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Google Sheets Project Management (Benefits, Templates, Limitations)

Google Sheets Project Management (Benefits, Templates, Limitations)

Curious about Google Sheets project management?

Google Sheets is a pretty nice spreadsheet tool.  

So why not try and make it a permanent part of your project management process, right?

Let’s stop right there. 

Just because Google Sheets can handle tons of data for free doesn’t mean that it can solve all your problems. 

In this article, we’ll explore the benefits of carrying out project management in Google Sheets, the limitations of doing so, and a better way to go about it. 

Let’s get started. 

What Is Google Sheets Project Management?

Google Sheets is an online spreadsheet program that’s free, like most other Google apps. 

And unless you’ve been living under a rock, we’re pretty sure that you’re familiar with the Google Sheet interface. 

It’s essentially one large spreadsheet, like Excel! 

Thinking about using Excel for managing projects? 

Check out our guide to Excel project management

Using Google Sheets for project management is the go-to solution for professionals who want to create open-source data sets, conduct basic data analysis, and other complicated math-related problems that make you go. 😵

Google Sheets offers multiple features for project management, such as:

  • Basic templates for a project timeline, plans, trackers, etc
  • Gantt chart functionality to track your project start date, task duration, and end date
  • Charts like a bar chart, stacked bar chart, line chart, etc., for visualization
  • Conditional formatting, data validation, and pivot tables for advanced data analysis
  • Sharing and real-time collaboration support

Most importantly, Google Sheets gels effortlessly with other Google project management tools like Slides, Docs, and Gmail. 

So once you’re in the Workspace, Google is your oyster. 

Bonus: Learn more about the pros and cons of Google project management

3 Benefits Of Google Sheets Project Management

A spreadsheet is nothing short of life-changing. 

And when it’s a Google spreadsheet? Well, you’re in for quite a ride of productivity!

Here’s what we think are the three key advantages of using Google Sheets for project management. 

1. User-friendliness

Google Sheets is all about the DIY charm.

As long as you’re familiar with the spreadsheet format, you’ll pick up Google Sheets in no time. 

However, Google doesn’t stop there. 

It also offers templates for a range of personal and professional projects. 

Still think you’ll get stuck? 

You can always ‘Google it!’ 

Google’s detailed online user guides and close-knit user community will always be around to help you. 

2. Effortless collaboration

Google Sheets is a pretty great place to collaborate over data.

It can easily handle up to 100 users at a time, while the spreadsheet’s owner retains rights to edit its access. 

Even if a user doesn’t have a Google ID or is outside your network, Google Sheets will show them as ‘Anonymous *insert exotic animal name*.’

an image of an anonymous icon on Google Sheets

What a handy way to build your knowledge of the wild!

3. Free software

Nobody would love Google Sheets as much if it were behind a paywall. 

Sure, you may need to pay for Google Drive storage if you cross the personal limit of 15 GB. However, until then, the entire Google Workspace is free for all!

And that’s why…

A GIF of Oprah

Don’t know how to use Google Sheets for project management?

Let these templates take care of it for you:

3 Google Sheets Project Management Templates

Fast forward your Google Sheets project management with these effortless templates. 

1. Google Sheets Monthly Expense Tracker

Every penny counts. But not if you don’t maintain a crystal clear record of your expenses. 

Ease your troubles with this super handy monthly expense tracker template in Google Sheets.  

Google Sheets monthly expense tracker

Download this Google Sheets monthly expense tracker

2. Google Sheets Project Charter Template

The project charter is a foundational document of any new venture. 

Make sure you get the details right with this project charter template in Google Sheets. 

Google Sheet project charter template

Download this Google Sheets project charter template

3. Google Sheets Project Plan Template

Don’t fill multiple notebooks with your grand project plans. 

Here’s a comprehensive project plan template that covers almost everything you need. 

Google Sheets project plan template

Download this Google Sheets project management template

Templates or not, Google Sheets is pretty great

However, it still has a long way to go. 

While it could be the right fit for your personal, passion project, handling large-scale, professional projects is a whole different ball game. 

That’s where Google Sheets falls short. 

