Smartsheet Tips: How to Organize Completed Tasks


Smartsheet Tips: How to Organize Completed Tasks

In our post last week, we introduced the power features that are special to the Primary Column in Smartsheet.  This week, we’ll dive a little deeper into the benefits of using hierarchies, offer up some ideas for using it to organize your sheets, and give a few suggestions for organizing completed tasks.

Say you’re organizing a giant fundraiser, like the folks at the US Military Ramstein Air Base who plan and execute the world’s largest and most successful military bazaar.  This group of volunteers coordinates multiple logistical details from hundreds of vendors across the globe.  It’s important that they keep an accurate record of all planning, contracts, and agreements.  Once vendors are confirmed, the planning committee doesn’t need to reference them daily, but a repository of confirmed vendors is still maintained.

Keep the History, Hide Completed Tasks

Rather than letting their planning sheets grow out of control, team leader Glenda Young uses hierarchy and a “Confirmed Vendor” row (indicating complete) to hide vendors that have confirmed.  

Organizing sheets this way helps the team focus on vendors that they are still communicating with – and keeps a record of all completed tasks, contracts, and agreements that Young can reference at any time.

So smart and easy!  Here are a few simple steps to similarly organize your sheets:

  • In the primary column, enter the heading for the completed items you’d like to hide.  Young hides “confirmed vendors.”  This now acts at the parent row.

    • Use the Drag-and-Drop feature to move your completed tasks under the new header/parent row.  

      • Drag-and-drop rows by their row numbers to move them around your sheet and underneath your parent row.

        • Indent sub-tasks underneath “Confirmed Vendors,” by clicking the indent button in the left toolbar (or use the keyboard shortcut ctrl+k, cmd+k on a Mac). <More keyboard shortcuts>
        • Click +/- to collapse the rows indented underneath “Confirmed Vendors.”  Now Young and her planning team can focus on vendors that haven’t confirmed and keep record of vendors that are all set, all in the same sheet.

        This approach works for any sort of completed task that you may want to organize in your sheets.  You’ll be able to easily identify top priority tasks and rest assured that you have a record of the work you’ve already done – neatly hidden and still at your fingertips.

        More Ideas for Organizing Completed Tasks

        Looking for some other ideas for organizing your completed tasks?  Here are a few more suggestions to keep track of your completed work:

        Filters: If organizing a completed tasks portion of your sheet doesn’t make sense for the project that you’re working on, setting up a Filter is an easy alternative option. Filters are perfect for customizing your sheet data on a more individual basis – when you set one, that Filter only affects your view of the sheet, no one else on your team.  You can set a Filter to exclude all completed rows, or even set a filter to show only tasks that have been assigned to you. <Here's a great resource for learning the nuts and bolts of Filters>

        Conditional Formatting:  Conditional formatting is an easy way to automatically visually indicate that a task in your sheet is complete. One commonly used example: designate a column for completion status and change the column type to “checkbox.”  Then, click the conditional formatting button in the left-hand toolbar and set a rule that will change the format of the entire row when the box is checked.  Want to test it out yourself?  We built our template for organizing your daily tasks with this type of conditional formatting.

        Watch this quick video to see conditional formatting in action:

        Til next time, dig in and explore!

        - Smartsheet Team


        Another suggestion for organizing completed tasks

        Rajala Companies uses Smartsheet in every aspect of our business. We have dozens of different processes requiring collaboration of sales, manufacturing, purchasing, etc. Each process is unique and requires its own Smartsheet design. Each project collects attachments, discussions, and "in-cell" information as it goes through its entire process. This "row" with attachments and discussions is a critical historical record for our business. If we have any downstream issues with a project we can easily and quickly mine our historical information to better learn whatever it is we need to know. We find the best way to do this is to have a "History" version of the major Smartsheets on which we run our business. When a project is completed, we move the "row" or "project" from the Open sheet to the History version of the sheet. It's as simple as selecting the row and moving it from one sheet to the other. All the attachments, discussion, and cell editing history go with the move. It's simple and effective. The added bonus is that we can set a notification so that whenever a row or "project" is moved to a History sheet, collaborators receive a simple notification which indicates that the row has been moved and therefore the "project" is complete.

