Choosing the best project management tool for your business can seem like an uphill task, but we help you narrow down your choices.
Management | Aug 12
Mara Calvello on July 8, 2021 (last modified on July 7, 2021) • 12 minute read
Technology has a way of changing how we do business for the better.
Video conferencing software means we don’t have to drive, or fly, to have meetings with our out-of-state coworkers. We no longer have to save essential files onto floppy disks. And invoices are paid immediately, instead of waiting for a check through snail mail.
Another way technology has improved businesses is with the invention of collaboration tools, like Google Sheets. It’s easy to use, has a ton of features, and makes it easy for everyone to have the same information in real-time.
If you aren’t sure of the best way to utilize Google Sheets, we asked a group of Google Sheets experts to weigh into how they use the tool in their business. The experts we surveyed all have experience using Google Sheets and know the ins and outs of how to make it work for various industries and companies of all shapes and sizes.
Want more information on a specific idea? Jump ahead to one of these 13 tips:
One way you can make Google Sheets work to your advantage is to use it as you conduct backlink outreach.
Here how Chloe Sisson of Zen Media uses Google Sheets for outreach purposes. “I am part of the Outreach team at Zen Media. We use Google Sheets probably more than any other business resource. We sort all of our outreach pitches on Google Sheets. The sheet then has ‘subsheets’ for each client, blog content ideas, and other resources. On each sheet, there is a column with which one of us did the pitch, the website, contact name, contact email/form, and date. If we get a feature because of one of our pitches, we highlight the whole row green and add the placement link. This is a great way for us to keep track of everyone’s pitches and placements and ensure that we don’t repeat any pitches. We also use Google Sheets to organize keyword research data.”
One of the main ways people use Google Sheets is for project management — projects of all kinds.
Elaborating further is Beth Cooper at KNB Communications, who shares, “Perhaps the most notable way we use Google Sheets in our PR and marketing agency is for client-facing project management. Each of our clients has a custom scope of work, so a rigid template will not work. Google Sheets is flexible enough to accommodate a range of activities. We can keep track of dates, lists, budgets, tasks, and progress. Another huge benefit: it allows real-time collaboration across organizations.”
Lauri Kinkar at Messente also utilizes Google Sheets to better manage projects. “From our experience, we used Google Sheets for Project Management in our business. It’s very straightforward to use and the data is always up to date because changes are saved in real-time. You can easily track multiple members and budgets. Google Sheets is great for collaboration and it allows multiple people to have access to the document at the same time without disrupting other’s views,” shares Kinkar.
A popular feature that makes Google Sheets so great for businesses is that it’s easy to collaborate and work on tasks, assignments, and projects.
Additionally, Lily Ugbaja at Mom Baby Heart also loves how easy it is to collaborate in Google Sheets. “The best way I use Google Sheets in my business is for collaboration. My team members have job functions that usually overlap with one another and Google Sheets makes it very convenient for them to work together seamlessly.
Where one member of the team stops, another can pick up from there, without the need to start sending the data created back and forth,” shares Ugbaja.
Google Sheets is also a useful tool when you’d like to automate various reports.
Alex Birkett at Conversion.AI shares more on this idea by saying, “My favorite business use case for Google Sheets is to automate basic reporting. Tools like DataBox provide robust dashboards and automated reporting, but if you need something simple done, like automatically running Google Analytics reports and blending that with another data source like SalesForce, you can easily do this in Google Sheets. Simply use the Google Analytics add-on for Google Sheets, set up your metrics, dimensions, etc., and schedule it to run at your desired cadence. Automate your other data sources with a tool like Workato. Then surface this stuff to Data Studio where you can then create different reports for various data trends. Super easy and allows you to spend less time pulling data and communicating to executives.”
Whether your business frequently uses Google Forms, or an outside source, to get feedback and send surveys, Google Sheets can easily keep track of the answers you receive.e
KB at Spreadsheets for Business shares more on this idea with Google Forms. “Use it as a database for Google Forms responses. Google Forms can, of course, be used for surveys, contests, order forms, feedback, etc. The ability to collect that information in Google Sheets for analysis, interpretation, and action is exceedingly valuable.”
If your business could use a little help time tracking its employees — let Google Sheets help.
“Using Google Sheets to track employee’s time is a great, inexpensive solution if your organization hasn’t grown to the point of requiring time tracking software yet. You can build your own customized time tracking template for your employees or use Google’s own template. Building a master sheet of employee time cards allows you to access your employee’s time data all from a central, cloud-based location from anywhere with an internet connection,” elaborates Dennis Hancock at Mountain Valley MD.
Eden Cheng at WeInvoice uses Google Sheets for time tracking all different types of employees. Cheng explains, “My work requires dealing with multiple digital marketers, content writers, employees, and analysts day in and out. With the businesses going remote (including us), it became tough for us to track the performance of our people, especially creators. We were using time-tracking tools and a few more productivity-related software, but nothing helped us as much as Google Sheets. It worked well for our freelancers too.
What we did was: we assigned ‘marks’ (digits – for various tasks as per job roles). For writers, the number of words they did was directly used, except for the copywriting part. So, this helped us a lot in keeping our team productive.”
Editor’s note: If you use Harvest, instead of relying on Google Sheets, this time report dashboard will help you track all your custom metrics from Jira, see how many hours are tracked on the monthly, quarterly, and yearly basis, split tracked time by project, client, tasks, and team, and more.
No matter what you do for work, Google Sheets can help you get organized, so nothing falls through the cracks.
