Looking for the best, free online Gantt Chart software? Or even a few good premium tools?
Modern Gantt chart software can help you easily plan projects and track their progress.
In this article, we’ll explain what a Gantt chart is, their benefits of using Gantt charts, and show you some of the best free Gantt chart software, as well as a few premium options.
This Article Contains:
(click on the links to jump to a section)
- What is a Gantt chart?
- How have Gantt charts changed?
- What are the benefits of Gantt charts?
- The 12 best, free Gantt chart Software in 2020
Let’s get started.
What is a Gantt chart?
A Gantt chart is a popular way to visualize the progress of your project.
Gantt charts are an essential part of project management because they also allow you to track the status of your project tasks.
A Gantt chart diagram usually looks like a horizontally stacked bar chart:
Project Gantt charts help project managers visualize:
- Your project timeline
- What a project’s tasks are
- Who’s working on these tasks
- The duration of the task
- The order in which the tasks should be completed
- How these project tasks overlap and link together
Here are a few important Gantt Chart terms you should know:
It indicates important dates and key events of a project. For example – a milestone could be the date when the first phase of the project is completed.
B. Work Breakdown Structure (WBS)
A WBS breaks down project tasks into smaller chunks based on the type of work they involve. Determining this is a crucial component of a project, as the breakdown structure makes the project work more manageable.
It’s the sequence of activities in a project plan which must be completed for the project to finish by it’s due date. It can help you determine which tasks to prioritize if you’re running short of time.
For more info on Gantt charts and how to create them, check out this post: What Is A Gantt Chart?
How have Gantt Charts changed?
Ever since management consultant Henry L Gantt first invented the Gantt bar chart in the 1910s, modern project Gantt charts have transformed rapidly.
Originally, these charts were done by hand, but cloud-based project management software have simplified that process.
Now, you just input your project data, and the online Gantt tools do the rest!
Here’s a closer look at how they’ve changed:
A. Gantt charts are easier to use than ever before
As with any cloud-based solution, online Gantt charts are exceptionally simple to operate. And many of them are easy to use as a Kanban board!
Modern Gantt charts come with color-coded bar charts, a drop-down menu, advanced filters, and tons of other cool features!
Many third-party software (like ClickUp!) let you bounce from different views–including Gantt / timeline views, lists, or Kanban boards (a staple feature of Agile project management)
How does this help?
This ensures that you won’t need to switch between apps to manage your entire project. Your Gantt tools are all you need!
B. Gantt Charts have evolved
Cloud-driven project management software options have rapidly changed what Gantt chart software can do.
When there were only a few local, desktop-only options, Gantt charts would have to be printed out or emailed to the rest of your team members.
Excel Gantt charts had updates that were slow and clunky. Individual tasks couldn’t be changed directly from the Gantt chart. It was a tedious manual process. Even so, some ambitious souls made a Gantt chart in Excel using conditional formatting!
However, things have changed.
A lot of cutting-edge online project management software and task management tools like ClickUp have transformed the typical Gantt chart.
You now have a simple timeline view that lets you drag and drop tasks into certain spots while also giving you way more data than a basic Gantt chart.
C. The best Gantt charts don’t stand alone
If you’re only looking for a dedicated Gantt chart software, you’ll be sorely disappointed in the end result.
It’s not an efficient management solution.
You need complete management software to run tasks, manage project hierarchies, share comments, and more.
That’s why the best management tools now include a Gantt chart view. Your Gantt chart should be part of your project management tool – it shouldn’t be the entire solution.
What are the benefits of Gantt charts?
Using a Gantt chart is one of the best ways to streamline your work processes:
Online Gantt software helps you:
- Visualize linked tasks, due dates, and dependencies.
- Check the amount of time it takes to finish specific tasks.
- Verify who’s assigned to each part of the project.
Gantt software shows you where your individual activities intersect and change. It’s a great addition to your current task management tool.
We’d recommend setting up a Gantt chart online after you already have your project plan and due dates ready.
First, you need to manage:
Scheduling your tasks, filling in the deadlines, finding the task dependencies, and assigning it to the right team members.
Experienced managers may even use work breakdown structures to split work into smaller sections and assign appropriate deliverables for each Gantt section.
Then, once you’re done with project planning, switch to the timeline or Gantt view to see how everything will line up.
With an online Gantt chart, you’ll see:
- Potential roadblocks.
- Parts of the project that are at risk and falling behind.