7 Limitations Of Google Sheets Project Management (With Solutions)

Try as hard as you want, Google can’t spread its sheets to cover all your project management needs. 

But don’t worry.

ClickUp, the world’s highest-rated project management software, is here to cover the gaps in Google Sheets’ project management. 

Why? 

Simply because your project can’t run on spreadsheets alone. 

Check out what Google Sheets can’t do and how ClickUp fills the gaps. 

1. No task assigning functionality

Sure, you can use Google Sheets cells and rows to carry out basic data and project planning. 

However, after that… not much else. 

I mean, who’s going to execute the plan if you can’t assign tasks to people from the Google spreadsheet?

You have only two ways to fix this: 

  • Assign tasks manually (through some one-on-one interaction), OR 
  • Rope in another project task management software. 

And if you ask us, that’s one too many steps. 

ClickUp solutions: Tasks, Subtasks, and Assigned Comments

ClickUp isn’t just about dreaming. It works just as hard as you. 

Ready for action? 

Just hit the ‘+’ sign in your ClickUp Workspace and fire up a Task. 

Within your Task, you can add a task description, Subtasks, Checklists, and task Dependencies

Task button

Now just assign tasks to the relevant persons (or team) and let them take over. 

Each task has its own designated Comments Section meant for task-specific conversations. 

You can also tag a stakeholder in a comment and make it a task for them to perform. Now that’s a fruitful conversation!

assigned comment

2. Dashboards are complicated to build

A dashboard is like a scoreboard for your project. 

Without one, how’ll you know how far you’ve come? 

However, it’s easier to build a physical dashboard instead of jumping the hoops on Google Sheets!

You’d have to=build the dashboard’s backend data entirely and update it manually. And even then, the problem of getting people to update their task progress remains. 

Once again, Google Sheets – 0, ClickUp – 1.

Score GIF

ClickUp solutions: Dashboards and Sprint Widgets

ClickUp’s Dashboards display every important project metric at one glance. 

From how close you’re to achieving your Goals to the total time spent, you can see everything on your Dashboard. 

ClickUp Dashboard and Sprint widgets

And are you running an Agile project

You’re in luck. 

Use the Dashboard space to embed Sprint Widgets such as:

Cumulative flow

3. Needs manual task updates

Do your project team members often break into dance routines to celebrate completing a task?

The Office GIF

Hey, no judgment. We think that’s a perfectly sane way to say you’re ‘done!’

But in case you want a slightly more…traditional route, Google Sheets doesn’t offer one. 

And without such updates, there’s no way of knowing where the project is heading. 

Once again, you’d have to do it manually. Or…

ClickUp solution: Custom Task Statuses

ClickUp’s Custom Task Statuses are the complete package. 

Not only does it let you update task status as you go, but it also lets you design these statuses to fit any complex project. 

For example, if you’re an HR executive managing the hiring pipeline, you can label your tasks using Custom Statuses like ‘Applied,’ ‘Interviewed,’ ‘Hired,’ etc. 

You can always pick from ClickUp’s ready-made templates or create your own custom workflow. 

ClickUp Custom task statuses

4. No space for long-form documentation

Eventually, even the most seasoned spreadsheet native is going to feel a little lost in Google Sheets. Because sometimes, you need more than just rows and columns for your ideas. 

When that happens, you’re going to feel like the characters in Westworld…all stuck in the maze. 👀

But here’s the thing, 

young girl GIF

That’s right! No need to start typing in a new Google Doc. Just try ClickUp.

ClickUp solutions: Docs, Notepad, and Mind Maps

Draft to your heart’s content in ClickUp’s Docs

Create detailed documents containing rough ideas or fully fleshed out plans with powerful writer-friendly features. 

You get:

  • Rich text editing for beautifully formatted documents
  • Flexible sharing options to secure your doc
  • Importing options in PDF, Markdown, and HTML formats
  • Nested pages for easy organization
docs rich formatting

Maybe you don’t always need to draft a masterpiece. 

Sometimes a quick note does the job. 

Don’t scramble to find a pen and paper the next time you’re on creative overdrive. 

