Plan and manage a project


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" "1  Set up your project

1.1 Create an email group

To send email to your team using a single email address and simplify sharing, set up a Google Groups email list.

Note: When you share with a group, all members get the same level of access.

As you add new people to your group, they automatically gain access to content you previously shared with the group. Similarly, if you remove someone from a group, that person no longer has access to any content you shared with the group.

Create an email list group:

  1. In Groups, click Create group.
    • If you’re creating a group within your organization, your group’s address will end with yourdomain.com.
    • If you’re creating a public group, your group’s address will end with googlegroups.com.
  2. Describe the group.
  3. Scroll to Group type, and next to Select a group type, select Email list.
  4. Scroll to Basic permissions and choose who can view topics, post, and join your group.
  5. Click Create group.

Set up a group

1.2 Create a team or project calendar

Create a team calendar to track team meetings and vacation time. Create a project calendar to track project milestones and tasks. You create each calendar the same way.

Create a team calendar:

  1. Open Calendar, and on the left next to Other calendars, click Add other calendars Addand thenCreate new calendar.
  2. Name the calendar and add a description.
  3. Click Time zone and select your time zone.
  4. Click Create calendar. Your new calendar appears under My calendars.
  5. (Optional) To update any calendar preferences, point to it and click More Moreand thenSettings.


Share a team calendar:

  1. Open Calendar and under My calendars, point to the calendar you want to share, and click More Moreand then Settings and sharing.

  2. Choose an option:
    • To share with individuals—Under Share with specific people, click Add people and add the person or the email address of the person you want to share with. Click Send.
    • To change wider sharing settings—Under Access permissions, select Make available to public or Make available for organization name.
Create a calendar
1.3 Set up regular check-in meetings

Schedule regular team meetings so you can get everyone’s status updates and update tasks in the project plan. Create the meeting in your team calendar. Send an invitation to everyone at once using your team’s Google Groups email address. For details, see Plan and hold a meeting.

1 In Calendar, click an empty time slot in the calendar grid and click Event. You can also click Plus Create.
2 Add an event title, date, and time.
3 Add guests.
4 Add a meeting room, location, and video conferencing.
5 Add a description and attachments.
6 (Optional) To create an event using another calendar, click your name, then click the Down arrow Down arrow and select the calendar.
7 Click More options or Save.

Create calendar event

1.4 Create a team website
Build a team site where everyone in your organization can find your team’s information, projects, and other resources. For details, see Get started with Sites.

Sites page and menu displayed

" "Store project files

2.1 Create a project folder

Use Google Drive to store your project plan, specifications, and meeting minutes in a shared project folder in My Drive or in a shared drive.

Create a folder in My Drive: 

  1. Open Drive.
  2. Click Plus Newand thenFolder.


Move a file to a folder in My Drive:

  1. Select the file.
  2. Click More Moreand thenMove to Move to.
  3. Select the folder and click Move or Move here.

You can also drag files and folders to a folder in My Drive on the left.

Move files to folders
 

Shared drives:

If you haven’t already, create a shared drive and add members. Give all members at least Contributor access so they can collaborate on files. For instructions, see Best practices for shared drives. Then, create folders in the shared drive and add files. 

Create a new folder:

  1. On the left, click a shared drive or existing folder.
  2. Click Plus Newand thenFolder.
  3. Enter a folder name and click Create.

Notes:

  • To move folders into a shared drive that are already stored in My Drive or another shared drive, contact your G Suite administrator.
  • Subfolders must have the same permission as the top-level folder.


Upload an existing folder from your computer:

  1. On the left, click a shared drive folder.
  2. On your computer, drag an existing folder into a shared drive. Or, click Plus Newand thenFolder upload. Navigate to the folder and open it.


Add files to a shared drive

Requires at least Contributor access

Any files you add are owned by the team. If you leave the shared drive, your files remain.

  1. On the left, click a shared drive.
  2. Drag an existing file (that you own*) from your computer or from My Drive into a shared drive. Or, click Plus New and choose an option:
    • To create a file, select the file type you want to create, such as Google Docs.
    • To upload a file, click File upload. Navigate to the file and open it.
  3. Double-click a file to open and edit it.

*If you don't own the file but have Can edit access in Drive, you can move it to a shared drive if your G Suite administrator has allowed this option.

Note: To store and access files on your desktop, use Drive File Stream. See Get started with My Drive.

Upload files to Drive

2.2 Find and move existing project files

Find any existing project files, such as project specifications or presentations, in Drive. Then, move the files into your project folder.

