Pros and cons templates Blog Feature

10 Free Pros and Cons List Templates in Excel, Word, & ClickUp

Work is full of all kinds of decisions. Some decisions are easy, but others? Not so much.

Whether you work in marketing, HR, or finance, it’s tough choosing the best course of action for your department, team, or company. It seems like potential dangers lurk around every corner—so how can you make the right decision?

Instead of a coin toss, make an educated decision with a simple pros and cons list. A pros and cons list considers reasons for or against a certain action. The goal is to look at all of the factors with an unbiased eye so you make the best decision possible.

You don’t have to create a pros and cons list from scratch, either. Pros and cons chart templates seriously speed up the process. Instead of fussing over formatting, save time and focus on the meat and potatoes of your next steps. 

In this guide, we’ll show you how to get more of your time back with pros and cons templates—plus 10 professional templates for virtually any scenario to jumpstart your next brainstorming sesh.

What Is a Pros and Cons Template?

A pros and cons list template is a structured document that helps you look at the advantages (pros) and disadvantages (cons) of a situation, decision, or choice. Think of it as a decision-making tool that empowers you to make a strategic, informed decision.

These decision-making tools usually consist of two columns or sections, one for pros and one for cons. From there, you populate each section with relevant information that helps you make a decision. 

Instead of charging headfirst into something new, you carefully consider the outcomes of a decision before you do anything. You can’t predict every eventuality, but sitting down with your team to brainstorm all the pros and cons of a situation will help you decide what’s best and take the best course of action. 

What Makes a Good Pros and Cons Template?

We’ll share some top-notch pros and cons templates with you in just a sec. Here’s the criteria we used to select them:

  • Allow real-time collaboration: Chances are, you aren’t working alone. Go with a template that allows for team collaboration. Involving other stakeholders at this stage will save you grief down the line, so go with a collaboration-friendly template
  • Include visual elements: Visuals make everything better. Look for highly visual matrix templates, sprint retrospectives, concept maps, and roadmaps to jazz up your pros and cons lists
  • Balance upsides and downsides: Pros and cons templates should address all sides of the argument equally. Choose a template that assesses all important factors in a fair, balanced way
  • Integrate with your workflow: Look for templates that effortlessly convert into strategies, goals, projects, or tasks with just a click

10 Pros and Cons Templates to Use in 2023

You know how to spot a quality template, but why spend the time searching? Check out these 10 high-quality pros and cons templates to spice up your next team huddle.

1. Pros and Cons List Template by ClickUp

Pros and cons templates: ClickUp Pros and Cons List Template
Make informed decisions with ease with this color-coded Whiteboard template

We love the Pros and Cons List Template by ClickUp because it has the look and feel of a real-life whiteboard with sticky notes. If you have a remote team, this template is perfect for mimicking the in-person brainstorming process in a virtual environment. 

This template is built using ClickUp’s own digital whiteboard software and is highly visual by nature. It uses contrasting colors, with green for the positive outcomes and red for the cons list—plus a purple background—to make the colors pop. The template is 100% customizable too, so feel free to drag and drop sticky notes to your heart’s content. 

And since this template was created using Clickup Whiteboards, you can convert the finalized pros and cons list into ClickUp tasks to make your ideas immediately actionable. Cool, huh?

2. College Pros and Cons List Template by ClickUp

Pros and cons templates: ClickUp College Pros and Cons List Template
Compare student life, extracurriculars, location, and pricing for multiple universities at once

Choosing where to go to college is no small decision. The College Pros and Cons List Template by ClickUp helps you:

  • Organize your thoughts
  • Make unbiased assessments
  • Gather research on different schools

The research process can be hectic, so it’s helpful to choose a template that covers things you might not think of. This template even considers financial factors like tuition, living expenses, and scholarships. 

To be honest, though, you don’t have to use the template just for comparing colleges. You can use it for any in-depth comparison. For example, if your company is evaluating lots of vendors, feel free to customize this template’s categories to fit with each vendor’s pricing and features.

3. SOAR Analysis Template by ClickUp

Pros and cons templates: ClickUp SOAR Analysis Template
Analyze a project from all angles with a ClickUp SOAR analysis

Planning a big project? Look for opportunities and risks before you so much as schedule your first team meeting. With the SOAR Analysis Template by ClickUp, you’ll look at all of the different angles of your project, finding opportunities and minimizing liabilities.

This decision-making template is similar to a SWOT analysis, but it focuses more on your company’s internal workings. SOAR assesses: 

  • Strengths: These are the advantages you have
  • Opportunities: Spot new opportunities, whether that’s new markets or customer segments
  • Aspirations: Set goals for this project
  • Results: Detail what you need to do to make your aspirations a reality

By focusing on your desired goals and creating a plan to achieve them, SOAR is a great template for evaluating the realistic pros and cons of your project. Use this template to research customer behavior, analyze product strengths and weaknesses, or assess the usefulness of your current processes

As an added bonus, this resource makes it easy to share ideas with members from other departments to join in, so you get a fuller picture of what’s going on. This visual tool was created using a digital whiteboard, so you’re free to convert this pros and cons template into actionable tasks within ClickUp when you’re done.

4. Pugh Matrix Template by ClickUp

Pros and cons templates: ClickUp Pugh Matrix Template
Weigh different criteria to compare three (or more) options at once

The Pugh Matrix Template by ClickUp has a few more bells and whistles than your typical two-column pros and cons list template, but it’s still beginner-friendly, so don’t let it spook you.

A Pugh matrix has two columns: one for the options you’re comparing and the other for the criteria. Make an assessment based on cost, quality, time, or other factors that matter to you. Use this template to make informed decisions about a product or process at your company. 

We like this matrix because it assesses multiple factors in an equal and fair way. It ranks every option by the same set of criteria, which gives you a more structured pros and cons list. If you need an organized, visual comparison of all of the different options, this visual tool is a must-have.

5. SWOT Analysis Task Template by ClickUp

Pros and cons templates: ClickUp Personal SWOT Analysis Template
Understand your impact with this personal SWOT analysis template

A SWOT analysis looks at internal factors, like your strengths and weaknesses, as well as external factors, like opportunities and threats. When it’s time to ideate your next big project, go with a SWOT analysis to create a bulletproof strategy.

The SWOT Analysis Task Template by ClickUp speeds up the SWOT analysis process by giving you a readymade graph for conducting an analysis. This template comes with custom fields for completion rates, objectives, timelines, and more. 

Put on your detective hat and look for trends both in your company and in the market as a whole. You might need to do some digging for the data, but this SWOT analysis template gives you more of your time back so you can focus on research, not formatting.

6. Risk Benefit Analysis Template by ClickUp

The ClickUp Risk Benefit Analysis Template
Quickly assess the risks—and rewards of potential decisions throughout your project with the ClickUp Risk Benefit Analysis Template

In business, sometimes you’ve gotta risk it for the biscuit. But that doesn’t mean you should take reckless risks. The Risk Benefit Analysis Template by ClickUp walks you through a risk-benefit analysis that tells you whether your big, ambitious ideas are realistic or downright silly.

For example, if you’re in the thick of process planning, do a risk-benefit analysis to see if the costs of executing this new process are lower than the return you’ll see from the process. If the costs are too high—or if you’re facing other risks, like compliance issues—it’s time to go back to the drawing board.

7. Excel Pros and Cons List Template by Vertex42

Are you a more data-minded person? This Pros and Cons List by Vertex42 is a quantifiable pros and cons list that tallies up scores for each criterion. 

List your pros and cons like you usually would, but assign a value of importance to each criterion on a scale of zero to 10, with zero being not important at all and 10 being extremely important. 

Not all benefits and adverse outcomes are equally impactful, and we love that this template accounts for meaningful differences. Fill out the template and use the final score at the top of the chart to implement objective decision-making in any tough choice. Look for the higher score to determine if you should greenlight this project or rethink it.

8. Excel Pros and Cons Chart Template by Spreadsheet.com

This Excel Pros and Cons Chart Template by Spreadsheet.com is another simple tool that assigns scores to each pro and con. Where it differs from the Vertex42 template, though, is its weighting system. 

If one criterion matters more than others, you can assign it a heavier “weight.” For example, if you would normally score a factor like price with a weight of 3, but you weigh it at 2.25, the score becomes 6.75. 

Once you finish assigning values to each variable, the spreadsheet will spit out a score for pro versus con to help you make your final decision. If the pro column has a bigger score than the con column, you can rest assured that your idea will (probably) pan out. 

9. Microsoft Word Pros and Cons Template by Smile Templates

Looking for a Word-friendly pros and cons list template? Go with this free Microsoft Word Pros and Cons Template.

We like this template because it’s more than just a simple pros and cons list. It’s formatted like a business plan with sections for: 

  • Company mission statement
  • Market analysis
  • Marketing plan
  • Product management
  • Operations
  • Risk assessment 
  • Financial plan
  • Shareholder structure

It’s as easy as removing the Lorem Ipsum and dropping in your own company info. 

P.S. This template is free but it requires attribution, so be sure to give Smile Templates a shoutout if you use it. 

10. Microsoft Word Weighted Pros and Cons List Template by Sample.net

This Microsoft Word Weighted Pros and Cons List Template is a simplified version of a weighted pros and cons template. It includes an area to list your problem statement or need, so you keep your eye on the prize as you debate the pros and cons of your big idea. 

Since it isn’t an Excel file, we recommend using this Word document as a printable worksheet. Print it out and use it in your next in-person brainstorming meeting. List all the pros, assign a value (or weight), and add everything up at the end to see whether you should decide to move forward. 

Speed Up Your Decision-Making With Templates

Whether you’re making a simple rating scale or the most important decision of your career, a pros and cons template certainly speeds things up. Sometimes you need to make personal decisions, but more often than not, these powerful tools will help you make an objective decision that supports business growth with the right brainstorming templates.

Like what you see here? ClickUp has dozens of pros and cons templates, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Not will you find a vast Template Library for every business process, but over 1,000 integrations with other tools to bring all of your work into ClickUp’s flexible platform.

See what all the hype is about when you sign up for ClickUp today!

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