How to Use Google Drive Sheets as a Project Manager

Published on April 15, 2014

Project management tools that are free, customizable, sharable, and easy to use are rather hard to come by.  Luckily, we've found Google Drive Sheets to be a little known gem for simple project management that manages to fit all of these categories.

If you're looking for elaborate task dependencies, resource balancing, and other items historically relegated to MS Project, this solution may not be for you.  For simple project management with email notification reminders, read on. 

Create a Google Drive Spreadsheet with Reminders to Manage Tasks and Projects

Google Sheets has a great deal of functionality similar to Excel.  However, one perk of Sheets is that it has built in functionality that interacts with the rest of your Google accounts (i.e. Gmail) that is enhanced by its ability to add reminders directly into your spreadsheet.

How Create your own Task List or Project Management List with Reminders

First, open a spreadsheet and install the "add reminder" script.

  • Menu > Tools > Script Gallery
  • Search for "Add reminder"
  • Install the scripts

Create a Task List in Your Spreadsheet

  • Create Columns for your identifying purposes (i.e. Task, Assigned to, Due Date, and Status)
  • Select "Add reminder" in your toolbar > Preferences

  • Identify the column you would like to associate with a reminder (your Deadline column)
  • Identify how many days before you would like to receive an email about this task
  • Optional: Select others to send the reminder to

  • Click Save

A daily "trigger" will be run once a day (usually around 5am) to see if a reminder email needs to be sent to you regarding the task.

Create a "Time Based" Reminder trigger instead of a "Day Based" Reminder trigger

If you'd prefer to have a task reminder trigger based on time instead of days, follow these steps.

  • Setup the script reminder as you would in the previous procedure
  • Click on the menu Tools > Script Editor
  • Within the Script Editor, click Resources > Current Script's Triggers

  • Change the column "Day timer" to "Hour timer"

It will now check hourly to see if you need to be sent a reminder email.

  • If you'd like to receive a reminder based on hours instead of days, change the "Send me an email" date for your current reminder to 0.05 days (1 hour = 0.041 day)

There you have it! Relatively simple, sharable, and directly integrated with your Gmail.

Questions?  Don't hesitate to send us an email or give us a call, and we'll be happy to help.