'Gantt Chart' – the name itself sounds overwhelming, no?
Even if you ask the 2 Billion Google sheets users on how do you make a Gantt chart on Google sheets?
Most of them would go like:
[Yeah the GIF is buffering, nothing wrong with your device 😉]
Gantt charts aren’t everyone’s piece of cake, yet they are no rocket science.
In this article, we’ll walk you through a step-by-step tutorial on how to make a Gantt chart on Google sheets. Time to face the music. 🎶
But before we get into it, here’s a TL;DR you might want to see:
Open a blank Google spreadsheet and make three columns, namely:
As a sample dataset, we have created a table with ten tasks and their start and end date.
Now to create a Gantt chart, you need to calculate time durations for every task.
Had a hard time with Maths? 🤔
No worries, we've got the formulas ready for you.
Create a second table with three columns:
The first two columns are similar to the above table. So simply copy-paste the values of both columns in the second table.
Next, you need to figure out the start day for each task so that the bars accurately display the start date and task duration.
To do so, use the Google spreadsheet formula: =int(B2)-int($B$2)
Note: This formula translates into 👉🏻 Current Task's Start Date – The First Task's Start Date
In our formula, B2 represents the first value in the original 'start date' column. You can change this variable if your table positioning is different.
Insert the formula in the second table's first cell of the start date column (B15 in our case). And then press Enter.
Let's be real; the first/earliest task will obviously start on day 0. And so did our formula.
Now click and drag the blue box in the same column until you reach the last task heading.
The sheet converts the timestamp to an integer for the number of days in the date range. Like it did for our dataset.
Now, to calculate each task's duration, copy-paste the below formula into the first cell of the Task Duration column (C15).
In the task duration column, Sheets calculate the number of days to completion of each task.
Like in our dataset, the first task requires two days to finish. Similarly, copy and paste the formula down to the last task in the same column.
Again, if you have a different table alignment, the cell numbers in the formula will change accordingly.
Highlight all the cells in the second table, then click Insert > Chart
Google sheets automatically present you with a stacked bar graph. Side by side, it also opens up the Chart Editor on the right sidebar.
Now let's see how to insert a Gantt chart in Google sheets.
Click on the Start Date bar on the chart. In our example, it's represented by the color blue.
As we click on it, the series section opens up in the customizer on the right sidebar.
Next, click the Fill Opacity drop-down menu and go for 0% opacity.
How to add a Gantt chart in Google sheets? Guess what! You already did it. 😉
You see, when you change the opacity of the Start Date bar to 0%, your stacked bar chart resembles a classic Gantt Chart.
Now the question remains, how to edit Gantt chart in Google sheets?
So for that, you can use the customizer, which offers various elements to customize every section of your Gantt chart.
We'll start with basic customizing options first.
Click on Customizer > Chart Style. Or you can simply double click on the chart to edit it.
You can change the background color, font style, and chart border color from here.
Furthermore, you can also tick on one of these boxes – Maximize, 3D, Compare mode – to change the view of your Gantt chart.
For example, we thought of presenting our chart in 3D, and here's how it looks.
Next, for those unaware, we'll show how to change title of Gantt chart on Google sheets.
Click on the Chart & axis titles element below the chart style. From this section, you can change the chart title text, font style, size, and colors.
What's a legend?🤔
Nah, we’re not talking about Dwayne Johnson.
A legend in charts resembles the various types of data in the Gantt chart.
In our dataset, we have two legends.
Ideally, a Gantt chart doesn't require a legend since we have to visualize a single dataset, i.e., Task Duration.
It's better to hide the legend column and give more space to the actual chart. Here's how to do it.
Open Customizer > Legend > Position > None
Adding dependencies allows you to create a dynamic Gantt chart that updates in real time.
Dependencies here mean that tasks depend on one another's initiation or completion.
Using Google sheets formulas, you can easily map dependencies among tasks. Below we have explained three significant dependencies around Gantt charts.
The dependency means a task can only be started once the previous task is completed.
💭 Think about it: Which task can be completed before another can start?