It can be difficult to browse through hundreds of files just to find the one you need. So, try searching Drive instead.

Search for files or folders in Drive:

  1. In the Drive search box, enter a word or phrase. 
    To help you search faster, Drive suggests search terms as you enter text.
  2. Click a suggestion to open it or click Search Search to see a list of results.


Use advanced search options:

  1. On the right of the search box, click the Down arrow Down Arrow.
    Choose any option or combination of options to filter your results further.
    • Type—Search by file type.
    • Owner—Search by file owner.
    • Location—Search by location (including items in the Trash or Starred). You can only search for folders that are in My Drive or in shared drives.
    • Date modified—See items that were recently modified by anyone (not just you).
    • Item name—Search for a term in the file name.
    • Has the words—Search for files that contain certain words.
    • Shared with—Search for someone that has access to the file.
    • Follow up—Search for files you own with suggestions, or files with action items assigned to you.
  2. Click Search.

Search in Drive

Move a file to a folder in My Drive:

  1. Select the file.
  2. Click More Moreand thenMove to Move to.
  3. Select the folder and click Move or Move here.

You can also drag files and folders to a folder in My Drive on the left.


Move files to folders

2.3 Create a template for meeting notes

Choose a meeting notes template, customize it, and save it to your shared project folder.

Choose an option:

  • From Docs, Sheets, Slides, or Forms, at the top, select one of the featured templates. Click Template Gallery to see additional templates.
  • If you already have a file open in one of the Docs editors, click Fileand thenNewand thenFrom template and select the template you want.
  • From Drive, choose an option:
    • For the Docs editors, click Plus Newand thenGoogle Docs, Sheets, or Slidesand thenFrom a template.
    • For Forms, click Plus Newand thenMore and thenGoogle Formsand thenFrom a template.
Create new docs
2.4 Attach project files to meetings

(Optional) Add files to your meeting invite, such as meeting notes or the project plan.

1 Choose a time zone.
2 Set up a recurring event.
3 Find a time—Find a time when your co-workers are free for the meeting.
4 Add event details—Add the meeting location, send event notifications, and more.
5 Add video conferencing—Add a video meeting to your event. Or, select a third-party conferencing add-on.
6 Add an event description—Add details, such as contact information, instructions, or links for your event. Format your description by adding bold, italic, or underline, or add lists and links.
7 Add attachments—Attach files, such as documents or presentations to your events.

Add calendar details

" "Create a project plan

3.1 Create a project plan and add tasks

Map out your project by adding tasks to a spreadsheet. Then, add the project plan to your shared drive or shared drive folder.

Create a project plan: 

  1. In Google Drive, click PlusNew and thenGoogle Sheetsand thenBlank spreadsheet.
  2. Click Untitled spreadsheet and enter a new title for your project plan.
  3. Add column headings. For example, you might track the tasks for a project and include columns for task owner, due date, status, and comments.
  4. Add content to the sheet to track the project plan. After you share the sheet, other people can add content as well.

For more information, see Create dynamic project plans with Sheets.

Name a sheet

3.2 Add task descriptions

(Optional)

If your column heading or task needs a bit more explanation, add a descriptive note.

  1. Select the column or cells where you want to add a note.
  2. Select Insertand thenNote.
  3. Type your description.
  4. Click anywhere outside the note to close it.
Insert notes
3.3 Add list options

(Optional)

Let people choose from options in a list. For example, to track progress in a project plan, create a Status column with options such as Not started, In progress, or Complete.

1 Select the column where you want to add the choices.
2 Click Dataand thenData validation.
3 Next to Criteria, select List of items.
4 Enter the choices separated by commas.
5 Click Save.
6 (Optional) To see the choices, click the arrow in a cell under the column.

Map of instructions 1 through 6

3.4 Add progress trackers

(Optional)

See how your project tasks are progressing at a glance with conditional formatting rules. For example, add colors to make completed tasks stand out from tasks that haven’t been started or are in progress.

Set up progress trackers:

  1. Open Sheets and select the column that you want to apply the formatting rules to.
  2. Select Formatand thenConditional formatting.
  3. Set up the rules. In this example, you assign a different color to tasks that are Complete, Not started, or In progress:
A On the Single color tab, under Format cells if, select Text contains.
B In the box under Text contains, type Complete.
C Under Formatting style, click the list to choose if you want the background or text to be colored.
D To assign a custom text or background color, click Text color Color textor Fill color Color fill. If needed, you can specify a color for the text and a color for the background.
E If you want to add more rules, click Add another rule and follow the same steps. For example, assign a red background to Not started tasks and an orange background to In progress tasks.
F Click Done.