Take it from Jarrod Adnum at Hunter Bathroom Renovations. Adnum shares further on staying organized with Google Sheets to say, “Google Sheets has been an incredible tool for my business. As a bathroom renovator, I often have to take measurements and provide quotes on-site, so having a fully functional spreadsheet with quotes and invoicing templates, allows me to take measurements and provide quick quotes for customers. This increases my efficiency as a service provider and speeds up the customer service process to help my clients achieve their goals sooner.”
That’s not all Google Sheets can do. If you work in influencer marketing, Google Sheets can add a serious bonus to your business. Umarah Hussain at Surge Marketing Solutions explains further to say, “Google Sheets is a very useful tool, especially if you’re one to use Excel quite often, however, it has its additional bonuses. With regards to my job in specific, I utilize Google Sheets to input mass data for influencer marketing (number of followers, social handles, URL links, responses, costs, and more). On top of this, I also use Google Sheets for a ton of other data such as directory listings in neat and tidy rows and columns, which I can then share with my clients.
Email marketing is a big part of various industries, and if you need a better way to run these campaigns, Google Sheets helps to streamline it a little further.
Madhav Goenka from FrazileMedia shares more on this idea and how to make it work: “The best way we used Google Sheets in our business is for running email marketing campaigns.
Since we couldn’t afford expensive email marketing solutions when we just started out, we used Google Sheets and one of its add-on ‘Yet Another Mail Merge’ (YAMM) to handle our email marketing duties.
With the help of this add-on, we can send personalized emails in bulk and even track opens, clicks, bounces, etc. Although we cannot create complex automations, we can manually follow up on our previous messages. Google Sheets quickly became one of the most important tools for our business. We still use this strategy for sending emails when we have maxed out the limit on our email marketing software.
*Editor’s note: Utilize the HubSpot Email Marketing Overview Dashboard template to easily track and measure the overall performance of your email marketing efforts. You’ll be able to see data regarding emails sent, opened, and clicked as well as your overall open rate, click rate, new subscribers, and more.
How does your business keep track of its leads? If you’re unsure how to store them and keep them organized, let Google Sheets come to the rescue.
“We’ve used Google Sheets to track costs and profit on our concrete projects, all the way to how many phone call leads our website is bringing in based on how much traffic was received, and analyzing that for the past 12 months. For being an old school concrete contractor, it’s been a huge help and given us an advantage over other old-fashioned competitors that live paycheck to paycheck,” explains Jason Trumpberg at Tallahassee Concrete Work.
One of the best things about utilizing Google Drive, and all of the tools it has to offer, is that they all work seamlessly together. This means that Google Sheets works effortlessly with all of your favorites within the Google Platform.
Alina Clark at Cocodoc shares more on this idea: “ Crucially, Google Sheets can be used in conjunction with every other tool on the Google Platform. Our content creation process is managed through Sheets because one can move from Google Sheets to Google Docs without really leaving the browser. Such inconvenience is impossible to achieve through other platforms.”
Editor’s note: Whether your data is manually entered, downloaded, or cut and pasted into Google Sheets, use Databox to build line graphs, pie charts, tables, and more. As you update your spreadsheet, your visualizations will reflect the changes automatically in Databox.
Some of us have no problem doing a quick math equation in our heads. The rest of us could use some help in the form of Google Sheets.
To do this, Melanie Musson from CheapCarInsuranceQuotes.com recommends, “I like to run numbers, and with the calculation formulas available in Google Sheets, I can quickly come up with data that can be transferred to a chart. With all the raw data in sheets, I can create a nearly endless list of comparisons, trends, and distributions.”
Google Sheets is also an excellent tool when you need a little help keeping up with company metrics. Whether it be sales, expenses, or profit, it’s helpful to have these numbers all in one place.
Abby Ha from OurPCB explains how they use Google Sheets to do just that by sharing, “ This is what works for us: We started using Google sheets to track our monthly company metrics in 2018. We have a shared sheet with deadlines for the month, sales for the month, and goals for the month. Monthly numbers are then added as additional rows for revenue, expenses, and profit.
The customers are broken up by region and alphabetically. All other numbers are totaled in one column and it is simple to see an overview of all the regions and categories. Coworkers can see each other’s progress and comments are made in each category to help motivate each other or point out areas of improvement. We also use it as a way to track which ideas and strategies are working. Any idea that makes us more money or saves us money can be added to a separate master sheet and voted on after a period of time.”
Spreadsheets offer a simple way to collate data and store a lot of information in one place. However, for most people, they aren’t easy to navigate, and most importantly, they’re hard to actually pull insights from. If you really want to feel in control of your team’s performance, the data needs to be accessible and visual.
And that’s where Databox comes in.
Check out how Databox allows you to visualize the data from your Google spreadsheets easier and faster than ever.
Or if you are ready to turn your Google Spreadsheets into interactive dashboards that are available on desktop, office TVs, and your mobile devices, you can sign up for a free account here.
Finally, Google Sheets provides the peace of mind businesses need regarding if their data is secure or not.
Natasha Rei at Explainerd wraps up this idea to share, “We use Google Sheets as our main collaboration tool, especially for sharing important files within a team. Google Sheets helps us connect with our team members in real-time. What we love most about it is the ability to modify the access. When it comes to sharing a new project, security is one of our main concerns. Google Sheets allows us to modify and add members who are responsible for the file. Moreover, we can also track any change that happens during project collaboration. This feature helps us to reach out to the right member when discussing the work.”
No matter how you use it, Google Sheets can provide your business with endless ways to stay organized, better collaborate with your team members, keep track of important data, and so much more. If you haven’t already explored all of what Google Sheets, and all of the other tools within Google Drive, can do — now is the time!
Management | Aug 12
Management | Aug 5
Management | Jul 30