Are Google Sheets project management templates really worth it?

Google Sheets Project Management Templates

Introduction

Looking to optimize your project management practices with Google Sheets project management templates?

Great!

Considering the indispensable value of Google Sheets to varied industries worldwide, moreover, Google’s pre-built template gallery came as a way of making Google Sheets more accessible, easier, and collaborative in March 2019.

But the question remains – just because it has got some project management structured frameworks, does it actually become capable of competing with dedicated project management tools out there?

A big no!

Despite having multiple project management templates to choose from, it still can’t replicate the feel of carrying out the project management practice as dedicated project management tool does.

In this article, I’ve touched upon every critical factor of Project management templates for Google Sheets to assist you in making the right choice for yourself.

Let’s just dig deep to explore further

What are Google Sheets project management templates?

Google Sheets project management templates are pre-designed spreadsheet frameworks that support and facilitate the various disciplines of project management practices.

From helping you through analyzing, planning, monitoring, and assessing stages, these templates cover a range of other project aspects like work schedules, timelines, tracking, budget, and more to ensure successful project execution without a hiccup.

With the intention of simplifying the project management process, these templates are well-formatted and structured to help you organize and centralize the project-related information and collaborate with the team.

Note: You just need to download the template (as per your purpose and requirements) to get started with it.

Benefits of using Google Sheets template for project management

Despite not primarily being the dedicated tool for project management, these template designs prove to be valuable for businesses of all sizes.

Here is my take on the significant benefits of project management templates for Google Sheets:

1. Free to use

Yes, you need not pay even a single penny. Even if you decide to use built-in custom templates or add some third-party designs to address your business-specific needs.

And while using it for project management you get access to a variety of template designs at the cost of just signing in to a Google Workspace account. (You can select from the Business Starter, Business Standard, Business Plus, and Enterprise according to your business needs if you cross the potential 15 GB limit to get extra storage.)

2. Efficient collaboration

Next comes the collaboration aspect which makes Google Sheets templates a most sought-after platform.

All you need to do is select your access preference from the Share option on the top right of the screen.

You can do a little gatekeeping of 100 users by choosing the access from the Viewer, Commenter, and editor levels.

Also, you can set the expiration date for a particular user and remove the user access whenever you want.

3. Intuitive and user-friendly

If you are totally relying on Google Sheets templates for project management, you need not remember complicated and mind-boggling formulas to operate.

Instead, it offers you readymade project templates for both professional and personal use.

If you are in the education sector, great!

You get a separate template category to work with and tailor to your needs. 

4. Effortlessly accessible

With Google Sheets templates, you need not be confined to any geographical location or peripheral boundary.

All you have to do is log in to your Google account from a web browser or even a mobile app.

Yeah! Of course, you need the internet access.

Top Google Sheets templates for project management in 2024

The templates in the Google Sheets’ template gallery are categorized under various sub-headings with project management being one of those.

Here is a quick overview of the look of the template gallery.

Google Sheets template gallery
Google Sheets template gallery

Now let’s just get into the details of the project management category from Google Sheets’ built-in template gallery to cater to your unique and specific needs.

Google Sheet templates for project management

1. Gantt chart project management template

This google sheets templates for project management allows you to categorize multiple projects together in the form of tasks and subtasks which you can divide into phases further.

Based on the concept of work breakdown structure (WBS), you can assign every project a specific task title and an owner, set its start and due date, and duration, and track task progress in percentage.

Gantt Chart Template
Gantt Chart Template

Get it here: Gantt chart

2. Project timeline

This Google Sheet project management template is a perfect visual framework to divide a project into color-coded phases to help you guide through the various parameters for ensuring project success.

You can plan and delegate your tasks into subtasks over the specific working days of a week.

Project Timeline Template
Project Timeline Template

Get it here: Project timeline

3. Project tracking

As a project manager, you want to keep track of essential details. Google Sheets’ project tracking template simplifies this task by letting you see everything about the project at a glance.

Project Tracking Template
Project Tracking Template

Get it here: Project tracking

4. Kanban

Google Sheets Kanban board template for project management with its simple and basic layout serves users with its practical customization abilities.

It provides you with the ability to identify and analyze the stage of the task and even add estimated work hours to manage your workflow better.

Google Sheets Kanban board template for project management
Kanban task tracking

Get it here: Kanban Template

5. Product roadmap

A clear and precise roadmap is necessary to steer the project to success without any misunderstanding and confusion.

This google sheet project management template provides a calendar outlook to communicate your project summary and milestones over the months.