In the menu, under Format, find the conditional formatting rules

3.5 Get notifications

(Optional)

Stay on top of project updates and status changes with email notifications. You’ll know when someone’s made a change to your project plan, who made the change, when they made it, and what’s changed. You can also choose how often you want to be notified.

Add notifications:

  1. In the spreadsheet, select Toolsand thenNotification rules.
  2. Select when and how often you want to receive notifications.
  3. Click Save.
  4. Click Done.
Click Tools to open a window where you set notifications rules

" "Share project files

4.1 Share the project folder

Share the folder in My Drive:

When you share a folder with a group, all members get the same level of access. Give team members Can edit access so they can collaborate on files

Share a file or folder with specific people:

  1. In Drive, right-click the file or folder you want to share and select Share Share.

    In Docs, Sheets, or Slides, at the top, click Share.

    Note: You can only share files that you own or have edit access to.

  2. Under People, enter the email address of the person or group you want to share with.

    Note: If you can't add people outside of your company or organization, contact your G Suite administrator.

  3. Click Edit Edit and choose the access level:
    • Can edit—Collaborators can add and edit content as well as add comments.
    • Can comment (Select files only)—Collaborators can add comments, but can't edit content.
    • Can view—People can view the file, but not edit or add comments.

    Everyone you share with receives an email with a link to the file or folder.

  4. (Optional) To add a note to the email, enter your note. To skip sending an email, uncheck the Notify people box.
  5. Click Send.


Share a link to a file or folder:

  1. In Drive, right-click the file or folder you want to share and select Share Share.

    In Docs, Sheets, or Slides, at the top, click Share.

    Note: You can only share files that you own or have edit access to.

  2. At the top right, click Get shareable link.
  3. Click Anyone at your organization with the link can view and choose an access level:
    • Can edit—Collaborators can add and edit content as well as add comments.
    • Can comment (Select files only)—Collaborators can add comments, but can't edit content.
    • Can view—People can view the file, but not edit or add comments.
  4. Click Copy link.
  5. Click Done.
  6. Paste the link in an email or any place you want to share it.


Share the folder in a shared drive:

Any folders and files you put in a shared drive are automatically shared with members of the shared drive.

Share files in Drive
4.2 Share project files for review

When you’re ready, share the project plan with your team for review. Project files might include project plans, agendas, or presentations. When you share files, give people Can comment or Can edit access so they can add comments or update content.

Next, share the project plan with your team members (or with the group you created for your team).

Share a file you own or can edit:

  1. In Drive, right-click the file or folder you want to share and select Share Share.

    In Docs, Sheets, or Slides, at the top, click Share.

    Note: You can only share files that you own or have edit access to.

  2. Under People, enter the email address of the person or group you want to share with.

    Note: If you can't add people outside of your company or organization, contact your G Suite administrator.

  3. Click Edit Edit and choose the access level:
    • Can edit—Collaborators can add and edit content as well as add comments.
    • Can comment (Select files only)—Collaborators can add comments, but can't edit content.
    • Can view—People can view the file, but not edit or add comments.

    Everyone you share with receives an email with a link to the file or folder.

  4. (Optional) To add a note to the email, enter your note. To skip sending an email, uncheck the Notify people box.
  5. Click Send.

Everyone you shared the file with will receive an email with a link to it. If you gave your team members edit access, they can:

  • Add or update content, like tasks, owners, and due dates.
  • Filter content to show what they’re interested in.
  • Insert comments addressed to specific people.
  • Update the status for tasks.
  • Add descriptive notes to tasks.

Click Share to open the window where you add people, then click Send


Add comments: 

  1. In Docs, Sheets, or Slides, select the text you'd like to comment on.
  2. Click Add comment Add comment.
  3. Enter your comment in the box.
  4. (Optional) To direct your task or comment to a specific person, enter a plus sign (+) followed by their email address. You can add as many people as you want. Each person will get an email with your comment and a link to the file.
  5. (Optional) To assign the comment to a specific person, check the Assign to box.
  6. Click Comment or Assign.

Open the Comment box and enter text, with the option to assign a task to someone

" "5   Manage a project

5.1 Get status updates on tasks

Make status updates in the project plan:

  1. In Sheets, open the project plan.
  2. Next to a task that you own, change the status.

Project plan in Sheets


Send status updates before a team meeting:

  1. In Calendar, open your team calendar.
  2. Double-click a team meeting.
  3. Under Guests, click Email Email.
  4. Enter your status updates.
  5. Click Send.


