The Free Google Sheets Task List Template [Easy Guide]

Last updated August 4, 2022

There are so many paid to-do list apps out there. But why use them when you can just use the Google Sheets task list template? In this article, we’ll show you how to use the template, a few cool ways to customize it, and how to start from scratch. Read on to learn more.

How to Make a To-Do List in Google Sheets With the Template

When creating a to-do list, you can start from scratch and make your own, or use a Google Sheet checklist template. In this first lot of examples, we’ll use the built-in daily to-do list template and customize it to improve it.

Here are the steps you will need to follow to create a Google Sheets to-do list template:

  1. Go to Google Sheets and click on Template Gallery in the top right part of the screen. This will open a list of templates built by Google.
  2. Scroll down to the Personal section and find the template names To-do list. Click on it to open the spreadsheet template in a new spreadsheet.

Adding Extra Columns

You will now be presented will a basic to-do list. Now let’s look at how you can add columns to it. Here are the steps you need to follow to do this:

  1. Right-click on the column bar. This will open a drop-down menu.

  1. Click on either Insert 1 column left or Insert 1 column right, depending on your preferences. This will add another column in the desired location.
  2. After the column is added, add a name for that column in the naming cells. In this case, we named our column Notes and assigned the name in cell D3.

Apply Conditional Formatting

Now that we have the names assigned, let’s use conditional formatting so that if our notes contain a specific word, the cell is highlighted. For this example, we’ll highlight cells with “Urgent” in red. To do this:

  1. Select the cells on which you want to apply the conditional formatting. In this case, it is the cell range D4:D50.

  1. Click on Format in the top main bar of the spreadsheet. This will show a drop-down menu.
  2. Click on Conditional formatting. This will open a sidebar on the right side of the screen.
  3. There, click on Add another rule. This will open a new section where you can specify the requirements and the effect that takes place when those requirements are fulfilled. We want to make the cell turn red if it contains the word “Urgent.”
  4. To do this, we select the Text contains an option in the Format cells if section.
  5. Under Formatting style, we can select the color we wish to fill the cell with.

  1. Click on Done to add the rule to the conditional formatting list.

Add a Progress Bar to the Template

  1. Right-click on the row 3 header and click Add 1 row below
  2. Type Progress into cell B4
  3. Put the following formula into cell C4
    =SPARKLINE(COUNTIF(A5:A,TRUE),{"CHARTTYPE","BAR" ; "MAX",COUNTA(C5:C) ; "COLOR1","Orange"})

Make Your Own To-Do List From Scratch

  1. Open a new blank spreadsheet.
  2. Merge calls A1 and A2 and give your to-do list a title, then center the text.
  3. Highlight the cells you wish to have checkmarks in column A.
  4. Add checkboxes by navigating to Data > Data validation and selecting Checkbox from the Criteria drop-down menu. Then click Save.
  5. Add the items to the checklist in column B and stretch the column to fit the tasks.
  6. Optional: You can add conditional formatting, extra columns, and a progress bar if needed, as we demonstrated with the template.

Note: You can add the strikethrough conditional formatting to your custom to-do list with the following settings from the menu under Format > Conditional formatting. Just change B2:B14 to the range that your list lies within.

More Tips to Format Your To-Do List on Google Sheets

The best part about utilizing Google Sheets as a to-do list is that many formatting options allow you to make your own personalized list. Not only that, you can add and remove columns and rows depending on your needs. You could even add drop-down menus.

Let’s say you wish to add a column that allows you to indicate tasks of higher priority. You have full creative freedom on how you could do this. You can simply add a text in the heading and bold it, or you can use conditional formatting to color-code it so you and your team will instantly know what to look for as we showed you above.

Here are a few more tips for formatting your to-do list:

Freezing Particular Rows and Columns

Often, we wish to keep certain data in view at all times. The freezing option in Google Sheets allows you to do this. Using this option, you could freeze certain rows and/or columns so that the data always stays in your view even when you scroll.

The most common use case is freezing the spreadsheet’s top row so that the labels can still be seen when you scroll to see the tasks. This way, you won’t have to scroll up again if you forget the data’s label in a particular cell.

Here are the steps you need to follow to do this:

  1. Click and drag to select the cells you wish to freeze. The selected cells are indicated using a blue outline and shading around the cells.
  2. Click on View in the top toolbar on the spreadsheet page.
  3. Click on Freeze in the drop-down menu that shows up.
  4. Here, you can select the number of columns or row you wish to freeze. Note that if you want to freeze both columns and rows, you have to freeze a column or row first, then the other.

