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10 Free Action Plan Templates

Whether you’re pursuing a professional goal, developing a product, or building a house, you always start with a detailed plan to guide your next steps.

Powerful project management software is the key to creating and overseeing comprehensive action plans. And choosing the right action plan template for your software is the key to saving time on this step-by-step process while making sure you cover all the bases! 🔑

Even simple projects and goals require organized action plans, and action plan templates provide the perfect framework to help you turn these plans into a reality! While there are tons of templates at your disposal, they each carry a unique set of features and value depending on the size of your team, project, or goal.

Instead of combing through pages and pages of search results, start here, with 10 of the best action plan templates for ClickUp, Excel, and Word. You can access each template directly from this blog, and did mention they’re all completely free? 💸

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What is an Action Plan Template?

Your action plan is a detailed checklist of items that must happen in order to complete a project or reach a goal. You can make an action plan for virtually anything—and you probably already have!

Think of your action plan as a thorough list of every task included in a workflow or steps in a process. But what makes your action plan different than a simple to-do list is the amount of organization, information, and detail involved.

Your plan justifies the who, what, where, and when of your project and shows how each related task ties back to those ideas. This helps project managers streamline workflows and ensures that every action item is absolutely necessary.

ClickUp Whiteboard gif connecting workflow and working simultaneously with your team
Watch your action plan come to life in ClickUp with shapes, complete tasks, and media that you drag and drop across your Whiteboard

Action plan templates take the “set up” out of setting up your roadmap. Your template may come in the form of a pre-built flowchart, list, document, or table where you can essentially plug and play your project’s information in the proper areas to guide your next steps in the process.

They’re excellent resources to have on hand for fleshing-out fresh ideas, during employee performance reviews when you’re planning professional growth, and so much more. Plus, action plan templates can be customized to more specific use cases and are designed to help you think more proactively and strategically about building processes.

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10 Free Action Plan Templates

Now that you’ve got the essentials down, it’s time to set your search in motion! Luckily, project management is kind of our thing. 🤓

We’ve done our homework to bring you 10 of the best project action plan templates for ClickUp, Excel, Word, and more. And the best part? You can download them directly from this blog without even spending a dime. 💰

1. ClickUp Action Plan Template

ClickUp Action Plan Template

Taking the time to create a plan with actionable steps can provide invaluable structure for simple to complex projects!

The ClickUp Action Plan Template sets the stage to review action plans daily, weekly, monthly, and quarterly on a Whiteboard. This process will help make goal-setting easier by providing a simple way to structure the action items, determine deadlines and resources, and track progress toward your objectives. 

If this is your first time using a digital whiteboard, no worries! The Getting Started guide inside this template will walk you through how to set up your canvas. 🎨

2. ClickUp Corrective Action Plan Template

ClickUp Corrective Action Plan Template

A Corrective Action Plan (CAP) is a structured action plan outlining the steps needed to address problems and improve the performance of a role, process, or system.

With the ClickUp Corrective Action Plan Template, it’s easy to consolidate data and ideas so everything is in one place. The main elements of a CAP in this Whiteboard project action plan template are organized to shorten the time it takes from identifying a mistake to implementing a solution:

  • Areas for Improvement: Identify the fields around your business operations or team performance that needs changes and attention
  • Problems and Root Causes: Define the challenges, roadblocks, and supporting information of each to analyze and develop a solution
  • Possible Solutions: Consider every factor involved in your corrective plan, and list down all the possible solutions to make a change for improvement
  • Measure of Success: Define your success that’s measurable through key performance indicators or metrics that are applicable and beneficial to your team and overall operations
  • Task Owners: Assign specific team members to every task 
  • Timeline: Allocate enough time to prepare for transitions and improvement as you go through this template

3. ClickUp Employee Engagement Action Plan Template

ClickUp Employee Engagement Action Plan Template

The ClickUp Employee Engagement Action Plan Template is a Doc packed with examples to increase employee satisfaction and engagement. It offers step-by-step instructions to get the most out of your template to measure progress on common HR goals:

And that’s just the beginning! You can assign tasks directly in the Doc or connect your employee action plan template to tasks and share it with stakeholders. This reduces the number of feedback channels and shortens the time it takes to approve a plan or assign tasks to team members. 

Pro tip: Use subpages to add training programs, reward systems, and other related activities to keep all your work in one place!

4. ClickUp Cybersecurity Action Plan Template

ClickUp Cybersecurity Action Plan Template

A Cybersecurity Action Plan is a written framework outlining the steps and resources required to improve security posture. TechTarget defines security posture as “an organization’s overall cybersecurity strength and how well it can predict, prevent and respond to ever-changing cyber threats.” 

A comprehensive cybersecurity action plan starts with an assessment of an organization’s current security posture—analyzing existing policies, procedures, systems, and infrastructure in order to identify any gaps or areas of vulnerability.

