January Updates & New Features

So we’ve been busy the last few weeks updating ProProfs Project with lots more of your feature requests and suggestions. Here we’ll talk about what is new for January 2011.

As we’ve been getting more and more small businesses joining project with larger teams, we’ve been really ramping up the collaboration abilities and making project the perfect tool for teams who need an easy to use project management tool. These new features reflect that.

Here’s a quick run down of what’s new:

Join Multiple Companies

You can now attach yourself to multiple projects (companies) instead of having to create a new account with a different email address each time. We had some contractors who were using ProProfs Project for one company but then found themselves being invited to collaborate in other companies and those companies couldn’t invite them unless they gave a different email address – how annoying!? So we sorted that out and made it a lot simpler.

If you are invited to another company then their company will appear in your companies list My Company > Change Company. You can then log in to that company either by going to their sub-domain, or just clicking on the green “Change Company” button if you are not on a sub-domain. If you want to leave a company you can do so by clicking the button.

Client Accounts

The next big feature is a new permission set we created for Client Accounts. This has been requested by lots of people, but it’s also a feature you will see on all the major online billing applications. It’s basically the ability for your client to log in as a read-only user (which they could do previously), but this time you can make sure they can only view data attached to them, e.g. their invoices, estimates and projects.

This is not only useful for your clients to be able to view their previous invoices or archived projects, but you could also use this for small teams or groups by assigning a team to a ‘client’ and letting them have project managers and collaborators all attached to this one ‘client’ and not gaining visibility on any other clients.

To use this feature you can either do it the simple way by clicking the Create User tick box in the Add Client page (this will invite the client using the client’s email address and assign standard read-only permissions), or you can do it manually by going to the Users tab and clicking “Attach Client” and then selecting which client you want to attach the user to.

User Preferences

You can now set preferences for things that you want ProProfs Project to remember. For example, some have requested that the default landing page is the Projects page not the Dashboard, others have asked it it’s possible for the “Allow PayPal” field to be disabled on default (so they don’t have to select it every time they create an invoice). You can now do this from the My Account page along with other preferences such as whether to use Auto Project & Task IDs.

Automatic Project & Task IDs

Some of you said it would be useful to have an automatic numbering system for Tasks and Projects. A lot of those who work in very small teams (or on their own) would probably not need this feature, but with larger teams joining project and giving us this feedback we thought it would be a cool feature to add. So now when you add a Project or Task you will see an automatic ID populated in the name field.

If you want to turn this feature off, just go to your My Account page and set it in the preferences.

Unread Comments

Comments will now highlight in orange when there are new ones you haven’t read. This makes it a lot easier to skim through your projects/task page and see if there are comments that need your attention. This applies to Replies too.

Due Task Notifications

Task notifications now show in the Dashboard and calendar. So if you have a task due (a Milestone) in the next day or so it will show up in your Dashboard letting you know it needs your attention. We are looking at putting this in to optional daily emails too.

Custom Domains in the Pro Plan

You can now use Custom Domains in the Pro Plan (using a CNAME pointing to ‘projectproject.com’), whereas previously this was an Enterprise only feature. Enterprise users still benefit from not having our logo or brand written anywhere on the interface (White Label), but now the Custom Domain feature is available to all those on the Pro plan as well.

This means that you can use clients.yourdomain.com for example, as your primary login for your clients to see their projects or invoices. Just sign up to Pro, set up your Custom Domain in the My Company page, and then add your client as a user using the steps above. They’ll love it.

Re-send Invites

You can now re-send invites to users who may not have got their email. This is a simple Re-send link under the user name in the Users tab.

Along with the above features we have also been fixing bugs and optimizing performance as usual. So things should appear smoother.

What’s in the Pipeline

We have lots of ideas, but like we always say – “Project Management Made Simple”, so it has to be just that and not have too many crazy features. What we are trying to do is refine and solidify our current offering, in other words making the simplest, easiest but coolest project management and invoicing app out there, without adding a whole host of unnecessary features.

Some of the new things we are working on which we feel solidify and improve what we have already are:

  • Re-build of the API – our first version wasn’t quite cutting it, so we’re going to re-build it using a different authentication and lots of new methods. Watch this space.
  • Basecamp, Freshbooks and Invoice project Import – a lot of users are now coming from other apps so we are trying hard to build an import tool. It’s complicated, and it relies on a solid API (see above) so it might not be for a little while.
  • Email Reminders – the notifications in the Dashboard to be emailed out
  • Improved Reporting – filters so you can select date ranges, and export your data based on various criteria

So, thanks for all your suggestions. Keep them coming, and thanks for being a part of the project

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About the author

David is a Project Management expert. He has been published in Jeffbullas.com, Hr.com, and eLearningIndustry. As a project planning and execution expert at ProProfs, he has offered a unique outlook on improving workflows and team efficiency.Connect with David for more engaging conversations on Twiiter, LinkedIn, and Facebook.

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