Just use ClickUp’s Notepad

Click on the ‘four dots’ symbol in your Workspace and start taking notes. It offers you all the rich text editing options that the rest of ClickUp has, in a bite-sized function.

And because of ClickUp’s powerful search functionality, you can find your old notes easily. 

ClickUp Notepad

Finally, for the ideas still in the pipeline, you can use Mind Maps.

Create a simple chain of events or a complicated web of thoughts and ideas, all in a day’s work with ClickUp’s intuitive Mind Maps!

ClickUp Mind Map

5. No time tracking

Do you hear the clock ticking towards the deadline ⏰?

Not in Google Sheets. 

Because it doesn’t measure time!

If you charge clients by the hour or just want to track project tours to measure efficiency, you’re out of luck on Google Sheets.  

While you can set time limits, you’ll need a whole new tool to see if you’re working within these limits. 

Unless you use…

ClickUp solution: Native Time Tracking

Losing precious time on your project? Not on our watch 😉!Because ClickUp’s Native Timer follows you around wherever you go. 

Enable the Time Tracking ClickApp to add the timer icon on top of every task in the Workspace. Each time you begin a task, just hit start to record how long it takes to complete it. 

And since it’s a Global Timer, you can track time on our web app, pause it, and then resume tracking time on our desktop or mobile app too!

ClickUp gathers information on time spent to generate detailed usage reports that you can use to reward and enhance your team’s performance.  

global timer clickup

If you’re already using a third-party time tracker, sync it into your ClickUp Workspace using one of our many integrations for Time Doctor, Clockify, Pomodoro Timer, and more!  

6. Limited integrations

Google Workspace is a universe in itself. 

Need a chart? Pick one from the tens of varieties it offers. 

Looking for an illustration? Google Sheets can help you with that too. 

However, eventually, you’re going to need more. 

More tools. More functions. 

Google will try its best to satisfy you with its many extensions. They’re great, no doubt. 

But that’s all they are…just extensions. 

Not full-fledged software capable of complex tasks. 

ClickUp solution: Integrations

At ClickUp, we pride ourselves on fulfilling every project management need. 

That’s why we offer a host of amazing integrations

Fuse your Slack conversations, screen recordings from Loom, and much more with your ClickUp Workspace. 

Here’s a list of some of ClickUp’s most popular integration options:

And the list goes on!

7. Limited mobile app functionality

Some things are just not meant for the mobile screen, like that selfie during a bad hair day or spreadsheets on the Google Sheets mobile app. 

Good luck accessing your data on a tiny mobile screen when you’re in a car or on the subway. 

Squint. Scroll. Repeat. 🙄

To give them credit, Google did a lot to make their app light enough without compromising core functions. But it remains a shadow of its desktop version. 

And we’re getting major #FOMO. 

Luckily, the no-compromise solution to working on-the-go is:

ClickUp solution: Mobile Apps

The ClickUp phone app is both lightweight and comprehensive. 

In fact, you won’t miss anything at all from the desktop version. 

It’s equally effective on Android and iOS platforms and fully optimized to work on your mobile device. It’s the complete productivity tool!

Now ClickUp won’t be a complete project management tool with just these many features, right?

Here’s a list of some of our other favorite features:

  • Automation: pick one of ClickUp’s 50+ ways to automate repetitive tasks
  • Pulse: stay on top of your team’s activity throughout the day
  • Gantt chart view: build a comprehensive project timeline
  • Profiles: observe your team members’ past, present, and future tasks
  • Views: manage your project via multiple views like task List, Board, and more
  • Time Estimates: calculate project completion dates with task-wise time estimates

Jet Set To The Future Of Project Management 

Google Sheets are like spreadsheet training wheels for beginners. 

It’s the foundation for basic data management and sets the ground for complex planning. 

But you can’t go too far with the training wheels, right? 

If you want to become a superstar project manager, you’ll need the horsepower of a powerful tool. 

And that’s what ClickUp offers. 

Leverage ClickUp’s superior task management, communication, and Agile project management features to push towards the finish line. 

Still have doubts?

Just get ClickUp for free and manage projects at the speed of light.

Seth Meyers GIF

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