For example, in our dataset, Unit Tests can only be started once Designing is complete. So here, Unit Tests (B5) depend on Designing (C4).
So we’ll put this formula in B5: =MAX(C4)+1
The date in B5 will automatically push one day further to the date of completion of the previous task.
In some cases, we start a task without ending the previous task. No kidding! We actually do that.
In fact, managers often do that because each task is interlinked in one way or another.
For instance, we might start the design tasks without ending the coding tasks because we may also require some coding from a design perspective.
In such dependencies, we create a buffer period for the previous task. So, we'll add this formula at the end date of the coding task (C2): =MIN(B4)+4
Here, B4 is the start date of the dependent task, and +4 is the additional number of days the task will remain active after the initiation of another task.
In this, a task must finish in order to finish another.
As in our example, Improvements (C9) need extra days to complete even after final testing (C10).
You see, you might encounter a problem during final testing and choose to improve instead of launch.
In C9, use this formula: =MIN(C10)+1
This formula conveys that Improvements need one buffer day to finish after final testing is done and dusted.
A well-organized marketing Gantt chart allows you to manage your marketing activities effortlessly and utilize time efficiently. Marketing teams often use it to map their goals and streamline tasks and processes to work parallelly with the goals.
Simply put, Gantt charts in marketing can help you with:
Template Link: Gantt Chart Marketing Template
This particular marketing Gantt chart template displays the complete time span of specific marketing activities, including:
Moreover, it has categorized marketing tasks based on local and national marketing, public relations, content marketing, online advertisements, and more.
Besides, the template is a great assistance in planning and scheduling not only marketing but also many other projects.
You can also use a Gantt Chart as a project management tool to visualize the overall project planning over time. In general, it measures the actual work completed to the estimated completion rate for a determined period.
Project managers ideally use this type of Gantt chart to streamline operations or tasks and prepare a project timeline to present to oneself and other stakeholders in the organization.
Template Link: Project Management Gantt Chart
This project management Gantt chart template does precisely the same for you. In one section, you get to put in data such as:
And on the other half, your data is visualized via a Gantt chart in real time.
An IT project Gantt chart functions similarly to a project management Gantt chart. The only differentiator is that this Gantt chart focuses primarily on managing IT projects.
That being said, IT project managers typically use it to show what work is scheduled to be done, when it is to be started and when it is expected to be completed.
Template Link: IT Project Gantt Chart
Like any other chart, this specific IT project Gantt chart has four columns – task name, start date, end date, and duration.
And since the chart template is specific to IT, the tasks mentioned include wireframes, graphics, testing, optimization, etc.
Apart from the dataset, the Gantt chart is segmented into 4-5 milestones with specific dates and a brief description hooked to every milestone.
An event marketing Gantt chart provides a visual timeline of your event plan. You can group tasks based on type, dependency, or priority and add a start and completion date to every other project.
Such kinds of Gantt charts are used by organizations and agencies that frequently conduct sponsored events, conferences, or meet ups.
Template Link: Event Marketing Gantt Chart
The convenient structure of this template and the stylish design make it great for planning and scheduling various projects. Here are what other things you get when using this template:
As the name suggests, a sales Gantt chart is used by sales teams to graphically represent various sales activities under one roof. It also helps depict the performance of individual sales team members in every stage of the sales process.
Template Link: Sales Management Gantt Chart
This sales Gantt chart depicts the performance of a sales manager in five stages:
Google sheets might seem like one, but it isn't a mobile-friendly platform.
Although it does offer a dedicated mobile app, the process becomes even more complicated compared to the web version, especially when creating Gantt charts.
Creating Gantt charts requires you to input formulas and perform numerous calculations on the go. Things get worse when you need to do all these with a poor navigational design and weakly-optimized mobile responsiveness.
Gsheets have both disadvantages. You may often find it exhausting to scroll through rows and columns. Plus, you may often encounter incomplete graphs needing you to scroll over and view them in two perfect halves.
Too much scrolling, right? In some time, we'll show you how Datapad (our tool) helps you overcome this issue.
Similar to Excel, Gsheets is not a gen z tool.
