Plan & manage a project

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""1  Set up your project

1.1 Create an email group
  1. Sign in to Google Groups.
  2. In the upper left corner, click Create group.
  3. Enter information and choose settings for the group. Settings reference.
  4. Click Create group.

Wait a few minutes for your new group to become active before sending a message to it. Otherwise, you might get a notification that your message couldn't be delivered.


Settings reference for Groups

Group info

Option Description
Group name
Name that identifies the group in lists and messages. Use these guidelines:
  • Names can be up to 73 characters long.
  • Use names that make it easy to identify the group’s purpose.
Group email

​Email address used for the group. If more than one domain is displayed, select the appropriate domain from the list. Email addresses can be up to 63 characters long. This limit doesn't include the domain portion of the address, such as @gmail.com.

Some words are reserved and can't be used as email addresses. View reserved words.

If you're creating your group in a work or school account, your email address might include a suffix, such as -user-created. For example, if your group name is training, the actual email address might be training-user-created@your_domain.

Group description

Purpose of the group or how it's used. The information appears on the group’s About page. You could include information about group members, group content, an FAQ, links to related groups, and so on.

 

Privacy settings

Option  Description
Who can search for group

Choose an option for who can find the group by searching for the group’s name, email address, or conversations:

  • Group members—If you’re signed in to a work or school account, this option appears only if your administrator has selected the option to allow group owners to hide groups from the directory.
  • Organization members—This option appears only if you’re signed in to a work or school account.
  • Anyone on the web—If you’re signed in to a work or school account, this option appears only if your administrator has selected the option to make groups public.
Who can join group

Choose an option:

  • Only invited users—People have to be invited to join the group. They can't add themselves directly or ask to join.
  • Anyone in the organization can ask—People in your organization can ask to be added to the group. This option appears only if you’re signed in to a work or school account.
  • Anyone in the organization can join—People in your organization can add themselves to the group. This option appears only if you’re signed in to a work or school account.
  • Anyone can ask—Anyone on the web can ask to be added to the group. If you’re signed in to a work or school account, this option appears only if your administrator has set the option to allow group owners to allow external members.
  • Anyone can join—Anyone on the web can add themselves to the group. If you’re signed in to a work or school account, this option appears only if your administrator has set the option to allow group owners to allow external members.
Who can view conversations Select who can see conversations posted to the group.
Who can post Select who can send messages to the group email address.
Who can view members Select who can view the group's member list. 

 

Adding members

Option Description
Group members The names or email addresses of people you want to add and assign the member role.

By default, group members have basic permissions. Depending on the organization and group settings, these permissions might include viewing and posting to conversations and viewing members. Group owners and managers can add to or limit members’ permissions. Any permissions that are set for the member role are automatically given to managers and owners.

Group managers The names or email addresses of people you want to add and assign the manager role. 

By default, managers can do everything that owners can do except:

  • Delete the group
  • Make another member an owner
  • Change an owner’s role or subscription settings

Group owners can set any permission to owner-only, further limiting what managers can do. However, managers always have the ability to adjust permissions to include managers.

A group can’t be a manager of another group.

Group owners The names or email addresses of people you want to add and assign the owner role.  

By default, members with the owner role have all permissions for a group. Many of these permissions can be assigned to other sets of users. Review all member and content management permissions.

Only an owner can:

  • Delete a group
  • Make another group member an owner
  • Change another owner’s settings
  • Export group messages using Google Takeout

Only group owners and managers can change a group’s settings.

For a given group, an administrator can remove some owner permissions, but not others:

  • Can remove—Post messages or add, invite, or approve new members
  • Cannot remove—View members or conversations or contact other owners

A group can’t be the owner of another group.

Welcome message A message emailed to people when they're added to the group without being invited. This option is available only if Directly add members is on.
Invitation message A message sent to people in their email invitation to join the group. Invitees click a link in the invitation to join. This is available only if Directly add members is off.
Subscription

Preferences for receiving email from the group. Options include:

  • Each email.
  • Digest.
  • Abridged.
  • None.

To receive abridged summaries or digests of a group’s messages, you must turn on conversation history for the group.

Directly add members

Whether to add members to the group directly, or invite members to join.

If you turn Directly add members on—Specified users are added to the group with the subscription settings you select. Members can change their subscription settings later.

If you turn Directly add members off—Specified users receive an email invitation to join the group. They're added to the group only after they accept the invitation.

