Issue setting up report for name off Contact List that has no hits yet

JLC ✭✭✭✭✭✭
edited 12/09/19 in Smartsheet Basics

Is there no way to create a report pulling off someone in a column's contact list without actually having an instance of that contact being mentioned in the source sheet?

For example, sheet ABC has an "Assigned To" contact list column that includes "Bob". However, Bob does not actually have any tasks assigned to him yet. I can't create a report that pulls everything for Bob until there is actually a row that mentions his name. 

This throw a wrench in onboarding new users - we create assigned to tactic lists for each new user as soon as they're onboarded to our company, and of course they don't have anything assigned to them yet. 

Hoping I'm missing something. I was in denial that I made the wrong choice switching everything over to contact lists instead of flat text, but this is enough to wake me up!



  • Debbie Sawyer
    Debbie Sawyer ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    Hi Jaye

    Instead of allocating the criteria to a specified Assigned To contact (by ticking their name in the list if they are present), have you thought about specifying the criteria to the Current User?  This way whomever is logged into smartsheet and running the report it uses their login credentials to find anything assigned to them.  This way you don't need lots of reports set up 1 per person, you can have 1 report which changes its criteria based on who is running the report and Current User is available whether or not the Assigned To Contact has been used already or not.

    (if you see what I mean)

    If this wont work, you could potentially set up a collapsible space at the top of the sheet with a row per Assigned To user and use a new column with a single Letter to signify whether or not to exclude the row from the report.  E.g. column called Exclude from report with a Y if it is on a row just to specify the user!?  Then your Assigned To person will appear in the criteria list and you just have to add a second criteria to say where [Exclude from Report] is blank!

    Hope this helps!

    Kind regards


  • JLC
    JLC ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    Thanks Debbie but this is not an option for us - we have multiple user types who each have varying degrees of overall permissions, locked columns that they can/cannot edit, etc. We also have roll-up reports that need to pull selected groups of people as well as the need to send indviduals' reports to their leaders and/or print them out for them for specific meetings.

  • Paul Newcome
    Paul Newcome ✭✭✭✭✭✭



    Unfortunately there is no way of setting it up for a contact that is not yet listed on the sheet. The only way to do this would be to temporarily assign them to a task, save it, build the report, save that, then delete them from the Assigned to column in the sheet.


    Another option would be to use part of one of Debbie's ideas.


    Create a collapsible section (to keep the sheet looking clean) where every possible person is listed once in the Assigned to column. Add the person to this list, collapse, then build your report.