Jack Wallen shows you four tips on how you can integrate Google Calendar to meet your project management needs.
Project management can be a manageable challenge or a budget proposition. Although very large and complex projects require the help of specific software and services, some projects lend themselves to other options for their support and feeding.
SEE: Recruitment Kit: Project Manager (TechRepublic Premium)
For example, did you know that Google Calendar is a great option to help you manage these projects? I know that sounds crazy, especially since Google Calendar is free and not specifically designed for project management, but anyone who uses technology enough understands that so much can be used beyond its stated purpose. . This includes the tools found in Google Workspace.
How do you integrate Google Calendar into your project management workflow? Let me give you some pointers so you can get started right away.
What you’ll need to use Google Calendar for project management
The only thing you will need for this is a Google Workspace account. You can do this with the free version, which is great news if you’re working on a tight budget or if startups are just getting started.
How to turn your Google calendar into a project management tool
Create a project-specific schedule for your project
When using Google Workspace, you can create as many calendars as you need. Many users forget this option and just work with the default calendar. It’s not a good idea. Instead of opting for this default calendar, you must create a project-specific calendar for each project. By doing this, you have more control over who can see what and how each user can interact with each calendar.
Here’s how to create a calendar in Google Workspace:
- Log in to your Google Workspace account.
- Open the Calendar app.
- Locate Other Calendars in the left navigation.
- Click +.
- Click Create New Calendar in the pop-up window.
- In the resulting window (Figure A), give the calendar a name and description, and change the time zone if needed.
- Click Create Calendar.
Once the calendar is created, you will then need to share it with your team. Here’s how:
- Locate and click on New Calendar in the left navigation.
- In the resulting window, find the Share with specific people section.
- Click Add people.
- Type the names or email addresses of those who need access to the calendar.
- When you add a new name, be sure to modify its permissions accordingly (Figure B).
- Set permissions as needed from the Permissions drop-down list.
- Click Send.
It is important that you take care of permissions. You may have team members who only need read permissions, while other members may need read and write permissions, while others may need read, write, and manage permissions. If you choose these permissions wisely, your team calendar will serve you well.
Add your calendar to the company site
Instead of directing your team directly to Google Calendar, you can add this calendar to your company’s website. This will probably have to be done by your web designer, but if you’re using a tool like WordPress, it’s actually quite simple.
Near the bottom of the new calendar options page, you’ll find an integration link. You can use it to add it to your internal website so your team members don’t have to leave the company site to view the calendar. Just make sure to use the embed code for this and not the public URL or address.
Place this embed link thoughtfully and your teams won’t have to bookmark or search for their project timeline.
Use the built-in Tasks feature
Google Calendar has a task option included. Instead of creating everything on the calendar as an event, you should use tasks. With task creation, you can assign a task to a category. Even better, when you add a task to your new Google calendar, it shows up as a task, which you can access from the right sidebar (Figure C).
Use Marketplace Integrations
If you find that Google Calendar alone isn’t enough, you can always add integrations. You’ll find plenty of project management-specific integrations on the market, such as those for:
And many others. Each of these integrations offers a different set of features, but most of them will fill your calendar with tasks and cards from the third-party service, making them a standout addition.
Four tips for Google Calendar
There you have it: four tips to help you turn Google Calendar into a viable project management tool. Who knows, you might find it fits right into your workflow and can save you some money down the road.
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