A free Google App for managing tasks among a group of closely coordinated individuals with email reminders

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Here is another Free Google App script from Zyxware. This is a simple Google Spreadsheet based Google App which we had developed in-house to manage tasks that are coordinated closely by our Project Management Office. We are releasing this utility as Free Software under a GPL license. We use Redmine as our project management system and manage all the project related tasks through redmine. However there would still have to have management / supervision effort put in to manage and review the execution of these tasks, groups of tasks and the project as a whole. This app helps us in taking care of that.

Task App

The utility is available as a free Google Spreadsheet Template at https://bit.ly/Z30qSe. The application's source code for the Google Apps Script part is available on the Zyxware Github account. You will have to give permission for Google apps to execute the script once you create a copy of the template.

The basic assumptions around which the utility is designed are that there will be meetings on a daily basis between the people who are coordinating the tasks and the tasks that are to be taken care of for the day are going to be atomic tasks that can be done within one day by one individial. Tasks can only have the status 'New' or 'Done'.

There are 5 sheets in the document - Tasks, Queue, Archive, Team, Config. The daily tasks for the day will be present in the Tasks sheet, tasks to be done in the future will be present in the Queue sheet, those that have been completed will be present in the Archive sheet. The team members will be present in the Team sheet and the email configuration will be present in the Config sheet. All the members of the team will have read access to the document and write access to the Tasks sheet. The manager of the team will have to retain ownership of the document and will have to manage the Team sheet and the Config sheet.

We hope that this utility will help small companies who are trying to find a good, easy to use and free project scheduling and resource allocation utility.

The following are basic instructions for using the system. It should mostly be self explanatory.

Adding New Tasks

You can enter daily tasks in the "Tasks" sheet. Columns are self explanatory. Avoid spreadsheet comments and use the task column itself for details about the task.
Responsibility is a dropdown list of users selected from the "Team" sheet.
Status is a dropdown with either "Done" or "New". Done in green, New in yellow



Adding New Team Members

Add new team members in the "Team" sheet. First name is used for salutation in email

Adding Tasks to Queue

You can add future tasks in the "Queue" sheet. The tasks for a given day will be copied over into the "Tasks" sheet when you run "Add Queued Tasks" available in the "Task Utils" menu. This function can been set to run every day morning at 7AM.

Archiving Tasks

Completed tasks from yesterday and earlier can be moved to the "Archive" sheet by running "Archive Tasks" available in the "Task Utils" menu. This can set to run on a schedule but this
can be done manually as well.



Sending Reminders

You can send reminders to people with tasks in the "New" status any time by running "Send Reminders" available in the "Task Utils" menu. This function can be set to run at 10AM and 4PM everyday - i.e. after morning meetings and before evening meetings. The reminders will only be sent out on weekdays and only to those team members who have pending tasks against them. If the reminders have to be sent on week ends as well then the option "exclude_weekends" has to be set to "0" in the "Config" sheet.


The application currently supports minimal configuration. All configuration options are available in the Config sheet.

sender_name - The name of the person who should sign off on the emails
sender_designation - The designation of the person who should sign off on the emails
exclude_weekends - Whether to exclude weekends from the daily notifications

Spreadsheet Timezone

The spreadsheet timezone has to be set to the correct timezone. It is correctly set at "GMT+530" currently.

Setting Script Triggers

To run the actions periodically triggers have to be set for the script. The following triggers have to be set for sending reminders at 10AM and 4PM every day and to automatically move queued tasks to the task list at 7AM every day.

sendEmails - Time Driven - Day Timer - 10AM
addQueuedTasks - Time Driven - Day Timer - 7AM
sendEmails - Time Driven - Day Timer - 4PM

The following timer can optionally be set to archive completed tasks automatically.

archiveTasks - Time Driven - Day Timer - 6AM

Google apps documentation has information about how to set these triggers up. (https://developers.google.com/apps-script/understanding_triggers#TimeTriggers)