The freeze drop-down allows you to freeze up to two columns and rows. If you’re looking to freeze two or more columns, then click the cell on the column or row to which you want to freeze. Now, head over to the freeze option, and there you can either select the Up to Current Column (X) or Up to Current Row (X).

Hiding Particular Rows and Columns

We often don’t need some of the data in our spreadsheet for some time. Deleting these cells would mean that the data is gone forever unless you revert to an older version using the version history.

Thankfully, Google Sheets has a feature that allows you to hide the data for as long as you want. This method follows similar steps to how we froze the cells in the previous section.

Here are the steps you need to follow to hide rows and columns:

  1. Click and select the rows and columns you wish to hide. Ensure the column/row indicator is grey; otherwise, you won’t have an option to hide the rows and columns.
  2. Once selected, right-click your mouse. This will open a drop-down menu.
  3. Here, click on Hide. You might see a slight variation of this option depending on the context, which means if you’re hiding rows, you might see something like Hide rows X-Y.

Note that although similar, hiding rows and columns differ from deleting them. When a row is hidden, it will disappear from your view, but the data is still in the spreadsheet. If you hide row 4, you will see the rows as 1,2,3,5,6. However, if you delete row 4, the rows will still be shown as 1,2,3,4,5,6, but the data in row 5 will be moved up to where the data for row 4 was.

Google Sheets Checklist Template Best Practices

Collaboration on a To-Do List Spreadsheet

One huge reason for using Google Sheets instead of other software is that it allows you to share your spreadsheet with your team seamlessly. You can give access to specific people by entering their emails or creating a link that can provide access to anyone with it.

You can do this by clicking on the screen’s green Share button on the top-right side.

After giving access to someone, you can also set the amount of control you wish to give that user. Here are the three permission levels you can assign to a user:

  • Editor: This permission level allows anyone to view and edit your spreadsheet. They can also add comments to the to-do list.
  • Viewer: This permission only allows you to view the spreadsheet. You can not make any changes or add comments with this permission.
  • Commenter: This permission allows you to view the spreadsheet and leave comments. However, you can not make changes to the spreadsheet. This permission is sort of a middle ground between the Viewer and Editor permissions.

Another way to do this is by sharing a link. Although you can still assign the same permissions over links, we recommend only giving viewer access to keep your privacy and stop unauthorized people from making changes to the spreadsheet.

Once the spreadsheet is shared, the team members and collaborators can view the sheet, add comments, and make changes depending on your permissions.

Adding Comments to a Checklist Google Sheets Template

You and your team can make comments to the data in the spreadsheet. You can even add notes on each task. To add comments,

  1. Right-click on a cell and click on Comment in the drop-down menu. A small window will show up.
  2. There, you can type the comment in the text box. You can even @mention people, so they know the comment is for them.

People can also reply to a comment. This can be done by simply clicking the comment and then on reply underneath it. If a comment is not needed anymore, you can simply click on the tick, and it will be marked as resolved.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do I Create a Task List in Google Sheets?

When creating a to-do list, you can start from scratch and make your own, or you can use a Google Sheet checklist template. You can start by using the built-in daily to-do list template and customizing it to make it your own. To open it, just click To-do list from the Template gallery. Once loaded, you can add extra columns and conditional formatting to fulfill your needs.

How Do I Track Tasks in Google Sheets?

You can add the tasks you want to keep track of using a to-do list. You can also assign dates to the specific tasks, and you can track them by using checkmarks. You can also add a progress bar to know exactly how much progress your team has made while performing a large set of tasks.

Can You Link Google Sheets to Tasks?

There are several third-party solutions, as well as the Google Tasks API that allows you to connect your Google Sheet spreadsheet to your Google Tasks. However, beware that using API integrations does require advanced knowledge. We’d recommend using a third-party app like Zapier to make it easier.

Is There a Google Checklist Template?

You can download a to-do list from the Template gallery. Alternatively, you can create custom checklists by adding checkmarks to your spreadsheet and saving them as templates. Saving the sheet as a template will allow you to save it for future use.

How Do I Manage Tasks in Google Sheets?

A to-do list template in Google Sheets is a good way to manage a project. You can add the tasks you need to do alongside their status, date, and other information. To create one, you can either start from scratch or use the template provided by Google in the Template gallery on the main page of Google Sheets.

Wrapping Up

Now that you can customize the Google Sheets Task List Template, nothing can stop you from getting stuff done. All that’s left is to actually do it. Get cracking!

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Jake Wright

Jake Wright

Jake is a spreadsheet expert and content writer from New Zealand. He has a double Bachelor's Degree in Teaching and has been working in the education industry for over 11 years. His experience makes him adept at breaking down complex topics so that everyone is able to understand.