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 ""and 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, choose an option:
    • Click an empty time slot in the calendar grid.
    • Click PlusCreate.
  2. Add an event title, date, and time.
  3. (Optional) To create the event on another calendar you have edit access to, at the bottom click your calendar name and select another calendar. 
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 ""and 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 New""and 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 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, at the top of Drive, click 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 Editor access in Drive, you can move it to a shared drive if your administrator has allowed this option.

Note: To store and access files on your desktop, use Google Drive for desktop. For details, see What can you do with Drive for desktop.

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 "" to see a list of results.


Use advanced search options:

  1. On the right of the search box, click the 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 ""and 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 the Docs, Sheets, Slides, or Forms home screen, at the top, select one of the featured templates. Click Template gallery to see additional templates.
    Note: If you can't find Template gallery, go to Display or hide Template gallery.
  • 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, click New and next to Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, or Forms, point to the Right arrow "" and click From 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. Click the Add description or attachments field.
  2. Add details, such as contact information, instructions, or links for your event.
  3. (Optional) Format your description by bolding, italicizing, underlining, or adding lists and links.

""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

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

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

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 ""or Fill color "". 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

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 Editor access so they can collaborate on files.

Share a file or folder with specific people:

  1. Select the file you want to share.
  2. Click Share or Share Share.
  3. Under "Share with people and groups," enter the email address you want to share with. 
  4. To change what people can do to your doc, on the right, click the Down arrow Down and then Viewer, Commenter, or Editor.
  5. Choose to notify people.
    • If you want to notify people that you shared a doc with them, check the box next to Notify people. If you notify people, each email address you enter will be included in the email.
    • If you don't want to notify people, uncheck the box.
  6. Click Share or 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. (Optional) To specify what people can do with your file when you share it, under your organization name, click Change:
    • To change the permission, at right, click the Down arrow "" and select Viewer, Commenter, or Editor.
    • To allow sharing the link outside of your organization, next to your organization name, click the Down arrow ""and thenPublic.

      Note: If you don't see this option, contact your administrator.

  3. Click Copy link.
  4. Click Done.
  5. Paste the link in an email, on a website, or wherever you need 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 Commenter or Editor 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. Select the file you want to share.
  2. Click Share or Share "".
  3. Under Share with people and groups, enter the email address you want to share with.

    Note: If visitor sharing is on for your organization, you can invite someone who doesn't have a Google Account to collaborate on your Google Drive files and folders. See Share documents with visitors.

  4. To change what people can do to your file, on the right, click the Down arrow ""and then Viewer, Commenter, or Editor.
  5. Choose to notify people:
    • If you want to notify people that you shared a file with them, check the Notify people box. If you notify people, each email address you enter will be included in the email.
    • If you don't want to notify people, uncheck the Notify people box.
  6. Click Share or Send.

Everyone you shared the file with will receive an email with a link to it. If you gave your team members Editor 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 "".
  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.

Note: If a file reaches the maximum number of comments, you can make a copy of the file without copying over any comments.

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 "".
  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. On the bottom, click Present now "" and choose what to share:
    • Your entire screen
    • A window
    • A tab
  3. Click Share.
  4. When you’re done presenting, click Stop presenting.

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 Compose "". You might see Compose "" instead.
3 (Optional) To change your window size, in the upper corner, click Maximize "" 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. Go to Google Chat or your Gmail account.
  2. If the name isn’t already under "Chat," click Start a chat "".
  3. Enter a name or email address. Suggestions appear as you enter text.
    • To send a 1:1 message to someone outside of your organization, enter their email address.
  4. Click the person you want to message.
  5. Enter a message, then click Send "".


Send a direct message to a group:

  1. Go to Google Chat or your Gmail account.
  2. Under "Chat," click on an existing group conversation, enter a message and then click Send "".
  3. If the group conversation isn’t under "Chat,” click Start a chat ""and then Start group conversation.
  4. Enter a name or email address. Suggestions appear as you enter text.
  5. Click Done "".
  6. Enter a message, then click Send "".

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. Choose an option:
    • Send to notify guests by email
    • Don’t send to skip notifications at this time
    • Dismiss to continue editing the invitation
  3. If you’re inviting people from outside of your organization, click:
    • Invite external guests to notify them.
    • Continue editing to notify them later. 
  4. (Optional) To open your event on the Edit event page, click More options.

Update an existing event:

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

  1. In the calendar grid, click the event and then Edit Edit.
  2. To invite more guests, change the meeting location, or add attachments, make your changes and click Save.
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 Compose "". You might see Compose "" instead.
3 (Optional) To change your window size, in the upper corner, click Maximize "" 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 ""and 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 10 Google Workspace tips for strong proposals.

Pie chart displayed on the desktop

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