Before adding a Gantt app to your base, make sure that you have a table containing the tasks, projects, or other time-bounded activities that you want to plot on the Gantt chart. This table must have:
- A view containing the subset of records that you want to display on the Gantt chart
- A field containing the records' start dates (likely a date field)
- A field containing the records' end dates
You can optionally use the following to further customize your Gantt chart:
- For dependencies: a self-linking linked record field to indicate dependencies between activities
- To group records: a field you can use to group your records by shared values
- To color the bars: a view using record coloring OR a single select field using colored options
When you first add a Gantt app to one of your apps dashboards, it'll automatically open up the new app's Gantt settings dialog. Additionally, it'll look at a couple of features in your table to try and quickly set up a Gantt chart:
- Which records appear on the chart is determined by the table and view you were looking at when you added the app to your base
- The app automatically detects date fields in your table to set the Start date field and End date field
- Label field: choose which field to use as the name for each record in the app
- If you have a self-linking linked record field, the Gantt app will automatically set that as the dependency field for your chart
You can adjust any of these settings from the Gantt settings panel.
The Start date field and End date field are used to define the duration for each record. When you first add a Gantt app to one of your apps dashboards, the Gantt app will automatically detect any date fields that you have, and set those as the Start and End date fields. You can choose different date fields from the Start date field and End date field dropdowns in the Gantt app settings panel.
A couple of notes about the Start and End date fields:
- The Gantt app does not account for any timestamps associated with the date fields.
- If the date fields you're using both have timestamps, the start and end date fields must be set to the same timezone. For example, if you have the Use the same time zone (GMT) for all collaborators option toggled on in the start date field, you must also have it toggled on in the end date field.
- If only one of the date fields has an associated time, that date field will need to have the Use the same time zone (GMT) for all collaborators option toggled on.
- Instead of using date fields, you can also use computed fields that output date values. However, if you use computed fields, you will not be able to manually adjust the start or end dates for your records by dragging the records on the Gantt chart.
- You can use the same field for both the start date and the end date if you'd like. Doing this will cause every record on the Gantt chart to appear as a bar with a duration of one day.
- In the Gantt app, end dates are considered to be inclusive. For example, if your start date for a record is January 1 and your end date is January 3, the record will appear as three days long (spanning from the beginning of January 1 to the end of January 3).
In some cases, a project plan or schedule will require that activities be performed in a certain order (for example, you need to finish making a presentation deck before you give a presentation). You can visualize these dependent relationships between different tasks with arrows (called dependencies) connecting the different bars.
The arrow reflects the direction of the dependency. The base of the arrow comes out of the record that needs to be completed first (the predecessor) and points toward the record that can only be started after the predecessor is completed (the successor).
To show dependencies on your Gantt chart, you need a linked record field that links to its own table rather than to another table (a "self-linking" record field). This linked record field will contain either:
- links to activities that can start only after the activity in the primary field is completed (successors) OR
- links to activities that must be completed before work can start on the activity in the primary field (predecessors)
If you already have a single line text field or other field containing successors or predecessors, you can convert this existing field into a self-linking linked record field. Otherwise, you can create a new self-linking linked record field.
When you first add a Gantt app to one of your apps dashboards, the Gantt app will automatically detect any self-linking linked record fields that you have, and set one of them as the dependency field. You can also choose a different self-linking linked record field to be the dependency field from the Dependency field dropdown in the Gantt app settings panel.
If you have a dependency field, you'll also need to select one of two options—Successors or Predecessors—depending on whether your self-linking record field contains successor or predecessor activities.
If your self-linking record field already has record links in it, then your Gantt chart will automatically populate with dependency arrows.
If your self-linking record field doesn't already have record links in it, you won't see any dependency arrows yet, even after selecting a dependency field. However, as long as you have a dependency field set, you can create your own dependency arrows in the app.
If a dependency appears with a red line, that means the dependency is invalid: either a dependent record is scheduled to start prior to one of its precedent tasks, or the records are in a dependency loop.
When tasks are dependent on each other, delays of individual tasks can end up directly affecting the completion date of an entire project. A chain of dependent tasks that can influence the finish date of the overall project is called the critical path.
If you have a dependency field selected in your Gantt app settings, you can highlight the records and dependency arrows on the critical path by toggling the Highlight critical path button.
Much like grouping in grid views, you can customize a Gantt app so that records sharing the same value in a specified field are grouped together. For example, if different collaborators are responsible for different tasks, you could group by a collaborator field to more easily see all of the tasks assigned to specific individuals.
In your Gantt app settings, you can choose a field from the dropdown menu that you can use to group your records.
You can customize the color of the records in your Gantt chart in your Gantt app settings. You have three coloration options:
- Specific color will give all your records the same color of your choosing.
- If you have conditional record coloring in the view you're using to define your Gantt chart, selecting By view will apply those record colors to your Gantt chart.
- By select field will apply colors to your records based on the token colors in a single select field of your choosing.