Help
Home
Intro
Quick start guide
Getting around the project portal
Main project settings
Templates
Reports and task lists
Login issues
Bounced e-mails

Proj.email Help

Getting started

Before we get started — there are a couple of key things you should know.

1. Proj.email doesn't create additional email (unless you want it to)

Email becomes messy when there are a lot of automated alerts or noise from web services - so an important design goal with Proj.email was to not increase any participant's email volume beyond what they're already sending amongst team members. It should be as if Proj.email is not even there. For this reason the system never sends your team emails other than login confirmations or on-demand reports.

2. It can adapt to suit unique work flows.

We encourage you to experiment with your platform and play around by adding your own stages and hashtags, and letting your team set their own task reports on a schedule that suits them. Our aim is to provide you with a tool for guiding projects through to completion in a passive and organic manner. Let your team get on with the job and email one another naturally, but just ask them tack on hashtags in their subject lines and keep the project's email address in the loop.

3. Use of the portal by project participants is optional.

Participants need not sign in at all to work on a project.

Get a status report by emailing #whatsup in the subject line.

At any time they can send a blank email with hashtag #whatsup in the subject line to receive an instant status update. Nevertheless, the project portal provides some handy features such as setting up automated report scheduling, a unified search of everyone's conversations, as well an ability to modify things (if permitted) which participants may want to take advantage of.

Quick Start Guide

You should have a test project already set up which was creating during account registration.

Start a new email composition in your favourite mail app going To: {your-project}@{your-company}.proj.email.

An example e-mail. In the subject line include a hash tag #overview along with any other subject text that you like. Type something brilliant in the email body and hit send.

Your overview screen should look like this. Navigate to your project's overview stage. After a few moments you should see the email pop up under Notes & Active Discussions. Click on the email's subject line to open it and then down along the left hand side of the message, click to highlight individual paragraphs.

How to highlight e-mail paragraphs for people to focus on. A prompt will appear, as you're clicking on paragraphs allowing you to pin the text as "Notes" on any project stage. This is a way for you to highlight key sentences or things that team members should know about or focus on, without having to copy or say anything twice.

How to pin paragraphs to project stages. Select the Overview stage once more to pin it.

How to archive e-mail conversations. Now that we've extracted a couple of pieces of information and pinned up them for everybody to see, click on the Overview screen once more and tick the check box next to the test email. This brings up a prompt for tagging it under a different stage. The same email can be tagged against any number of project areas. If a discussion is no longer important you can archive it by clicking on the blue Archive folder.

Click on the Archive folder to get rid of our test email.

Getting around the project portal

The left hand menu lets you quickly jump between any project or stage. For account owners, this is also how you can get to general account settings and data export features. Nothing is hidden away under obscure icons — we hope you can find everything easily.

Navigating within projects

Located at the top of every project screen is an interactive drag & drop visual map for easy project planning.

An example project plan.

Click and drag anywhere on the graph to pan. You can zoom in or out of the graph dragging the slider on the right or by holding down your ALT key and rolling your mouse wheel. For projects having a lot of stages, this provides a birds-eye view of the whole project at once.

When the left-hand menu is visible you can edit stages and arrange things in any type of hierarchy or order that suits your work flow.

A labeled view of the project designer.

A stage can be treated as a milestone (ie. a collection of tasks) a task an event or anything you like. Everything can have a start/end date, assignees or have any number of things nested underneath it in any kind of flow or structure.

A stage can be reorganised by selecting it, grabbing onto its dotted handle at the top, and dragging & dropping either in between sibling stages, or if you want to re-parent a stage, drop it onto the + New Stage of the one you want it to show up under.

The pencil button will allow you to edit its details.

If you've added something by accident or you don't need it any more, drag & drop it into the archive folder.

Unsaved work shows up like this.

Whenever there's some unsaved work, you'll see a save button at the bottom of your screen. Changes are typically sent to the server as a batch, so that you can change/tweak a bunch of things privately before uploading it for everyone.

Clicking on any stage will take you to a summary of active e-mail discussions as well as any pertinent emailed notes that have been highlighted by the project organiser.

Main project settings

The project settings pane. You can get to project settings from the main menu. Click on the project to make sure it's expanded, Settings is directly underneath.

From the settings screen we can define the organiser, team members, member access permissions, a start/finishing date, as well as customised status options.

It's important to remember that only the organiser and team members are able to send emails to a project. Mail from unauthorised senders will be bounced and if your mail server is configured for DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM) it will provide a robust way of ensuring a sender's authenticity. Part of Proj.email's verification process is that the DKIM signature must match the domain of an email's From: header.

