About Celina

Product Marketer @Zoho. I am an avid reader, witty and an ambivert by nature. A hybrid of marketing and product management who prefers listening to customers. Connect and talk with me anytime at celina@zohocorp.com

It’s 2012! What’s in store for you this New Year?

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We’d like to take this opportunity to give our best Happy New Year wishes from everyone at Zoho, and may all our users have a great 2012.

The first thing to look at is what positive changes we could bring this New Year for our customers to get things done faster with Zoho Projects. On a similar note, we worked on THIS most crucial and missing functionality in Zoho Projects. And of course it happens to be the most discussed and popular topic of our customer forums too.

Yes, you guessed it right. Presto ! Subtasks got integrated into Zoho Projects as part of the existing task management module.

Let us see more about sub tasks in Zoho Projects :

Create subtasks to stay focussed on what matters
Starting today, you’ll be able to create subtasks in a single click. For this, mouseover a particular task you can see a double-headed arrow, click Indent Button to indent the task, making it a subtask or click Outdent Button to outdent the task, making it a summary task in quick time.

Easily import sub tasks from MS project
Before you can only import tasks from your MPP/MPX file. After this update, now you can import tasks along with its sub-tasks i,e all your work break down structure is carried right from your MS project into Zoho Projects.

Sub TasksGantt and dependency view gets better with subtasks
With this update, you can see sub tasks appearing right on your gantt chart. This gives you an easy way to view and print sub tasks from gantt view. Furthermore, you can find sub tasks in  task dependency which lets you better organize your tasks in dependency view for an effective task management.

Finally, sub tasks as part of your templates
Just like normal tasks, you can capture the sub-tasks as part of your project as well as task template in Zoho Projects.

So how do you get started ? Easy ! Here’s the link to Subtasks and ofcourse a short video

What editions is sub tasks available?
Sub tasks are available for all Premium and Enterprise customers i.e., $299 & $599 annual plans and $35 and $80 monthly plans. It is also available for existing Valuepack 3 customers. See Plans and Pricing

Login to our Project Management Software, start exploring the subtasks and don’t forget to leave your feedback as comments here or mail us at support@zohoprojects.com

Coming up next is Task duration in hours. Stay Tuned !

Save your Time with Templates and Weekly Timesheets

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Have you ever asked yourself how you will ever accomplish that load of work in a faster and an effective manner? Are you having difficulty in meeting deadlines set by your boss? If you try to complete it all in one day, you will most probably end up disorganized and overwhelmed. 

There is an essential tool that will help you to work more efficiently – a project template

This tool keeps your tasks more organized to effectively accomplish your project goals on time and of course helps combat those feelings of overwhelm and not being in control.The core purpose of a project template is to capture, to the greatest extent possible, all the actions that needs to be accomplished right from the inception of a project till its completion.
A project template :


  • Gives you a big picture of what has to be done next in a project

  • Eases the burden on the project team as they help save time, effort and money

  • Helps the project team in streamlining the project in a far more effective manner

  • Structures communication and engagements ensuring the final product is of high quality
With this latest update, we’ve included the most requested task dependency view
as part of the template for better managing the tasks. While creating a project from a template, now you can make use of shift dates option which automatically shifts dates for tasks, forums and comments in a project.Learn more about this at Templates in Zoho Projects.


Weekly timesheet saves you time and effort

Peep into your timesheet tab and you’ll spot our brand new addition, Weekly Timesheets. This new weekly time entry has been developed with the needs of your team in mind – it allows your team to effortlessly log working hours which saves you ample time and effort in time entry.


Earlier, the only supported format of time entry was with a colon i,e 3:30. We’ve now extended that further to include support for more time entry formats.


For Example
, if you enter 3.75, our timesheets will automatically interpret the entered time has 3 hours and 45 minutes.Learn more about the new weekly timesheet and supported time entry formats at
Weekly Timesheets


Well, now it’s up to you. Login into our project management software and start building your project templates for a better time management.

Also let us know what other features you are looking for as part of templates and timesheets which would save your time as comments here or mail us at support@zohoprojects.com

A Faster Way to File Bugs in BugTracker

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Bug tracking is something software development teams deal with on a daily basis. For most developers, it is a frustrating experience to submit, organize and then fix bugs day in day out. And over a period of time this can become a tedious, repetitive and time consuming process for developers which might lead to delay in addressing their customer needs.

On a similar note, we got a request from one of our user:



Can we add or create a web form for our customers within our website (this is how we currently manage our projects and communicate with customers).  I would set up an additional tab within my customer site — called “Submit a Ticket”.  can we do this ?
Well, now Zoho BugTracker solves this challenge by eliminating the need to file bugs without actually logging into BugTracker with the

Web to Bug form.



The
new Web to Bug form offers the best way to submit a bunch of bugs much
faster than usual. With this, your team becomes much more efficient and
productive by focusing their complete attention on just one core
activity:



fixing bugs


                 








Where can you find this option?


