gantt chart treasure map

10 Gantt Chart Project Management Templates (Benefits & Tools in 2022)

Managing projects without Gantt charts is like trying to find something in an overstuffed suitcase. You might still find what you’re looking for, but not without spending a fair amount of time sifting through the mess first. ⏰

The ever-growing selection of project management methodologies is what makes life so exciting (and a little stressful) for project managers. While it almost guarantees that a perfect-fit process exists for every team, it also adds a bit of challenge with the trial and error search needed to secure your preferred approach. 

Gantt charts are a great place to start if you find yourself in this boat. 🚤

Gantt chart project management is a popular and highly visual methodology used to display your tasks against the time allotted to complete them.

At a glance, your Gantt chart can easily communicate any overlap between multiple tasks, all of the tasks involved in the project, key deadlines, and the start and end date of the entire project. Pretty neat! 

Mind blowing moment
Product Hunt via GIPHY

If you’re already knee-deep in another project management process but are Gantt chart-curious about how this other methodology could benefit your team, you’re in the right place, my friend. 😎

Not only will we break down every key element of Gantt chart project management and its key benefits, but we’ve also added ten of our favorite Gantt chart templates with tips on how to get the ball rolling (at top speed). 💯

🧐 What is a Gantt chart?

A Gantt chart graphically represents all the tasks and deliverables in an ongoing project. Each task is displayed as a horizontal bar and where it begins represents the start date of that specific task. The length of the bar then shows how long you have to complete the task.

With each task stretched and stacked along your timeline, you can easily determine your team’s progress, the amount of work remaining, and the project’s current status. This helps keep every team member on the same page and helps you set realistic goals for future project planning.

It’s also a great way to ensure that you won’t run into overlap! Ideally, your tasks should be staggered in a sort of waterfall-like fashion on your timeline, but if you notice a nearly vertical stack of bars during the same stretch of time, it’s time to bump some due dates. 

And you can tell all of this just by looking at it. 😍

This transparency is what makes Gantt chart project management so effective (and explains why it’s so popular)! 

Still have questions on how this methodology could apply to your project? 

We have just the resource for you! Take a deeper dive into everything you need to know about Gantt charts, including how to use them, their limitations, and the qualities that make them special. 

✅ 3 key benefits of Gantt chart project management

Okay, okay, you caught us! We love Gantt charts! 

But this fandom is based on some hard evidence. 

Here are the top three key benefits of using Gantt charts to manage your projects: 

1. Get a high-level glimpse of your entire project

You know that anxious feeling you get after boarding a plane where you can’t help but think you’ve forgotten something super important? 

We’ve all been there, but you definitely don’t want to be plagued with that nagging feeling as a project manager. 

Gantt charts are your solution to this nightmare because they show you everything. So you’ll know immediately if you’re missing anything

The visual nature of this methodology helps you quickly understand the bigger picture of your project. Plus, they’re simple to grasp! You don’t have to be the project manager to look at a Gantt chart and know exactly what’s going on. That means cross-functional team members, stakeholders, and other department heads can also easily see the key points—and who doesn’t love full transparency?! 

2. Track project progress in real-time 

Especially if your team works asynchronously, this is a major benefit. 

Today, you can track your lunch delivery in real-time, so why not do the same for your project schedule?

A Gantt chart is like a geo-tracking device for your project. 

Now with the help of Gantt chart software, project managers can simply feed their digital chart with information on project activities, update it a few times, and off it goes on its own

In fact, Gantt charts take it a step further by telling you the critical path for your project schedule. This is the minimum set of tasks you’ll need to complete to meet your project deadline. 

3. Maintain project transparency 

Fun fact: while the original Gantt chart was a tool used exclusively by project managers to make high-level decisions, they are now a regular and essential tool for all members of a project team. 

Project managers can routinely update and share a Gantt chart with the team. Or, if you are using powerful project management software like ClickUp, your chart will automatically update as your tasks enter new statuses! 👏

This lets every member see how their work affects the rest of the team and makes your Gantt chart the most reliable way of presenting the big picture to get everyone on board. Seeing these connections can also promote open communication between team members, improve overall teamwork, and motivate members to hold themselves accountable! 

