How To Use Smartsheet As Localization Project Manager

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Is Smartsheet any good for localization project managers?

Welcome to another episode in this series, where every month we’ll check out a new project management platform and see how viable it is for localization. All online software will be either free or with a free trial, so you can try it on your own.

In this video, I’ll show you how to use Smartsheet to schedule your localization projects. Together, we’ll plan two simple projects and create one dashboard.


Andrej Zito 

Hi, there! This is Andrej. Welcome to another new video. In this one, I’m going to show you how I set up Smartsheet. And how I scheduled and planned two localization projects – one simple one and one more complex one. And then, in the end, I created a report so that I can see all my projects in one unified view so that I can easily track them. In this video, I’m also going to tell you what I like and also things that I don’t like about Smartsheet. So, stay tuned, and let’s get right into the tutorial. This is how you start after you register for a free trial account. As you can see here, I think it’s for 30 days. This is some homepage. What we’re going to do first is we’re going to create our first simple project. And that’s where we’re going to set up, let’s say, our structure of all the information that we want to be tracking for each project and for each project task. So, I think it starts through here: Solution Center. And here you have bunch of templates, I believe. And we’re going to start with a grid one, which is in other platforms, basically a table where you can set up all the things that you need to be tracking. So grid, and we are creating sheets, in the terms of Smartsheet, right, because everything here is a sheet. But of course, we’re going to call this Project A so this will be our sheet for Project A. Okay. And as you’re going to see throughout the tutorial, course, as expected, maybe Smartsheet is very similar to Google Sheets, there’s some extra functionality. But, maybe for what we’re going to be doing, a lot of the functionality that we do could technically be done in Google Sheets as well. So, then the question is, why would you be using this one? Now, this is how it all starts, I haven’t done anything in this account. So we have a primary column, it’s nothing like ID, it doesn’t have to be unique. So I believe so this will be the main column. And what we want to be doing here is we want to be tracking our tasks here. For the primary column, it has to be either a text or a number. Okay, so that’s our first column. Second column, what we’re going to do, we’re going to do two statuses here. And for statuses, we only want one option. So we’re going to create a drop down with single select, so you can only select one option. I’m going to fill this out later. That’s that one. Next, we want to do signing. So who is the person that is responsible for the task. And for this one, the contact will be on the list. Here you have the option to allow multiple assignees or task. And we’re just going to hit OK. And then finally, two columns will use for the start date. And this will be the date one, and we want to restrict it dates only. So no other values can be entered. And then we’re going to do a finish date, which will be the same configuration. And that’s all we need for now. So I’m just going to delete all six. And we’re pretty much set up. So next thing I’m going to do is I’m going to enter the main tasks that we do. So here I press accidentally enter, and it doesn’t work here, I’m used to pressing enter from notion, I believe that’s how you edit the cell. But here is the same thing as in Google Sheets. So f2, and we put in translation 30k.

Andrej Zito 

Then we have a review of 40 hours, and then we do delivery. One thing that I would like to point out is that the first column here sort of column is used for the actions, so things that you can do for the tasks at attach man at the comments at proof. I don’t know what that means and add a reminder. Normally, I would say I’m used to having these action icons on the right side, but not a big thing. So we have our main things here. Then the next thing that we’re going to do is we’re going to start adding the subtasks. Right, our project a is into four languages. And we want to keep, let’s say a track of each language where the translation and where the review is. So this is where I’m going to add a new row right here with insert. So I’m pressing insert, but you can do the same thing with using right click the contextual menu and doing Insert Row I’m just going to do it four times three, four, we have four languages. And now I’m going to load it up. So, German translation, I’m copying this, right here. And then mine, just just these languages, Japanese, Korean, now, everything is at the same level, what we want to do is we want to do indent. Here, the beauty of Smartsheet is that you can have a belief, not sure if it’s unlimited, but you can really do a lot of indents to group things. So if I indented it’s going to become part of the main translation task. So then, that’s what allows you to expand and collapse the main task. And we’re going to do the same thing for to review. Same thing as sort of translation subtasks, we’re going to indent it, I’m going to use the keyboard shortcut CTRL and right, square bracket. So this is basically a project with two simple tasks. And one, let’s say final, delivery milestone or task. Next thing we want to do is we want to do the dates going to do that thing as next. Alright, so we have bunch of dates, I’m usually not a fan of these numbers. So the way how you can change the format is I selected both cells, sorry, I select both columns. When I hold shift, I can select the finish date as well. And here, you can set your preferred date format. So I normally like this one, I’m going to stick to this one. Okay, next thing, now we’re going to do is we’re going to set the status. The thing that’s sort of interesting here is that the status is not a dedicated system field on its own, I just created myself. So it means I need to define the values as well. So for status, I’m going to use very similar statuses that you can find by default in some other apps. So we have to do then we have in progress, and then we have done, these are the main statuses. And then as usually, I’m always going to add something for the subtasks. So statuses that should only be applicable and used for the sub tasks. And this will be hats, sent. Pom Pom Pom, it’s burnt. And we have handoff sent. And then finally, we have handoff.