Based on this assessment, actionable steps can be taken to improve technical and non-technical aspects of security like implementing new technologies, processes, and practices. ⚙️

The ClickUp Cybersecurity Action Plan Template is a beautifully-designed Doc for any Security team to quickly customize for audience impact and understanding. As you go through the action plan process, you can collaborate with your team in real-time or async! 

Use this free template to easily protect your ClickUp Docs with the Privacy and Edit controls to prevent unwanted changes to the content of your Pages.

5. ClickUp SMART Action Plan Template

ClickUp SMART Action Plan Template

The ClickUp SMART Action Plan Template helps project managers break down complex tasks into more manageable steps while considering the barriers of time, resources, and expertise. 

The acronym SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Timely. This template organizes each SMART goal category while providing helpful prompts for success! After you’ve filled out each category, highlight your text to create actionable tasks and assign a completion date.

From there, you can navigate between your Doc and tasks easily without opening more browser tabs. 

Need to tweak or make mental notes on your action plan? There’s a section in this template just for that—the Follow Through section. Jot down the review date, key accomplishments, improvement areas, and support needed to keep track of all your work! 

6. ClickUp Daily Action Plan Template

ClickUp Daily Action Plan Template

The ClickUp Daily Action Plan Template is a worthy rival to your coveted to-do list on your company-branded notepad. 

A daily action plan is a blueprint template for organizing and prioritizing tasks throughout the day. It helps us to stay focused and productive, while also helping us to better manage our time. The process involves creating a list of tasks that need to be accomplished each day, assigning a time frame for each task, and most importantly, committing to completing them within that time frame. ⏳

Individuals or teams will benefit from its organized layout and connected view of organizational goals. To begin, open the Getting Started guide within the project action plan template to make it your own so you can use it every day! 

Discover more to-do list templates!

7. ClickUp Action Priority Matrix Whiteboard Template

ClickUp Action Priority Matrix Whiteboard Template

An Action Priority Matrix is a visualization tool to help anyone assess and rank tasks based on how much effort is required and how important completing the task is for achieving the overall goal. 

The action priority matrix typically includes four sections: action item/task, importance level, timeline, and completion status. This allows teams to easily rank action items by importance so they can make sure important tasks are completed first and within the allotted time frame. 

Tasks with the potential to improve performance or mitigate risks should be given higher priority than those with no direct impact. Similarly, tasks with short-term deadlines should be treated as a higher priority than long-term goals in an action plan’s timeline.

The ClickUp Action Priority Matrix Whiteboard Template is perfect for project managers looking to optimize their action plans in order to improve performance over time. Teams can more easily identify which tasks need attention first while tracking progress along the way. The Getting Started guide in this template includes formatting tips and examples to get your Whiteboard action plan ready!

Check out more matrix templates and matrix structure examples.

8. ClickUp Management Action Plan Template

ClickUp Management Action Plan Template

This ClickUp Management Action Plan Template is built to handle any project, but it’s especially helpful for larger or more complex situations. It provides a structured framework to explain your approaches while tracking progress!

The Doc comes with helpful tips and is organized by the following sections:

  • Introduction to provide context on the problem
  • Goals to list the plan’s success criteria and desired results
  • Action Plan to detail specific tasks, projects, and team members
  • Review and Approval to assign the responsible party

9. Microsoft Word Action Plan Template

This detailed work plan template in Microsoft Word gives you an organized space to document a clear planning process. To track progress on your detailed work plan template, consider using a project management platform (like ClickUp) so you can bridge the necessary resources!

10. Excel Business Action Plan Template

If you’re looking for a free sales action plan template in Microsoft Excel, we recommend this one! It comes with all the essential categories (Action Item, Rank, Priority, Owner, Assigned, Due, Done, Status, and Notes) to develop an effective action plan. 

Listing sales team members might become an administrative burden as roles change or new hires come on board. (Try the No. 6 ClickUp Daily Action Plan Template to avoid this issue!) 

You can also use this as a sales action plan template to keep track of budgets, progression, and sales employees. Using this as a sales action plan template could be a faster way to track your team’s work.

Explore other ClickUp action plan templates:

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How to Create an Action Plan to Complete Tasks?

Creating an effective action plan is a critical step for businesses seeking to achieve strategic goals and operational improvements. This is where a comprehensive business action plan template becomes invaluable. Use the steps below along with one (or more!) of the ClickUp action plan templates above to get started!

Step 1: Define Your End Goal

Before diving into the planning process, it’s vital to have a clear understanding of what you aim to achieve with the project. This overarching objective will guide all subsequent actions and decisions, ensuring that every task contributes effectively to the end goal.

Step 2: Break Down the Goal into Manageable Tasks

Once your goal is defined, list down all the tasks that need to be completed to achieve the goal. Breaking down the goal into smaller, more manageable tasks will make the action plan more approachable and easier to manage.

