Use Card View to Visualize Your Project

Applies to

  • Pro
  • Business
  • Enterprise

With Card View, you and the people you work with can organize tasks, work items, or ideas into actionable groups to more easily take action on them. Moving an item from one group to another—from To Do to Done or from one assignee to another for example—can be accomplished by dragging a card from one lane to the next.

Card View can be adapted to suit a number of project management methodologies (including agile). If you’re familiar with Scrum or Kanban, you’ll find that Card View in Smartsheet functions much the way a Scrum or Kanban board does.

Currently, printing from Card View is limited to individual cards only.

Work in Card View

On the View menu, select Card View

Use the buttons in the upper-right corner of the Smartsheet window to switch between compact view (show the title of the card only) or full view.


Set Up Card View

Card View works in any sheet as long it includes at least one single-select Dropdown List or Contact List column. The values specified for the column become the headers in Card View, called Lanes. For more information about column types, check out our Column Types article in the Help Center.

You can also use Card View with data that you import from Microsoft Excel, Google Sheets, Microsoft Project, or Trello. For more information, see the article on how to Import Files to Create New Sheets.

Once in Card View, you’ll work with lanes and cards. For more information about working with cards, see Card View: Creating, Editing, and Sharing Cards.

Card View showing lanes and cards

  1. Lanes:  Labels at the top of the Card View window define the lanes. Card View will display a maximum of 64 lanes.
  2. Cards:  The tasks or work items that appear within the lanes. (In Grid View, each card appears as a separate row.)
  3. Fields:  The items that appear on the cards. To see the field name associated with a value, hover the mouse over the value.

Work with Card View Lanes

Smartsheet gives you the flexibility to change what appears at the top of the Card View window so that you can organize cards the way you need to.

To get started, click the View by list in the upper-right corner of the Smartsheet window and select the grouping that you want to switch to. For example, in the project shown in the picture below, you might choose to change the View by to Assigned To.

The View by setting is unique to you. That is, others who view the sheet won’t be impacted if you select a different value in View by. Anyone with access to the sheet can choose to use a different View by setting as they see fit.

In Card View, a lane is equivalent to a value in a dropdown, contact, or symbol column in Grid View; so, each available option in View by represents a dropdown list column in your sheet.

NOTE: If you switch to display lanes for which some cards don’t have field entries, those cards will be placed into a lane named Uncategorized. You can drag these cards into the appropriate lanes, or, if it doesn’t make sense to sort them, you can leave them in Uncategorized. (Cards will also go into the Uncategorized lane if number of lanes exceed the 64-entry display maximum.)

Show or Hide a Lane

If you're working with a sheet that includes multiple lanes, you may want to collapse or expand them to make it easier to focus on only a few groups of cards at a time. Here's how you would do that:

  • To collapse lane (for example, to hide the Uncategorized lane), hover the mouse over the right edge of the lane that you want to collapse, and click the collapse lane arrow:

     Collapse a Lane arrow
  • To expand a collapsed lane, hover the mouse at the end of the column name and click the expand lane arrow: 

    Expand Lane arrow

Re-Order Lanes

The easiest way to change the order of lanes in Card View is to drag them.  (You must have owner- or admin-level sharing permissions to a sheet to edit or re-order lanes—if you don't have the right permissions, you won't be able to drag lanes.) Note that when you drag a lane you'll also change the order of the values in the dropdown column that it's associated with.

Add a Lane

To add a new lane, click Add Lane (to the right of the right-most lane) and type a name for the lane.

Add Lane image
Depending on your View by setting, you can name a new lane with a dropdown list or contact value:

  • Dropdown List—When you add a lane while viewing by a dropdown list column, the name of the new lane will also be added as a value to the dropdown list. For example, if you add a lane while View by is set to Status, the new lane name will be added as an item in the dropdown list for the Status column in Grid and Gantt Views.
  • Contact List—When you add a lane while viewing by a contact column (Assigned To, for example), you can type the new lane name and choose from your available contacts.

    Contact List columns that allow for multiple contacts can't be viewed as lanes in Card View. (More information on working with multiple contacts in one Contact List field can be found in Assign People to a Task.)

    Name Contact Lane

Change the Name of a Lane 

To rename a lane, double-click the lane name and type the new name. Press Enter to accept the change. Depending on the View by setting, you can name a new lane with a contact or dropdown list value:

  • Dropdown List—When you change the name of a lane while viewing by a Dropdown List column, the underlying value in the list will also be changed. Any cards that exist in the lane will be updated to use the new name.
  • Contact List—When you change the name of a lane while viewing by a Contact List column, you can type the name from your available contacts.

    NOTE: Symbol lanes cannot be renamed or reordered.

    As you type, a list will expand under the name field to display your available contacts. Once the contact you want becomes highlighted, press Enter to accept the contact as the name of the lane.

    Name Contact Lane

    More information on available contacts can be found in the Assigning People to a Task article. 

