If you work with clients or contractors on projects it can be challenging to track everything. One missed deadline or message can derail a project. Project management tools and services can take the stress away. However, they can be expensive. Google Docs, Google’s answer to word processing, spreadsheets and more, is free. And with a few simple tips and steps, it can be used as a project management tool to help you keep your business on track.
Step #1 get a Google account
If you don’t use Gmail or have a Google account the first step is to sign up. Simply visit Google.com and sign up. It’s free. If you’re using Google Docs for project management be sure to create a username that your clients and project managers will recognize.
Step #2 create a document
You can create spreadsheets, documents, presentations and more. You’ll also see a button labeled “Share” at the top of the page. This is where you add clients, contractors, and those who will be involved in the project.
Step #3 notification rules
Once you’ve created your document you can then change the notification settings. These alert you and others whenever a change is made. Click on “Tools” and adjust the settings to your needs.
Step #4 editing rules
Google Docs allows you to use the software just like you would other word processing and spreadsheet software. This means you can use color coding and formatting to help keep it organized.
For example, you might create separate task lists for each member of your project. The task lists can be color coded so each person can track their information easily. Using the spreadsheet function you can include column categories like:
- Start Date
- Complete Date
Step #5 the Google Apps marketplace
- Mavenlink: Free Project Management
- Do.com by Salesforce: Free Social Productivity
- Gantter Project
- Smartsheet Project Management for Google Apps
- RapidTASK: Get Powerful Group To do Lists
They’re free, powerful, and a great way to boost your productivity. If you manage a number of projects then consider using Google Docs. The tool is free, powerful and will help you get more done in less time.
Kim and Clare are virtual assistants in Essex. They help sole traders get more out of their time by doing the admin tasks they hate.