Product Roadmap
Product Roadmap

Get it here: product-roadmap-file-google-sheets

Add-on templates for project management

6. Project management template

This comprehensive and customizable project management template in google sheet caters to your project management needs by allowing you to manage multiple projects, tasks, and deliverables all together in a single frame.

Project management template
Project management template

Get it here: IC-Project-Management-Template_Google_Sheets

7. Project task

The template acts as a single central source where you can communicate your expectations from the task by adding a task description.

You can even select the task’s status, priorities, deadlines, and assignees.

Project task template
Project task template

Get it here: IC-Project-Task-Template_Google_Sheets

8. Action list with ranking

Since prioritizing some tasks over others is just a normal case scenario while working on multiple actionable items, this product of the Vertex24 Template Gallery comes in handy for ranking tasks as per their importance.

Action List with Ranking
Action List

Get it here: Action List with Ranking

9. Project charter

With the ability to present a quick overview to the stakeholders, this template designed by Matt McCarty creates and compiles all the project information in one centralized location to get their approvals.

Project Charter
Project Charter

Get it here: MDM Project Charter Template

10. Project management plan dashboard

If you’re in a hurry or have no time to get into the intricate details, this project management template allows you to have a quick visual overview of the project details in a jiffy.

From task timeline, status, and priority to creating a task table to jot down every single project detail.

Project management plan dashboard template
Project management plan dashboard template

Get it here: IC-Project-Management-Plan-Dashboard-Template_Google_Sheets

P.S. Apart from the above-mentioned project management templates, I would like to mention some other template designs that I perceive from my experience to be of great importance for project management practices.

Google Sheets neither addresses these dimensions of project management nor provides these must-have templates in the “Project Management” category. However, you may find them in the “Personal” category of the template gallery.

  • To-do list
  • Schedule
  • Weekly timesheet

Is Google Sheets a good project management tool?

A big no-no!

Google Sheets isn’t a project management tool at all!

It’s a mere spreadsheet tool that satisfies your basic project management needs by allowing you to visualize, store, and share data. Additionally, it enables collaboration on the spreadsheet to make data-driven decisions in real time.

While Google Sheets’ template gallery is abundant with many add-ons, these customization options are still not able to fully support the demands of complex projects.

12 Top reasons why spreadsheets are terrible for projects: Check out now!

A real-world example

Let’s just consider a marketing agency that has to handle multiple clients, campaigns, and teams together. Moreover, every time they need to coordinate on a project, integrating different template sheets together to review the comprehensive overview of the entire project becomes essential.

Easy? Can they do it seamlessly with the Google Sheets template? 

Let’s just stop it here! I can’t even imagine juggling through dozens of Google Sheets templates for project management is a good idea. 

Do you want to know what a dedicated project management tool can do instead?  

The benefits a marketing agency can gain after making the switch are –

1. Consolidated space: The major benefit the agency can get from project management software is to have a whole dedicated place to access a project’s information in a single frame. Moreover, no hopping between multiple sheets anymore.

2. Set task dependencies: The Gantt chart allows the agency to establish task dependencies, create a roadmap, visualize potential bottlenecks, and consequently adjust critical paths to modify project schedules as priorities change.

3. Resource allocation: Not only the agency will be able to assign tasks to multiple team members, but can also get intricate insights from workload reports to analyze overutilized and underutilized employees to manage workload accordingly.

4. Custom reports: A project management tool allows the agency to generate custom reports such as project status, time utilization, resource utilization, and more. Consequently, this helps make data-driven decisions to improve the quality of ongoing campaigns and plan effectively for future campaigns.

Now let’s just understand some of the drawbacks to these templates and how ProofHub fills any potential gaps.

Also checkout – Best Google project management tools

Limitations of Google Sheets project management templates

While the benefits of Google Spreadsheets sound pretty good at the surface level, the functionality of the Google Sheets project management templates turns out to be out of whack for complete project management practices. 

Here are some of the drawbacks that prove project management templates of Google Sheets not-so-ideal choice. 

1. Not as powerful as dedicated project management software 

Despite the fact that there are several customized and ready-to-use  Google Sheets templates available to get started, you do not get one centralized location to work on.

You need to select the template or use add-ons to perform a specific action every time.

On the other hand, ProofHub’s project management and team collaboration platform emerges as a powerful alternative to the spreadsheet framework by assembling all significant project management practices under one virtual roof.

2. Steep learning curve 

Project management Google Sheets templates’ boring interface throws a complicated learning curve in front of users who are not familiar with the basic understanding of Google Sheets, thus making it susceptible to errors and difficult to use.

