G Suite Amps Up Team Organization with Action Items & Slack Integration

by Denise Hazime on October 27, 2016


At its core, G Suite is all about collaboration and productivity. Which begs the question - why doesn’t it have more project management tools to make collaboration even easier? Most small businesses don’t need all of the bells and whistles of a project management tool like Basecamp or Podio, but the lack of options has either driven them to ignore project management tools altogether or pay for something they are only using a small slice of. But according to Google, employees spend about 20 per cent of their work week tracking down details and colleagues for answers - that’s a day’s worth of productivity lost if project management tools aren’t in place. G Suite’s new Action Items feature has taken a step towards solving this problem with the ability to assign items to specific team members, in some cases automatically based on what is written in Google Docs, Sheets or Slides. This removes ambiguity in terms of who is responsible for what in your business. Along with Action Items, G Suite has also added four other important features, including Slack integration.

Get Out of Town. How Do Action Items Work?

Google will either suggest an action item based on what is typed (e.g Eric to organize holiday party becomes an action item for Eric to do exactly that) or you can manually suggest an action item by typing in someone’s email or name who has access to the file. They will receive a notification that they have an action item, and can mark it as completed when it is completed.


The only catch is, all action items are only stored within the Google Doc, Google Sheet, or Google Slide they are spawned in at this point. But Google makes it easy for your employees to see any Action Item assigned to them - when they open Google Drive, Docs, Sheets, or Slides, they’ll see a badge with all of their action items. This makes it much harder for the “But I thought X was handling that one…” excuse to happen, since they are all right in front of their eyeballs with most G Suite interactions.


The one thing that would be nice to see is a central repository of all Action Items for management and employees to keep track of, but hopefully this is something Google has in the works. Right now, only logging into Google Drive will show employees all of their Action Items; if they don’t have a habit of logging into Google Drive, and just log in to Google Docs, Sheets or Slides, they’ll only see their action items associated with those apps. Action items can be reassigned, edited, turned off, or marked as complete - for more see Google’s support article.

Slack Integration Lets You Add Google Drive Files Instantly to Slack

If you aren’t using Slack yet, you probably should be - especially if you lack those project management tools we mentioned earlier. Slack makes team collaboration and assignment of roles very easy, without the possibility of emails getting lost. Things just got even easier in Slack with the ability to add files from Google Drive just by clicking a button - making sure your team has access to the tools they need quickly. Just a note on security though - every file you add becomes instantly available to everyone on your team’s Slack, so maybe don’t include payroll documents or anything else that would compromise security or privacy. Between Action Items and Slack Integration, Google just made small-scale project management much easier - and that’s great news for teams and businesses that rely on them to get things done.

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