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Gantt charts are a great tool for project managers. They’re an easy-to-read way to visualize the timeline of the project, and they help you keep track of tasks and deadlines. However, creating a Gantt chart can be time-consuming. 

That’s why I have put together this easy-to-use Gantt chart template for Google Sheets and Microsoft Excel to make your life easier!

For super complex Gantt charts, I recommend using Gantt chart software, which will provide more functionality, more integrations, and is easier to handle if you are running a large-scale project with many team members and stakeholders. 

Here’s a list of the best online Gantt chart makers on the market, along with pricing and free trial information. Project management software and apps also usually include Gantt chart tools and functionality.

Free Gantt Chart Template

Our free Gantt chart template is an easy-to-use tool that helps you keep track of your project’s timeline.

This simple Gantt chart template is customizable and can be used for both short and long-term projects. It allows for the visualization of tasks in a simple, organized way and supports effective real-time communication between all stakeholders.

screenshot of gantt chart template
Here’s what the template looks like—the first few rows are filled in to provide a Gantt chart example.

The template includes a stacked bar chart that visualizes the progress of all your project tasks at a glance. It’s easy to set up and beneficial for all project stakeholders, so it’s an essential tool for efficient project management. 

The name of each individual task or group task is located on the vertical axis of the template. The horizontal axis provides a timeline view, whereas the horizontal bar for each task can be divided either into days or weeks, depending on what’s more suitable for your project.

The Gantt chart template consists of seven components and pieces of project data, which are: 

  1. List of tasks: what actions are required to complete this project?
  2. Start date and end date for each activity 
  3. Status indicator per task: is it on track, at risk, or delayed?
  4. Task dependencies: do tasks relate to each other?
  5. The project's start and end date
  6. Project milestones with dates
  7. Once all the above has been added, the critical path of your project becomes visible

If you're looking for Gantt charts for specific projects, you can find those through DPM Membership. We've got Gantt chart/timeline templates on offer for website redesign projects and landing page projects, as well as templates that work with more agile delivery styles.

website redesign project timeline screenshot
Our website redesign Gantt chart template.
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7 Example Use Cases for the Gantt Chart Template

To give you some inspiration when it comes to putting the Gantt chart template to best use, think about the following possible Gantt chart use cases for your organization:

  1. Project management for various applications in projects of all sizes, including:
    • Construction projects
    • Event planning
    • Software development
    • Website creation  
  2. Human resource management, including staff management activities such as:
    • Onboarding
    • Offboarding of employees
    • Payroll management 
    • Training schedules 
  3. Creating a business plan
  4. Visualizing your sales process and different funnel stages 
  5. Executing marketing campaigns 
  6. Product management activities from planning a product roadmap to launch to ongoing optimization
  7. Social media content creation and publication scheduling

Now that the basic setup of the project plan template is clear, let’s move on to the concrete instructions on how to use it.

How To Use This Gantt Chart Template

Here are some guidelines on using the template:

How to Use The Gantt Chart Template in Google Sheets 

  1. Make a copy of the template document, so you can edit it (see the instructions at the top of the template)
  2. Change the file name to your project name and delete line 1
  3. Add the following details: company name, project title, project's start and end date, your name under ‘project manager’, and today’s date under ‘date’
  4. Enter all your project tasks and deliverables into the project schedule along the vertical axis in column B, and add more lines via drag and drop if needed
  5. Enter the task owner's name for each task in column C
  6. Add the start date and end date for each activity: The task duration gets calculated automatically
  7. Update the percentage of completion for each task in column G
  8. Based on the percentage of completion, select an appropriate color-coded status indicator from the dropdown menu for each task
  9. Add project milestones and enter dates and the owner accordingly—I recommend bolding these entries (see template)
  10. Predecessor task dependencies: For tasks that relate to each other, add the work breakdown structure (WBS) number in column I
  11. Update the visualization of the tasks: Update the names of the project phases, add calendar weeks, and take into consideration the tasks that need to be completed before another one can begin—this will essentially highlight the critical path of your project

Instructions For Using The Excel Gantt Chart Template

  1. Download the Gantt chart template above
  2. Open the worksheet in Excel
  3. Then follow the instructions above starting from point 2.

Read more about how to create a Gantt chart here, and get detailed instructions on Gantt charts in Excel here.

8 Benefits Of Using A Gantt Chart Template

Gantt charts have helped to accomplish some of the world's greatest achievements, from building the Hoover Dam to laying down America's interstate network.

Fast-forward a century later, and Gantt charts are still one of the most widely used project management tools, although they've gone from paper to contemporary digital applications.

Using a Gantt chart template provides these key benefits to project managers:

  1. Enhanced visibility into the timeline of tasks, including subtasks and dependent tasks
  2. Improved collaboration among stakeholders
  3. More efficient task management 
  4. Better oversight to track progress
  5. Identification of potential risks before they arise
  6. Everyone involved in the project has a clear understanding of when each task needs to be completed
  7. Ensuring that the entire project to stays on schedule
  8. Flexibility to manage larger and smaller projects effectively

It’s Time To Create Your Gantt Chart

Gantt charts are great for visualizing timelines and keeping track of projects—but creating one from scratch can take up valuable time that could otherwise be spent working on actual tasks! 

That’s why we put together this free Gantt chart template so that you can quickly get started on any project without having to worry about spending too much time setting up complex spreadsheets or software programs from scratch.

For more information on templates, project management methodologies, and the latest software, subscribe to The Digital Project Manager newsletter.