Smartsheet Control Center: Set Up an Intake Sheet
With an Intake Sheet, you gather Intake profile data and manage project creation. This is one part of your Blueprint, along with the Blueprint Source Folder, the Summary sheet, and any other related documents. Store this in your Admin folder so you can regulate who has access to it.
The Role of the Intake Sheet in a Blueprint
An Intake Sheet uses the data collected to populate the Summary section (or profile data) of your project sheets automatically.
The Intake Sheet standardizes and restricts access to profile data for each project. Locking items like Budget or Project Due Date prevents team members from changing important data points.
NOTE: You don’t have to lock all your fields—you can also allow manual data entry when a project is created.
An Intake Sheet also helps manage demand. Here’s an example of a typical workflow:
- Your team submits proposals or requests for new projects through a form (see: Collect Information with a Form)
- Managers then review and approve or deny each project, all from a single sheet
- Approved projects can then be created in Control Center
Create and Configure the Intake Sheet
To get started, open Smartsheet:
- Click on the Home tab.
- Locate the Admin workspace in the left panel.
- Right-click the Admin workspace and click Create New > Grid.
- In the Name Your Sheet window, type a name for the intake sheet and click OK.
Next, you’ll want to configure the intake sheet with specific columns. Create the columns listed below in your intake sheet.
NOTE: Most of the columns listed below are recommended, but optional—only a project name column is required. (For more information on creating columns in sheets and working with various column types, see Use the Best Column type for Your Data.)
Project Name (Required)
Enter the name of each project in this column.
For example, if you’re opening a store, the name can be the location of the that store. When you create a project, this is information that will be used as the name for the entire project. It should be placed in Primary Column in your Summary.
An Approval column restricts which projects can be created in Control Center. When you use the require an approval state, only approved projects can be created. Without an Approval column, any project on the Intake Sheet can be provisioned.
Use a checkbox or dropdown for the column type and update the column when each project is approved. This way, only approved projects can be created in Control Center.
Project Created (Optional)
A Project Created column restricts the project to a single instance. Projects marked as created will not appear as an option when you create a new project.
Use a checkbox or dropdown for the column type and update the column when each project is approved. This will help prevent duplicate projects.
Project Link (Optional)
If you’ve chosen Show Additional Intake Options on the Intake Settings screen of the Blueprint Builder, you’ll see the option to add a project link. This is a shortcut to the project itself that is placed on the Intake Sheet.
Intake profile data (Optional)
Additional columns can automatically populate Intake profile data when you create a project. Give these columns the same exact name that you did in your profile data.
TIP: Configure this as a Contact List column if profile data will be used for setting permissions.
Best Practices to Streamline Your Intake Process
- For stakeholders that approve projects: restrict sharing to Editor-level permissions
- To make it easier for people to make project requests without needing access to the Intake Sheet, create a Smartsheet form. (Details on creating forms in Collect Information with a Form.)
- Build an alert to notify project approvers when a new project request has been submitted. (See Automate Your Work with Alerts and Actions.)
- Add more columns to track multi-stage approval processes. You only need the final approval to create the project.
- Create sheet filters (see: Create a Filter to Show or Hide Data) and reports (see: Report on Data from Multiple Sheets) to quickly locate projects and act on them more rapidly.