Before we get started — there are a couple of key things you should know.
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 among 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.
We encourage you to experiment with your project planner by adding stages and hashtags in a work flow that suits your rag-tag collaboration needs. Let your team set up 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 an organic manner. Let your team get on with their job and email one another naturally, but just ask them tack on hashtags in their subject lines and keep your project's email address in the loop.
Participants need not sign in at all to work on a project.
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.
You should have an account and test project already set up which was creating during signup. Head on over to youraccountname.proj.email.
To login, just enter your email. It will send a quick email to your inbox. When it arrives, simply hit REPLY and SEND on it and you will be logged in after a few moments.
Once you're in, map out your project logically by adding some stages, and add some people to the project members list. People will use #hashtags in subject lines to make sure e-mails are filed away neatly where they belong.
Once your project map is saved, click on the 'New email' icon to fire up your mail app (or use our nifty mail client which is built right in) and start Cc'ing the project and ask recipients to 'reply all' in future.
Proj.email tracks every new email discussion as a "task", an "issue" or "a thing" that needs attention by the people involved. This means you can archive emails from your inbox even before you've had a chance to really deal with them - proj.email keeps track and can remind you to deal with things later on.
When a discussion is dealt with or no longer important just tick and archive it inside of the project.
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.
Located at the top of every project screen is an interactive drag & drop visual map for easy project planning.
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.
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 Reparent box of the one you want it to show up under.
Clicking either the pencil icon within the graph or a stage's title will allow you to edit details.
If you've added something by accident or you don't need it any more, drag & drop it into the archive folder.
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 emailed paragraphs that have been highlighted by the project organiser.
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, unless you enable mail from anybody. Email 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.
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.
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.
Proj.email plans can be downloaded, shared with your friends and imported. To export your project or import from a file, simply click on Project Settings and scroll to the bottom.
Proj.email provides reports of every person's active responsibilities, statuses and active discussions. These can be accessed in a few ways.
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.
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.
A logical breakdown of Everything 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 this report includes the data in a more print-friendly format and also lists assignees and active discussions as well.
Additionally there's a breakdown of Stage Status by Team Member which shows assignment counts to see who's being given too much work or who's being held up with stages sitting in a particular status.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Archived projects can't have mail added to them. This is important because otherwise information might get overlooked. Have the project organiser unarchive it.
We strictly enforce SPF rules and bounce message that are not properly configured for your domain. Have your administrator fix your dns txt entry.
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 email@example.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.
When introducing yourself please mention your account domain if you have one. We'll try to get back to you within one business day, although sometimes much sooner.