Just login to your BugTracker, go to

Bugs Settings

and there you can find the option to create your own customized web to bug form. Generate the


iFrame code


snippet for this Web to Bug form and embed that in your website. So from now on, the bugs filed in that form gets automatically populated in your bugs database.


Note:

Web to Bug form is available for Enterprise and Premium customers and is accessible by Portal Owner, Admins and Managers.




Learn more about this feature at

Web to Bug form


Here’s the summary of other important features rolled out as part of this update :


Rename bugs tab


Great news for everyone ! You can rename your bugs tab. We had lots of requests coming from users, asking for the tab name to be renamed and finally it’s here. Start renaming your bugs tab

e.g: Tickets, Issues

like the way you wish.

Note:

This feature is available for all paid plans and is accessible by Portal Owner, Admins and Managers.



Export your bugs with description


Export your bugs instantly in the desired formats (xls/csv) along with a description. This new option to include the description helps you to figure out the bugs being exported at a glance.




Finally, refreshing new look for Bugs



With this update, your bugs view and bug details page has evolved to better reflect how you actually work with your team. Now you can easily customize columns in Bugs view and of course add a resolution or changesets using contextual pop-ups with ease.



To get started, visit

http://www.zoho.com/projects/help/view-issues.html

While you start using these new features to fix your bugs fast, we will be back soon with a very interesting feature to talk about. Until then, enjoy

bug tracking

with Zoho.
Ofcourse, we’re all ears at

support@zohoprojects.com

Creating Better Experience in Zoho Projects

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We evaluated the existing user interface, sketched out different designs, discussed the merits and demerits of each to have a flexible user interface that is easy to use. After an extensive design journey with many iterations,
finally arrived at the new version which we’ve shipped. We are very happy with the outcome and believe it simplifies your use of Zoho Projects.

Ease of use
This goal is obvious, but what exactly does ease of use mean in the context of a task entry ?

As an example, for regular task entry, one very important aspect of “ease of use” is that to enter or edit a task requires very few clicks. This is something done over and over each day and any extra click quickly turns into an annoyance for the user. That is why the new contextual pop-ups are designed to keep the number of clicks to a minimum in Zoho Projects.
Our contextual pop-ups offer a powerful and an easy way to enter tasks, create events in calendar, log meetings, associate documents/forums and do more right from the same page in matter of few seconds.
Here goes the snapshot showing a contextual pop-up implemented in task details view

Contextual Pop-ups in Zoho Projects

Let me walk through the important changes implemented in Zoho Projects with focus on simplicity and ease of use :


Customize your columns in task view


Are there certain columns in task view that you don’t need to see each time you log in? For this, use the new Customize Columns
feature to choose the columns you’d like to hide. Simply click the new ‘Customize Columns’ link and select the columns you’d like to hide and you’re done.
Easily distinguish attached files in tasks

Before, there is no way to differentiate tasks with associated files or forums from the rest. Now, the newly introduced notes with attachment icon quickly helps you to distinguish the tasks with associated files/forums from others at the blink of an eye.


Gain more visibility with gantt charts


Great that you can drag and edit gantt charts, but should be able to drag into the next month rather than stop at the end of the current month. With this update, comes the custom period which allows you to view and edit tasks beyond current month. Isn’t it cool? Best of all, gain deep insights about the project progress with all tasks (open/closed) chart view.
Allocate tasks from resource charts


Want to allocate a task right from the resource chart view? Just click on a grey bar against a particular team member’s view and a contextual pop-up gets displayed. With this, enter umpteen tasks right from the resource charts and save your time.

Learn more about other features from What’s New


We see that we did most things right. But as always, we realize that there is room for improvement.

And remember, every time you send a feedback, you’re triggering us to work towards making your experience the best with Zoho Projects.

Log into Zoho’s Project Management Software
, play around and share your views about the new changes as comments here or mail us at
support@zohoprojects.com

New: BugTracker Integrates with GitHub version control system

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The biggest challenge for every software developer is to get rid of the bugs. It’s not about coding, it’s about removing those weeds (the bugs) before they ruin the lawn (your software). This constant editing process is what makes a software great. For this, you need a bug tracker integrated with an efficient source control system to host your codes in one place and is accessible from anywhere.

Today we’re launching this extra piece of functionality: the

GitHub Integration
.


Here’s what you get:

With this new integration, you can link your GitHub repository in Zoho BugTracker using service hooks. Henceforth, codes checked-in in GitHub automatically gets displayed as

changesets

in BugTracker. Also, while commiting changes in GitHub for a specified bug ID will be linked to that particular bug in BugTracker.


Github
 is definitely one of the fast, efficient and distributed online web hosting sites you can find all over the internet. It takes less than a minute to push code up to GitHub and to start collaborating quickly with your team.

So, how do you get started? Easy! Here’s your link – GitHub Integration. You can also learn more at the GitHub User Guide.

