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Plan & manage a project

​Google Workspace​ business tutorial

What you'll learn

Best practices for communication and collaboration throughout a project's life cycle.

What you'll need

10 minutes

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In this tutorial

Set up your project Store project files Create a project plan Share project files Manage a project

Set up your project


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Create an email group

  1. Sign in to Google Groups.
  2. At the top, click Create group.
  3. Enter information and choose settings for the group. Here are some suggested settings:
    • Who can view conversations: Only members of the team (if you want to keep project communications private.
    • Group members: Email address of each person on the project team
    • Group managers: Email address of any team member who might need to add others to the team later.
    • Directly add members: Turn this option On so you can control who joins the group.
  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.

Learn more at the Groups Help Center

Create a space

Create a space in Google Chat for quick conversations and to brainstorm ideas with your team. You can also share files in chat spaces.

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 dates. You create each calendar the same way.

Create the calendar

You can only create new calendars from a browser and not from the Google Calendar app. Once the calendar is created, you can find it on your browser and in the app.

  1. On your computer, open Google Calendar.
  2. On the left, next to "Other calendars," click Add other calendars Plus and then Create new calendar.
  3. Add a name and description for your calendar.
  4. Click Create calendar.
  5. If you want to share your calendar, click on it in the left bar, then select Share with specific people.

Share the calendar with your team

  1. On your computer, open Google Calendar. You can’t share calendars from the Google Calendar app.
  2. On the left, find the “My calendars” section. To expand it, click the Down arrow Down arrow.
  3. Hover over the calendar you want to share, and click More More and then Settings and sharing.
  4. Under “Share with specific people,” click Add people.
  5. Add a person’s or Google group’s email address. Use the drop-down menu to adjust their permission settings. Learn more about access permissions.
  6. Click Send.
  7. The recipient will need to click the emailed link to add the calendar to their list. Learn how to add someone else’s calendar.

Tip: To share a calendar that you don’t own, you need to ask the owner to give you “Make changes and manage sharing” permission.

Learn more at the Google Calendar Help Center

Create a project plan

Track, update, and collaborate on project tasks with your team in a shared spreadsheet. For details, see Create project plans with Sheets.

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. On your computer, open Google Calendar.
  2. In the top left, click Create Add.
  3. Add the event title and any other details.
  4. Next to "Does not repeat," click the Down arrow Down arrow.
  5. Choose how often you want the event to repeat, and when you want the event that repeats to end.
  6. At the top right, click Save.
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 .

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Store project files


 
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 and click My Drive.
  2. Navigate to where you want to create a folder.
  3. Click Newand thenFolder.
  4. Name the folder and click Create.

Move a file to a folder in My Drive

  1. Select the file.
  2. Click More and thenMove 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.

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 folder in a shared drive

  1. Open Drive and click Shared drives.
  2. Navigate to where you want to create a folder.
  3. Click Newand thenFolder.
  4. Name the folder 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 into a shared drive

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


Move files into a shared drive

To move files from My Drive into a shared drive or between shared drives, drag the files into the destination shared drive. To move folders, contact your administrator.

Permissions and ownership:

  • To move files from My Drive to shared drives, you must be a member of the shared drive with at least Contributor access.
  • You can move any file you own into a shared drive.
  • If you’re not the owner of a file in My Drive, but you have at least Edit access to the file, you might be able to move that file into a shared drive, if:
    • Your administrator has enabled this option.
    • The file’s owner is a member of the shared drive where you want to move the file.
    • You are a member of the destination shared drive with at least Contributor access.

    Otherwise, you need to ask the owner to move the file into the shared drive.

To move files between shared drives, you need Manager access to the original shared drive and at least Contributor access to the destination shared drive.

To move files or folders out of a shared drive, you need Manager access to the shared drive. To move files or folders into a folder in My Drive, you need Editor access to the parent folder.

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.

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.

      Note: For Sites, only draft (not published) sites that you have view or edit access to appear.

    • 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.

Move a file to a folder in My Drive

  1. Select the file.
  2. Click More and thenMove 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.


Create a template for meeting notes

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

  1. On your computer, go to Google Docs, Sheets, SlidesForms, or Sites.
  2. At the top right , click Template Gallery.
  3. Click the template you want to use.
  4. A copy of the template opens.

