Google Sheets Basics: User-Friendly Tracking Forms

Here are some basic skills to help create a tracking sheet in Google Sheets.

Tracking sheets are very useful, here are some examples of  how you might use one at your business:

  • You might keep one at a front desk, to track all phone and email inquiries. This is extremely useful data for measuring ROI for advertising and social media, generating sales (follow-up), building a mailing list (with caller’s permission!), and identifying sales opportunities (are there multiple inquiries for a product/service that you do not offer?).
  • You might use a tracking sheet to track inventory (products for sale, office keys/security passes, office supplies).
  • You might also use a tracking sheet as a checklist (open/closing duties, training new staff, monthend, etc).

You can also use these tips on any type of spreadsheet (expense report, sales, human resources, etc).

Freeze Rows

When you freeze rows or columns, you can still see them when you scroll. Otherwise, if you have a lot of information in your sheet, the headings disappear and you might not know what the data you are viewing means anymore.

How to Freeze Rows or Columns in Google Sheets

First select the row(s) or column(s) you want to freeze.

Next, click on View and then select Freeze, and one of the options (in this case, ‘freeze 2 rows’).

Now when you scroll, the headings will ‘stick’ and you will still see them as the rest of the columns or rows scroll by.

Reduce Column Width

If you have a long list of options on your tracking list or a long checklist, your sheet can become difficult to navigate. For example, the many possibly responses to ‘How did you hear about us?’ as shown below: 

You can decrease the width of your columns to accommodate the space required for responses (in this case it might just be an X).

How to Reduce Column Width 

Select the columns you want to change. Next, hover over the line between two columns and wait to see an arrow appear. While the arrow is visible, click and then drag the column to the width you want to use.

All of the columns you selected will change to that width at the same time.

Text Direction

If your headings are wider than the column width they will be difficult to read. The solution: change the text direction.

First, select the cells you want to change (do not select the entire column, you only want the headings to change direction, not the entries in the cells below).

Next, select the Text Direction icon in the toolbar and then click on the ‘rotate up’ option (vertical text direction).

Now  you have a tracking sheet that is much easier to use!

Bonus tip: Select the entire sheet by clicking on the gray square at the top left and then select ‘center’ to center the headings and the responses in the cells. (You might decide to left align some rows instead – whatever is easier for your eyes!)

 

2017-05-27T18:22:59+00:00