Zoho Projects may not be the first service that comes to mind when you think of project management, but it should be. This platform offers all the tools you need with a UI that’s simple to learn. It doesn’t matter if you’re a team member, project leader or CEO: Zoho Projects has everything required to keep your projects moving forward.
SEE: Hiring kit: Project manager (TechRepublic Premium)
One Zoho Projects feature ahead of its competition is its customizable dashboards. Each Zoho Projects dashboard consists of widgets that can be moved around, filtered, and enabled or disabled. Some of the widgets even have options for further customization.
The only shortcomings the widgets have is the inability to rename them or define the data sets used. That’s fine, because Zoho Dashboards include widgets for the following:
- Task Status
- Overdue Work Items
- Team STatus
- Issue Status
- Weekly Digest
- Top 5 Go-Getters
- Top 5 Issue Fixers
- Milestone Status
- Upcoming Events
- Upcoming Work Items
- Today’s Work Items
- Task Progress Chart
That list should cover most of your needs, and some of the above can be customized to better fit your project, but how do you enable, disable and customize these widgets?
What you’ll need to customize the Zoho Projects Dashboard
The only thing you’ll need for this is a valid Zoho Projects account. You can use either the free or paid version, and you can work with it from any supported web browser.
How to enable and disable widgets
By default, all widgets are enabled. Scan through the default Dashboard (Figure A), and decide which widgets you want to keep and which can go.
Click the three-dot menu in the upper-right corner and then click Customize Widgets from the pop-up menu (Figure B).
Once the Widget pop-up opens (Figure C), you can disable any of the widgets by clicking the On/Off slider to the latter position.
With only the widgets you need on your Dashboard, let’s see how they can be customized.
How to customize your widgets
Only certain widgets can be customized. If you hover your cursor over a widget, you’ll see a list of icons in its upper-right corner (Figure D). Each widget will contain a different set of icons that can be used for customizations.
Hover your cursor over the Task Status widget and you’ll notice two things. First, there are three icons in the upper-right corner. Of those icons, one is to refresh the data, one is to select the type of chart used in the widget and one is used to close the widget. If you click the pie chart icon, you can then change the type of chart to one of three types: Bar, Pie and Donut (Figure E).
If you look in the upper-left corner, you’ll see a drag handle, which allows you to position the widget anywhere in the dashboard you see fit. You are limited to however many columns your browser displays, which is based on the width of the window. There’s no free-form movement, so you can’t just drag and drop a widget beyond the column and row structure. Move the most important widgets to the top.
Most widgets will have different customizations, but some have none. You will also find some widgets offer more charts than others. For example, the Weekly Digest can be viewed as a Bar, Line, Area, Scatter and Stacked chart (Figure F). It all depends on the data presented.
Some of the widgets even offer filters to help you weed out data you don’t want to see. For example, the Upcoming Work Items allow you to filter All, Task or Milestone (Figure G).
That’s it for creating a custom Dashboard in Zoho Projects. Although you don’t have complete control over what data is displayed, you have enough to create a Dashboard that will give you meaningful insights into your project.
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