- Any issues that need to be addressed
- Identify the critical path for moving forward.
- Monitor alternatives and find workarounds.
Another benefit of creating Gantt charts is the way you can visualize dependencies. A Gantt chart shows you how each part of the project is related.
This shouldn’t be overstated.
It’s easy to make activities dependent on others, but if you have several tasks that are dependent on one task, it could easily get lost during the weeks of a busy project.
Your executive team and clients will also like Gantt charts because of how easy it is to understand in a presentation. It shows the individual tasks without diving into the specifics.
The 12 Best, Free Gantt chart Software in 2020
Here are the best free Gantt chart software you can use to manage projects:
Online Gantt charts have been one of the top requested features from our users since ClickUp has begun…but we wanted to make sure we did it right.
To that end, ClickUp gives you several ways to view different tasks, projects, and spaces on the Timeline view.
A. Assign Tasks with multiple assignees
ClickUp lets you assign tasks with multiple assignees. This way, you can instantly use your Gantt chart timeline to allocate tasks to the right people. Just look at your schedule, determine the number of people needed and assign them to the task – it’s that easy!
The ClickUp Gantt chart maker will show you who is assigned to what to help you determine what everyone’s allocations are.
B. Advanced Sorting
You can even organize your tasks in your timeline.
This is very valuable for working with clients.
For instance, if you tag all of your tasks with a client, like ACME BOX COMPANY, you can see how all that client’s tasks link up in the timeline view.
Tag by the type of task, such as “Sales Training” to see how all of the sales training tasks line up.
That way, you don’t necessarily have to create a to-do list for your related tasks! That’s the flexibility of creating Gantt charts in ClickUp.
C. Powerful Scheduling
However that isn’t all.
ClickUp’s online Gantt chart maker also has tons of automation to make scheduling and rescheduling a breeze.
Want to add a new task to the existing timeline?
Whenever you make a change, the chart automatically adjusts the task start date, due dates, and dependencies.
This saves tons of time, as you don’t have to manually adjust each value – Click Up does everything for you!
D. Task Dependencies
ClickUp’s Gantt chart view makes it ridiculously easy to create Gantt charts online and visualize task dependencies.
Just select two tasks on your online Gantt chart and draw a line between them.
ClickUp does the rest!
You can now view how these individual tasks are linked in just a single click!
E. Progress Percentage
Sure, simple Gantt chart task bars let you visualize your progress, but have you ever wanted an actual figure instead?
ClickUp’s Gantt chart view gives you that!
Hover the mouse over your task, and ClickUp gives you a project progress percentage! It does this by dividing the completed tasks by the total number of tasks in your Gantt chart.
This gives you a better idea of where you’re placed.
F. Automatic Critical Path Calculations
A critical path determines which chain of tasks is essential to your project’s completion. It gives you an idea of which individual tasks can be rescheduled without impacting your project’s overall progress.
ClickUp’s Gantt chart maker can easily calculate your project’s critical path.
Just select the group of tasks you’d like to calculate the critical path for, and ClickUp will do the rest.
It gives you an idea of what tasks need to be prioritized to meet your deadline.
You can even create milestones in ClickUp.
In Gantt view is where Milestones really shine! Milestones are used in project management to signify the end of a big group of tasks, such as a new feature being released. They are represented as diamond shapes to help you see all the big items that need to be completed in your project timeline.
Check out this doc to learn how to add them to your charts!
H. Time Tracking
You get tons of time tracking options with ClickUp.
Choose to use ClickUp’s own native time tracking, or integrate with time tracking software Harvest, Toggl or Everhour.
If you select native time tracking, you have the option of tracking time with ClickUp’s free chrome extension!
In addition to the Gantt chart maker, ClickUp has received rave reviews for its easy, user-friendly interface and its feature releases.
With many free features that other companies charge for, ClickUp has rocketed to the top of the lists for best project management software.
If you want a look at the tons of other features ClickUp offers you, click here.
Redbooth isn’t only a Gantt chart app, it’s full-scale project management software that offers Gantt charts and timeline views to manage activities. Tasks are ordered by the earliest start date and are color-coded for easy recognition with tasks divided by section.
However, in the free version, this Gantt chart software doesn’t have task dependencies and only gives you an overview of the due dates and priorities for your tasks.
Repeating tasks are also not part of the online Gantt chart or timeline view. Another issue is that you can’t see your tasks across projects.
