How to use ProjectSheet Planning add-on for Google Sheets

ProjectSheet planning is a template made by forScale, a company that creates easy-to-use, effective technology for project management. ProjectSheet planning is an add-on for Google Sheets—use it to supercharge the way you track tasks and help you stay on track to ensure you are meeting deadlines and hitting milestones. Use the ProjectSheet planning add-on as an easy way to collaborate on any size project with your team or department.

What is a Gantt chart?

A Gantt chart is a visual representation of start dates, end dates, and progress shown as a horizontal bar chart. It is a made up of columns and rows. The rows represent the list of tasks or important components. The columns represent the time scale or segments. ProjectSheet utilizes the Gantt method with Work Breakdown Structure (WBS).

WBS is another project management concept that helps look at your project from a big picture standpoint and break it into detailed, actionable items. Use WBS to assign a hierarchy to the work that needs to be completed or delivered by your team. Then, the Gantt serves to give everyone a detailed understanding of both the big picture and everyone’s individual working part in the completion of the project.

How to access the ProjectSheet planning add-on

It is really simple to get add-ons for Sheets! The fastest way to get ProjectSheet planning is to click this link that will take you directly to the web store. Simply click the Free button and the add-on will be added to your Google Sheets account.

projectsheet 1

Alternatively, you can get the add-on by following these steps:

1. Open a spreadsheet
2. Click the add-ons button in the navigation menu
3. Click the Get add-ons button
4. A window will pop up for you to browse
5. Type “ProjectSheet planning” in the search box
6. Click the Free button to get the add-onYou are ready to start using ProjectSheet planning!

Let’s get started

To run the add-on, open a Sheet, and click Add-ons → ProjectSheet planning → Add ProjectSheet

projectsheet 2

The add-on will work for a few minutes to set up your spreadsheets and load the sidebar. An announcement about the Pro version of ProjectSheet planning will load, go ahead and close the dialogue box for now. At first glance, we can see that the add-on has created two new tabs named Project Summary and Task Schedule. You can take a look at these sheets by clicking the tabs on the bottom left side of the sheet.

Task Schedule: The task schedule sheet is the Grannt Chart mentioned earlier in the article. Each column represents an important piece of information about the tasks that make up your project plan, such as, Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) rank, task description, start/end date, progress, and a weekly/monthly calendar. This tab is going to the spreadsheet that you interact with to track your project progress.

Sidebar: Use the sidebar to customize your task schedule settings. You can change things like how you view tasks, the start date of tasks, and your timescale.

Project Summary: This tab is a read-only spreadsheet. It pulls your project information from the Task Schedule tab, to provide an overview summary of your project. It is not editable and has a lot more information available in the report if you subscribe to the Pro version. The free version only displays the start and end date of tasks, and the percentage of completion for each task, even without the Pro features it is still a valuable visual aid.

projectsheet 3
Input some tasks and dates

Next, we can input some tasks into our Task Schedule and try a few different ways of manipulating them. Depending on your project management experience, this process could be a breeze, or there could be a bit of a learning curve. If you are unfamiliar with Gantt charts or WBS, you may want to check out a more detailed tutorial that explains how to implement these concepts in your project planning process.

Important notes

Although this template is somewhat flexible, you need to be sure to follow some of the guidelines laid out by the designers, or you might mess up your sheets and have to start again. Make sure you only adjust the time scale using the sidebar and add any custom headers or columns into the left of the Gantt chart. In addition, if you share the spreadsheet with your team, be sure to only share it as “View only”. If someone else gets in there and starts changing things, you might have to recreate the whole spreadsheet! Do not attempt to copy and paste content or other spreadsheets into ProjectSheet or delete columns or headers. You also cannot use custom formulas in this spreadsheet. This template is highly functional, but be sure to use it within the parameters of the design, or you may experience some frustration!

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