Merge Contact Lanes

When you select a Contact List column in View by, you may have multiple lanes with cards that are intended to be assigned to one person. For example, you may have multiple lanes named Sally Smart (if Sally is assigned to cards with more than one email address), or you may have a lane named Sally and another lane named Sally Smart. You'll have more than one lane because both the name and the email address of a contact need to match, otherwise they are treated as separate people with their own lanes.

Contact List columns that allow for multiple contacts can't be viewed as lanes in Card View. (More information on working with multiple contacts in one Contact List field can be found in Assign People to a Task.)

You can merge lanes by changing the names of lanes as needed for the contacts to match exactly—having the same contact name and email address.

Two Sally Lanes

Once two lanes are named with the same contact (same name and email address), a window appears for you to confirm that you want to merge the lanes. Select Merge to combine the lanes or select Cancel to undo the change to the name of the lane and keep the lanes separate.

Merged Sally Lane

View Resource Overallocation

If resource management has been enabled, you can see overallocation of your resources. View by a Contact column to drag-and-drop overallocated cards to different lanes—reassigning them to someone else. For details on the Resource Management feature, see Resource Management and Allocation

Overallocated resources will have a red silhouette icon in the lower left corner of the card. 

resource management

Visualize Task Status with Symbol Lanes

You can view lanes by symbols to see and quickly move cards into desired symbol categories. For example, you can move cards from red to yellow to make changes to the status of a task.

symbol lanes

Keep the following in mind when viewing lanes by symbols:

  • The text label is displayed to the right of the visual symbol.
  • Flag and Star symbols cannot be viewed as lanes.
  • Symbol lane order is controlled by the order that the symbols appear when selecting them in a cell with Grid View, with the topmost symbol in the picker representing the leftmost lane.

Move Cards

To move a card, drag it within a lane or across lanes.

Moving a card up or down within a lane will not affect its contents. In contrast, when you move a card from one lane to another, the value for the field will be updated to reflect the value of the lane into which you moved the card. For example, if you move a card from a lane named Client Summary to one named Pending Sale (as in the picture above), the field value for State will change from "Client Summary" to "Pending Sale" (you’ll see this change if you open the card to edit it or if you switch to Grid View).

Keep Cards Organized with Subtasks

Define relationships between tasks and organize subtasks with a parent task. Subtasks in Card View can be defined in both the Grid View and directly in Card View:

  • Grid View—when rows are indented under a parent to create a hierarchical relationship. More on hierarchy in Indenting and Outdenting Rows.
  • Card View—when added as a subtask to another card directly. Click the Card Menu icon to expand the card and select Add Subtask to create a new subtask for that card. (Subtasks created this way are displayed as child rows to the task in Grid View.)

Filter Subtasks by Levels

Quickly view subtask cards by their relationship with other cards with the level at the top of the Smartsheet window.

The default filtered view for new sheets is All Levels.

Publish from Card View

Anyone with Owner- or Admin-level sharing permissions to a sheet can use Smartsheet's Publish feature to share that sheet with others via a unique URL.

Here's how you can specify Card View as the default view for a published sheet:

  1. To get started publishing, click Publish Publish icon on right feature bar on the right feature bar.
  2. Click on the slider under Read Only - Full or Edit by Anyone and set it to ON.

    This will 
    create a shareable link.
  3. Click Get Link to to display the Publish Links form and specify options for the link.
  4. In the Publish Links form, under Publish Settings, select Card under Default View.

    Publish form


For more information about publishing to share a sheet from Smartsheet, see our Help Center article Publish a Sheet, Report, or Dashboard.

Card View and Sharing Permissions

What you can do in Card View will depend on your sharing permission level for the sheet. For details about specific actions you can take in Card View, see the following table. For more general information about sharing permission levels in Smartsheet, please see Sharing Permission Levels.

  Viewer Editor Admin Owner
Change the order of or edit the names of lanes     X X
Change which fields appear on a card     X X
Modify the content in a card, add an attachment or discussion, or set a reminder   X X X
Change a color bar for a card   X X X
Reorder cards within a lane or move cards across lanes   X X X
Use the View by menu to view a different collection of lanes X X X X
Turn the applied filter on or off X X X X
Naming a filter to save it   X X X


Tips for Getting the Most Out of Card View

Here are some ways you can be more efficient when you use Card View.

Use Keyboard Shortcuts to Navigate Quickly

Shortcut Description
Arrow keys Select card
Spacebar Expand or collapse card
Enter Opens edit row form
Shift + Enter Add card (enter a title and press Enter again to add the card)

Create a Checklist of Subtasks

You can create a checklist in a parent card from subtasks that you can mark as complete or incomplete. A ratio of completed subtasks is displayed at the bottom of the parent card.

subtask checklist

Click the Settings icon in the upper-right corner of the Smartsheet window to open Card View Settings—then, designate an existing checkbox column (or create a new checkbox column from the form) as your Subtask Checklist Field.