Gantt charts are flexible charts that provide a comprehensive look at the status of every project.
You’ll also see how your projects and individual tasks overlap and connect on your daily work schedule.
If you’re using project management tools that don’t have Gantt charts or a Timeline view, your project knowledge is incomplete.
What is a Gantt Chart?
Here’s the summary version: Gantt charts were developed in the early 1900s by Henry Gantt and were used to build the Hoover Dam.
See “What is a Gantt Chart?” for more info.
Since that time, Gantt charts have proven to be an invaluable resource for monitoring:
- Project Statuses
- Project tasks
- And more
There has been a lot of advancement in cloud-based project management software over the years, meaning that it’s easier than ever to drag-and-drop and schedule your tasks within a Gantt Chart.
Beyond these free Gantt chart software options, there are lots of paid ones as well that you should evaluate.
Are Gantt Charts Dead?
There’s been a lot of talk about re-imagining Gantt charts. But they’ve become a fundamental part of project management that there’s no way it’s going away anytime soon. Besides, it’s lasted this long for a reason.
Gantt charts are still one of the fastest ways to visualize and notice roadblocks, dependencies, and overlapping tasks. With Gantt Charts you can also identify the Critical Path for getting projects finished.
Sure, Gantt charts aren’t for everyone.
There are different types of learners and personalities. And Gantt charts is only one way to visualize tasks, but not the best way.
However, a lot of people live and die by Gantt charts and these options are for you.
Now, let’s dive into some of the best Gantt chart options!
ClickUp most definitely has a Gantt chart! This feature includes start and end dates, drag-and-drop functionality, dependencies, and surprise! You get even more capabilities with custom fields, reporting, and storage once you upgrade your plan.
And you don’t lose out on any of the awesome features that come with our free plan, which include lots of amazing things that you never knew you needed like:
- Multiple views including Board, List, Box and Time (Gantt Chart)
- Assigned comments
- Dark mode
- Task tray
- Chrome extension
- Edit multiple tasks
Here are other essentials for creating a Gantt chart in ClickUp
1. Color your tasks! Choose to color items on the chart by status, type, or List
2. Task Dependencies make it clear which task needs to be finished first, and which ones are blocking others from starting. Task dependencies also send notifications when a task is unblocked, so your team knows when a task is ready to be worked on.
a. Enable critical path to highlight the items in view that have to be done for the rest of the Project to work
b. Reschedule dependencies by sliding tasks around. When a blocking task bumps into one waiting on it, the ClickUp Gantt chart automatically schedules that task.
3. Reschedule tasks by group. Moving a Space, Project, or List on the Gantt chart will automatically adjust all start and due dates for the items within.
4. You can even set planned vs actual dates for Lists in ClickUp. Create a List of all tasks required to complete your milestone and set a Due Date on the List and List Details to set your planned dat. Actual dates for Lists on the Gantt chart are determined by the first start date and last due date of the tasks it contains.
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” and see how all of the sales training tasks line up. That way, you don’t necessarily have to create a list for your related tasks or you can if you want :). That’s the flexibility of ClickUp.
You Need More than Gantt Charts!
Creating Gantt charts is, of course, important, but you need more than just that to be productive. And integrations? We’ve got tons of them. No need to find a tool that does it all when ClickUp enhances the tools you already use.
Wrike organizes their Gantt chart in a table view, with assignees, task names, start and end dates, and then the Gantt chart displaying all of that info together. With Wrike, you can see multiple projects at once in a Gantt chart, letting you track individual tasks and your team tasks across different projects. Wrike also provides Critical Path, highlighting which tasks need to be completed first to avoid missing project deadlines. And if you’re old school (or your boss is!), you can print out any Gantt charts that you use.
Compare Wrike with ClickUp and other alternatives!
Other Wrike Features:
- Folder hierarchy
- Collaborative editing
Pricing: $9.80 – $34.60 per user/month
Smartsheet is a project management tool based on spreadsheets, so it’s no surprise that its software looks a little stale.
Live by the spreadsheet, die by the spreadsheet.
But! Its advantage over Excel or Google Sheets is that you don’t have to program your own Gantt chart; you can use their templates. In Smartsheet, see your project tasks and then click on the different parts to connect your own dependencies. You can set task dependencies, start dates and due date for yourself. That’s easier than Excel project management at least.
Other Smartsheet features:
- Predecessor tasks
- Automated workflows and approvals
Pricing: Contact Smartsheet for details
Clarizen is a complex tool that isn’t great for teams of all skill levels trying to work together. It has limited views (you only get a standard waterfall view and Gantt chart).
That said, their Gantt chart gives you a baseline view, comparison of actual work completed versus estimated, a standard view and Critical Path. So if you’re serious about Gantt charts in the old-fashioned sense, then give Clarizen a whirl. And if you need to connect all of your financials (like budgets and expense reports) then a tool like Clarizen is built for enterprise-level needs.
Other Clarizen features:
- Work Breakdown Structure
- Salesforce Integration
- Customized reporting
Pricing: $29.95-$54.95 per user/month
A simple Gantt chart software program that is straightforward and ready for the job. Users can establish different workspaces to be used for personal or professional use. Set specific permissions to different users to manage their own projects, while maintaining different permissions to see every project. Drag and drop functionality makes it easy to set start and end dates, add project tasks and more.
