Spreadsheets are mainly used for collecting, presenting, tracking, and analyzing data.
Generally, Google Sheets won’t come to mind when you are creating a schedule. When looking to build a schedule, it’s normal to look towards dedicated applications or even use a physical planner.
However, you can also utilize Google Sheets for the same purpose to create a highly functional schedule. If you’re familiar with the interface of Google Sheets, this may sound like a daunting task. This can be made very simple by utilizing ready-to-use templates.
Templates remove the hassle of starting from zero, so all you have to do is organize your schedule.
Read on to learn how to make a schedule on Google Sheets.
Benefits of Using Schedules in Google Sheets
Why use Google Sheets?
Creating a schedule in Google Sheets has many benefits, which include:
- Saves a lot of time – Every time you want to create a schedule, you can just open the Google Sheets schedule template and make changes to it rather than starting from scratch. This can help you save a lot of time.
- Lets you focus on other tasks – No time is wasted on just creating schedules which means you have extra time which you can spend on doing other productive things.
- Easy customization – Scheduling in Google Sheets allows for customization according to your needs. You can color-code specific tasks or assign different tasks to different teams or change timings depending on the work environment.
- Can be shared with stakeholders – The spreadsheets are shareable, so you can just send the link to your coworkers. You can also change whether the links allow edit access or not, which gives you extra control over your schedule. If the schedule changes, someone can just edit it, and the changes will be made for everyone. You won’t have to email them with the new schedule every time someone makes edits.
- Saves money – Google Sheets is free to use for individuals and small businesses, which makes it a great option to use, and it’s very accessible as everyone can have access to it without paying.
- Cross-platform file formats – Google Sheets use the same file format as most other spreadsheet apps meaning that you can export the files and import them into an Excel spreadsheet or even turn it into a PDF.
- Real-time saving – Google Docs and Sheets are made with collaboration in mind which means they have real-time saving functionality. You won’t lose your progress if power cuts out, as every edit is saved to the cloud.
- Automation – You can connect the schedule spreadsheet to other Google apps like Calendar. This will automatically create a schedule in your Calendar app without you having to do it manually.
How to Make a Schedule on Google Sheets
Here are three simple steps you need to follow to create a schedule in Google Sheets. This uses pre-built temples in Google’s Template Gallery. We’ll show you how to customize these templates later in this article.
Step 1: Open Google Sheets. Near the top, you should see a Template gallery button. Clicking it should expand it, allowing you to see a variety of templates.
Click on Schedule, which will open a new spreadsheet and the template which you can customize.
Step 2 – Customization: The blank schedule template can now be customized according to your liking. It has a very handy and easy-to-edit layout. Every day has a date and its own column. The days are also split into 30-minute time slots that you can change according to your liking, and you can add notes below the schedule for every week.
Step 3: Set the schedule starting date in cell C2. As soon as you set the date, you will see rows 3 and 4 change according to the date you set, fetching the correct days and dates of the week.
If you’re using this as your weekly schedule, choose the start of the week as a beginning point depending on whether you choose Sunday or Monday as the start of the week.
You can also color code the cells depending on the task. For example, if you’re using the schedule for uni work you can color-code your physics class as green while your biology class is colored red.
This template is very handy if you make tiny changes every week without editing the whole schedule, as you can simply change the starting date in cell C2 and make the changes in the needed cells.
Use Conditional Formatting to Customize Your Schedule Google Sheets File
To use conditional formatting to customize your schedule, use the following steps:
Step 1: To use conditional formatting on your spreadsheet, select your entire sheet by pressing on Ctrl+ A. Click on Format on the top bar and then select Conditional Formatting. You will see a sidebar showing up on the screen’s right side.
Step 2: Click on the box under Format cells if and in the drop-down menu, click the option that says Text Contains. You can choose any option according to your needs, but we want to color-code the boxes with a specific keyword in this example.
Step 3: In the text box below, type in the keyword that will be checked to see if the box should be color-coded or not. In this case, we use the word “Meeting,” if found, it will be color-coded to cyan.
Step 4: Now that the condition is set, we need to choose the color to apply to automatically highlight the cells that contain the keyword. In the same box, you can also change the format of the text, you can make the text bold, change its color or underline it.
Conditional formatting is a great way to give a better visual flavor to your schedule, and it also makes it easier to look for certain elements. You can highlight confirmed meetings from unconfirmed ones. This feature allows limitless customization to your schedule and is a great way to heighten productivity.
Freeze Columns and Rows for More Efficiency
Freezing certain columns and rows allows you to scroll without having to go back and forth. It essentially allows you to see which day or time a task is scheduled to happen when you start scrolling.
Step 1: Click on the row or a column you want to freeze. Remember to click on the leftmost or the topmost bar that represents the row or column and not the actual cell. You will see it highlighted as soon as you press on it.
Step 2: Now, click on View in the top bar and then click on Freeze.
Step 3: A drop-down menu will show you the number of rows you can freeze up to. Select the option that suits you.
The same steps can be followed when doing this with columns too. If you’d like a more in-depth look, check out this article on freezing rows.
How to Make Google Sheets Available Offline
Google Sheets have a real-time saving functionality which means you need constant internet access. Sometimes, you don’t have access to the internet, and you may need to make changes to the spreadsheet. You can overcome this problem with a very simple 5-minute solution.
Step 1: Install the Google Docs Offline extension on Google Chrome by using the hyperlink to the store page.
Step 2: Go to docs.google.com.
Step 3: Click on the three bars on the top left to expand the menu.
Step 4: Click on Settings
Step 5: Turn the Offline option to ON
Now you won’t lose access to the Docs window if internet access goes out or you just want to work on your documents offline. As Google Sheets and Google Docs are a part of the same suite, Google Sheets will now work offline too.
Schedule Template Google Sheets Options
Google provides a number of templates that can be perfect for achieving many goals.
However, sometimes you need to create a special template that can suit your needs. Doing this won’t take a lot of time, and you only need to create it once, and you can keep reusing it.
If you need to add or delete something, you can easily do it. However, if you don’t have time to mess around creating templates, you can use one of ours.
Once you use a template, you need to create your own copy by clicking on File in the top bar and then clicking on Make a copy.
Once saved, you can make the necessary changes to the file.
Whichever type of schedule template you choose to go with, make sure you have the cell formatting set to wrap text.
If you need a schedule for day-to-day life you can find one here.
You can easily use a spreadsheet calendar as a monthly schedule. They allow you to enter daily tasks into the cells under the days in each month.
For the example above, we used this calendar template.
If you need a content calendar as a schedule, you can use the template in this article.
After You Know How to Make a Schedule in Google Sheets
Using Google Sheets to plan a schedule can seem cumbersome, but once you get the hang of it, it can be a great free alternative to using specialized software. And, now that you know how to make a schedule on Google Sheets, it provides ease of use and a number of features that allow you to share the schedule with your colleagues.
Not only that, the collaboration features allow members of the team to view and edit the schedule, and everyone else is informed through email. Simple.