Andrej Zito 

And we want to restrict the status to only allow these fields. Right. So not at that is set, we’re going to say that translation is in progress, I don’t think that is left to do is to do the assignees. So the main tasks, I like to assign it to myself. Here we get a prompt to set up a notification. But I’m not going to do that, though I think it’s probably useful. Unless you change this assignees a lot frequently, that it might trigger a lot of notifications. So I’m going to assign the main task for me. And just sort of we have some other people here, I’m going to say that I have on. And for German, I’m going to add Christian. One more thing that I have to tell you right away. If you have seen any of the previous videos, you know that I like if things are a little bit colorful, this to me is very, very boring, just like you would have it in a regular spreadsheet. Unless you customize the columns colors for yourself, you have the option to set the background colors on your own. But that’s not very practical. Because if you change the headsup cert, because if you change the color, if you change the status, you would ideally want to change the color as well. But in our settings right here, there’s no way to set a color, or to associate a color with a different status, which is a little bit limiting. But the way how you can do this is by using conditional formatting. So that is this one. And this is how it works. So we’re going to add a new rule. And first you set the condition so condition is based on the status and if the status is, let’s say had sent What we’re going to do is we’re going to apply this format. So this format, this is a little bit tricky. There are too few, a few two, there are two places here where you can set the background color, I was first little bit confused by that. But this one is related to what you see in the grid. So that’s this part. And I’m going to select, let’s say this one. And this one, the task bar, it’s actually the bar that you will see later on the Gantt chart. So I’m going to select the same color as well. Okay. And fortunately, it closed it. So let me bring these back. And here finally, you can set what actually is colored. I’m not a huge fan of coloring the whole row. To me, I think it will look very, very ugly, when you have multiple colors, so I would just leave it to the status only. Okay, and it’s looks like this. So now, whenever we have something as had sent, it will be automatically yellow. Again, like I mentioned to you in other platforms, you can associate the colors with different statuses because there is a dedicated field for statuses. But here, we have to do it this way. So in a similar way, I’m going to do one forehead sub confirmed. And for done, I like to use some very ugly color. Can you use the grayish one, I think this might be too gray. And just for the status, right? So that is our statuses and our coloring of statuses. One more thing that I would do here, again, I have to do it manually is I would make the main tasks volt. slightly separate it right. Alright. Another thing that you have might have noticed here is this little prompt here or to reminder that it has been 10 minutes since we last save the changes. It doesn’t work the same way as it does in Google Sheets. So it’s not let’s say instant saving. So you have to do it manually or you get this prompts. At least there’s a way how you can set this to automatically save if you are inactive with your sheet. But again, just maybe because I’m used so much to Google Sheets, I would prefer to have it be auto saved instantly on every change. Okay,

