More Power to You ! Task duration in hours

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About a month ago, we added sub tasks functionality to the task management module to help teams better manage and complete their work much faster.

Fast forward to now, and we’re pretty excited with the uptake it has got among our customers. Along the same lines, we were bombarded with requests to have duration in hours for tasks / sub tasks. Hence we were forced to break ground on this due to the sheer volume of requests flooding our customer forums and tech support.
So we took these requests to heart and today we’re glad to launch THE much awaited duration in hours for tasks.

How to enable task duration for your portal ?

Just, go to Edit Profile under Portal Settings and select hours instead of days, save it and you’re done. Task duration in hours gets enabled for your project portal. It’s simple isn’t it?

Note: You must be the portal owner to enable this option for your. portal. And this feature is available only for Premium and Enterprise paid customers of Zoho Projects.

Let’s explore about task duration in hours in Zoho Projects

Giving you more power with duration in hours

Starting today, duration in hours is available for all tasks, sub tasks and dependency view of a project. With this, work is broken down, tasks are identified, and estimates are specified for each task in hours which helps in calculating the exact time spent to accomplish your work each day.

Furthermore, we do support the various format for time entry i,e you can enter hours as 2:30 or 2.5 which gets automatically interpreted has 2 hours and 30 minutes.

Add duration in hours

Maximize your productivity with task duration in hours

Task duration is now included in resource utilization as well as gantt charts. Typically, durations can depend on the experience of the person who performs the task. For example, In a team, a highly skilled and experienced person can complete certain tasks much more quickly than a less experienced person. The ability to deploy employees effectively against projects enables project managers to better utilize and maximize employee productivity.

In addition, task duration in hours comes with a hidden benefit i,e when you allocate a task for certain hours, how much time it actually took to complete? what challenges did you encounter? how would you do it differently if you had to do it all over again the next time but complete it in much faster pace.

But that’s not all. With this latest update, we’ve enhanced the recurrence interval to accommodate additional time span like fortnightly, quarterly, half-yearly and yearly for recurring tasks.

The following user guide summarizes the steps to follow. For more details, please refer Task duration in hours.

What’s next ?

We’re busy working on Projects 4.0 in providing the next generation user experience for you. You can get a sneak peek of this at https://forums.zoho.com/topic/what-s-keeping-us-busy-in-zoho-projects

Well, It’s up to you, give it a try and let us know how useful is duration in hours as comments here. We’re all ears… :)

 

Get your bugs off other bug trackers and into Zoho

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Here’s a piece of exciting news! Get your bugs off other bug trackers and into Zoho with the brand new Import Bugs option. We’d work hard to make your migration from other bug tracking services quick and hassle free into Zoho. While this is a great feature, we request you to take care of few things before you start the Import.

Few points to ponder :

  • Only CSV file format supported and must be UTF-8(Unicode) encoded
  • Supported date formats: DD/MMM/YYYY, DD/MM/YYYY, DD-MM-YYYY, MM/DD/YYYY, MM-DD-YYYY in CSV file
  • It is recommended that you test the import with a sample test file before your actual import.

Well, log into Zoho BugTracker, go to bug settings and import your bugs right from other bug trackers as a CSV file in quick steps. We’ve also put a user guide to help you get started at Import Bugs.

Bug Settings wears a new look and feel
Peep into the Bugs tab and you’ll spot a refreshing Bug Settings view along with an array of good looking icons. In addition to import bugs, we have also added couple of exciting new features like Fields and Email Settings.

What’s special about Fields ?
Previously we did not allow you to rename the fields like severity, module. But after this update, you can customize it as per your need for example – you can change the “Severity” name to “Priority“. Furthermore, we’ve consolidated the default and custom fields all in one place under Fields view.

Here’s a picture of the refreshing new Bug Settings view with Fields

Custom Fields

Configure mail forwarding with Email Settings
Configure and automatically fetch your emails from your custom domains mydomain/Gmail Mail as bugs in Zoho Bug Tracker with the new Email Settings.

For Example,  if you wish to track your mails from from zilluminc@gmail.com in BugTracker you must configure your email server to forward a copy of your Bug emails to this forwarding email address zillum_erp3@pop.zohoprojects.com in your Gmail.

The syntax followed is <portalname_projectstring>@pop.zohoprojects.com

Your Benefit : Before, only project members can submit bugs in Zoho BugTracker but now any user can file a bug by sending an email to your domain email issues@zilluminc.com

Learn more about how to configure mail forwarding in custom domains at Email Settings.

Note: Field Renaming and Bugs Import are available for all the plans. Email settings feature and Custom Fields are available for Enterprise ($599 yearly and $80 monthly) customers of both Zoho Projects and Zoho BugTracker. See Plans and Pricing

If you haven’t tried Zoho BugTracker yet, this is the best time to give it a try and we’re curious to hear your feedback on how the migration of your bugs went about as comments here.

Making it easier to edit tasks and move task list in Zoho

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Creating a task list is nothing but planning your day to make it a more productive one. What matters most is how well you can manage your task list and how much work you put in to make sure you finish your tasks that makes you feel delighted like, you’ve achieved something when you get done with your task list each day.

Today we’re introducing a couple of features to help you better manage your tasks as best as you can in Zoho Projects.

Inline editing enabled for your tasks
Editing tasks is super easy with the inline editing option. Previously, you can edit priority, owner and status, starting today we’ve extended this to edit the start, end date and percentage completed for a task.

Editing Tasks

Moving task lists across projects
Feedback comes in waves from customers. Moving a task list from one project to another is one of them. With this, you can instantly move a task list from project into another in quick time.

Last but not the least; move tasks in bulk
Now move bunch of tasks from one task lists to another that saves ample effort in repeated task entry. This is a great time saver for actually keeping on task and finishing it off which makes you feel happy about working towards your goal.

Hope these features are useful and helps everyone! Learn more about them at Move Tasks

Send us your feedback at support@zohoprojects.com or let us know what you think :)

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