Jack Wallen wondered if a project can be managed with a free Google Workspaces account and was surprised by what he learned.
Project management is an absolutely critical piece of the business puzzle. Without the means to manage various types of projects, from the simple to the complex, your workflow will stutter and start until things go off the rails. Trust me: You don’t want that.
SEE: Hiring kit: Project manager (TechRepublic Premium)
Given how many project management services are available, you have no excuse to not add such a tool into your workflow.
But what if you’re already embedded in the Google Workspace platform? Why would you want to add yet another website into the mix? Sure, some services are perfectly geared toward the task of managing your projects, but if Google is your jam, you might want to keep everything within that bubble.
How? If you take a look at the Google Workspaces free account, there are no obvious tools for that particular task. What can you do? Google Workspaces has quite a good number of tools that could easily be gently bent enough to serve the needs of your project. I’m going to break them down in a very simple-to-follow way so you can see what I’m talking about.
All the tools you need and nothing more
First, I want to talk about the built-in tools you’ll find in Google Workspaces that you can make use of for your project management needs.
This is the obvious one. The Google Calendar tool is a great way to plan your project, but don’t use your personal calendar for this. Instead, create a project-specific calendar so it can live separately from everything else.
By creating a project-specific calendar, you can share the calendar with everyone on your project’s team, and because you can quickly switch between month, week and day views, it’s very easy to see what’s going on every step of the way.
This is another obvious one. Create a project-specific folder in Drive and share it with your team. You can share this folder in such a way that some team members only have read access while others have edit access. Be judicious with those access rights so you don’t wind up giving the wrong person the wrong permissions.
Google Chat and Meet
You’re going to need to be able to quickly communicate with your team members, so consider creating separate spaces in Google Chat for the different teams associated with your project. You could create spaces for developers, designers, editors and managers. There will also be times when you need to hold video meetings, and Google has you covered there with Meet.
We now dive down the rabbit hole of less-than-obvious options. The first is Collections. Think of Collections as a pin board where you can save all sorts of thoughts regarding your project. Add just about anything as an idea strikes you, so you don’t forget that brilliant next idea for the project. Make sure to share the project-related Collection with your team so they can see the inspiration as it unfolds.
When you need to collect data from your teams, clients, customers or stakeholders, you’ll want to make use of Google Forms. You could create forms for users to fill out wish lists of features for your project, get access to progress details and more.
Even more options
Those are the obvious bits you can employ to make Google Workspaces a feasible platform for project management. If you need more, you can always turn to the Google Workspace Marketplace where you can install some actual project management tools. Here’s a short list of those options:
As you can see, it shouldn’t take much for you to add to your Google Workspaces account to build a rock-solid project management platform. It may not be ideal, but if you’re already deeply entrenched in the Google ecosystem, this is a very easy means of managing your projects with familiar tools that are already at your fingertips.
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