        Hide rows

        Is there anyway to be able to leave rows where they are and just hide them? I don't want to move them, just hide. the filter option is good but I need it to be seen by everyone on the sheet. thanks

        RE: Hide rows

        Emily Esposito's picture
        Hi Bernadette -- In Smartsheet today, you are only able to hide columns, not rows. Thank you for that suggestion -- I have submitted it to our Product team. If you only want to show certain information from your sheet, you could try creating a report and choosing the information you want to display. Here's more info on reports: Best, Emily


        Well that is weird because the rows that are blank are automatically hiding (I don't want those rows to be hidden) - I want the blank row to stay visible.

        RE: Rows

        Emily Esposito's picture
        Hi Karyn -- Please email our Support team at [email protected] and we'd be happy to lend a hand and figure out what is going on. Best, Emily

        HIDING ROWS more easily, independent of conditions

        Yes, I too would like the ability to just hid rows. It seems like a pretty basic one that all the most popular spreadsheet software that everyone is familiar with already has.

        RE: HIDING ROWS more easily, independent of conditions

        Emily Esposito's picture
        Hi John -- We hear you and appreciate your sharing your feedback. I have passed this along to our Product team as well for future consideration. Best, Emily

        Hiding Rows

        Seriously, hiding rows is a very basic function. Please prioritize.

        RE: Hiding Rows

        Emily Esposito's picture
        Hi Lori -- Thank you for your feedback. I've passed this along to our Product team. In the meantime, filtering can help you surface certain information and hide others. Best, Emily

        Merge Cells

        I'm sure you get this all the time - wrapped cells but no merge cell function? Smartsheet not so smart..... please add this simple feature!!!

        RE: Merge Cells

        Emily Esposito's picture
        Hi Karyn -- Thank you for your feedback. I have submitted this to our Product team as they continue to work on improvements. Best, Emily

        Automatic Grouping

        Hi, Is there a way to automatically group in a column? ie I want to group all agents together and collapse the data that way, I know I can do it by indenting but this is a manual process and with thousands of lines it would be easier if there was a function? Thanks

        RE: Automatic Grouping

        Emily Esposito's picture
        Hi Elise -- Smartsheet does not currently support automatic grouping. However, you could sort on the agent column so the rows are listed in order by agent. -Emily

        Autmatic grouping

        I would like to be able to automatically move rows to a new parent (i.e., "Completed") when the status changes to (i.e., to "completed"). as Outlook does in task requests. We track documents through a multi-step QA/QC process and we need to be able to automatically move the row to the next parent (Editing, Formatting, Author Review, Completed) as the status changes. It is not possible to move each row through each part of the process for a large organization handling a large volume of document requests. When the rows stay under one parent, it is not visually clear what part of the process the document is in--Outlook does this nicely and gives us a visual snapshot of how many documents are in editing, in formatting, in author review, etc. Please add this feature.

        RE: Autmatic grouping

        Emily Esposito's picture
        Hi Heidi -- Thank you for the feedback! I have sent this comment to our Product team for future consideration. Best, Emily

        Hear hear!

        This feature would be great for our team's projects as well. Just adding another vote. Thank you!

        RE: Hear hear!

        Smartsheet Community Manager's picture
        Hello Annie. Thanks for your feedback, your vote has been counted.

        Hiding Rows

        Please add my vote—really need this. Like really.

        RE: Hiding Rows

        Smartsheet Community Manager's picture
        Suzanne, your vote has been added. Thank you! - The Smartsheet Team

        I see SO many requests to be

        I see SO many requests to be able to move completed rows. Coming soon hopefully? Seems basic. Thank you.

        Re: I see SO many requests to be

        Smartsheet Community Manager's picture
        Hello. For now the best option is to create a sheet for completed tasks. Once you do that, you can right click on a row and move it to your specific sheet. I have submitted your feedback to our Product Team to consider for future upgrades. Thank you!

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