click the event to be scheduled from the List of unscheduled events below. When you click an event in the timetable, Mimosa automatically displays also all related timetables.

    Colours and other effects are used to make timetables more legible, but you might find that the slots are stacked with information that is not currently useful for you. Please go to the selection View|Cell display options to deselect those elements that are not essential.

    When the timetables are printed or published, all slot contents are replaced by the event codes, names and collections, depending on your preferences set in the File|Print|Timetables selection.

    Slots containing bookings (restrictions) are shown in red colour (like "////").

    A slot in each timetable can be in three exclusive states: it can be either empty, it can contain a event or a booking. The appearance of slots may look different on your screen, depending on the selections that has been made in View|Cell display options. Below are samples of different slot statuses and how they are displayed on Master timetable.

    Notations for slots which are EMPTY:

    SymbolExplanation

    All events of the current timetable have already been scheduled. [Double-click] the slot to set a booking on it. If this slot constitutes a gap between non-empty slots, you can optionally emphasize it with an icon (View|Cell display options|Show gap picture).

    The active event can be scheduled in this slot, but it causes two ([-2]) gaps. [Double-click] this slot to schedule a period in it.

    The active event cannot be scheduled into this slot, since two ([-2]) other timetables which are connected to this timetable prevent this operation. [Double-click] this slot to find the timetable(s) which prevent scheduling in this slot.

    Counting from the active slot, a sequence of two ([2]) periods of the current event can be moved to this slot.

    Notations for slots containing a an EVENT:

    SymbolExplanation

    Event SEA646 (or DRA405) is scheduled in this slot. [Double-click] the slot to remove the scheduled period from this cell. You can also optionally display the manual room (m) and/or the slot comment (c).

    This slot of a Room timetable has been scheduled to an event (STR308) manually. [Double-click] once to change it to a booking, [Double-click] twice to clear it.

    Notations for slots containing a booking:

    SymbolExplanation

    The active slot contains a booking (of type Meeting). [Double-click] to remove the booking from the slot, [Double-click] to set it again. Click [Ctrl+O] to change the booking text.

    In general, the fastest way to use and learn the basic techniques of this view is to double-click individual slots in the master table (on the top left corner) to see how scheduling and removing of periods or bookings functions in different situations. This double-clicking technique can then be extended to all other tables and lists that you see in this view. If you often schedule periods as blocks (double, triple periods,...) instead of single cells, right-click the pop-up menu on the master table and change the parameter in selection Default block length.

    When you progress in scheduling, typically less and less free slots become available and scheduling becomes more demanding. This is caused by the increasing dependencies of events and their resources. It is a good practice to start from the events containing the largest number of resources, most periods and which have most limited scheduling options and finish with the events which are easier to schedule and which have more degrees of freedom.

    Menu selections: Edit