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How to Assign a Task in Google Sheets [Easy Guide]

To assign a task in Google Sheets, either tag someone’s email in a comment or create a drop-down list. I show both methods in this guide.

The commenting method is used in Google Docs, Google Sheets, and elsewhere in the GSuite. The drop-down method of assigning tasks is unique to Google Sheets.

How to Assign a Task in Google Sheets with a Comment

To assign a task to someone in Sheets, you must set it using a comment. In Google Sheets, you can assign tasks by commenting on the message in the comment box and adding the person’s email. You will then be prompted with an option to assign tasks in Google Sheets.

Here is how to assign in Google Sheets:

  1. Open the spreadsheet where you want to assign the task.
  2. Click on the cell or select multiple cells by clicking and dragging your cursor across several cells. You can also select a single cell and then drag your cursor on the blue dot in the bottom right corner of the cell.

  1. Click on Insert or right-click on the selected area. This selected area is represented with a light blue highlight. This will open a dropdown menu.
  2. There, click on Comment. You can use the Ctrl+ Alt+ M shortcut on Windows to do this.
  3. In the comment box that shows up, type in the comment and add the At (@) sign.
  4. Now add the email of the person.
  5. A new Assign option will show under the email when you add the email Click on the Assign to [email] button.

  1. Click on the green Assign button.

The assignee will receive a notification and can mark the task as done when they finish it. There is a difference between adding normal comments and assigning a task. When a normal comment is made, anyone can make the changes and mark it as done. However, using the assign task Google Sheets function means that only the person assigned the task can mark it as done.

How to Use a Drop-Down List to Assign Tasks

While the comment method gives helpful email reminders, sometimes it’s helpful to have a dropdown menu that shows who’s working on what. Here’s what you’ll need to know to create a drop-down menu to assign tasks in Google Sheets.

Here’s a visual walkthrough. First, you’ll select the cell where you want the dropdown menu. Then, click the “insert” menu and choose “dropdown”.

Then, you’ll see an option to choose “criteria”. Choose “dropdown from a range” if you already have an existing list with the name of the user or users you want to use.

Next, you’ll select your data range. Here, my range is F2:F5 on my main sheet. If yours is on another sheet, you can go to that tab to make your selection.

Finally, you’ll choose colors for the dropdown. Each person on your team gets a different color. That makes it easy to distinguish who’s working on what task. Here’s what my sheet looks like after I chose the colors for each task owner.

You’ll notice my task-tracking spreadsheet also has checkboxes. I don’t need a bunch of checklist text to see whether a task is completed. My team just clicks the box and I know we’re done with each project.

Video Guide

Here’s my video guide on how to assign tasks in Google Sheets. I covered both methods, commenting and drop-down menus.

What Happens When a Task Is Assigned?

When you assign a task to someone, they will get an email and a notification in Google Sheets.

If you’re not a part of the spreadsheet, you will receive the permissions through a link in your email. If you are already a team member in the spreadsheet, when you open Google Sheets, you will see a grey dot with the number of the assigned tasks inside it.

When completing the tasks, they can click on the checkmark in the comment box to mark it as complete. You can also look at the previous and current tasks by going to the comment history section in Sheets. Just remember to enable edit access if you want them to mark check boxes in your spreadsheet.

How to Maximize the Google Workspace

Here are some of the best ways to get the most out of your spreadsheet task list.

  • Task owners should mark their tasks in Google Calendar to get regular reminders prior to the due date.
  • Workspace admins should regularly review access to make sure task owners can access what they need.
  • Workspace admins should consider automation to reduce repetition.

When in doubt, remember the basics of project management. You may want to consider something like Jira, which is a popular tool for project and issue tracking.

Common Mistakes

Here are some of the most common mistakes I see when assigning tasks in Google Sheets.

  • Missing Access

If you tag someone in a comment, they’ll need the ability to see the document to interact with your task. Google’s spreadsheet software is smart enough to remind you of this. But don’t cancel the warning message if you try to tag someone who isn’t already listed as a collaborator in your workbook.

  • Missing Notifications

If you’re using a dropdown menu to assign tasks, remember that your assignee won’t get an email notification. Dropdown menus give you a bunch of visibility into who’s working on a task and who’s responsible for it (see my RACI templates), but they don’t give you the same kind of cloud-based communication you get with a comment.

  • Missing Information

When you use the dropdown method instead of Google’s standard comment method of assigning tasks, sometimes it’s hard to tell what happened in the past. If you want to know about the previous assignee or older comments, you’ll want to use the commenting method instead. It’s one of the easier ways of tracking conversations about a specific topic in Google Sheets.

  • Missing Automation

Those who use a spreadsheet as task management software will want to automate tasks. For that, you’ll want to familiarize yourself with app script. There are many things you can do when you add more complex scripts into your workbook. For example, you may want to automatically assign items on your task list. Or you may want to automatically populate an assignee’s task list. Scripts make this easy.

Why Assign Tasks in Google Sheets

Running a team in Google Sheets is among the best uses for the program. But, it can be annoying to assign tasks in other programs and then move them into Sheets. Luckily, you can assign tasks directly in Sheets through the comment menu.

Assigning tasks can be a helpful feature in Google Sheets as it allows you to individually assign the things to do rather than just leaving comments. This has one crucial advantage as it tells everyone what to do and only the person assigned a task completes it rather than anyone in the team making the changes.

Doing this has several benefits. You can divide the workload appropriately among your team members, and there won’t be any confusion about what a person needs to do. The tasks as marked for that specific person, so they don’t have to go through a list of comments to find their task.

Assigning specific tasks is more effective project management.

Frequently Asked Questions

If you’re interested in assigning tasks in Google Sheets, you may have follow up questions. I’ll do my best to answer those that come up most frequently, but please feel free to leave a comment below. And remember, I also have a YouTube channel where I offer video guides.

How Do I Assign an Action in Google Sheets?

  1. Click on the cell or select multiple cells.
  2. Click on Insert or right-click on the selected area. This selected area is represented with a light blue highlight. There, click on Comment.
  3. In the comment box that shows up, type in the comment and add the At (@) sign.
  4. Add the email of the person. A new option will show under the email when the email is added.
  5. Click on the Assign to [email] button.
  6. Click on the green Assign button.

How Do You Assign a Task to a Spreadsheet?

The Google Sheets assign tasks function is accessed through the comments menu. You can assign tasks by commenting on the message in the comment box and adding the person’s email. You will then be prompted with an option to assign tasks in Google Sheets.

Does Google Have a Task Manager?

Google offers a mobile application called Tasks. This allows you to edit, manage, and capture the tasks from anywhere and at any time. This also allows full synchronization among the tasks on multiple devices.

Can I Delegate Google Tasks?

You can add the email of a person that isn’t already added to the spreadsheet. This will send them an email and a link to the file. When they click on it, they will get access to the file and make the changes normally as if they are a part of it. You could also build a schedule to help with delegating tasks.

Wrapping up How to Assign Tasks in Google Sheets

We hope that learning how to assign a task in Google Sheets through this guide was easy for you. It’s one of those skills that when you’ve done it once you can do it 1000 times. Let us know in the comments if you need any help.

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