To sum it up, having a Gantt chart for your project management is as important as carrying a map on your road trip. 

As long as you know how to read it.

One way to make sure you’re covering all your bases while mapping out your Gantt charts is by using a template created to do that very thing, and luckily, we know ten excellent Gant chart project management templates to make that dream a reality!

🏆 The top 10 Gantt chart templates

Plus use cases, difficulty level, strengths, and limitations. 💯

1. Simple Gantt Template by ClickUp

ClickUp's Simple Gantt Chart Template
via ClickUp

Apply the Simple Gantt Template by ClickUp to your Workspace for a big picture overview of your project, visualize dependencies, and get ahead of blockers before they happen. Who wouldn’t love that?

This ClickUp template will instantly pull tasks from your List into a simple Gantt chart using ClickUp’s Gantt view. With this template, you will also find three task statuses that will help you understand your chart through color-coding! Just by looking at your chart you will see if a task is open, in progress, or complete based on the color of each bar. 

With four different project view types, this template can be adapted to tons of different use cases. From creative and design to engineering and product development, HR, operations, IT, and more. Seriously, the sky is the limit for all of the ways you can use your Simple Gantt Chart Template. 🚀

While this is a beginner-friendly template, it’s also a great starting point for seasoned Gantt chart enthusiasts who just want to get things going quicker. 

2. Gantt Chart Template by Miro

Miro's Gantt Chart Template
via Miro

If you are an avid whiteboard or Mind Map user, try merging your love for diagramming with Gantt charts in this Miro template. 

Your chart will exist on your board, so you’ll want to have all of the necessary pieces on your whiteboard before you start your chart. 

Select your template, place your tasks into Miro cards, add due dates, then stretch the cards to reflect the duration of the task. Boom! That’s your chart!

From there, your team can add details, colors, and tags to give the chart more meaning. 

PS, even if you are super familiar with Gantt charts and feel like you could draw one yourself on your whiteboard, you’ll have to start with this template to create your own Gantt chart or custom Gantt chart template in Miro. 

And did we mention that Miro integrates with ClickUp? Continue to keep your work together and manage progress outside of ClickUp by embedding your Miro whiteboard into the platform for seamless collaboration. 

3. Gantt Excel Template by Gantt Excel

Gantt Chart Template in Gantt Excel
via Gantt Excel

Looking for more functionality in your Gantt chart? 👀

This template can help you prioritize specific tasks in the project plan and even display dependencies between them. 

If you are comfortable with Excel and plan to present your chart to other frequent Excel users, you will likely find this template useful and intuitive.

Something to keep in mind though is that while Excel ~excels~ at creating spreadsheets, pivot tables, and formulas, it lacks valuable task management functionality and communication features. 😳

But if you put the “pro” in Microsoft Project and have workarounds for those limitations, then we love that journey for you! You do you! 

And remember, even if your company is all-in on Microsoft, you can always use ClickUp’s integration with Teams and SSO to explore other Gantt options without disturbing the peace in the office! 🤗

Bonus: Learn how to make a Gantt chart in Microsoft Word!

4. Project Planning with Gantt Template by Airtable

Project Planning with Gantt Template by Airtable
via Airtable

Think of this template as Airtable’s take on Gantt charts. 

Like in ClickUp, Airtable’s Gantt project planning template will automatically update as you adjust and make progress on tasks. Though the classic stretched-bar look of Gantt charts takes a different shape in this template, you’ll still find the same information and color-coding to convey the project’s status and guide your next steps. 

And BTW, yes, ClickUp has an Airtable integration to embed your work. 💜

5. Gantt Chart Maker by Lucidchart

Lucidchart Gantt Chart Maker
via Lucidchart

If you’re a diagrammer at heart, try Lucidchart’s Gantt chart maker to start setting your ideas in motion

Requiring a few more steps than simply clicking “Add Template,” this resource might seem a little complicated to a new user. 

Once you’ve collected your project information, you can choose from one of several Gantt chart templates or begin with a blank canvas. 

The upside of this is that you can really make your chart your own. Modify and customize your Gantt chart every step of the way to fit your unique use case!