- Task management: You can create task lists, edit the start and due dates, and add multiple assignees to work on a task
- Project Templates: If your team reuses the same task list for every project, you can store them as a template – for easier access
- Chrome extension: Manage your project tasks from your browser in real-time
This free Gantt chart software hosted locally (compared to cloud-based project management) and has a few simple tools to use for sketching out dependencies and timelines. It has a very basic Gantt chart with a wireframe-type design, but that means you can create one easily.
This isn’t a full-fledged project management tool but could be an add-on to your current project management solution.
If you’re unfamiliar with charts and just want to see a few Gantt chart examples, then this open source Gantt chart software may be a good solution.
Use this tool to view your project’s Gantt chart free of cost. Other than that, Gantt Project won’t have much utility beyond just a few uses for easy projects.
- Manage Dependencies: Show dependencies between tasks by drawing a line between tasks
- Import/Export Files: Export and import your Gantt Charts to/from CSV files. This allows you to analyze data in Microsoft Project or Excel
- Open Source: You can modify the source code to create a management app that suits your needs
4. Toggl Plan
Web-based project app, Toggl Plan, has some stunning visual planning tools with a great brand persona to match. One of the keys is their free Gantt chart feature, which teams up to 5 can use for free.
Their beautiful visual Gantt chart and timeline features are like project planner, showing you where tasks occur on the timeline and how they overlap. It’s unclear from their website if task dependencies are included, but it’s free to sign up.
A nice benefit is that there is a public link for their online Gantt charts, so you can share it with others even if they don’t have a Toggl account.
- Interactive Gantt chart design: Drag and drop interface is intuitive and fun to use
- Timeline view: Team members have a bird’s eye view of tasks and deadlines
- Collaboration Tools: Plan projects and work with your team members in real-time
This one is a little tricky, so let me see if I can explain. Asana doesn’t have project Gantt charts, and so Instagantt decided to build an integration.
But it’s only free if you have an Asana account (which has a free tier).
But the other confusing part is that Asana has a timeline view, which is similar but different than Instagantt offers.
The selling point for why you would add Instagantt to your Asana account is because of dependencies, but Asana’s timeline also offers dependencies…so we’re not sure?
Other great Instagantt features include workload management, milestones, and different colors to show progress on your Gantt chart. If you want another add-on for Asana, then Instagantt may be your answer for online, free Gantt chart software.
- Workload management: Detect when your team members are overloaded with tasks, so that you can distribute them equally
- Progress tracking: Measure progress for every task and subtask on your project
- Change tracking: Track Gantt chart schedule changes and delays in real-time
Bitrix24 is a management tool and communication platform that wants to put all of your business needs into one solution. That’s a tall order, but it has a Gantt chart, so let’s take a look?
This chart tool looks pretty promising, with dependencies set with:
- “Start to Start” meaning two tasks start at the same time
- “Start to Finish” meaning when one task finishes, another begins
- “Finish to Finish” meaning that one task can’t be completed until the previous one is also completed
The Bitrix24 interface is designed with the free Gantt chart front and center, where your tasks on the left and your other team members on the right side.
Bitrix24 is free up to 12 users, has subtasks, and has Gantt charts for multiple projects. I’m not sure if you can view the Gantt chart online free across multiple projects at the same time though.
- Free unlimited projects: Create as many charts as you want
- Online storage: You can store free Gantt charts, and other project reports up to 5GB on the Bitrix cloud
- Project management app: Manage your tasks and projects from anywhere with an iOS and Android app
Agantty is truly a free project management software that is based around simple Gantt charts. You can create unlimited projects and tasks and chart them on your Gantt chart. The Agantty mission is to make creating Gantt charts a piece of cake.
They give the professional chart software guys, like TeamGantt, a run for their money. Once you create tasks, they’re automatically added to your Gantt chart.
Good value for those looking for a free Gantt chart solution.
- Export as PDF: Export tasks for select timeframes as PDFs for easier reference
- Rights Management: You decide which team members can view or edit certain tasks
- Reminders: Send task reminders to team members via email
For those that are super enthusiastic about Gantt charts, take a look at TeamGantt.
It’s a cloud-based software whose super-sharp design is complemented by a robust commenting system that lets you add attachments to the Gantt chart.
And it is simple to move and assign tasks within this Gantt chart generator because of its drag and drop functionality.
