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baseline - actual dates
I do the added columns now. We use it for both schedule and budget reasons. If you create a master row that does the functions that you need and copy it to fill out the sheet you need. We measure actual against planned and start date against actual start date. Some of these can be column hogs to get it done but the key is to build the three levels. Master Parent Row, Master Parent Child as we call It and then Master Child. We use this to be a template in the template and then build the sheet.
We have also used this is our sheet structures. Master Sheet to Master Budget sheets to Master Project Sheets to Project Sheets. They report both dates actual and planned and budget planned and actual up to the master sheets. I can then see at the parent rows at the top of each proect how many days past we are and how many dollars in the bdget are remaining overall and per task. The down side to all of this work is you need to watch the size you make your sheets as they can get large. Keep the page size in check and it works like a dream.