The downside of Lucidchart? If you’re new to Gantt charts, this might feel a little overwhelming. Or you might not yet know what modifications make this methodology more effective for you. For this reason, this resource is better suited for an experienced Gantt project manager. 

6. Gantt Diagram Templates by Venngage

Venngage Gantt Diagram Templates
via Venngage

Venngage’s library of Gantt diagram templates is a great beginner-to-mid-level resource for project managers who want to know how far the versatility of Gantt charts can really go. 

The toughest part of using this library is simply choosing which template to use. With over 25 options, you can tweak each template to make it more narrowly tailored to your needs. 

And did we mention the specificity? There’s even a template for movie production project management. We support every niche use case in this house. 🏡

Featured Gantt Chart template by Power Slides
via PowerSlides

While it’s less of a task management system, this Gantt chart template is a great option if you’re looking to present several key points to stakeholders. 

This downloadable template from PowerSlides comes with four slides and multiple colors to use with almost any version of PowerPoint. 

Best for illustrating a project schedule, the slide deck offers multiple layouts for a quick plug-and-play presentation in addition to shapes that can be edited to suit your project requirements.

8. Gantt Chart Template by Cacoo

Gantt Chart Template by Cacoo
via Cacoo

This Cacoo template will speak straight to your minimalist soul. 🧼

That said, it leaves more room to be customized by you! 

Think of this template as a base you can continue to build upon with details about your project. And when you’re ready to take your Gantt skills to the next level, check out Cacoo’s monthly, weekly, and product roadmap Gantt chart templates!

9. Gantt Chart Template by LibreOffice

Gantt Chart Template by Libreoffice
via LibreOffice

If you’re comfortable with Excel, you’ll likely catch onto this LibreOffice Gantt chart template pretty quickly! 

Built like a spreadsheet, you can download and input your project information into this template to see it simultaneously reflected as a Gantt chart. 

But keep in mind that it’s on you to keep this template updated! This resource does not act as a task management tool, so you’ll want to adjust this template regularly as your team makes progress on your project.

10. Gantt Chart Template by Lucidspark

Gantt Chart Template by Lucidspark
via Lucidspark

Like Miro, you’ll want to start with this template each time you make a Gantt chart on your Lucidspark whiteboard. 

Once you’ve applied your Gantt chart template, you can add and adjust tasks, assign colors, and work with the team to add more details!

Love whiteboards but ready to test your limits? Check out these whiteboard software alternatives designed to help you ship faster!

📈 So you’ve got your template. What now? 

Congratulations, you’re on your way to creating your first Gantt chart! 🤩

Templates are great for getting started, but it’s on you to explore or experiment with the features that best enhance your own workflow

By now, you’ve seen the variety of projects that can benefit from using Gantt charts to manage their lifecycle, but each project manager will be looking for different key features that keep their workflow moving at peak performance! 

Meaning: there’s no “one size fits all” way to use a Gantt chart.

Plus, it’s important to remember that if your Gantt chart is the canvas for your project artistry, then your project management software provides the brushes and paint—and you need every component to bring your work to life! 🖌

Gantt charts are pretty straightforward. They look and function just about the same across the board at the basic level. But as the complexity of your projects grows, you’ll want to make sure that your charts are stored in a powerful platform that scales with you and can be customized as your needs change.

The features you rely on most will vary depending on your project, team, and project management software, but here are a few of our personal ClickUp favorites that make our Gantt chart lives so much easier, from start to finish. 

Think of ClickUp as your all-in-one productivity tool to view your workload, monitor project updates, and collaborate with the team—no matter your industry or what project style you use. 

And when it comes to Gantt charts, ClickUp’s Gantt Chart view is the starting point you’ve been searching for. 

Adding an interactive Gantt chart to your Workspace in ClickUp is as easy as making a few quick clicks:

➡️ Select the ➕ in any List, Folder, or Space

➡️ Select Gantt

➡️ Name your chart

➡️ Choose to make it a Personal chart

➡️ Pin the view for quick access

Create a Gantt chart with Gantt view in ClickUp
Add Gantt view to your Workspace to create a Gantt chart for your project in seconds in ClickUp

And now for the fun part…customizing your Gantt chart! 🎨

The chart’s taskbar on the side lets you select what data you want to look at. Choose from the Spaces, Folders, and Lists levels in your project to start creating project tasks. Then assign a due date to your tasks and subtasks to locate them on your Gantt chart. 

