Office Timeline Online can import your Smartsheet data and instantly turn it into a professional-looking timeline that you can customize and update effortlessly. This guide will show you exactly how it works. You’ll learn:
Read the full guide or use the links above to jump to the section you’re interested in.
A) Bring your Smartsheet data into Office Timeline Online
For a successful Smartsheet import, our tool needs to draw from your sheet your tasks’ Name, Start date and Finish date. % Complete and Comments are also importable, but they are optional, and the Duration column can be used to detect milestones automatically. Below you can see a project sample in Smartsheet, which we’ll use to demonstrate how importing works.
- To properly identify milestones both in Smartsheet and in Office Timeline Online, remember to set their duration to 0 days, like we did in our example above.
- Importing Swimlanes from Smartsheet is not yet available in Office Timeline Online. However, you can quickly add Swimlanes directly on your slide after importing, and then easily move your imported tasks into the lanes using drag & drop.
When you have your data all set up in Smartsheet, it’s time to bring it into Office Timeline Online.
From the New tab in Office Timeline online, click on Import data and then choose Import from Smartsheet from the window that pops up.
Log in to your Smartsheet account and then select the sheet you wish to import.
Note: Office Timeline Online can import Projects, Grids, Task Lists, Cards (as long as they contain Start/Finish dates and Name), Forms and Reports (except Summary Reports) from your Smartsheet account.
Click the green Next button to proceed.
B) Map your data for importing
After loading your selected sheet, Office Timeline should automatically map the Task Title, Start Date and End Date detected in your data, which it will use to generate your timeline. If available, it will also label your % Complete and Comments (Notes) columns.
Note: You may notice the Duration column from your sheet is not mapped. This is because Office Timeline uses it only for detecting milestones, it doesn’t import the data in it. The tool calculates its own task durations based on the tasks’ Start & End dates and the Working Days set in your Office Timeline Online account.
If you’d like to make adjustments to Office Timeline’s automatic labeling, you can easily remap your data by dragging the blue labels to the desired column headers.
Quick tip: If you’d like to leave one of the optional columns out (e.g. % Complete or Note), just drag its label out of the column or click on the small X on it.
Finally, in this step you can also choose to switch between International and US date formats or to hide unmapped columns. When ready, click Next to select the data rows to import.
C) Select which rows to import
After mapping your data columns, you’ll be directed to the Select Rows view, where you can see all importable rows from your original sheet already marked for importing. This is the perfect time to double-check the data and choose exactly which items to keep and which to exclude.
Note: Free users can import up 10 tasks and milestones per timeline, while premium users can bring in up to 150 rows of data from their chosen source.
As you can see in the example below, you have the option to select or deselect individual data rows or entire groups (categories) by clicking their corresponding checkboxes. In addition, you can also import 1-day tasks as milestones by ticking the checkbox in the upper-right corner of the data table.
If you have a complex Smartsheet file, we'd recommend importing only the most important tasks and milestones to ensure your resulting timeline fits the slide well and is easy to follow.
For sheets that contain summary tasks with subtasks, you can quickly select or deselect a whole group by unchecking the summary task. If you wish to check or uncheck just the summary task but keep its subtasks, use Ctrl + Click.
When you’ve finished sorting your data, click the green Import button to generate your timeline, which you can then style and edit effortlessly.
Don't hesitate to contact us if you need any assistance importing Smartsheet data into Office Timeline Online. We’ll be happy to help!