Logos for Google Sheets and Asana, representing Google Sheets timelines.
How To Create a Timeline in Google Sheets (2 Methods)
Logos for Google Sheets and Asana, representing Google Sheets timelines.

How To Create a Timeline in Google Sheets (2 Methods)

Spreadsheets make the world go round. They might be the single most-used software tool out there, and you’d be shocked by how widespread they are. But even though they’re so universal, they have a few problems. For one, they’re designed to crunch numbers and handle data. So if you’re using one for project management, you might run into some problems. Like, for instance, how you’re supposed to represent time-sensitive tasks. Project management tools do this natively, but can Google Sheets be used to create timelines?

It turns out it can. Not only that, but there are two main methods you can use to do this.

First method: using built-in Google Sheets timelines

With this newly-released feature, you can build a timeline right in Google Sheets, without any extra tools. Here’s how it’s done.

To create a proper timeline, the folks at Google suggest that your sheet have the following columns:

  • Card title: This will give each task a name.
  • Start date: Use a date format to represent when the task starts.
  • End date: Use a date format to represent when the task ends.
  • Card detail: Add a summary, notes, or comments for each task.
  • Duration: Cover the amount of time each task will take.

Once that’s done, your sheet should look like this.

A screenshot of a Google sheet.

To create your Google Sheets timeline, first select the cells you want represented in your timeline.

A screenshot of the Google Sheets Insert menu.

Then open the Insert menu and click Timeline.

A screenshot of the Google Sheets Create a timeline menu.

You’ll get this screen, where you can confirm the data you want included in your timeline. Make sure to check that the Select your data range field represents all the data you want to include then hit OK.

A screenshot of a Google Sheets timeline.

And just like that, you’ve got yourself a Google Sheets timeline! All the tasks you outlined in your sheet are now represented in this view.

Click on a task, and you’ll see its name, date range, description, and any other data you have in your sheet.

A screenshot of the Google Sheets card details side panel.

Limitations of this method

It’s hard to beat this method, as far as simplicity goes. But does that mean it’s the best for your workflow? Here are some reasons why that might not be the case:

  • Your data is trapped in Google Sheets: This is a great way to represent tasks in a timeline if your entire workflow begins and ends in Google Sheets. But if you’re dealing with project management tools or other database tools, then you’re out of luck.
  • There’s no filtering: When creating your timeline, you need to select a range of rows. If you need to exclude a few rows, you can do that manually. But how realistic is this when you need to filter out hundreds of rows?
  • You’re missing out on dedicated PM features: Sure, this timeline is a great step up if you use Google Sheets for project management. But what about tracking dependencies? Subtasks? Or even time tracking?

If only there was a way to combine what you love about Google Sheets with the project management features you need?

Second method: create better timelines with Unito and your favorite tool

Unito is a no-code workflow management solution with the deepest two-way integrations for some of the most popular tools on the market. Tools like Google Sheets, Asana, Trello, Jira, and more.

With the right Unito integration, you can keep your data in Google Sheets and sync it to a dynamic timeline in your project management tool of choice. The best part? Everything’s updated automatically in both tools.

Here’s why Unito is the best way to create Google Sheets timelines:

  • Your data is free to travel: Sync your Google Sheets data to a project management tool, another database, a software development tool, or any of Unito’s 30+ integrations.
  • Filtering data is built-in: You don’t have to sync your entire Google Sheets spreadsheet to your project management tool. Use Unito’s rules to filter out the rows you don’t want synced.
  • It’s the best of both worlds: In most project management tools, creating a timeline view only takes a click or two. By syncing Google Sheets data to your tool of choice, you can get a timeline view whenever you want.

Now let’s look at how easy it is to build your first Unito flow and get better timelines from Google Sheets. In this example, we’ll be syncing Google Sheets with Asana.

  1. Start by connecting your tools and picking the Google Sheets spreadsheet you need to sync data from. Then, pick the tool where you want your timeline to end up.

    A screenshot of Unito's tool connection screen.

  2. After that, you can set up rules to filter out rows you don’t want in your timeline.

    A screenshot of Unito's rules screen.

  3. The last step before launching your flow is mapping fields across tools. This lets Unito know where your data should go, even if those fields are different in each tool. Note that Unito can map similar fields for you automatically, but you might have to customize the ones that don’t already match up.

    A screenshot of Unito's field mappings screen.

And that’s it! Once you’ve mapped your fields, you can launch your Unito flow and watch it generate a dynamic Google Sheets timeline.

Ready to try this for yourself?

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