Pros and Cons of Using a Spreadsheet to Track Task Progress

Pros and Cons of Using a Spreadsheet to Track Task Progress

Organizations of all sizes need to manage tasks and projects. And while there are many task management and project management software solutions available, most organizations opt for using spreadsheet software. It’s a straightforward way to keep track of things while also allowing you to visualize information quickly and make decisions at any given time. However, with those come pros as well as cons of using a spreadsheet for task tracking. Keep reading this article for a detailed analysis of the advantages and disadvantages of using a spreadsheet for task tracking.

What is Task Tracking in a Spreadsheet?

A task list lists all tasks assigned to a person and their respective timelines. It’s normally used for planning and tracking work. You can’t assign a due date but can give a rough estimate of when each task should be completed. The information above will help you plan, schedule, and track tasks. While using a spreadsheet to track task progress is a popular task management tactic, it’s not the best. Many other tools can give you more advantages over a spreadsheet. For example, you can use a task management tool to track projects, create project templates, assign tasks to multiple people, set up alerts, create reports, and more.

Critical Differences Between Task Tracking in a Spreadsheet and in Other Tools

The key difference between task tracking in a spreadsheet and in other tools is that a spreadsheet is an excellent tool for simple tracking of tasks. However, it has a lot of flaws that other tools don’t have. For example, when you try to add more information like who assigned the task, who received it, and additional related information, a spreadsheet can’t handle it. You can add notes to tasks, but they don’t get tracked easily. The significant difference is that a spreadsheet doesn’t allow you to create templates or assign tasks to multiple people. You can only create a task, and track when it’s due. That’s it!

Pros of Using a Spreadsheet for Task Management

– Easy to Use 

– No Special Training is Needed 

– Quick and Easy Setup 

– Can Be Set Up Online or Offline 

– Can Be Used by Anyone 

– No Software to Install 

– Can Be Viewed Anywhere 

– Great for Small Teams 

– Can Be Used for Long-Term Tasks

Cons of Using a Spreadsheet for Task Management

– Not as Reliable as Other Tools 

– Information Not as Visible or Accessible as Other Tools 

– Tracking Flow of Information May Not be as Clear as in Other Tools 

– May Take Time to Learn How to Use a Spreadsheet 

– Limited in its Features 

– Limited in Customization 

– Limited in Collaboration 

– May Require Training Period 

– May Require a Structured Approach

Final Word

With the advantages and cons of using a spreadsheet for task tracking in mind, you can decide whether to use a spreadsheet or another tool. However, before making the switch, you can try tweaking your spreadsheet workflow to improve its functionality. You can also use an automation tool to make certain tasks automatic. Another option is to look for a task management tool that can integrate with your spreadsheet. With such a tool, you can create a seamless workflow where tasks are added to a spreadsheet, tracked there, and then moved to project management tools. Now that you know more about task tracking in a spreadsheet, it’s time to decide if you would like to use a spreadsheet or a dedicated task tracking app.