Multiple Projects = Multiple Sheets?

Amanda Jaffke
edited 12/09/19 in Smartsheet Basics

HELP! Our company is moving to Smartsheet and I have very limited knowledge on set up and functionality. I've gone through the videos and read almost every tutorial and I know I have much to learn but the main question I have is the initial set up. I feel the set up is crucial and if I can get that correct, I can get everything else. Let me give you some background. I am a Project Manager for a Real Estate Developer. I have 4 different shopping centers and within each of those properties are retailers. (Think Malls!!)  I have a list of specific tasks that I have to track that are the same for all retailers no matter what property they are on. So, my boss (Who is new to SS too) set us up a sheet for each retailer. At the moment, I am currently up to 37 sheets with MANY more to come. Each one of those sheets roll up to a Property Specific Sheet with a minimal overview. I have to update each of the 37 sheets individually to keep track of my projects. This is extremely time consuming and cumbersome and makes all of us want to just stick with my Excel spreadsheet. So basically if I have 4 properties and each one has 50 tenants, I will have 200 sheets that I have to go into individually to update and track. Please tell me there's another way!! Please.....


Ideally, I'd like to see all my properties, retailers and tasks on ONE sheet and be able to update in ONE location. If I can't do that, can I have a "Property A" sheet that only lists retailers at Property A and all the tasks associated with each retailer? That would limit me to only 4 sheets to update. I would greatly appreciate any input!



  • Andrée Starå
    Andrée Starå ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    edited 10/22/19

    Hi Amanda,

    There are a few different ways to structure a solution.

    Reports and dashboards or possibly a solution where everything is collected in one sheet. I'd need more information to be able to give more specific advice.

    Can you describe your process in more detail and maybe share the sheet(s) or some screenshots? (Delete/replace any confidential/sensitive information before sharing) That would make it easier to help. (share too,

    Hope that helps!

    Have a fantastic week!


    Andrée Starå

    Workflow Consultant / CEO @ WORK BOLD



    Andrée Starå | Workflow Consultant / CEO @ WORK BOLD

    W: | | P: +46 (0) - 72 - 510 99 35

    Feel free to contact me for help with Smartsheet, integrations, general workflow advice, or anything else.

  • Mike Wilday
    Mike Wilday ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    There are a multitude of ways this can be set up. You can use reports to gather all the rows you're responsible for in a single place. You can update rows in reports like you would on a regular sheet. But you could also set up everything in a single sheet providing you aren't going to have more than 3000 rows in the sheet with a limited number of columns. We have between 30 and 50 columns and 3000 rows and sheet performance is terrible. So watch how much you smoosh onto one sheet. We manage about 50-60 course design projects each with about 50 rows of subtasks. 

  • Eid E. Eid
    Eid E. Eid ✭✭✭

    In addition to the valuable expert advice above, I would also like to add that a simple thing that can be possible, is to add a column that has the project Name or reference, and then filter on this column when working on a single project. So everything is on the same sheet, but at the same time, you have the same 'individual sheet" feeling if you want to....


    Just my 2 cents...


  • Mike Wilday
    Mike Wilday ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    Amanda, I second Andre's request for a screenshot. It would be good to see a sample of one property, a few different stores, and a subset of tasks you have for each store. This will help us determine how much data you are dealing with and give us some idea of how we can help you set it up. 

  • PeggyLang
    PeggyLang ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Amanda Jaffke

    @Mike Wilday

    @Andrée Starå

    VERY interesting post. I am at the onset of a VERY similar situation. 260 locations. Each location has approx 75 rows of items our Project Managers are tracking. The 75 rows are a multitude of parent / child relationships (I believe we have 4 levels in each location set of milestones). Our Project Managers and Program Manager is VERY reluctant to go the route of 1 worksheet per project. Clearly we will have to make splits somewhere (geographic regions?) as 260 location x 75 rows is 19,500 rows - crazy mammoth of a sheet.

    I have been looking at the Smartsheet Project Management Office template set, but just not sure how to set it all up, nor how it will all work. i.e., how do I create reports for the PM's such that updating milestones in their projects is not an onerous task? How do I create reports that will give the stakeholders visibility to the overall health of the locations we have underway - which could be all 260 at the same time.

    I'm hoping I can get some information that will allow me to begin to tackle this.

    Thanks in advance.

  • Mike Wilday
    Mike Wilday ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    Hi @PeggyLang , this is hard to determine without seeing the setup of those project sheets. Are the milestones assigned to the project managers? You could probably create a report that filters milestone rows based on the "duration" and the "assigned user" so that when they access their report they only see the milestone rows they are responsible for. Data can be updated from a report and it updates the row in the original sheets.

    For more on creating reports see: