Like a kitchen crew armed with a menu plan for a party, a team with an outline can achieve great results.
A project outline helps you organize thoughts, break down tasks into manageable chunks, and set a direction for completing a project. Creating an outline compels your team to think through the process of executing a project. And when you do that, the abstract components of your project’s vision, opportunities, and challenges come together into a concrete plan of action.
Think of the outline as a communication tool, too. It’s a persuasive, authoritative document that gets all stakeholders aligned on project goals and expectations. When in doubt about how best to approach a project or task, you can refer to your outline to guide your decision.
Creating a project outline is essential for any successful project, and using a project outline template can speed up the process. To help you get started, we’ve prepared 10 different project outline templates and samples in Word and ClickUp.
- What is a Project Outline Template?
- What Makes a Good Project Outline Template?
- 10 Project Outline Templates
- 1. ClickUp Project Outline Template
- 2. ClickUp Project Outline Whiteboard Template
- 3. ClickUp Campaign Project Outline Template
- 4. ClickUp Story Outline Template
- 5. ClickUp Creative Project Plan
- 6. ClickUp Business Requirements Template
- 7. ClickUp App Scope Outline Template
- 8. ClickUp Project Roadmap Template
- 9. Microsoft Word Project Outline Template
- 10. Microsoft Excel Project Outline Template
What is a Project Outline Template?
A project outline is a high-level overview of the objectives and goals of a project. It should include an action plan that identifies tasks, resources, timelines, deadlines, personnel involved, and other details necessary for the successful completion of the project. Outlines are typically used to define major milestones and track progress throughout the life cycle of a project.
Project outline templates come with pre-formatted layouts and visual elements. More sophisticated templates also come with automations and let you link to tasks and comments across different views. Whether you need a simple or complex outline, forget creating outline documents from scratch. Hit the ground running when you launch new projects by using a project outline template.
What Makes a Good Project Outline Template?
A good project outline template provides a structure and framework for the project and is clear enough that stakeholders can quickly understand the proposed project plan. It also includes space for team members to add their own notes, comments, or tasks. The template should be flexible enough for you to change or adapt it to your project’s unique components.
Choose a template that provides clear instructions and examples for filling out its different sections. You want a template that can be integrated into your project management tools, so you can easily link to tasks and files, and assign items to team members.
10 Project Outline Templates
We’ve put together a selection of 10 project outline templates and samples in Microsoft Word and Clickup. These templates are designed to provide a starting point for your project, along with giving you the tools to customize them based on your specific needs.
1. ClickUp Project Outline Template
The ClickUp Project Outline Template for beginners provides a structure and framework for your project, with clear objectives and goals. It’s a professional document in Docs view and is integrated with your tasks and projects on ClickUp. Different team members can add notes, comments, and tasks, making this a collaborative template that helps you define a project faster.
Start with the template cover, where you can add a short introduction and basic details of your project. Fill in the next few subpages with an executive summary, project background, and project objectives. The template will also ask you to describe your project’s constraints and assumptions, helping you think through challenges. Complete the outline with details on your timeline, key deliverables, and budget and investments.
If that sounds like a lot of details, that’s because this template is designed to help you create an in-depth document that you can use to get leaders’ buy-in and get all stakeholders on the same page. But don’t worry—this project outline template comes with icons, image blocks, tables, and other visual elements to break up the text and keep readers engaged.
2. ClickUp Project Outline Whiteboard Template
Getting ready to propose a project? Make a convincing argument with the ClickUp Project Outline Whiteboard Template. This template is designed to get all hands on deck, allowing different team members to visualize their ideas, add notes, and move items around on a whiteboard.
Embed G Suite files, YouTube videos, and Figma sketches to your project outline using this template’s whiteboard. The whiteboard is integrated with ClickUp tasks, so you can make each part of your project outline actionable by assigning it to a team member.
Switch to List view to see all items on your to-do list, or click on Board view to see the status of each task.
3. ClickUp Campaign Project Outline Template
The ClickUp Campaign Project Outline Template is a great tool for helping to organize and manage marketing campaigns across a team. It provides an overview of campaigns, team scopes, channels, media types, and timelines for a high-level view of your marketing activities. By using this template, you enhance collaboration and help your team achieve marketing goals within your desired timelines.
Start with a campaign summary in List view to see all your ongoing and upcoming marketing campaigns. Switch to Board view to see campaigns by stage, or to view only campaigns that are currently in implementation. A Timeline view gives you a linear look into campaigns, grouped by campaign stages and color-coded by the team responsible.
Custom fields help you break down the campaigns into further categories. Use these fields to indicate campaign type, media type, channel, the team assigned, and approval status.
4. ClickUp Story Outline Template
Break down a novel into manageable tasks with the ClickUp Story Outline Template. It comes with subpages that let you examine your story from different angles. For instance, the Chapter subpage lists down the scenes in each chapter. The Location subpage arranges scenes and plot points based on where they take place.
On the Character subpage, you can keep track of each character’s profile and type, alongside a list of chapters in which they appear. Different views help you stay organized.
With Board view, you can see the major plot points across different story stages. Another Board view groups scenes according to which characters appear. You can also keep track of what you have and haven’t written with a to-do list of scenes.
By using this story outline template, you infuse discipline into your creative process and ensure you spot any major loopholes and loose ends in your storytelling.
5. ClickUp Creative Project Plan
The ClickUp Creative Project Plan template is designed to help project managers and workers plan out their projects with greater accuracy and efficiency. It provides key elements for outlining tasks, setting objectives, assigning deliverables, and monitoring team progress. With this template, you can manage creative projects in a more organized manner.
This template comes with three main components: a Creative Project List, a Progress Board, and a Timeline. Use the List view for an overview of all your projects grouped by project phase, such as Planning, Pre-Production, Production, and Post-Production. This view gives you eight custom fields you can edit, so you can add the details you need to keep track of your projects.
On the Board view, you can drag and drop projects to reflect their progress. The Timeline view shows you all your projects’ start and end dates—useful for seeing which projects overlap.
6. ClickUp Business Requirements Template
Sometimes you need to work with partners outside your organization to get things done. Share the project goals, scope, and expectations with your external partner using the ClickUp Business Requirements Template. This document becomes a source of truth for all parties involved and helps you set the foundation for an effective partnership.
This template is organized into subpages, which you can access from a directory at the top of the document or from a left-hand sidebar. There are nine subpages in all, including Project Scope, Functional Requirements, Business Drivers, and Schedule and Deadlines.
As you work through the template, you’ll see that each subpage provides brief recommendations on what details to include. Some subpages also contain simple tables that you can fill in and modify as you need.
Check out how you can use AI to generate outlines!
7. ClickUp App Scope Outline Template
Way before any design and coding take place, dev teams need to outline the business requirements for building an app. And as you’ve probably guessed, there’s a template for that.
The ClickUp App Scope Outline Template keeps things straightforward and simple. It’s a one-page doc with short sections describing a project’s background, which includes the problem it solves, the app experience, and objectives. The main sections of this doc are the business requirements and the application scope—both presented in neat tables for easy scanning.
8. ClickUp Project Roadmap Template
Project outlines are communication tools that explain your project fundamentals to anyone who needs to know—be it a decision-maker, strategic partner, manager, or implementer. The ClickUp Project Roadmap Template takes a highly visual approach to relay your project info by using a roadmap slide.
You’ll find a sample roadmap slide in this template’s starter guide, complete with a legend, preset phase connectors, and a workboard. Be sure to read the guide’s helpful tips, complete with demo videos on how to apply the template’s preset elements in Whiteboard view.
You can also switch to List and Board views to see tasks and their status. By letting you link your roadmap slide to tasks on ClickUp, this template makes it easier for your team to put your plan into action.
9. Microsoft Word Project Outline Template
This list wouldn’t be complete if we didn’t mention Microsoft Word Project Outline Templates, given this software’s popularity. Microsoft Word gives you several templates to choose from for outlining papers and reports. Whether you need to outline a data-rich business report, a technical whitepaper, or an executive summary, you can find a template that you can adapt and tailor to your needs.
Some of the Word project outline templates have colored layouts and stock images, which you can use or change as you need. You can also customize the designs with your company colors and logo.
10. Microsoft Excel Project Outline Template
Spreadsheets are versatile tools for project managers. Find ideas for your next report by looking through these Microsoft Excel Project Outline Templates. Be it a minimalist diagram or a stylishly designed chart, you can use these templates to visualize data and back up your project plans with solid facts.
Find the most appropriate visualization style, including Pareto charts, linear graphs, sales funnel charts, and simple but visually appealing tables. The templates also let you get even more creative with animations, transitions, and images.
Plan Well With a Useful Project Outline
A project outline template can be an invaluable tool for project managers and team members. From ClickUp templates to Microsoft Word and Excel documents, these project outline templates provide an easy starting point for planning out your projects with greater accuracy and efficiency.
By choosing the right template to suit your needs and customizing it to fit the specifics of your project, you can get stakeholders on board quickly and stay organized throughout the life cycle of your projects.
Use these helpful templates on ClickUp and start creating your own outlines today!