Andrej Zito 

so now that we finished our grid view, what we’re going to do next one is we’re going to go to the can chart. And you just click it here, and it opens pretty much right next to the grid view. I have some place some space here taking bladder conversations. So here you have a site menu, I’m going to just close it. And I believe we are looking pretty good right now. So this is how the Gantt chart looks by default. There’s not a lot of customization here. You can of course, zoom out, zoom in. And you have some additional settings here on the project settings and timeline display. So we are using weekends, this is the date for a month. That one looks good. And we have the baits started for the week, going to Monday. And then we have the display label for tasks. So what is actually displayed here, as you can see, right now it’s showing the task, you can change it to any other field. But you can only pick one, which I think is a limitation compared to the previous platforms that I’ve tried where you could select multiple things. And even some of the labels were put, let’s say inside of the bar. So that’s one thing. Another thing I wish I discovered later on is if you set the dependencies as enabled, the Gantt chart will start looking slightly differently. Okay, so here you can see and this is what to me is a huge improvement that it shows these kind of like these, these edges, these wrappers. So that definitely makes it look like okay, these tasks underneath it belong to translation. Previously, it was all just blue. The color of the bars is set like this by default. You can customize it through the conditional formatting. So again, let’s say that everything that is handbook confirmed, which is this one, instead of applying this only to this will do it for the entire row. So then it’s going to help highlight the whole thing like this. And that’s where maybe it makes sense to have the task bar in a slightly different color. So that’s pretty much the bar here. Like I mentioned to you, I think that this looks very funny. And it’s too colorful when you apply this to the whole row. So that’s what I don’t like to use it, you have the option to set the color for two bars. But this is very manual here are just right click. And here, you can do color settings. So I can color code, everything, but I do it manually, which I don’t like at all. And again, what I do in the group view, so collapse, expand, also applies here on the Gantt chart. And that’s pretty much all the functionality that we have here for the Gantt view on the submissive. So with that being said, this was our object A the simple one. Next thing, what we’re going to do is we’re going to do project B, which is slightly more complex. And we are going to do it is I’m going to Save Project A as a new one. And I’m going to say it’s project B, and we’re basically copying the whole everything that we create for Project A. Save it. Okay, project be going to hide conversations. And now what I’m going to do is I’m just going to load up all the tasks that we have to do to do to do. Alright, should have everything right now. Now our bolding, like it doesn’t make sense that much. So I’m going to unbold it. Maybe in this case, what I would involve is group’s categories. Okay, I have one issue here and this one should be underneath it. Okay, French, Korean. Alright, so that is that think one more thing that I don’t like is the conditional formatting chord, the done tasks, so I’m going to fix that a little bit. Status is done, we will not do it, let’s say lighter. Like this. And our taskbar will be the one that looks pretty decent, okay. And that’s our project B. Okay, so here we have the language independent tasks at the beginning. Then we have the German Japanese

Andrej Zito 

project schedule, which is translation review, the DBQ waited up to QA to and delivery. And then we have French Korean, for which we do mtpe DDP QA, and then we deliver. And that’s pretty much it. So all worked pretty fine. One thing that I have to highlight is that similar to Google Sheets, I mean, all the UI and the way I can add and copy and move stuff around is very familiar to me. And it’s very easy to do. And it’s also it actually works. So now that we have two projects, as usually, we’re going to wrap up this tutorial by creating some sort of a one unified view of all the projects. And this is where we can utilize the reports. To try different things that he we have here as an option, I think report is the one that does it in the easiest way. So let’s create a report going to call it mine projects. And we’re going to keep the roll reports selected. Now, this is where you can select the source sheets that will be let’s say, inserted into this report. And I’m going to select my two projects. And they are loaded. And here you can define what columns from those sheets are, let’s say transferred or copied here to this report. So we’re going to do the same thing. So sheet name in this case, actually is the name of our project. And we have the primary selected by default. And that what we want to do is we want to have our status, say any start date and finished. Pretty much the same things. Next filter criteria, we don’t need any filter here. What we’re going to select though, is the grouping, and we want to group by the sheet name, which is basically our project. And it’s going to split it like this into two groups onto project A and one for Project B. So we have all the information from project A and project B. Let’s say import it from the two sheets. One thing That is really bothering me is that the indents from those projects are not preserved here on the report, I tried to look this up. And I think other people were asking for this to be implemented as well, well you can do is you can still actually do indent here, let’s see manually to fix it. But even if even if you do it, I think if I save it, and now if we refresh, it went back to the same thing. Okay, so the indent is removed, which to me doesn’t make much sense. And then if we want to get to the Gantt chart view, this is where it sort of works. Because at least your start date and due date and the way that they’re organized, kind of like fits what you want to do, but you lost the complete, you completely lost the ability to, to drill down or to expand or collapse groups of tasks, which to me is the biggest concern, I would say, if you have multiple projects, and you want to drill into what you want to do, and you want to hide the details from some other projects, you really want to just zoom out and let’s say see where the whole project schedule is laid out. Like on which dates, projects are happening, you cannot do it. And that is that that is a quick tutorial, how to get started with Smartsheet. If you want to create some basic projects, in this case, we did two localization projects. One simple one very simple one and the second one a little bit more complex. And then we created this one report where you have one unified view but the drawback is that you cannot drill down because the indent and the grouping is not reserved from the project’s level. So that’s it. Thank you for watching and see you in the next one.

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