Project ManagementZoho Projects Tips and Tricks

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Zoho Projects is a widely-used project management software solution that offers many features to help developers manage projects, collaborate with team members, and track progress. Since Zoho Projects packs so many features, it can be easy to miss out on some of its most valuable offerings. In this guide, we will share some Zoho Projects tips and tricks that can help you improve your project management skills and elevate your productivity to the next level.

Not certain you are using all of the features Zoho Projects has to offer? Check out our Zoho Projects Review to see a full list or try Zoho Projects now.

Tips And Tricks For Zoho Projects

Zoho Projects Analytic tools

Whether you are a beginner or an advanced project management software user, the following tips and tricks can help you make the most out of Zoho Projects’ varied functionality. Before we begin, it is worth noting that some of these tips and tricks apply to Zoho Projects’ paid plans. Zoho Projects has a free plan that offers its most basic features, plus Premium ($5 per user, per month) and Enterprise ($10 per user, per month) plans packed with more advanced functionality. To enjoy all of the capabilities listed below, opt for the Enterprise plan.

In particular, we will be learning the following Zoho Projects tips and tricks:

  • How to create task reminders
  • How to create recurring tasks
  • How to set a Baseline to track deviations in progress
  • How to view your project’s critical path
  • How to compare planned versus actual hours for tasks
  • How to automate tasks in Zoho Projects with Blueprint

Create Task Reminders in Zoho Projects

Many development projects have several moving parts. This can make it tough for a project manager or developer to keep track of everything, leading to essential tasks slipping through the cracks that cause you to miss your deadlines.

Luckily, Zoho Projects has task reminders that send emails to ensure you do not miss a single task. You can set task reminders according to a specific schedule or on a specific date. They can be sent to specific individuals or entire teams, and beyond showing up in emails, the reminders will also get pushed to the feed.

Zoho Projects task reminders

Here is how to set task reminders in Zoho Projects:

  • Go to the Tasks module.
  • Create a new task by clicking on Add Task.
  • Click on Reminder.
  • Set the reminder to either Based on due date or Specific date.
  • Select the Reminder type.
  • Select the Time.
  • Under the Notify users option, select the individuals or teams you want to be notified.
  • Click Set reminder.

Set Recurring Tasks To Save Time

Chances are, many of your projects as a developer will have repetitive tasks that you must execute frequently. Instead of manually creating such tasks each time in Zoho Projects, the PM software lets you create recurring tasks to save time so you can focus more of your efforts on essential things like coding.

You can create recurring tasks by adding a new task or editing an existing one. Once complete, each recurring task becomes active at a set schedule.

Zoho Projects Recurring Tasks

To convert an existing task into a recurring one, do the following:

  • Go to a task view.
  • Click on a task.
  • In the Task Information section, click on Recurrence.
  • Set the Recurrence Frequency.
  • Click Done.

To add a new recurring task, do the following:

  • Go to the task module.
  • Click on Add Task.
  • Enter the task’s details.
  • Click on Recurrence.
  • Set the Recurring Frequency to daily, weekly, monthly, etc.
  • Tweak the Once Every and End After settings to your liking.
  • Click Done.

Set A Baseline To Track Deviations In Progress

A baseline can determine if there is any deviation in the project schedule from the original plan. Project managers can use the baseline feature in Zoho Projects’ Milestone Gantt chart to see which activities are delayed, evaluate performance, fix bottlenecks that are hampering progress, and properly plan upcoming tasks.

Zoho Projects Baselines

Here is how to set a baseline in Zoho Projects:

  • Go to the project you want to set a baseline for.
  • Select Gantt & Reports.
  • Select Gantt Chart.
  • Select Milestone Gantt.
  • Click on the Set/Compare Baseline icon, which is the first option underneath the Add Task button.
  • Click on Set Baseline.
  • Enter the name of the baseline.
  • Click the Set Baseline button.

Project users (not clients) can set up to 10 baselines. Each baseline will only include open tasks in the project with start/end dates.

View Your Project’s Critical Path

Development projects typically consist of multiple tasks that are tightly linked and depend on one another. If one task gets delayed, it can set off a chain reaction that delays the entire project and keeps it from being completed.

The critical path represents the longest sequence of dependent tasks that must be executed to complete the project. It gives project managers insight into how long it will take to finish a project and helps them create an accurate schedule, plus lets them see which tasks require more (or less) focus so they can allocate resources accordingly.

Zoho Projects Critical Path Analysis

Once you have created tasks, set their durations, and set their dependencies in Zoho Projects, you can view the critical path via the software’s Gantt chart. Once in the Gantt chart view, the project’s critical path will be highlighted in red, while its non-critical tasks will be highlighted in blue. You can view slack times by hovering over each non-critical task.

You can learn more about critical paths in our tutorial: Introduction to Critical Path Analysis. We also have a great guide to the Best Critical Path Analysis Tools if you are looking for more analytical software.

Compare Planned Versus Actual Hours For Tasks

Would you like to gain insight into which members of your development team are overachieving and which need to become more efficient? Zoho Projects’ Planned Vs Actual feature can provide that insight by displaying a user’s planned versus actual hours spent on a project.

The planned hours represent how much time was allocated to an assigned task. The actual hours represent how much time has been spent on that task as calculated on the user’s timers and timesheets.

Zoho Projects Planner versus Actual

To see the Planned Vs Actual report for one of your team members, do the following:

  • Click on Reports in the navigational panel on the left-hand side of the screen.
  • Select the intended project.
  • Click on Gantt & Reports in the top panel.
  • In the drop-down menu, select Planned Vs Actual.

You will see a list of users or team members with their planned and actual times, plus a column representing the difference. A green number with a + sign means that team member’s planned hours exceeded their actual hours. A red number with a sign means their actual hours exceeded their planned hours. You can also click on each team member to view a breakdown of their individual tasks.

Automate Tasks in Zoho Projects with Blueprint

Zoho Projects’ Blueprint feature lets project managers and programmers customize status workflows and automate tasks to boost productivity and make life a lot easier. Here is how to begin automating tasks via Blueprint:

Zoho Projects Blueprints
  • Click on the tools icon near the top left-hand corner of your screen.
  • Select Task Automation.
  • Click on New Blueprint.
  • Enter the Blueprint Name.
  • Select the Layout.
  • Enter the Description.
  • Select the Criteria that will cause the Blueprint to be executed. If you want it executed for a specific task, select that task name in the Criteria section. If left blank, the Blueprint will be executed for all modules.
  • Click the Save button.

From here, you can use drag-and-drop functionality to customize your Blueprint’s design in the editor by using available statuses or adding new statuses.

Final Thoughts on Zoho Projects Tips and Tricks

In this project management tutorial, we learned how to perform several tips to make our use of Zoho Projects more efficient. Among those tips were:

  • How to create task reminders
  • How to create recurring tasks
  • How to set a Baseline to track deviations in progress
  • How to view your project’s critical path
  • How to compare planned versus actual hours for tasks
  • How to automate tasks in Zoho Projects with Blueprint

Looking for other project management software and tools? Check out our Alternatives to Zoho Projects article.

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