Monday.com Beginner's Guide

There are many top-quality project management tools competing for your business. Picking one can be hard. Of the options, some are good and some are bad, but even the good ones offer different things.

Monday.com isn’t only a great choice, it’s our favorite, coming out on top in our list of the best project management software. It has a wealth of views and many useful features to help organize your projects. We’ll show you how to get the most out of it in this Monday.com beginner’s guide.

Despite offering more features than many project management tools, Monday.com does a great job of making itself easy to use. Its interface is outstanding and clearly shows you what any given action will do, letting you explore it with confidence. If you want to see what we think of it, have a look at our Monday.com review.

Getting Started with Monday.com

Projects on Monday.com are based around boards. Boards are easy to create. You just click the big plus icon next to “boards” in the left-hand panel. You can create a blank board or duplicate an existing one to save yourself the setup time. That’s useful if you have similar projects that you do regularly.

There’s also a selection of templates. They’re categorized into multiple areas, which include project management, office operations, education and plenty of others. Monday.com gives you hints on what each one does, so they’re easy to browse.

monday-template

If you create a blank board, you’ll end up with something that looks like the screenshot below.

Data on your board is made up of items, which usually represent tasks that need to be done. Items are sorted into lists. You can name lists whatever you like. They might correspond to different teams in your organization, or different types of task. Looking through the templates can give you ideas on the many ways you can organize things.

A couple of lists and several items have been created by default on our blank board. There are columns, and some have sample data in them. You can change the name of the board and its description, as well as the item and list names, by mousing over them and clicking.

If you mouse over other fields, you’ll see the field changes, giving you a clue as to how you can change it. The interface is intuitive and invites you to experiment to see how things work.

Monday.com gives you a great deal of control over what items contain. It prefers to keep them separate, though.

Some tools use an alternate approach, breaking items into subtasks and letting you set up dependencies between them. If that’s what you’re looking for, take a look at our Wrike review. Our Monday.com vs. Wrike article shows how those platforms compare with each other.

Monday.com Customization

As with most project management tools, items have a name and other information associated with them. Unlike most tools, Monday.com gives you huge scope to customize the other information. It allows you to add columns containing various data types, too.

Structure-wise, it works like a user-friendly database tool. It reminds us of the popular development tool phpMyAdmin but designed by Apple during its purple patch. You get the power to control your boards in fine detail without things breaking for reasons you don’t understand.

That data is contained on a main board, which lets you change its structure and add new items easily. To add a column, click the black plus sign to the right of the board and choose the data type you want to include.

You can choose from seven basic data types, but if you click the “more columns” area, you’ll see there are many more options. They include everything from voting systems to color pickers and mathematical formulas.

We’ve made a few changes to the names of our items and lists and set up our board to represent a building project. We’ve adjusted our columns and added a timeline view. It now looks like this.

Let’s see how to add views. There are many optional views that let you arrange your data in different ways. You add them by clicking the “+ view” button and picking from the drop-down list.

Monday.com Kanban View

We already added a timeline, so next we’re going to add a kanban view. If you’re looking for a kanban-based tool, take a look at our Trello beginner’s guide for a simple example of one. Read more about it in our Trello review.

The kanban view lets you drag items from column to column to change their status. Our kanban board was automatically set up to use the “status” field of our main board as its columns. You can change that using the “kanban column” drop-down box. You could switch it from “status” to “priority,” for instance, which would make the board look like it does in the screenshot below.

If you’re looking for help setting up your columns, read our how to use a kanban board guide for tips on getting the most out of this view.

If you can’t decide which version of the kanban board you prefer, you can add another one. For example, you could do one for “status” and one for “priority.” If you do that, it might be worth naming them differently so you can see which is which.

If you want to compare Monday.com with other tools that include a kanban board, read our Monday.com vs. Asana or Monday.com vs. Trello face-offs.

Monday.com Timeline

The timeline view shows how your tasks are arranged over time. You see visually when things start and stop, as well as how long they’ll take. You can alter that information by dragging and dropping the task or dragging its ends to change when it starts or stops.

For more on how to use Monday.com’s timeline, read our how to use a Gantt chart guide.

Like the timeline view, the calendar view shows when your tasks take place. That said, it lets you view things on a month-to-month basis and has day and week views that allow you to break things down on an hour-to-hour level.

If you want to track time spent on projects closely, read our TeamGantt review to learn about a platform that lets you do so.

Monday.com’s chart views make it easy to add pie, line and bar charts to your projects. Again, you can have as many as you want. You just click “+ view,” choose the chart and select the chart type and column you want to use for the data. With bar charts you pick two columns for the x and y axes.

Monday.com File Sharing

Monday.com allows you to share files with your team, and you can manage that using the file view. The cheapest plan has a 5GB storage limit, but it’s unlimited on the Pro and Enterprise plans. If you’re looking for a storage solution, take a look at our best cloud storage guide.

Files are attached to specific tasks, but you can use the file view to see them all in one place. You can download them from there, but you need to edit the task containing them to delete them. Usefully, you can access the associated task updates from the files view.

In addition to the views we’ve looked at, you can add map, form and broadcast views. Adding and removing them is easy, so don’t be afraid to play around.

Monday.com Integrations

In addition to its standard features, you can get extra functionality via Monday.com’s integrations. There are all sorts of them. Most are there to help you share information with other platforms.

The Zapier integration deserves a special mention because it allows you to share data with over 1,500 apps. Integromat also looks useful because it can automate tasks you do regularly, potentially saving you a lot of time and money.

Monday.com also has its own automation features, which allow you to create rules that trigger specific actions. Again, that can be a good way to reduce the amount of work your team needs to do.

Monday.com Security

Admins on the top plans can manage their online security by changing the security and authentication settings for their projects. They let you activate features such as domain-restricted sign-ups and let you customize your password policy. If you need help with all those passwords, take a look at our best password manager article.

Monday.com has two-factor authentication, which is discussed in our what is two-factor authentication guide. It’s also compliant with the General Data Protection Regulation.

Final Thoughts

Tools such as Monday.com can make your projects go more smoothly and save you time. With fewer meetings, more reliable communication and clear goals for everyone, there are many advantages to using them.

They also offer plenty in the way of security features to keep you protected from cybercrime when working in the cloud.

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Monday.com is our favorite tool, but there is a lot of variety among its competitors, so read our other project management software reviews.

If you’ve tried Monday.com and have anything to share with us about it, please let us know in the comments. Thanks for reading.

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