Google is adding project management features to Docs and they’re pretty cool

Google is adding project management features to Docs and they’re pretty cool

If you’ve ever had to work on a project, you know how important managing the tasks involved can be. But some people don’t need a full-fledged project management tool. Sure, Kanban boards are great, and some swear by Gantt charts, but for certain cases these tools are just too much.

If this sounds like you, Google has a new feature in Docs that you’re sure to like. This new feature rolled out shortly after Google unveiled the People Chips feature (which lets you easily call other users from within a Google Doc). Soon after this release, Google started overloading it, so it not only included the ability to tag users, but also link files, add dates, and more.

Recently, Google took this feature to an even higher level by adding the ability to track project status. With this add-on you can add projects, select their status, link files and add notes. But there is more. You can add both a product roadmap and a review tracker so you can keep track of the status of a project and track the status of reviews for different tasks.

Combine these two features and you have a pretty solid (albeit simple) project management tool that’s easy to embed in a Google Doc.

Let me show you how to use this new feature that works in both free and paid versions of Google Workspaces.

How to add a product roadmap to a Google Doc

First, you’ll paste a product roadmap into a Google Doc. This feature allows you to track the status of your various projects.

To add a product roadmap (you can add as many as you like), open a Google Docs document. Place your cursor where you want to add the roadmap and type an @ sign, which will bring up a drop-down menu where you can select one of the options (illustration 1).


The @ dropdown in action in Google Docs.

Choose Product Roadmap and the object will be added to your document (figure 2).


Our product roadmap has been added to a Google Docs document.

You can then enter the name of your projects and add related files and notes. You can also change the status of any project as it develops by clicking on the status dropdown menu for each project (figure 3).


Changing the status of a project is easy.

By default, there are three predefined statuses. If you need to add more, click a status in one of your projects and then click Add/Edit Options. In the resulting pop-up window (figure 4), click the New option to add a new status, or you can edit one of the predefined statuses.


Added a new status for the project roadmap.

You can also add a review tracker to your document, making it easy to track reviews for project tasks. This option contains only Reviewer, Status, and Notes fields (Figure 5).


The Review Tracker object is added to a Google Docs document.

You can add new statuses to the review tracker object in the same way as for the project roadmap.

And if you run out of rows, right-click the bottom row and choose Insert Row Below (Figure 6).


Adding new lines to the project roadmap.

These new features won’t change your world, but they do allow you to keep track of a project’s progress without using a full-fledged project management tool, all from the comfort of Google Docs.

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