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Smartsheet Swimlane Chart

Add swimlanes to your Smartsheet Gantt chart or timeline with OnePager

If you use Smartsheet to manage your project plans, you may find that you need to group or sort your project into swimlanes, like this:

Smartsheet Swimlane Chart created in OnePager.

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Common uses for swimlanes include:

  • Grouping by Project Phase
  • Grouping by Subproject, when reporting on multiple projects
  • Grouping by Resource or Team
  • Grouping by Facility

OnePager pulls data from Smartsheet to create Gantt charts and timelines. OnePager's patented swimlane capability lets you group and sort your project report by any field that you already have in Smartsheet. To see how it works, follow either of the sets of instructions below:

1. Easy Method: Direct import of Smartsheet data
2. Legacy Method: Import of Smartsheet data through Excel

Direct Smartsheet Method

OnePager connects directly to Smartsheet and imports task and status information so that you can create a RAG report very quickly. Here's how:

  1. Start with your project plan in Smartsheet, where we have several parent rows, with child rows underneath. We want to import the child rows, and use the parent rows to drive the swimlanes:

    Parent and child rows Smartsheet

  2. To import child rows, we're going to insert a checkbox field into Smartsheet, by right-clicking on any existing Smartsheet column, and choosing the Insert Column Left option. We'll set up a checkbox field called OnePager, like this:

    Add a checkbox field to Smartsheet

  3. Now, we can check the child rows that we want to import. Even if we leave parent rows unchecked, OnePager can still use them to group tasks into swimlanes. Save your Smartsheet chart before moving to the next step.

    Select which rows from Smartsheet should be in the Gantt chart

  4. From your desktop or Windows Start menu, launch OnePager:

    Launch OnePager from your desktop.

  5. When the OnePager start screen appears, click on New to start building a new swimlane chart from Smartsheet:

    OnePager start screen.

  6. On the import wizard, choose Select > BROWSE Smartsheet:

    Browse Smartsheet projects from OnePager.

  7. If you've never logged into Smartsheet from OnePager before, Smartsheet will ask you for your username and password:

    Log into Smartsheet from OnePager.

    After connecting, Smartsheet will ask you whether you want to Allow OnePager access to your Smartsheet account. Once you click Allow, OnePager will connect Smartsheet automatically going forward.

  8. Next, choose the project that you want to import from Smartsheet and click OK. In this example, we're importing a single project from Smartsheet, but OnePager can import multiple Smartsheet projects at once to create a portfolio-level chart, if desired.

    Import from Smartsheet into a OnePager swimlane chart.

  9. Give your swimlane chart a name, choose the OnePager checkbox field as your selection filter. Then, click Next, followed by Create New Chart:

    Decide how you want to filter rows from Smartsheet.

  10. OnePager will import your Smartsheet project, filtering for any rows that have the OnePager box checked. Notice that even though we didn't check the boxes for any parent rows, OnePager is still able to group child tasks into swimlanes based on their parents:

    Swimlane chart created in OnePager using parent and child rows from Smartsheet.

It's really that easy! When you're ready to try it with your own Smartsheet projects, download a free trial and get started building your own swimlane charts.

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Excel Method

If you prefer, you can export from Smartsheet to Excel before creating your OnePager chart:

  1. Log into Smartsheet and open your project plan. We recommend including Smartsheet's Row ID column in your Excel export. To do this, right-click on any existing Smartsheet column, and choose Insert Column Right:

    Insert a new column into Smartsheet

  2. When the Insert Column window appears, choose the Auto-Number/System for Row ID:

    Insert the Row ID column as an Auto-Number in Smartsheet.

  3. Click OK to confirm that Row ID now appears in Smartsheet:

    Smartsheet Row ID.

  4. When Smartsheet exports to Excel, it doesn't automatically include information about parent and child rows, so we want to include that information in a custom column before exporting. To do this, add a Text/Number column to your Smartsheet plan and call it Parent Row:

    Smartsheet Parent Row.

  5. After clicking OK, Smartsheet will insert the Parent Row column, which will initially be empty. We'll write a simple formula that gives us the name of the parent task for each child task, and then fill that formula down for all rows in the Smartsheet project plan. The formula is:

    =PARENT([Task Name]2)

    Smartsheet Parent Row Formula.

    Notice how this Smartsheet formula gives the name of the parent task for each child task automatically.

  6. If your Smartsheet plan is large and you want your OnePager chart to be more of a summary, you can add a checkbox column like our Add to OnePager example here to select which rows from Smartsheet to include or exclude from your Gantt chart:

    Select the tasks from Smartsheet to import into OnePager.

  7. Now, it's time to export from Smartsheet to Excel. You can do this by going to File > Export > Export to Microsoft Excel:

    Export Smartsheet to Microsoft Excel.

  8. Open your Excel export from Smartsheet, and then go to Excel's Add-Ins tab. Hit the the OnePager Express button:

    Smartsheet Export in Excel.

    When OnePager's start screen appears, click NEW to build a new timeline.

  9. On the import wizard, give your Gantt chart a name, and filter your Smartsheet rows based on the checkbox field, if you included one. When you are ready, click Next:

    Configure Smartsheet Swimlane Chart in OnePager Express.

  10. This screen lets you decide which columns from Smartsheet you want to use in your OnePager Gantt chart. Most of the time, OnePager will auto-detect the correct fields, but it's a good idea to make sure that OnePager's Unique ID is mapped to Smartsheet's "Row ID". Once things look good, click Create New Chart to build your Gantt chart:

    Map Smartsheet columns into your OnePager Gantt chart.

  11. Initially, your OnePager chart will look like this. In the next couple of steps, we'll add the swimlanes.

    Smartsheet Gantt Chart created in OnePager Express.

  12. To add swimlanes based on the parent row or project phase, go to Home > Chart Properties > Rows/Swimlanes. Change your swimlane grouping to look at the Parent Row column from Smartsheet:

    Add swimlanes to your Smartsheet Gantt Chart created in OnePager Express.

  13. Click OK, and OnePager will automatically group and sort your Gantt chart based on the parent row information that you've set up in Smartsheet:

    Group swimlanes by Smartsheet parent row.

  14. OnePager also lets you assign a different color to the tasks in each swimlane. To do this, Home > Chart Properties > Task Bars. Change the Color-Code Based On dropdown to Parent Row just like your swimlanes:

    Color-code by Smartsheet parent row.

  15. Click OK, and OnePager will automatically color-code each swimlane in your Gantt chart based on the Smartsheet parent row:

    Smartsheet Gantt chart created in OnePager Express with swimlanes and color-coding based on the parent row.

Build your Smartsheet Swimlane Chart today by downloading a free trial of OnePager Express.

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Last Updated: March 11, 2022