Tip: If the template you choose has "Add-on" next to it, you may have to install an add-on to use it. Learn more about add-ons.

Create new docs
Attach project files to meetings

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

  1. Open Calendar.
  2. In the calendar grid, click the team meeting.
  3. Click Edit .
  4. Under Event Details, click Add attachment .
  5. Navigate to a file and click it.
  6. Click Select.

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Create a project plan


 
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.

  1. In Google Drive, click Newand thenGoogle Sheetsand thenBlank spreadsheet.
  2. Click Untitled spreadsheet and enter a title for your project plan.
  3. Add columns. For example, you might add columns for tasks, task owners, due dates, status, and comments.
  4. Add content to track the tasks in your project.

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

Add task descriptions

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

  1. In your spreadsheet, select the column or cells where you want to add a note.
  2. Select Insertand thenNote.
  3. Enter your description.
  4. Click anywhere outside the note to close it.
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 valid options separated by commas.
5. Click Save.
6. (Optional) To see the choices, click the arrow in a cell under the column.

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.

  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:
1. On the Single color tab, under Format cells if, select Text contains.
2. In the box under Text contains, type Complete.
3. Under Formatting style, click the list to choose if you want the background or text to be colored.
4. 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.
5. 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.
6. Click Done.

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.

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Share project files


 
Share the project folder

Share a folder or file from a team chat space

  1. Open Chat or Gmail.
  2. Under Spaces, click on the team chat space.
  3. At the top of the space, click Share a file.
  4. Navigate to the folder or file in My Drive or a shared drive.
  5. Click Select.
  6. In the chat space, click Send .
  7. Next to Share with space members, choose a permission.
  8. Click Send.

Share a folder in My Drive with your team

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 folder in a shared drive with your team

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

  1. Open Chat or Gmail.
  2. In Drive, click My Drive and select the folder you want to share.
  3. Click Share .
  4. Enter the team's email address.
  5. On the right, set the permission to Editor.
  6. Click Send.
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).

To share a file from a chat space, see Share the project folder.

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.

If you chose to notify people, everyone you shared the file with receives an email with a link. If you gave your team members Editor access, they can:

  • Add or update content, like tasks, owners, and due dates.
  • Insert comments addressed to specific people.
  • Filter content in spreadsheets.
  • Update task statuses or descriptive notes in spreadsheets.

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.

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5   Manage a project


 
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.

Send status updates before a team meeting

  1. On your computer, open Google Calendar.
  2. Click an event.
  3. Next to the number of guests, select an option:
    • Chat with guests : A new or existing chat opens. Only Chat-enabled guests in your work or school organization are included in the chat.
    • Email guests : A new email opens. All invited guests are included in the email.

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. On your computer, go to Gmail.
  2. At the top left, click  Compose.
  3. In the "To" field, add recipients. You can also add recipients:
    • In the "Cc" and "Bcc" fields.
    • When you compose a message, with a "+ sign" or "@mention" and the contact's name in the text field.
  4. Add a subject.
  5. Write your message.
  6. At the bottom of the page, click Send.

Tip: To add individual recipients and groups of contacts you created with labels, click To:

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 .

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 the event in your team calendar.

Update an existing event

  1. Open Calendar.
  2. In the calendar grid, click the event.
  3. Click Edit .
  4. Click the time or date to change it.
  5. Optionally add new guests.
  6. Click Save.
  7. If the event is recurring, choose which events to update and click OK.
  8. Click Send.
 
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. On your computer, go to Gmail.
  2. At the top left, click  Compose.
  3. In the "To" field, add recipients. You can also add recipients:
    • In the "Cc" and "Bcc" fields.
    • When you compose a message, with a "+ sign" or "@mention" and the contact's name in the text field.
  4. Add a subject.
  5. Write your message.
  6. At the bottom of the page, click Send.

Tip: To add individual recipients and groups of contacts you created with labels, click To:

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.

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.

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.

To create a presentation, see Get started with Slides. For tips about giving presentations, see 10 Google Workspace tips for strong proposals.

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Related topics

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Google, Google Workspace, and related marks and logos are trademarks of Google LLC. All other company and product names are trademarks of the companies with which they are associated.

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