I admit it — I’m a nerd. I like to set goals, but I also like to use graphs to see how I’m doing. If you use Google Sheets to track progress on your goals, did you know you can keep most of your goal spreadsheets in one workbook and create a dashboard so you can see your progress on all of them? This is useful if you want to see your progress on all your goals at a glance. It’s a relatively easy process; I’ll go through it step-by-step in this story.
Create a Workbook
Start by creating a workbook, but leave the first sheet blank; this is where you’ll set up your dashboard. I’ll explain how to set this up later.
Create spreadsheets for the goals you want to track.
For example, in my workbook I created spreadsheets to track my writing progress, the number of miles I walk and run, my progress on the books I’m reading, and my total freelance writing income. Set up the appropriate formulas depending on how you want to track your goals. Do you have a certain total you’re trying to work towards? If so, you might want to set your formulas up so you can see how much you have left to reach your goal. If you want to track the amount of progress you’ve made towards your goal, you’ll want to set up formulas that will add the numbers you enter.
Create your graphs
Decide what kind of graphs you want to see for each goal. If you want to see a graph showing an increasing total, you might wan to create a stacked bar chart or a line graph. If you want to see your progress on each step in a goal, such as if you’re tracking your progress on the books you read, you might want to create a sparkline for each book you’re tracking.
Create graphs for each goal. When you create your graphs, be sure to format them the way you want them, then click the three dots in the upper right corner, click “copy chart,” choose the first sheet in your workbook, and click “paste.” You’ll do this for each one, and in the end, your dashboard will look something like this:
Update your spreadsheets with your data
You can do this a few different ways. You can enter it directly into the spreadsheets and the graphs on your dashboard will automatically update, or you can create a Google form and associate it with each spreadsheet. However, if you do that, it will create its own spreadsheet in the workbook. For this reason, I opted to enter my data directly in my spreadsheets.
This is a simple, but not easy, process to create a workbook that tracks your progress to all your goals. Obviously, if some of your goal sheets need additional sheets, you may not be able to track all your goals in one workbook. However, you can link to those other workbooks and update the data. If your goals are simple and require only one sheet per goal, however, you should be able to track every goal in one spreadsheet.
If you have other tools you like to use to track your goals, I’d love to hear them. Feel free to comment below.