What Is a Tracking Spreadsheet?

Simply put, a tracking spreadsheet is a tool that you use to track information that you need for a specific purpose. For instance, in Google Ads, they use a tracking spreadsheet to store all the captured information after a user clicks a URL. The information they capture includes URL parameters. One of the purposes of using this essential tool is to determine the progress of a certain task or project until it is finished.

According to an article published in Neuron about the persistence and transience of memory, neurologists Blake Richards and Paul Frankland argued that storing information is not the sole purpose of memory. It also aids a person to make a decision, especially in an ever-changing and chaotic environment. In the process, forgetting has a pivotal role to play. Forgetting is a process that evaluates the information that a human absorbs and discards the ones that don’t contribute to the success of a species’ survival. Unfortunately, this process is not perfect. While it runs in the background, some essential information that human brains absorb is discarded. Through a tracking spreadsheet, you can take note of certain information, such as tasks, in the paper, retain, and retrieve them the moment you read them.

How to create a Tracking Spreadsheet?

Whether you are creating expense tracking sheets or any other tracking spreadsheets, the steps and strategies that you will use are similar to each other. However, they vary to the specific goals of the template. Nonetheless, reading the following steps will ensure that you will achieve these goals.

Step 1: Write down the tasks on the paper.

If you are creating a tracking spreadsheet from scratch, most likely, the tasks or the items that you need are not organized. To make sure that they are in proper order, it is best to write all the relevant items on paper. You can also use electronic means of writing them, such as word processors (MS Word, etc.). You may not identify everything as you write but you will remember them throughout the process. Just write everything that you remember. You can also refer to the relevant business documents or conduct a meeting with the relevant people in the business if you are tracking business tasks.  

Step 2: Organize the gathered items.

Once you have the necessary items. It’s time to organize them accordingly. In this process, double-check if each item that you write is relevant. Determine if they should be declared as a separate task or activity or if they should be merged or categorized under a broader section. Doing so will help you track things more effectively. It is also best to use word processors like MS Word and Google Docs when organizing them so that you can easily remove, transfer, and delete certain details of the activities/items.

Step 3: Write the tasks in a spreadsheet.

One thing that you must know is you may miss things out in listing items down. However, at this point, you have written almost everything if not all. Nonetheless, using spreadsheets like MS Excel and Google Spreadsheets will allow you to easily insert the items that you will remember or have come up with in the future. When writing the tasks in a spreadsheet, make sure that you label them in a way that you can track them, which is the main purpose of this tool. You can add columns, such as Name, Type, Department, Status, or anything that materializes the progress of your project.

Step 4: Highlight the crucial ones.

Categorizing the tasks may not be enough, especially if you are tracking a lot of things. Thus, you can use highlights. Doing so will allow you to check them first before anything else from time to time. Highlight those that are urgent and important. You can use different colors according to their importance and urgency. If the atmosphere changes, you can also modify the highlights. For instance, when news came that the people involved in a certain task will be on leave in the next few days, you may want to prioritize them, so that the progress will not go stagnant for a while.

Step 5: Keep track.

Tracking does not stop in the creation of the tracking spreadsheet. Creating the tracking spreadsheet is just the beginning of the tracking process. You need to regularly check the sheet and keep the statuses of the tasks up-to-date. Doing so may also allow you to remember the items that you have probably missed during the initial development of the sheet. In many cases, you may even have to add or remove certain tasks as you move forward with the project as the changes and the progress of the project itself can trigger necessary changes in terms of priority to certain tasks.

