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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 Express.

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 Express takes an Excel export 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. If you don't already have OnePager, download a free trial and follow these simple steps:

  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: August 19, 2021