Google Projects

Google ProjectsThe discovery of Punch, the mysterious new Google Docs format reminded me how badly we need Google Projects. Google Projects is my name for their Project management application which MUST be in the works. If not, then something is wrong. It seems like the natural evolution of things right? Create a bunch of really well built applications for running a business, then drop one super app on top to seamlessly integrate them all together. Here is how I propose Google Projects should work.

Visit projects.google.com then:
  1. Add a new project
  2. Name the project
  3. Describe the project
  4. Set Goals for the project
  5. Set a due date for this project
  6. Share the project with other users
  7. Click “Create Project”
Note: This is a new application, not a new file format. Google Projects should not be under “Create New” in gDocs.

Once the project has been created, a bunch of things happen automagically for each user:
  1. A new task list is created for this project
  2. A new folder is created in Google Docs for this project
  3. A new calendar is created for this project
Now that a project has been created, you can start adding tasks. Tasks are the center of project management. Google Tasks was originally intended to be a simple to-do list, so its going to need some kick ass new features:
  1. Super tasks
  2. Assign tasks to other project members
  3. Set tasks status (assigned, in progress, complete)
  4. Comment on tasks
  5. Nudge
Think of Super tasks as a groups of tasks. You can kind of create these already within Google Tasks by tabbing them over, but I added this as a new feature because I think it needs to be reworked. Super tasks keep members working together on related tasks until the Super task is complete. Super tasks will have their own due dates and are automatically closed out once all the subtasks are complete.

Commenting on tasks is my most requested feature from other project management tools. If I create a task, then assign it to you, you’re more than likely going to have questions about it. The other features of Tasks are pretty self explanatory. The “Nudge” feature is a nice way to tell someone to get off their ass and finish something. Think of it like a Facebook Poke.

The center of Google Projects is the activity stream. Each action taken within the project is aggregated together on the Projects home page where they can be “Liked” and commented on by members of the project. Maybe the stream turns out to be Google Buzz (my second most requested feature of Google Apps for your domain)?

Besides some permission/notification settings the last and probably most important feature of Google Projects is the icing on the cake: Search. Search within a project or through out all of your projects. This helps tackle an important question that pops up constantly “Why did we do it this way?”. Search your project, read through the comments and find out.

Google Projects IconSo no UI yet, but I did stumble on a cool icon for it. The goal is to keep Google Project simple and fun. What do you think? Is Google working on this? Any must have features I left out? Do you need this? Would you use it?

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