TeamGantt offers to-do lists, calendars and weekly views, but Gantt charts are the name of the game here.
Their resource management and capacity planning view are also helpful. You’ll see how many tasks team members have before assigning a new task or project.
Technically, TeamGantt does have a free plan for up to 3 users, working on one project. After that, you’ll have to switch to the paid plan to get this Gantt chart creator.
- Customizable views: View your tasks as a simple list, calendar, or Gantt chart
- Team availability: Manage resources and identify which team members are available to work on more tasks
- Planned vs. actual timeline: Compare the original timeline projection with the actual timeline to see if your team is on track
I’m not sure who Tom is, but he (or she or they) have created a simple Gantt chart that you can use. The benefits of Tom’s Planner are much like the others–drag and drop functionality with task dependencies.
What makes their Gantt Chart tool a little different is easy filtering and custom color coding, so your timelines appear the way you want them too. Tom’s Planner does have a free plan, but it’s mainly for personal use. You can’t invite others to collaborate, and you only get one project on the free plan.
Also, the interface seems a little outdated with the grid and blocky interface.
If you do decide to upgrade to a free plan, you’ll get to use their scheduling feature, which shows updates, who’s responsible, and the history of the tasks to monitor any changes.
- Free templates: Choose from around 500,000+ templates, or create your own Gantt chart template.
- Filters: Find any tasks by filtering your Gantt chart by resource, activity, team, and more.
- Import Projects: Import your project schedule and Gantt charts from MS Project, Excel, Trello, and Basecamp.
Much like Tom’s Planner and TeamGantt, StudioBinder also has a Gantt chart creator that you can use with one project before having to upgrade. This chart software is specifically set up for events and film production, making this a wise choice if that’s the particular use case that you need.
We like their online Gantt chart setup as it’s color-coded.
The task names are written across the bars, so you can identify what it is. If you click on one of the bars in the Gantt chart, task details and files are immediately pulled up.
- Interactive Gantt charts – Simplifies managing a production workflow with a drag and drop interface.
- Calendar templates – Speed up your workflow by using an online Gantt chart template or customizing your own.
- Comments – Create Gantt chart comments with ease. You can even upload files in the comments.
11. Office Timeline
Want to make a Gantt Chart in PowerPoint?
This tool is your best bet.
Office Timeline is an online Gantt chart tool that helps create visual project timelines and charts in your presentation slides.
This tool is best suited for new users who have never used a Gantt chart before. Their ‘Wizard’ gives you step-by-step instructions to create a Gantt chart and a project timeline. Additionally, this setup also comes with multiple templates.
Each template also has a different visual style, color, and details.
Want to show off your project timeline in a PowerPoint Gantt chart?
You can import project data from Excel, Wrike, and Smartsheet to start creating a Gantt chart template for your presentation.
- Smart layout engine: Automatically generates excellent visuals that can be styled as you like it.
- Real-time collaboration: Invite your team members to collaborate, so that they can see your chart or edit it further in PowerPoint.
- Browser integrations: Being a web-based Gantt chart, you can use OfficeTimeline to create charts in Google docs.
12. Excel Gantt chart template
Yep, another way to have a free Gantt chart view is by completing a chart in Excel. This may make (some?) sense if you’re already using Microsoft Excel on a regular basis, but we don’t need to reiterate all of the reasons why an Excel template doesn’t work for project management.
Like in the example above, you can see deadlines and due dates, but it’s impossible to collaborate with your team or get reminders on these dates with a chart template.
A Gantt chart Excel template will also severly limit your team collaboration.
But if you must…here are some free Excel Gantt chart templates that you can start with. But remember, a free Gantt chart template is almost impossible to share with teammates to manage task details.
- Free Gantt chart templates: There are plenty of free Gantt Excel templates available online.
Okay, now we know about Gantt charts, free chart software, and how Gantt charts function with your specific tasks.
They are helpful because they show dependencies and where work may overlap, helping your team prioritize tasks and work.
But, the Excel Gantt chart maker is an old form of working.
It may no longer be the online Gantt chart software or tool for you, especially as more advances have been made in calendar and timeline views.
Take a look at the options here, and email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.
In the meantime, why not sign up for ClickUp and experience the power of a dedicated project management tool today?
Erica is ClickUp’s Senior Content Manager and professional beach bum. She spends her days creating emails, blogs, landing pages, and more to help people increase their productivity so they can save one day every week to do more of what they love.