Create as many status options as you like. An unlimited number of project status options can be defined to suit any type of work flow. Multiple status options can also be configured to signal to the system that its status is a type of stage "closure", making it as for all intents and purposes complete (even if unsuccessfully, for instance.)

The only system-defined status that must be present has a value of 0 which means Not yet started. This is the default state of any stage.

Colour coding and icons may be used to provide clarity and make your project screens feel a bit more lively.

Project Templates

If you find yourself repeating the same project structure a lot, you can also set up templates by going into Account > Add new project from the main menu and toggling on the Create as template option.

Reports and task lists

Proj.email provides reports of every person's active responsibilities, statuses and active discussions. These can be accessed in a few ways.

The Project Overview

The Project Overview report.At the bottom of the #overview stage you can find a summary of everything you're assigned to for that project, broken down by Current Responsibilities and Upcoming Responsibilities.

Have reports delivered to your inbox on a regular schedule.If desired, a report can be automatically delivered to your inbox at a certain time on particular days by toggling Deliver this to my inbox.

The Project Report

The Project Logical view report. A logical breakdown of an entire project is available under the #report stage.

This summary includes both pending and finished stages, providing a complete breakdown of everything going on. The interactive graph at the top of the screen is great for seeing things at a glance, but the Logical Overview report includes the data in a more print-friendly format and includes active conversations as well.

Stage Status by Team Member reportAdditionally there's a breakdown of Stage Status by Team Member underneath the Logical Overview.

The Home Overview

The home screen report. The main home screen is a place to see all of your current responsibilities across all active projects. As with individual project overview reports, this can also be scheduled to send to your inbox.

Troubleshooting

Login issues

Passwords are the worst. Instead of forcing your team to setup and remember yet another one, we instead send a quick e-mail containing a secret code to their inbox which they simply hit reply and send on if they want to log in to the system for the first time on a new device. This is exactly as secure as other online services that provide a password reset feature over email.

The entire sign in process doesn't usually take more than 30 seconds to complete and you should only have to do it once. If yours isn't working here are a few tips.

My login e-mail isn't arriving in my inbox after a minute or more

  1. Although our system always digitally signs outgoing emails to ensure a low spam score (DKIM + SFP for the technically inclined) for first time users the login e-mail might still end up in a spam folder anyway. Check your spam to make sure it's not there.
  2. If the email wasn't in spam, try clicking cancel on your Proj.email login screen and sending it again.
  3. As a last resort check with us to make sure we're not having some sort of technical difficulty. If we are you may have to try again later.
  4. If there are no known service issues and you have a corporate mail server, ask your mail administrator to white-list login@yourcompany.proj.email, which is where the emails will be coming from.

I've hit reply & send to the login email, but my screen hasn't changed or logged me in yet

  1. If more than a minute has passed, please check with us to make sure we're not having some sort of technical difficulty.

Bounced emails

If you're sending an email to your project or replying to a login confirmation and it is bouncing, your mail server should have included some text in the bounce reply which might contain one of these errors.

550 Sender 'whomever' is not allowed to e-mail project 'whatever'. Please contact the project organiser to request team access.

Usually the reason will be because you are not presently listed as a team member. Contact the project organiser and ask them to add you to the list.

551 No project matches e-mail address 'whatever'.

This means there is no project at the address you've e-mailed. Double check with the project's organiser that you have the correct address.

551 This project has been archived and is no longer processing mail. Please contact the project organiser if you think the project should be re-opened.

Archived projects can't have mail added to them. This is important because otherwise information might get overlooked. Have the project organiser unarchive it.

550 5.7.1 Your email server 'some-ip' isn't allowed to send mail in behalf of 'your-email-address'. Please fix your SPF record.

We strictly enforce SPF rules and bounce message that are not properly configured for your domain. Have your administrator fix your dns txt entry.

550 This e-mail was rejected because it failed a DKIM test.

We reject mail that has a bad DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM) signature.

DKIM can be used to authenticate that a person sending an e-mail is really them. Without this check in place anybody can masquerade as you@yourcompany.com and put mail into a project. Although it is unlikely that some outside party would guess your project's private email address or go out of their way to impersonate a team member, we have this option in place for companies that want a level of certainty.

If a domain has a DMARC policy other than 'none' Proj.email demands valid DKIM signatures. You can also enforce strict DKIM checking without having to set up a standard DMARC DNS TXT record by simply turning on Bounce e-mails from unverifiable senders under your account settings — that way other mail systems won't be impacted by having a DMARC configuration in place.