Proving to be much more than just a mere word processor, Google Docs is about to add multiple new tools to its arsenal – including a table template option and a dropdown menu feature.
These tools, which are part of the company's “smart canvas” initiative, will make it easier for teams to document, track and share the progress of their projects from a far.
While Google Docs may not take the take the prize over other project management software, these changes represent a broader move by the tech giant to make its in-house offering more competitive.
Google Docs Introduces New Table Features and Dropdown Menus
Last year, Google announced “smart canvas”, a Google Workspace initiative that aims to improve interaction between its tools. As part of this action, the tech company has been releasing a series of workplace collaboration features ever since – also referred to as “smart chips”.
On Monday, Google Docs latest “smart chips” were announced, in the form of new table templates and drop down menus.
The new table templates tool will allow users to quickly and easily insert formatted tables into a Google document. They've been designed to help users to track common project management workflows like product roadmaps and project assets. To guide workers through this new tool, the columns also include a sample row which detail how the tables can be used and edited.
In addition, Google Docs is also set to roll out interactive dropdown menus. These menus – which include options like “Not Started”, “In Progress”, and “In Review”- making it easy for users to indicate the status of their project.
They can be added to tables in the document or used across multiple Google Workspace platforms.
These features will become available to Workspace and legacy G Suite customers, as well as regular Google users alike. They are being rolled out over the next few weeks and will be able to be accessed through the dropdown “Insert” menu.
Google Docs is Modernizing its Offering
With the G Suite family recently hitting two billion users, there's no denying the popularity of Google Docs. However, with the online word processor receiving growing criticism for remaining stuck in the past, it seems like Google's Smart Canvas initiative couldn't have come at a better time.
In an effort to become more than just a static writing tool, Google Docs has recently welcomed a range of dynamic changes to its platform. These include the roll out of a page less format feature in February, a emailing drafting feature in March, and an emoji react function in April.
These new features, alongside its new project management tools, bring the Google Docs into the 21st century and make it appeal to a much wider demographic. But even with these new add-ons, can Google Docs really be used as an effective project management solution?
Should I Use Google Docs to Manage my Project?
While Google Docs is primarily a writing and editing tool, its recent improvements make it capable of managing small projects. However, due to its lack of task management features, it's best to restrict its use to ideation and planning stages.
If you're spearheading a slightly more complex project or managing larger teams, it's best to use specialized software. We recommend solutions like monday.com, ClickUp and Wrike because they're easy to use and offer a slew of useful and dynamic features.
Project managing on a budget? Don't worry. Lots of credible providers also offer free plans so you can still deliver results without splashing the cash. Read our up-to-date project management software reviews to learn more about the industries top solutions.