With ProofHub’s visually vibrant interface, quick setup, and seamless onboarding, you may ditch the dull intersection of rows and columns and streamline productivity to deliver projects right on time.

3. Limited project management features

This spreadsheet framework lacks many dedicated and inclusive project management features like built-in resource allocation, time tracking, automation, real-time collaboration, advanced reporting, and analytics, and the list just does not end.

All in one project management software
ProofHub – Project management software

ProofHub, however, is a feature-rich and dedicated all-in-one platform with advanced task management, team collaboration, customized reporting, and time-tracking features that empower your team with robust functionalities and features to optimize their performance for success. 

4. Difficult to organize and track

 Keeping a record of information and tracking it in the long array of rows and columns of Google Sheets templates is tricky.

You need to juggle between different sheets to access different information about the same project. 

Your information is organized, but scattered in various sheets. 

ProofHub provides you with a single centralized location wherein you can keep track of everything, perform different tasks, and consolidate all your files and documents together to power your team to handle both easy and complicated, and small and large-scope projects with ease.

Centralized location for files
Centralized location for files

Pro Tip: If you enjoy working with spreadsheets, don’t worry; ProofHub offers a table view that provides a similar experience to spreadsheets but with superior performance compared to Google Sheets.

Table view to track task progress
Table view to track task progress

5. Limited collaboration and communication

Multiple user access and manual data addition heighten the levels of complications to a whole new level making it prone to not only errors and false data addition but also misunderstandings and disputes between users.

Also, collaborating and communicating becomes quite problematic with no built-in chat or communication tools to support.

With its built-in chat and ability to collaborate on documents directly in threaded comments, ProofHub mitigates every possible cause of confusion and conflicts. 

Apart from this, you even get a separate section to have discussions and jot down your planning and brainstorming ideas on notes to share with team members and stakeholders.

collaborate and communicate with your team
Communicate with your team

6. Limited customization

Since every user with the link gets access to the project templates for Google Sheets, anyone can make mistakes both intentionally and unintentionally, which can plague the overall authenticity and progress of a project. 

The primary functionality where ProofHub defies all the odds of Google Sheets project management templates is its ability to define custom roles and limit user access. 

By doing so you not only define the precise role of a person but get ultimate control over who gets access to what and save the data from being compromised at any level.

Assign custom roles to multiple people
Add people with custom roles
Assign custom roles to people

7. Limited scalability

Even if you are satisfied with the performance of project management Google Sheet templates for now, have you wondered about the scenario where your project and employee numbers grow to a significant extent? 

You will encounter nothing but complications and inefficiencies at every turn.  

ProofHub’s flat fee pricing Ultimate Control plan presents you with the ability to board unlimited users and handle unlimited projects at only $89 per month (when billed annually). Add as many as users you want. No per-user fee to break the bank when you scale.

ProofHub Pricing Plans

Make the right choice

That’s true that Google Sheets has a pretty decent number of project management templates to choose from – both built-in and add-ons.

But does it solve the purpose of a dedicated and smart project manager who needs to manage a lot of things and need to keep things on track with so much on his plate?

I believe you already have the answer to that!

ProofHub with its inclusive project management and team collaboration platform serves all the modern needs of project managers by offering its advanced and comprehensive features and functionalities that you cannot expect from any project management templates for Google Sheets.

Rest, the decision is yours.

Make sure to choose wisely, before going all in.

FAQs

Does Google Sheets have a project management template?

Google Sheets does have a project management category in its template gallery. Additionally, this includes the Gantt Chart template, Project Timeline template, Project Tracking template, and more.

Can I use Google Sheets for large-scale projects?

Although Google Sheets provides multiple project management features like basic templates for project timelines, project management, work, invoices, and more. But to guide you through the project execution, navigating through extensive data and granting wide access can turn out to be daunting and raise severe security concerns.

Can I collaborate with team members who don't have Google accounts?

Yes users can collaborate on Google Sheets by selecting the “Anyone with the link can edit” option and sharing the sheet link with that user. However, the process can turn out to be a not-so-user-friendly practice on a wide scale.

How do I create a project timeline in Google Sheets?

It can be done in two ways – by choosing a pre-built template from the template library or by taking some manual actions. Alternatively, the second process requires you to create columns yourself and select the cells followed by choosing the Timeline options from the Insert tab.

Can I automate tasks and notifications in Google Sheets for project management?

Automating tasks and setting notification alerts in Google Sheets for project management is not possible. However, third-party integrations or Zapier sourcing can allow you to achieve this functionality.

Try ProofHub, our powerful project management and team collaboration software, for free!

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