- Organizing and scheduling tasks
- Splitting tasks and subtasks
- Merging dependencies
- Resource management
Pricing: $5.90 to $15 per user/month
Flow’s calling card is its user interface, and the newly added online Gantt chart and/or Timeline view improves on that. Zoom into individual weeks, or take a step back to see by month. Filter by different colors or tags to see how those projects line up to their estimated due dates, and then adjust with drag and drop functionality.
Other Flow Features:
- Project dashboard with a number of tasks left
- Customized task views
- Public and private tasks
Pricing: $4.79 to $7.99+ per user/month
The main section of Celoxis is their Gantt chart view. One of the advantages is its ability to auto-schedule and slot tasks into available timeframes for different colleagues.
Their interface feels somewhat clinical and technical, so teams that are looking to get the job done and not necessarily be “delighted” will gravitate to Celoxis. They also have lots of financial planning tools for budgets and resources, which sets them apart from competitors.
Other Celoxis features:
- Project request queues
- Workflows and KPIs
- Capacity planning and shift support
Pricing: $25 per user/month
According to their support forum, the most popular view in MS Project is a Gantt chart. And because Microsoft Project has been the market leader in project management software for a number of years, this is what a lot of project managers and leaders compare competitors to. So how is their Gantt chart?
Their Gantt chart is slotted in split screens next to task lists and due dates to give you all of your timeline details in one view. This can be overwhelming for users who aren’t used to the volume of info and only need to view a few details or attachments. MS Project is definitely built for project managers who are monitoring timelines, budgets, and progress but is not necessarily the best fit for individual contributors who just need to see their next task.
Other MS Project features:
- Standard reports
- Multiple timeline views
- Advanced reporting
Pricing: $7-$55 per user/month
With TeamGantt, get a broad view of every project, and see activities, timelines and the number of tasks assigned to your colleagues. Commenting is easy on TeamGantt—just click on a task in your online Gantt chart for more details and to add to the conversation. Lots of enterprise companies have chosen TeamGantt for their project management solution. But with a tool like this, you had better love Gantt charts. Other views will be limited or not as prominent.
- Baselines to compare estimated to actual time
- Multiple project view in one Gantt chart
- Project zoom
- Guest permissions
Pricing: Team rate starts at $39.50/month
Workzone is great for teams that interface with lots of other departments and teams, such as an HR department at a large organization. Workzone is also great for project requests, forms and storing your files.
Their Gantt charts provide drop-down menus to schedule your projects and critical path functions to help you find the best way forward. You can divide Gantt chart views into weeks, months, quarters or years along with a progress report of how much of the tasks have been completed.
Other Workzone features:
- Custom request forms
- Progress reports
- Project templates
11. Project Libre
If you want an open-source solution for Gantt charts, investigate Project Libre. They’ve actually won a few awards for their capabilities, even though it’s completely free—including more than 3 million downloads.
Because it’s open source, it works, but scant attention is paid to the UX and UI. However, its dashboard will show you an overview of where each project stands, with lots of graphics to distill information down quickly. It’s gained popularity because it can open Microsoft Project files.
Other Project Libre features:
- Gantt Chart
- Network Diagram
- WBS/RBS charts
- Earned Value Costing
Pricing: Monthly subscription coming soon!
Instagantt made their name with an Asana integration, but they also have a standalone version.
Their best features include workload management, milestones, and different colors to show progress on your Gantt chart. Their subtasks look really handy, and their user interface is sleek and modern. Definitely, a good option if you’re looking for a quick and easy Gantt chart (and only a Gantt chart).
Pricing: $5-$7 per month
Paymo is an all-inclusive project management software that also has a Gantt chart. The setup seems pretty typical–list out all of your tasks and due dates, then expand them out. You can see how the tasks match up on the Gantt chart and you can make your decisions from there.
A differentiator is how they list the assignees next to the tasks right on the Gantt chart, profile pic and all. You can quickly identify who is responsible for what. It’s also simple to measure milestones and gauge progress along that continuum.
Their colored warning signs will show you bottlenecks, broken dependencies or any tasks that have exceeded their estimated hours.
Paymo has a free tier, but Gantt charts aren’t included.
Pricing: $15.16 per user on the Business Plan
Conclusion: Which Gantt Chart is Right For You?
Lots of choices, right? When considering any Gantt chart or project management tool, think about what you really need versus the cost. Oftentimes companies will get caught in an expensive system when they only have a few users with their tool. Then you’re paying for tons of licenses that aren’t even being used. What fun is that?
And the other side of the spectrum? Create an Excel Gantt chart? That’s no fun, very hard to update, and next to impossible to monitor task details.
Consider Gantt charts that:
- Allow you to scale up
- Grow with you
- Contain a lot of integrations
- Are simple enough that your whole team *wants* to use it
ClickUp is definitely easy enough for your whole team, no matter their skill level, and has the power that you’re looking for.
But weigh the benefits of each tool and let us know if you need any help at email@example.com.