Regaining control of your Airtable Gantt charts with this simple app

Using this scripting app you can easily adjust the start and end dates of your Gantt workflows in Airtable.

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You might not be able to sort out 2020 but you should be able to fix those bars at least!

Gantt chart might be one of the simplest project management tools out there. If you have attempted to create Gantt charts in Excel certainly using the Airtable Gantt app will be a huge improvement. It presents visually the diagram based on the tasks from the selected Airtable view. It also allows adjusting task length and placement by dragging the elements on the canvas. The most crucial function is the ability to show dependency between tasks and create a critical path to show you if one task starts before another.

With big-scale projects containing multiple tasks, adjusting things by hand is not the best option neither is manually changing start and end dates. Airtable does not allow for circular references so that won’t help either. This problem can be easily solved with a bit of code in the Airtable “Scripting” block. Relax, we are no-code friendly so we have written this code for you, so read on and follow the simple instructions...

To create a Gantt chart you will need a list of Task with:

  • Start date
  • End date
  • Duration (in days, in our case)

Additionally, to create dependency, we will create a linked field, linking back to the same table.

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Fields necessary for Gantt chart in Airtable

With the fields mentioned above ready, we can open the App pane on the right and add the Gantt app to our Dashboard.

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Gantt and Scripting apps in apps Marketplace

The next step is to make sure the Settings are matching your data columns. Remember to select the correct Dependency field and mark it as a successor, as our scenario points to successor tasks.

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Basic set up of Gantt chart Settings.

If you have added any dates these will display on the Chart, otherwise all entries will be hidden on the chart. No worries we will sort it out in the next step.

Setting up the Scripting app

From the application pane install the Scripting app, open the code editor, and start a new stript from a scratch. There might be some prefilled code — go ahead delete anything there to make sure the block is empty. Now, copy and paste all the code below.

The only parts of the code that need to be adjusted are the initial lines. You can see explanations in the comments or in the screenshot below. Make sure that you are using column names that reflect your table column names.

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Change the names in the bracket to match names used in your Gantt chart table

Now you can run the script directly from the app dashboard or you can also create an “Update Gantt” button column. This way you will be able to start update also from the middle of the Gantt and update all the following dependencies based on changes.

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Adding a button to run the Gantt update script.

To start the script in-line you need to have the first starting date for the first task of the project and the duration of all tasks. Starting from there, the script will set the end date for the first task and follow on to each successor task, and set their starting and ending dates.

The script excludes Saturdays and Sundays automatically. If the duration of your task is 5 days but the starting date falls on Thursday, the duration of the task will be extended by 2 days to adjust for the weekend. If you prefer to work on weekends — do reach out to us and we will happily adjust the script for you!

There is a demonstration video showing this script at work:

Video walkthrough explaining the use of the Gantt chart and date update script

That’s it! Enjoy your project planning!

Business Automated is an independent automation consultancy. You can visit us at www.business-automated.com if you would like to request custom automation for your business. If you like our work buy us a coffee or follow one of our affiliate links and try out Integromat. For more news follow us on Twitter: twitter.com/BAutomated

Greg is the founder of Business Automated, an agency helping small businesses streamline and simplify their processes. For more visit www.business-automated.com

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