Plan a project with external clients

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" "1  Get in touch with clients

1.1 Gather information from co-workers

Before you start working on a project with external clients, contact co-workers in your organization who can help provide information about external clients and their roles. Send an email or a quick message to someone.

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


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

1.2 Communicate with external clients

After you establish what clients you need to contact, send them an introduction email.

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

" "2  Understand clients' requests

2.1 Schedule a meeting

You can schedule events and video meetings with people who don’t have Google Accounts. Guests will get an email invitation and can respond. Using Hangouts Meet, any guest can join your meeting by clicking the link in your invitation. If you get a meeting request that isn’t in Google Calendar, you can still respond and then add the meeting to Calendar.

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

2.2 Join the meeting

See your scheduled meeting in Calendar and quickly join a video meeting. Use this Hangouts Meet cheat sheet.

  1. In Calendar, click the event you want to join.
  2. Click Join Hangouts Meet and in the window that opens, click Join Meeting.
Join Hangouts Meet
2.3 Capture requirements

Create a document to outline the requirements from your client.

Choose an option:

  • From the Docs homepage: Click Create Plus .
  • In Drive, click Newand thenGoogle Docsand thenBlank document or From a template.
Create new docs
2.4 Send a follow-up email to clients

After the meeting, send a follow-up email to summarize the meeting notes and ask for any additional information.

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

" "3  Start work

3.1 Review information from clients

When you get documents and other files from your client, keep all related project information in one place. Store your project documents, images, and other files securely in Drive. Any changes people make synchronize to the cloud so everyone sees up-to-date content.

  1. Go to Drive.
  2. Click Plus Newand thenFile upload or Folder upload, and then choose the file or folder you want to upload.
  3. Click Open.

If you’re using the latest version of Chrome or Firefox®, you can simply drag files directly from your computer to the Drive page on your browser.

If you upload a file that matches the name of an existing file, Drive will add it as a new version, instead of creating a duplicate. To see the previous version of that file, you can manage versions.

When you see Upload complete, your files have uploaded successfully and can be accessed in any browser or device that has Drive installed.

Upload files to Drive

3.2 Assign tasks to co-workers

After you establish who needs to work on the assignment, you can assign tasks to stakeholders.

  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

3.3 Track updates and changes

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

3.4 Save deliverables in a shared folder

Store project documents, images, and other files in Drive and then share them instantly (and securely) with co-workers or clients. Any changes made to files sync to the cloud so everyone sees up-to-date content.

To store and share files in a shared drive, see Get started with shared drives.

Create a folder:

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


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 files in Drive

3.5 Send work to clients for review and feedback

You can share Google Drive files with external clients, whether they have a Google Account or not*. Just share the file with their email address. They’ll get a link to your file and can view it on the web. If they want to edit or comment in your file, they can sign up for a Google Account right from the file.

*If your client doesn’t have a Google Account, your organization needs to allow sharing of Drive files with people outside of your organization (with or without a Google Account) and external people to view files without signing in.

  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 files in Drive

3.6 Target comments and assign tasks
  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

" "4  Finalize work

4.1 Schedule a final meeting with clients

When all assignments are complete, schedule a final meeting with your clients.

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

4.2 Join the meeting

See your scheduled meeting in Calendar and quickly join a video meeting. Use this Hangouts Meet cheat sheet.

  1. In Calendar, click the event you want to join.
  2. Click Join Hangouts Meet and in the window that opens, click Join Meeting.
Join Hangouts Meet
4.3 Share and present during a video meeting

In the video meeting, share your screen to present the final documents, presentations, spreadsheets, and more.

  1. In Google Drive, open the Google Docs, Google Sheets, or Google Slides file you want to share or present.
  2. (Optional) To edit a document, spreadsheet, or presentation simultaneously with your guests:
    1. In the upper-right corner, click Share.
    2. Add a title to your document and click Save.
    3. Add your meeting guests and give everyone Can edit access.
    4. Click Send.
  3. Open Hangouts Meet and join the meeting.
  4. Click Present now and choose what to share:
    • Your entire screen
    • A window
  5. Click Share.

Now people can follow along as you present. To stop sharing your screen at any time, at the bottom of your screen, click Stop sharing.

Present your entire screen or a window

4.4 Send final deliverables to clients

When you’re sharing sensitive Drive files with external clients, you can prevent people from downloading, printing, or copying them. You can also set an expiration date on files so external partners and agencies can’t access them after a project ends.

  1. In Drive, Docs, Sheets, or Slides, select a file that you own.
  2. Choose an option:
    • In Drive, at the top, click Share Share.
    • In Docs, Sheets, or Slides, click Share.
  3. At the bottom of the Share with others box, click Advanced.
  4. Check the Disable options to download, print, and copy for commenters and viewers box.
  5. Click Save changes.
  6. Click Done.
Share files in Drive
4.5 Send a follow-up email to clients

After the meeting, send a follow-up email to summarize the meeting notes and any additional tasks.

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

 
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