Gen z prefers AI as an assistant or to automate things, unfortunately, Google sheets have next to no AI - processes.
A step or another, you would be compelled to press, enter, click, or type the future action to create charts.
Like previously, you saw an intensive 6-step process on how to create a Gantt chart in Google sheets.
It's tough out there.😪
Descending from a mighty-mighty company (Alphabet), Sheets aren't the first choice when dealing with complex datasets.
You may often face problematic situations like
Besides, for companies dealing in terabytes of data, Google sheets automatically become a second choice to modern-day chart creation tools like Datapad.
Sheets, at max, offer 10,000,000 cells for new and converted documents. Evidently, it needs 100,000X more cells to fit in a terabyte of data.
Sheets has a customize tab but it offers limited options. You're limited to choosing from a set of pre-built charts which were last updated a decade ago.
Moreover, none of the charts turn out to be appreciated as stunning!
Simply put, charts prepared in Gsheets aren't aesthetically pleasing for viewers. And there's little you can do to enhance it.
Instead, as customizations, you can only edit the chart's fundamentals like title, fonts, text, and so on.
Datapad is a mobile-first chart creation tool that allows anyone (coder or marketer) to create stunning charts at their fingertips.
Our mobile app is perfectly optimized for all kinds of small-screen devices. Besides, it is easy to navigate through your charts and customize them on the go.
We mean, you won't encounter:
We work on a simple tap-and-drag interface. Here's how you can create stunning charts in Datapad.
To get started, download our Datapad app (available for Android and iOS devices). Or simply scan the below QR
Once into the app, register with an active email address. Ensure to put the correct email because we verify it before moving forward.
Once registered with Datapad, we ask you to create your personal workspace.
A place only you have access to and which contains all your charts, data, and other sensitive files.
Pick a catchy name and press Create Workspace.
Next, click on the (+) sign in the top right corner to create a new dashboard. In this dashboard, you'll have all your charts under one roof.
Give your dashboard – name, description, and emoji (optional), and hit the create dashboard button.
We felt both processes should go hand-in-hand, and so here we are.
With Datapad, you can quickly import data using our one-click integrations. Here's how to do it.
Our tool automatically imports data and presents you with a default chart type best suited for the data.
However, if you wish to do the process manually, here's how
to import data manually:
Here's a demo👇🏻
And that's how you can insert data and create a chart simultaneously on Datapad.
Here are some of the key features that you get with Datapad.
As said earlier, Datapad is a highly responsive mobile application. Its mobile-first approach allows the app to be lightning-fast in running processes or accessing charts on the go.
Doesn't matter if you're away from your desk; you can use the Datapad app to access, edit, or create a new chart anytime. The most we require is a reliable network.
Besides, charts built on Datapad are pixel-perfect on all small-screen devices; you eliminate the extra stressful step of seeing charts in two halves just because your screen is small.
Unlike Google sheets, Datapad offers both ways to import data. Either you can choose from our one-click integrations to platforms like Shopify, Facebook Ad, and Google Analytics. Or, you can manually enter values and create charts easily.
Datapad offers an in-built chat feature that allows you and your team to communicate and collaborate in real time.
What would you prefer: Calling your team frequently for updates or dropping a message and letting your team update you?
The second one, of course, because that's comfortable.
Here's what you need to do:
The comments go on like a Twitter thread while you sip your coffee, engaging with them. Here’s the feature in action
You will find a considerable number of pre-built charts, tables, and other data visualization tools to choose from.
In fact, our tool allows you to perform granular customizations – from changing chart colors and values to font style, size, and colors.
Using our intuitive drag-and-drop editor, you can cover and customize every section of your chart.
In terms of security, our tool provides a role-based management feature.
Enabling this allows you to control who can view/access/edit charts when you're not around. You can even view activity history to identify who last visited the chart.
To enable this, press the three vertical dots on the top right corner of your dashboard.
Next, click on Can View to manage individual user access to your dashboard.
You see, how easy it is to create charts on Datapad? Why don’t you try it yourself for free?
Scan the QR code (go to Step 1) and join the Datapad community today!