Get status updates during team meetings:

At team meetings, present the project plan. Everyone can update their status in real time.

  1. Open Meet and join a video meeting.
  2. Click Present now and choose what to share:
    • Your entire screen
    • A window
  3. Select Share.
  4. When you’re done presenting, click Stop Presenting.
  5. (Optional) To take over presenting from someone else, in the bottom corner, click Present Present your screen and choose what to share.

Present your entire screen or a window
 

Get status updates using the group email:

Email everyone at once using the group email address. Ask people to update their tasks in the project plan.

1 Open Gmail.
2 On the left, click Plus Compose.
3 (Optional) To change your window size, in the upper corner, click Maximize Expand or Exit full screen Exit full-screen.
4 Add recipients and a subject.
5 Enter your message. Email you start writing but don't send are automatically saved in Drafts on the left.
6 (Optional) Add attachments, such as Drive files Insert file using Drive or photos Insert image.
7 Click Send.

Tip: To cancel sending an email, at the bottom of the window, click Undo. This option appears briefly, but you can change how long it lasts. See Undo sending your mail.

Map of where in inbox and email to click to do numbered steps 1 through 7, above


Get status updates using Chat:

Send a chat message to a team member to get their status update.


Send a direct message to someone:

  1. Open Chat.
  2. On the left, click Find people, rooms, bots.
  3. Enter a name or email address or select a contact from the suggestions.
  4. Enter your direct message and click Send Send a message.


Send a direct message to a group:

  1. On the left, click Find people, rooms, botsand thenGroup Message.
  2. Enter names or email addresses or select contacts from the suggestions.
  3. After you add your contacts, click Message.
  4. Enter your DM and click Send Send a message .
  5. (Optional) To hide a group DM, on the left, point to the direct message and click More Moreand thenHide conversation Remove.

Message a group

5.2 Change project timelines

If timelines, requirements, or resources change, update your project documentation. Then, if you need to change meeting times due to a new timeline or add new team members to a meeting, update your team calendar.

Update events in Calendar:

When you’re finished filling in the details, save your event and send your invitations.


Save your event:

  1. Click Save.
  2. Click Send to notify guests by email or Don’t Send if you don’t want to notify guests at this time.
  3. If you’re inviting people outside of your organization, click Invite external guests to notify them or Continue editing to notify them later.


Update an existing event:

You can invite more guests, change the meeting location, and more.

  1. In the Calendar grid, single-click the eventand thenEdit Edit.
  2. If you want to invite more guests, change the meeting location, or add attachments, make your changes and click Save.

Note: If the event organizer hasn’t given you edit permissions, you can't make changes to the event time or its duration.

Save event updates
5.3 Notify team members of changes

If project dates or milestones change, quickly notify all team members using email.

Notify members in Gmail:

Instead of adding each team member’s email address to your email, just enter the group’s email address.

1 Open Gmail.
2 On the left, click Plus Compose.
3 (Optional) To change your window size, in the upper corner, click Maximize Expand or Exit full screen Exit full-screen.
4 Add recipients and a subject.
5 Enter your message. Email you start writing but don't send are automatically saved in Drafts on the left.
6 (Optional) Add attachments, such as Drive files Insert file using Drive or photos Insert image.
7 Click Send.

Tip: To cancel sending an email, at the bottom of the window, click Undo. This option appears briefly, but you can change how long it lasts. See Undo sending your mail.

Map of where in inbox and email to click to do numbered steps 1 through 7, above


Email members of a shared drive:

  1. On the left, click a shared drive.
  2. At the top, next to the shared drive name, click the Down arrow Down Arrowand thenEmail members.
  3. Change the subject and enter your message.
  4. (Optional) To only email members with specific access levels, or to send yourself a copy of the email, check the boxes.
  5. Click Send.

A link to the shared drive is included in the email.

Email members of a shared drive
5.4 Finalize shared files

When you’re done collaborating on your project, you can change the sharing settings or archive your files so collaborators can’t continue editing the finalized files.

For details, see Share a final document.

Remove access
5.5 Create an end-of-project report

When your project is complete, you can create an end-of-project presentation to share and collaborate on with your team. For example, you might review what was done, why it was done, what went well and what didn’t, and next steps.

To create a presentation, see Get started with Slides. For tips about giving presentations, see Top 10 ways to use G Suite to create effective presentations.

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