You may wonder, whether it is reliable to host codes in the cloud. Well, managing your code, building and testing it in the cloud has clear advantages. Here’re our reasons :

  • Speed and faster time to market – get access to the infrastructure and tools quickly with minimal hassle

  • Easy to learn and set up – quickly learn to set up an online source repository within few hours

  • Reliable – keeps your code available, secure, and backed up. This way you’re less likely to lose your data.

  • Collaborative – distributed source control allows users to communicate directly without affecting the central server

We’re offering the Github integration for

Premium and Enterprise customers

for both monthly ($35 and $80 – Zoho Projects, $60 and $80 – Bug Tracker) and annual plans ($299 and $599) of Zoho BugTracker and Zoho Projects (Bugs Module). And of course for existing Value Pack 3 customers of Zoho Projects.

Here’s a short video explaining the Zoho BugTracker – GitHub integration.

Just login at

Zoho BugTracker
, connect with your GitHub repository, make commits, fork the code and of course fix bugs fast!

For latest product updates, join us at

Facebook
 |

Twitter
.

Just In: Resource Utilization & Editable Gantt charts

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Employees are considered the most valuable assets of an organization. The ability to deploy employees effectively against projects enables organizations to utilize and maximize employee productivity. For this, project managers need an efficient system to place the appropriate employees in the right teams at the right time.

Project managers often face questions like how the work to be performed by a team is to be captured, who estimates the amount of effort required, where this information is to be stored and reviewed for accuracy etc. There are no magic shortcuts. You need the right tool that can capture and show the resources utilized within or across all projects of your organization.

The latest update of Zoho Projects offers this crucial feature called Resource Utilization chart, that accurately captures all of the above in a single place. With this chart, you can now get the most out of your valuable resources, i.e., Your Team,to accomplish critical tasks that are overdue by effectively realigning members based on their skills. You can also quickly gain insights into whether your resources are being under, over or optimally utilized in a matter of few minutes.



And…Refreshing new editable Gantt charts!


Before this update
: The Gantt chart in Zoho Projects has always been a challenge for us, since everyone used it in their own unique ways. Previously, it didn’t have enough room to capture more details about tasks. And printing the chart was a bit of a hassle when it was loaded with more data.


Here’s what we did:

We reworked the entire Gantt chart design to make it more appealing and useful for all. And of course, made it easier for printing too.

Best of all
, now you can simply drag the task bar in either direction and edit your Gantt chart. Isn’t that cool? But it doesn’t stop there. You can also export as PDF and send it across to your team.

We’ve also put together a step-by-step guide to get started – Gantt & Resource utilization.

User Access:

Resource Utilization view is accessible for portal owner, joint admins and project managers. While the editable Gantt is available for all user roles except for client users.


What editions are these features available?

Here’s the link to the latest revised Plans and Pricing.

a. Resource utilization / Edit Gantt charts are available for all Premium and Enterprise customers i.e., $299 & $599 annual plans and $35 and $80 monthly plans. It is also available for existing Valuepack 3 customers.

b. The Reports tab, which includes resource utilization and editable Gantt charts (across all projects) is available only for Enterprise customers i.e., $599 annual plan and $80 monthly plan.

Here’s short video explaining the new Gantt chart and Resource utilization features.

We hope this round of updates makes it more useful and a little easier on the eyes of everyone who uses Zoho Projects. Play around with the new reporting features available at http://www.zoho.com/projects/ and let us know your views at
support@zohoprojects.com
.

New: Recurring Tasks and Reminders in Zoho Projects

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We’ve just added Recurring Tasks and Reminders to Zoho Projects!


What are Recurring Tasks ?

Recurring tasks are a type of task that allow you to create a task once, and then have
it recreated automatically after a designated period of time. So they act as a convenient way of repeating a task on track without burdening your task list with a long list of upcoming tasks.

If you look at a list of repeating tasks people have, you will soon realize
that there is no single standard recurrence pattern followed.

For example, a recurring weekly task would be something like submitting your
timesheets every Monday or making backups of your data every month. In Zoho
Projects, entering a new task requires few easy steps and the same does not
equally apply to repeating tasks. Typically, repeating tasks are entered much
less frequently i.e. some are even entered once and remain there for months
(“make backups” is one such example).

So the existing UI for adding your regular tasks is left untouched and recurring tasks are now accessible by selecting the Reminder & Recurrence option from the task action menu in a single click.





Task reminders change your work for better
Hectic schedules are simply just a way of life in this day and age. Fortunately, a task reminder is an  extremely beneficial feature that constantly reminds of everything that is absolutely necessary in your work life. Task reminders in Zoho Projects help you stay on top of what’s going on through timely email reminders. So with this, you don’t miss anything important like fixing acritical issue for a customer or catch up with your team meetings.

Here‘s a quick video tutorial which we’ve put together to help you get started


Note that these features will be available in Premium ($35), Enterprise ($80) and ValuePack3 plans of Zoho’s Project Management Software

We hope you enjoy using recurring tasks and reminders in Zoho Projects to get your work done faster and deliver the best possible service for your customers.