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Monday, July 1, 2013

Google Platform for Management Part 1

The following are some of the ways I use Google platform to manage my time, team and projects.


Reminders


For simple reminders to perform something on a given day, a calendar entry works best. Set it either to occur once or repeat daily, weekly or monthly. Examples for such reminders are: writing weekly reports, paying subscriptions, having a regular 1-on-1.

Gmail
Gmail



Task Follow ups


To follow up on tasks, the task option is best. There are two ways of creating tasks.


  1. Click on add to task while you are reading a mail. When you do that the tasks will have a link to that mail. Only one mail can be linked to a task.
  2. Create a task directly.


The task option is great when you need to take notes and keep track of progress, you can place notes in the task and change the due date of the task as you proceed. However, there are limitations to the task feature.


  1. The entries in the task is personal and cannot be assigned to others.
  2. If you are using the browser interface, you cannot set a reminder for it to pop up like the calendar entries. However, you can allow it to show on your calendar.


You can overcome these options by using a third party application in Android called GTasks.


Sending Reminders to your Team


This requires a two step process. First create a repeating entry in your calendar to send you an email. Next create a filter to detect the calendar mail and auto forward the mail to your team. It is best to use a distribution list. There is a restriction of 20 filters that forward to other addresses. By using this approach, you do not have to worry about having to recreate the entries when new members join your group (as long as your distribution list is updated). I am using a corporate account and am able to use one of the existing distribution list. I believe you can use Google Groups to achieve the same thing but have not confirmed that.


Filters and Labels to highlight your mail


Use filters to automatically label your incoming mails and change the color of the labels. That way, you can easily identify important mails (mails from your main customer, your bosses or even your team members). This is more effective than important category provided.


Filters can also be used to move mails straight into a specific label and skipping the inbox altogether. This is useful when you subscribe to mailing list which you only want to read when you have the time. It could also be used to filter mails that might have value but in most cases are junk.

Part 2 Collaboration, Forms and Instant Messaging
Part 3 Google Site/Blogger
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