How to get team members to switch from using Spreadsheets

I am in charge of onboarding the small consulting company I work for. It is very clear that the centralization of all documentation would benefit us greatly. That said, I am having a hard time getting even my closest team members to stop using spreadsheets to track projects. I am trying to mimic some of the ways we use spreadsheets (ones without any formulas – just text) but even there I am running up against barriers. For instance we use one column to list potential team members. We aren’t at a stage to use the “person” column. But the way the tables are laid out the team members names cannot be separated by a hard paragraph break so that they list one on top of the other to be seen more quickly. Also, tables in a board all needing to have the same column labels disallows the versatility that we became accustomed to in our spreadsheets. How have others gotten around this? I don’t know how I will be able to get team members to switch when the previous way was so much more convenient.

1 Like

Hey Emily!

Charlotte here with the monday support & Community team! I’d be happy to help with this!

It sounds like your team may really benefit from importing some Excel or Google Sheets spreadsheets into monday as boards! Perhaps that would allow them to experiment with the layout and functionality of our platform while maintaining their comfort with spreadsheets?

You could use a Text Column to list the potential team members! The People Column is only useful if these people are part of the account and you want them to be tagged/notified they’re assigned to that item. Would the Text Column work instead?

When you mentioned “tables in a board all needing to have the same column labels disallows the versatility that we became accustomed to in our spreadsheets”, do you mean the titles of the columns or the Status Column labels (“Stuck”, “Working On It”, “Done”, etc)?
Both can be changed! Double click on the column name to change the title and you can click the three dot icon next to the title to open up a dropdown menu with customization settings. You can change the words and colors of the different status labels.

Let me know if this is helpful or if you are running into a different issue!

1 Like

Actually, we’ve figured out how to import from Excel. It is just that some aspects that work in Excel don’t work well in the table format. For instance, as you can see here, the Project Team is all mashed together. These are just ideas of possible team members and so not meriting a “People” column. I thought to duplicate the first table in hopes that I could dedicate it to the team members for each project by collapse most of the columns except for a set of team members – one column for each team member. But when I collapse columns in the duplicate table (now called the Open Bid Teams) or the original table it collapses it in the other. Is there a way to freeze one table with certain columns showing and leave them showing in the other?

If you aren’t to the point of people column, have you considered a board of people, and a connect boards column where you can select the people?

What do you mean by “collapse columns” and how are you creating this duplicate table?

1 Like

You can see the collapsed columns here. I duplicated the group and then selected duplicate items without updates. I remembered from tutorials that you can save a view. I thought maybe one way of getting around having all the columns of tables in the same board having to have the same labels was to duplicate, hide some columns in the duplicate table, and then save that view?

Could you use a Dropdown or Tags column instead of a text column to list the people? That might help your view and it would allow you to sort the board by the tag or dropdown label if you wanted to sort for just one person.

Excel is my favorite video game. I default to it in nearly everything, but I’ve been playing with Monday for a year or so, and there are some good reasons to switch. One of the big ones is shared columns. There’s no reason to ever need to enter the same bit of data in more than one place. If you have it in three places, you have to update it in three places. Make a MASTER board that just links to all your other boards and pull date from them as needed. That’s what hooked me.

For your specifics, you might try one of these.

You can do a hard return in a LONG TEXT column and get some proper formatting, but it only shows correctly when you hover over the cell or click into it. In the table view it will still be stacked as in your examples.

You might also try subitems. Under each line, create a subitem with each person being a new “item”. You can then set the column types to create flags to sort them.

Or you make a board with just the people listed, with a column for each project they might be a part of, consisting of a Yes No Maybe status option. When you sort a project name by YES, you get a list of members.

Hey Emily - welcome to Monday!

My team has been on Monday for about 18 months now. I’m writing to make a suggestion about your adoption strategy.

If you just recreate the current process in Monday, what’s the benefit that would draw someone to go through the effort of learning a new system?

You might consider identifying a part of the current process that’s a headache or an unfulfilled need – some tedious manual task, some complex reporting, etc. – and tackle that first. Use Monday to solve a problem and demonstrate its value. Having an easier way to do something will help draw people in for a taste… and then you can incrementally convert more and more into Monday.


Excellent point. If what’s in is just a recreation of whats in the spreadsheet today, there is not going to be any motivation to change. So approaching the creation of the board as if it is a spreadsheet is misguided.

You might benefit from increasing the item height,-Do%20you%20have&text=You%20can%20change%20the%20item’s,the%20height%20of%20your%20choice!

Changing the height of your item

Do you have long item names that make it difficult to see what’s written in a glance? Does hovering over every item become tiresome for you? You can change the item’s height to ensure that you can see as little or as much of each item as you want!

To change the item height, go to board header, click on the three-dot menu, and select “Item height”. Then just select the height of your choice!

So many ideas:

  • Hide different columns on different views rather than collapse columns. Hide much better than collapse.
    I agree with other ideas such as:
  • Increase row width
  • OR Use long text column for people and use hard returns. When you hover over column, you see the line breaks
  • OR Use another board for to list potential people and then connect boards to select which of those people you want. We call things like this “reference boards” at our company and it is really helpful. We use it for selecting team names because we don’t want to use the teams feature in
  • You can totally change column names (and also item terminology if you don’t want the first main column to say “item”)

And lastly, I totally agree with not using this just as a spreadsheet replacement. You have to find ways for people to see value in the other features such as automations. Good luck! It’s taken us 18 months to really adopt and let go of spreadsheets.

Hi @Emily_Lundberg ,

If you are open to 3rd party apps, then I can suggest trying the Smart Spreadsheet app (our company develops it).

You’ll be able to use and store spreadsheets right inside your monday instance and work with all the familiar Excel-like features.

Besides, there is a one-way synchronization: you may connect your board to a spreadsheet and all the changes made to the board will be reflected in this spreadsheet.

Best regards,
Katerina Kovriga