Like dragging connections between shapes on a whiteboard, you can easily show task dependencies by drawing lines between two tasks on your chart! 

Draw connections between tasks with ClickUp's Gantt view
Draw a connection between tasks to show task dependencies in ClickUp’s Gantt view

If you enable Reschedule Dependencies ClickApp, you can use the same drag-and-drop actions to change deadlines for the task dependencies. Even an entire group of project tasks can be rescheduled this way as a List, Folder, or Space. 

Talk about multitasking! 🤩

And if you’re ever curious about how close you are to achieving your goal, hover over the progress bar to quickly determine the progress percentage of your project schedule. 🙌🏼

Calculate your progress with Gantt view in ClickUp
Gantt view in ClickUp automatically calculates your progress by dividing the number of project tasks completed by the number of tasks

As for calculating the progress on your critical path, ClickUp’s Gantt view has you covered there too! 

Calculate it by:

➡️ Opening the Gantt view

➡️ Clicking on the Path Calculations icon

➡️ Toggle on Critical Path

➡️ Toggle on Show Slack Time

Calculate the progress on your critical path with ClickUp's Gantt view
Use Path Calculations in ClickUp’s Gantt view to automatically calculate the progress on your critical path 

But in your pursuit to meet the deadline, don’t miss out on the biggest Milestones—tasks marked with a diamond shape on your chart. Plus, you can turn any task into a Milestone with a simple right-click! 

Easily track Milestones in ClickUp's Gantt view
Major Milestones are set apart from other tasks with a diamond-shape signifier in ClickUp’s Gantt view

Now that you’ve added all the important details to your online Gantt chart in ClickUp, you can change how they appear. 

In the menu bar on top, you’ll see a Show option with a dropdown containing:

  • Columns: enable and disable columns on the online Gantt chart
  • Allow Live Updates: instantly update all team members about any changes
  • Other Sorting Options: sort tasks by assignees, due dates, last updated, etc.
  • Highlight task position on drag: see individual tasks you’re moving around more clearly
  • Reschedule Dependencies: enable the drag and drop functionality to reschedule task dependencies
  • Hide Weekends: automatically schedule all tasks scheduled on the weekend to the following Monday
Arrange and sort information in ClickUp's Gantt view
Quickly arrange and sort the important details visible on your Gantt chart in ClickUp!

For the finishing touches, use different color schemes to show different priority levels. 

And to wrap things up, let’s talk about sharing and permissions

Share the online Gantt chart directly with people in or outside your Workspace. Adjust their permissions to change who can and can’t edit the chart. 

While the Public Sharing option will live-update the chart for its viewers, you can also download the document as a PDF and circulate it among external stakeholders instead. 

Download and share your Gantt chart from ClickUp
Download your Gantt chart as a PDF to share among external stakeholders with ClickUp

If a simple online Gantt chart can be that comprehensive, imagine what else is in store for you in ClickUp!

Take a look around your current project management tool for similar features and integrations to enhance your Gantt chart processes, or check out one of ClickUp’s multiple pricing plans to see how this platform can help build you up even further. 

What’s our favorite plan, you ask?! Free Forever, of course. 🥳

🏃🏻 What are you waiting for?!

We’ve all hit that point in a project before. Where we just wish things would start magically moving forward already!

The Incredibles are we there yet scene
Buena Vista Pictures via tenor

While we haven’t found that solution quite yet, we have found Gantt charts! And we’re almost certain that they’re the next best thing. 🙂

This project management approach helps you quickly visualize task dependencies, promotes communication, and lays out your team’s workload, almost single-handedly. What a dream. ✨

Securing a solid Gantt chart template is the first step in making sure you’re channeling your work in the right direction. Almost like a set of training wheels to help your team gain momentum with this new methodology! 

Experiment with your own Gantt chart in ClickUp or browse from its growing library of free templates designed to help you improve your efficiency.

Sign up for ClickUp for free today and watch your project excel off the charts! 🚀

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