Different Tracking Spreadsheets That You Can Use

Timeline Update – Most projects are time-limited. It means that certain projects need to be finished within a time frame. To make sure that they are finished on time successfully, you can utilize this type of tracking spreadsheet.Gantt Chart – Another way to keep track of your in-progress tasks is through a Gantt chart. Through a Gantt chart, you can make sense of the time frame of each item at hand. You can even compare the amount of time allocated to a certain task and the actual time duration to finish each of these tasks.To-do list – Speaking of making things done, you can also utilize a daily to-do list to keep track of the things that you have to do every single day. You can use it for the things that you need to do at home or the office. You can even modify it to create a weekly, monthly, or annual tracking spreadsheet.Issue tracking template – In managing long-term projects, unwanted things, such as different issues, can happen. As a manager, it is your job to have them addressed, ensuring the success of the project. To make it happen, you will need to keep them tracked through an issue tracking template.Timecard – A timecard is a tracking spreadsheet that is crucial to a project or the business in general. Aside from tracking the progress of the project, business people can keep track of the number of hours that the employees have rendered (attendance) to keep the business operational using this tool. Know more about the timecard for employees by reading our article about sample timesheets.KPI tracker – How will you know that a project is successful? The answer is by tracking its performance. To do it, you will need a KPI tracker. Through this tool, you can determine if you will need to modify your monthly performance strategy to ensure that you still hit the target periodic performance of the project.Financial tracker – Also known as money trackers, using a financial tracker is essential to keep track of where your money goes. Through this tool, you can organize each of the expenses accordingly. For instance, you can label them as household, savings, and donations. Doing so will allow you to manage your money. You may also utilize income and expenses tracking tools for more detailed finance tracking.College student budget – If you are a student that has to track your expenses because you can’t just request a certain amount of money from your parents anytime, you will want to use this type of template. Being a student has a lot of expenses involved. For some reasons, such as reimbursement, you will have to keep them tracked, which you can conveniently do through a college student budget.Travel budget – Many people learned travel budgeting the hard way. They travel, believing that the money they bring is enough. They end up using the money intended for other essential matters. By taking into account the travel expenses before you even leave, you can ensure that you don’t overspend. You may even save more money. Do it more effectively with a travel budget worksheet.Kids’ money management template – At the age of 5, children are developmentally capable of saving. That is according to the research published in Wiley Online Library. If you are a parent, it would be helpful if you teach them about kids’ money management template.Weekly Meal plan template – Aside from business purposes, you can use a tracking spreadsheet for things like meal planning. For many people, dieting is hard and, oftentimes, expensive but by creating a weekly meal plan, you can overcome these obstacles.Stock Portfolio Management – According to the statistic posted by Statista Research Department on November 23, 2020, 55% of American adults are investing money in the stock market in 2020. This number is lower than the 65% that has been recorded right after the Great Recession. Nonetheless, the number is still significant. If you want to successfully track your profit in the stock market trading, you can use a stock portfolio management template.


Why is tracking important in achieving goals?

For one, tracking eliminates the risks involved in achieving targets. It also allows you to break big tasks into smaller actions to take, making them easier to finish. Since it eliminates the risks involved in goal achievements, you will also lessen the possibility of failing. It also helps you easily commit to tasks since they are in smaller forms. Ultimately, by tracking, you can efficiently achieve your goals on time.

What is Logistics Tracking?

You probably know that the environment in manufacturing changes constantly. As a logistics company leader, it is a crucial responsibility to track the supply chain status to ensure that you are making adjustments to the flow of the materials. Doing so will avoid shortages and oversupply, which can cause more serious problems. For a more effective tracking in logistics, business people like you can use logistics tracking spreadsheet excel.

What is an automated tracking system?

An automated tracking system is software used to automatically track certain information. An applicant tracking system is an example of an automated tracking system. Through an applicant tracking system, you can filter the applicants according to the given criteria, such as keywords, skills, former employers, and years of experience. Using this software makes it easier to hire the right person for a certain job.

What Is A Project Tracker?

A project tracker is a template that you can utilize as a tool in monitoring different aspects of a project. It helps leaders determine the budget needed for the project, the challenges and ways to handle them, and milestones. It also keeps the project adheres to the plan and schedule.

The Important Components of A Project Tracker

What Can You Get in Using a Tracking Spreadsheet in a Project?

In this article, you have learned that certain factors can force you to forget things. However, we, humans, always find ways to get things done. By tracking things, you can achieve your goal more effectively. Tracking things will help you materialize the items you include in the business plan. It also ensures that things are moving forward. With the things that you have learned about tracking spreadsheets, you can now utilize the tool to make things happen efficiently.