How make simple data entry sheet or form?

I’m sorry this is basic, but maybe others have similar questions? I am reasonably tech savvy and have always been proficient with spreadsheets, but not google sheets. Probably because I don’t even know where the hidden code or formulas are that make my tiller sheet run, I keep thinking I can do things and they just don’t work. My latest idea is that I tried making a copy of the transactions sheet that is filtered to only show the ones I haven’t categorized yet. And when I do categorize them, I want that data to be reflected in my actual transactions sheet. But it only makes the categorization in the new sheet and nothing copies over. Why is that? Maybe what I want is a form instead of a sheet? But when I try to create a form in my foundation sheet, it just gives me an error, so I don’t even know how to start. If I could create a nice form, I’d like to use it on my phone and make data entry easier. I thought someone must have created something in the community solutions, but I don’t see anything like this.

Not sure if you’re on Google Sheets or Excel, but filtering the Transactions sheet might be a simple way to achieve your goal of seeing only uncategorized transactions and categorizing them.

In Google Sheets, view the Transactions tab. Select Create a filter from the Data menu. Acknowledge the warning and disable it for 5 minutes. You’ll now see filter buttons in each column header:
Click on the filter button for the Category column, then click Clear and then check next to Blank(s):
Then click OK.
You should see all your uncategorized transactions and be able to categorize them. When you’re done, select Remove filter from the Data menu.


Thanks. I should have mentioned I’m using google sheets. But anyway, I do know how to filter the sheet by that column, and I do that. I was hoping to create a more elegant solution that could perhaps be another tab that I could put at the front of my sheet to always take me to the uncategorized transactions. That way, I could customize the font and column sizes, for example, to make it easier to use on my phone. Doing a little searching, I did see a video ( that Heather did about the “importrange” function, but it seems like it goes the opposite direction of how I want the data to flow. Any further advice? I’d sure love to figure out a way to make this work!

Aha, I understand now - wasn’t sure where you were coming from.

I had the exact same goal - to categorize transactions from my phone - and there’s no way to do what you want without scripting or another service. I ended up cobbling together a dashboard in Google App Sheet ( that uses my Tiller sheet as a back end. It lets me categorize and shows my balances, transactions, and a graph of my short term cash flow projection. It works well but isn’t close to polished. I think it’s worth exploring - let me know if you try it and have any questions.


Screenshots from App Sheet on my phone:

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Hey, your app sheet looks cool and would serve my purposes. I was just reading from a few others who used app sheet to make their own Tiller apps, but some said the learning curve was steep, which is a little daunting to me. I don’t mind tinkering, but I can tend to get obsessed and lose an entire weekend trying to make something work, and I’m not sure I can spare the time at present! Is there a Tiller-specific tutorial you would recommend to get started on developing an app sheet?

I don’t mind tinkering, but I can tend to get obsessed and lose an entire weekend trying to make something work

Sounds familiar!

Is there a Tiller-specific tutorial you would recommend to get started on developing an app sheet?

I probably saw the same threads you did, but I don’t remember anything tutorial-like.


I hear where you’re coming from @stevation.

Unfortunately, there aren’t great workflows in Sheets to modify data in one place (e.g. a form or a filtered sheet or an IMPORTRANGE) and then have those changes merged into the master dataset. This is— well anything is— possible with scripts but I don’t recommend fighting the framework.

I think @rhowell’s suggestions are on point.

I’d start by just using a filter to find uncategorized transactions and categorize them directly in the Transactions sheet.

Frankly, Sheets doesn’t work great on a mobile device (and add-on execution is blocked). If you MUST work on mobile, you probably will need to roll with something like @rhowell’s App Sheet solution.

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Yeah, on my iphone, the Google Sheets app usually crashes once when I open my Tiller sheet, but then it works on second try. It’s clunky to try to enter categories, because tapping the drop-down and then pulling up the keyboard to start typing a category name involves lots of steps with tiny finger targets! I’ll get around to trying Rob’s app sheet idea some weekend soon when I have time. Thanks, Randy.

I don’t like using Google Sheets on a phone… and that was before you mentioned that it is unstable.

If you’re determined to make it work, I’d consider Forms. They work great on mobile and can be linked to spreadsheets.

I JUST found this example. I can imagine reworking their script to update the form to list information from uncategorized transactions (I’d report on Transaction Id to uniquely identify the transaction in the Transactions sheet + whatever other data would help you categorize). The default behavior will be to write the Form results to a standalone sheet. I think this works with a script in the spreadsheet to find the transaction by Transaction Id and then overwrite the Category… or, if you’re feeling bold, you could update the output flow to perform that edit to the Transactions sheet on every form submit.

This could be a fun project or a psychic black hole. :wink:

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I finally looped back to this and used AppSheet to create a great app for my wife and I to use to track spending by group and category for the month, see all uncategorized transactions, and view and edit all transactions. I was inspired by this post from @mandpeklund : Mobile App Creation Tutorial with Google AppSheet

This solves a bunch of issues for me, including not trying to use Google Sheets on my phone, which crashes with Tiller, being able to easily categorize new transactions on my phone, and to facilitate our goal of collaborating better on budgeting for the new year.

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