Blog>Team managment

Custom Views Creation in Smartsheet

Evgeniya Ioffe - January 31st 2024 - 6 minutes read

Dive into the world of Smartsheet like never before and unlock the full potential of your project management skills with our comprehensive guide on mastering custom views. From the uninitiated to the seasoned project manager, this article offers profound insights into transforming your project dashboard into a powerful command center, tailor-made for your team's unique needs and challenges. Step by step, we will walk you through the intricacies of crafting, managing, and optimizing custom views, all while comparing them to standard alternatives and exploring advanced customization techniques. Prepare to redefine your approach to project management as we delve into strategies and best practices that promise to elevate your Smartsheet experience to new heights, ensuring you not only keep pace with your projects but stay several steps ahead.

The Fundamentals of Custom Views in Smartsheet

Custom views in Smartsheet represent a dynamic method to streamline project management by allowing users to create personalized task displays based on specific criteria. This functionality is crucial because it acknowledges that not all team members require access to the same data at all times. By enabling the creation of views that filter and sort tasks according to parameters such as status, priority, or assigned individuals, Smartsheet empowers users to focus on the information most relevant to them. This personalized approach not only enhances efficiency but also contributes to maintaining data confidentiality and control by restricting the visibility of certain tasks or columns to designated individuals.

The significance of custom views extends beyond mere data filtration; it introduces a layer of adaptability into project management. For instance, team leaders can set up views displaying tasks due for the week, sorted by urgency, ensuring critical deadlines are prioritized. Meanwhile, individual contributors could have views tailored to show only the tasks assigned to them, helping to streamline their focus and workflow. This level of customization is a testament to how Smartsheet is designed with the user’s need for both structure and flexibility in mind, enabling a more efficient management of tasks and priorities within a project’s lifecycle.

Furthermore, the ability to share specific views enhances collaboration within the team. By sharing views that highlight particular tasks, due dates, or milestones, team members can easily align on objectives and expectations. This shared understanding facilitates better communication and coordination, which are key components of successful project management. Through the strategic use of custom views, Smartsheet transforms the complexity of project data into comprehensible, actionable insights for every team member, thus driving the project forward in a cohesive and coordinated manner.

Strategies for Creating and Managing Custom Views

When setting up custom views in Smartsheet, the initial step involves selecting the data that is most pertinent to your project's current phase or task. To efficiently manage these views, begin by navigating to the ‘Create View’ option within your project sheet, ensuring you choose criteria that reflect the key metrics or statuses relevant to your project's success. This could involve categorizing tasks by their due dates, the team members assigned, or by specific project milestones. An essential tip for optimizing view management is to name each custom view descriptively, making it straightforward to switch between them based on the task at hand, thus minimizing the time spent searching for the right data set.

Once your custom views are in place, managing them for peak efficiency involves regularly reviewing and refining the parameters that define each view. This ongoing process ensures that as your project evolves, your views remain relevant and useful. Collapsing and expanding sections within your views can help in focusing on the immediate tasks, thereby reducing clutter and enhancing productivity. Additionally, it’s crucial to save any changes made to the views promptly. Instituting a routine check to ensure all updates are saved will avoid any loss of configuration adjustments, ensuring your custom views always reflect the latest project status.

Troubleshooting common issues, such as views not updating with new data or filters not applying correctly, plays a significant role in the effective management of custom views. In most cases, these issues can be resolved by checking that all conditions and criteria specified in the view are correctly configured. Should problems persist, revisiting the setup process to confirm each step was followed accurately can often illuminate and resolve the discrepancy. Remember, the goal of custom views is to streamline project management by making data easily accessible and manageable, and periodic maintenance is key to achieving this objective efficiently.

Comparative Analysis of Custom View Features

In the realm of project management, the adoption of custom views in Smartsheet presents a palette of advantages and considerations, particularly when compared against the platform's standard view offerings such as Gantt charts, calendar views, and card (Kanban) views. Custom views allow for a more granular approach to project tracking and management, enabling project managers and team members to filter, sort, and access project information based on specific needs. This flexibility is crucial in scenarios where traditional Gantt views, though excellent for visualizing project timelines and dependencies, may not provide the immediate, task-specific insights required for day-to-day operations. Conversely, custom views can be tailored for this precise purpose, offering a focused lens on tasks, deadlines, and responsibilities.

However, the adoption of custom views does not come without its challenges. One notable limitation is the steep learning curve associated with configuring these views to match the unique demands of a project. While Smartsheet provides a robust platform for customization, users new to custom views may find the initial setup process to be time-consuming and somewhat complex, particularly when seeking to replicate the intuitive nature of standard views like the calendar for deadline tracking or the card view for task assignments. This could inadvertently lead to inefficiencies, especially if the creation and fine-tuning of custom views consume more time than they save in the short term.

Moreover, the effectiveness of custom views largely banks on comprehensive understanding and strategic implementation. For instance, while custom views are supremely valuable for managing large-scale projects with numerous moving parts, they might introduce unnecessary complexity in smaller projects where a simple card view suffices for task management. Therefore, it's imperative for project managers to weigh the nature and scope of their projects against the benefits of custom views. When utilized judiciously, custom views can significantly enhance project visibility and control, fostering a more dynamic and responsive project management environment. On the flip side, an uncritical or blanket application of custom views may lead to clutter, confusion, and a dilution of the very efficiencies they aim to enhance.

Advanced Customization Techniques and Best Practices

Beyond the foundational features of custom views in Smartsheet, delving into advanced customization techniques can exponentially increase your project management efficiency. Utilizing formulas within custom views, for instance, is an invaluable strategy that can automate calculations, status updates, and even conditional visibility of tasks based on specific criteria. Have you considered leveraging the "children" function to automatically update changes across related tasks, thereby ensuring a dynamic and responsive project environment? This approach not only saves considerable time but also minimizes manual errors, making your project management process more fluid and reliable.

Another pivotal technique is the use of advanced filters and conditional formatting within custom views. These tools allow you to create highly customized task views that can dynamically change colors or symbols based on the status or priority of tasks. Imagine a scenario where tasks nearing their deadline automatically change color, drawing immediate attention to time-sensitive matters. How might incorporating such visually intuitive cues transform your team's ability to prioritize and address tasks within the project timeline?

Engaging with these advanced customization options encourages a deeper exploration of Smartsheet’s capabilities, prompting users to innovate in their approach to complex project challenges. Considering the possibilities, how can you further tailor your custom views to not only reflect project status but also predict potential bottlenecks and prompt preemptive actions? This level of customization empowers project managers to craft a responsive and proactive project management environment, leveraging Smartsheet's full potential to not just manage but excel in project execution.


In this comprehensive guide, we explore the world of Smartsheet and its custom views feature for project management. The article emphasizes the significance of custom views in streamlining project management, providing personalized task displays based on specific criteria. The key takeaways include the benefits of custom views in enhancing efficiency, collaboration, and adaptability in project management. It also highlights strategies for creating and managing custom views, a comparative analysis of custom views against standard views, and advanced customization techniques and best practices. Overall, the article aims to help readers unlock the full potential of Smartsheet's custom views for effective team management and leadership.