Create dynamic project plans with Sheets

1. Set up your project plan

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Start by creating your project plan and adding all the information you want to capture from your team.

In this section, you learn how to:

1.1 Create a project spreadsheet
1.2 Insert task descriptions
1.3 Create lists in a cell
1.4 Set up progress trackers
1.5 Add notifications

1.1 Create a project spreadsheet

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  1. In Google Drive, click PlusNew and thenGoogle Sheetsand thenBlank spreadsheet.
  2. Click Untitled spreadsheet and enter a new title for your project plan.
  3. Add column headings. For example, you might track the tasks for a project and include columns for task owner, due date, status, and comments.
  4. Add content to the sheet to track the project plan. After you share the sheet, other people can add content as well.

Name a sheet

1.2 Insert task descriptions

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If your column heading or task needs a bit more explanation, add a descriptive note.

  1. Select the column or cells where you want to add a note.
  2. Select Insertand thenNote.
  3. Type your description.
  4. Click anywhere outside the note to close it.

Insert notes

1.3 Create lists in a cell

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Let people choose from options in a list. For example, to track progress in a project plan, create a Status column with options such as Not started, In progress, or Complete.

Create lists in a cell:

1 Select the column where you want to add the choices.
2 Click Dataand thenData validation.
3 Next to Criteria, select List of items.
4 Enter the choices separated by commas.
5 Click Save.
6 (Optional) To see the choices, click the arrow in a cell under the column.

Map of instructions 1 through 6

1.4 Set up progress trackers

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See how your project tasks are progressing at a glance with conditional formatting rules. For example, add colors to make completed tasks stand out from tasks that haven’t been started or are in progress.

Set up progress trackers:

  1. Open Sheets and select the column that you want to apply the formatting rules to.
  2. Select Formatand thenConditional formatting.
  3. Set up the rules. In this example, you assign a different color to tasks that are Complete, Not started, or In progress:
A On the Single color tab, under Format cells if, select Text contains.
B In the box under Text contains, type Complete.
C Under Formatting style, click the list to choose if you want the background or text to be colored.
D To assign a custom text or background color, click Text color or Fill color . If needed, you can specify a color for the text and a color for the background.
E If you want to add more rules, click Add another rule and follow the same steps. For example, assign a red background to Not started tasks and an orange background to In progress tasks.
F Click Done.

In the menu, under Format, find the conditional formatting rules

1.5 Add notifications

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Stay on top of project updates and status changes with email notifications. You’ll know when someone’s made a change to your project plan, who made the change, when they made it, and what’s changed. You can also choose how often you want to be notified.

Add notifications:

  1. In the spreadsheet, select Toolsand thenNotification rules.
  2. Select when and how often you want to receive notifications.
  3. Click Save.
  4. Click Done.

Click Tools to open a window where you set notifications rules

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