Step 3: Organize Tasks into a Timeline

After task identification, organize them into a logical sequence with a start and end date. Consider dependencies between tasks and ensure there is a realistic timeline that accommodates potential delays or challenges.

Step 4: Assign Responsibilities

Determine who in your team is best equipped to take on each task. Assigning tasks to individuals or teams based on their skills, expertise, and workload to ensure a balanced distribution of responsibilities.

Step 5: Define Success Metrics

It’s crucial to establish clear metrics for success to evaluate the progress and completion of tasks. This will help keep the project on track and ensure that the outcomes meet the expected standards.

Step 6: Review and Adapt the Plan

An action plan should be a living document. Periodically review the plan to assess progress and make adjustments as needed. This allows you to address any issues promptly and adapt to changing circumstances.

Step 7: Communicate and Implement the Plan

Ensure that all team members understand the action plan and their roles within it. Clear communication is key to effective implementation. Once everyone is on board, put the plan into action.

Step 8: Monitor Progress and Update as Necessary

As tasks are executed, continuously monitor progress against the plan’s timeline and success metrics. Update the plan as necessary to reflect any changes or shifts in strategy.

Step 9: Complete and Review

Upon completion of all tasks, conduct a final review of the project against your initial goals. This is a time to evaluate the effectiveness of the action plan and gather insights for future projects.

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What Features Make for a Good Action Plan Template?

What are the best features to look for in your next action plan template? In a nutshell, there’s a lot to keep in mind.

Over 15 views in ClickUp
Visualize your tasks with over 15 views in ClickUp including List, Board, and Calendar

An action plan template helps you stay on top of your workflows and be more strategic about how you approach them. And since projects vary in complexity, industry, scope, and timelines, no two action plan templates will look or function the same. That’s why it’s so important to make sure you’re looking for the template that best suits your needs, rather than the one that’s just doing the most.

A good rule of thumb is to stick to these five qualities:

  • Multiple views: The ability to choose the way you visualize and complete tasks will put the power back in your hands when it comes to structuring and executing your projects. Every team member works differently, and whether you’re a visual learner or prefer working from a list, multiple views make every person’s preference possible.
  • Highly visual: Especially during brainstorming sessions and R&D, having the option to map out steps in a process is a major asset. Whether your team is using a digital whiteboard or mind map software, highly visual flowcharts and diagrams turn action planning into a more collaborative experience.
  • Intuitive UI: Your template might have all the right features, but if the team can’t figure out how to use them, the value is gone! Make sure your action plan template is easy to navigate, customize, and edit.
  • Collaborative and sharable: An action plan template can be for the entire team, not just the project manager. Everyone involved (including stakeholders) should have easy access to your template and the ability to add updates as needed.
  • Tons of integrations: Integrations extend the functionality of your project management software and fill any feature gaps your template might have.

And that’s just to name a few! Your team or project might require a few other more specific features, but starting with these five will guarantee a powerful and useful business action plan template.

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Types of Action Plan Templates

In the world of project management, different projects call for different action plans. Here’s a closer look at some of the more common types of action plan templates you might come across:

1. Business Action Plan Templates: This type of template is great for outlining the steps that are needed to achieve business goals and initiatives. This can include things like launching a new product, expanding into a new market, or reducing overhead costs.

2. Personal Action Plan Templates: These templates are perfect for individuals looking to plan out personal goals, like losing weight, planning a vacation, or learning a new skill.

3. Sales Action Plan Templates: If you’re looking to boost sales, this template can help by outlining the methods and techniques to use to reach your sales targets, and how to track your progress along the way.

4. Emergency Action Plan Templates: These are vital for businesses to plan in advance for potential emergency situations, ensuring all staff members know what actions to take for both safety and business continuity.

5. Employee Engagement Action Plan Templates: Focusing on measures to improve employee engagement within the company, these templates typically involve steps to boost morale, improve communication, and increase job satisfaction.

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Start Planning With Project Action Plan Templates

Any of these 10 templates will start your project planning off on the right foot. But while they all share similarities, a select few stand out for their ease of use, customization abilities, power, and functionality…

Templates by ClickUp. 🙌🏼

ClickUp is more than your average project management tool—it’s the ultimate productivity platform and the only software powerful enough to centralize your work across apps into one collaborative hub.

In fact, ClickUp Whiteboards, Docs, and its 15+ unique project views are just a few of the reasons why teams across industries rely on ClickUp, and how it makes your action plans more valuable from start to finish.

Convert shapes into tasks in ClickUp Whiteboards
Convert shapes into tasks on your ClickUp Whiteboard to instantly start putting your flowchart into action

Access the templates linked above and hundreds more from ClickUp’s Template Library, and tons of rich project management features across every pricing plan. Plus, ClickUp integrates with more than 1,000 other work tools to streamline business processes even further.

Sign up for ClickUp today and watch your action plans come to life. 🏆

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