How to Use Excel Free Project Timeline Templates

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If you’re working on a team project, the last thing you want to do is constantly email everyone to find out how their tasks are going. Plus, you’ll need to keep everyone posted on the team’s progress at large. Something visual that the whole team can access quickly and easily, so as not to interrupt anyone’s workflow, is a must. That’s where free project timeline templates come in.

What Is a Project Timeline Template?

Having a visual project timeline that displays individual tasks, milestones and due dates, can help everyone involved in the project keep track of the team’s progress. It’s also a great way to keep everyone on track when it comes to due dates. Project timeline templates can also track which team members are responsible for various tasks, phases or milestones. 

As a visual tool, it’s easy to use, too. A project timeline maps out the tasks the team needs to complete before starting a new task. This helps to ensure that nothing crucial to the project’s completion is forgotten. 

Why Is Having a Project Timeline Template Important?

A visual project timeline template reduces the need for managers to hold meetings or send emails about project updates. Instead of checking in with everyone individually, each team member’s progress and tasks are easily viewable. With this time saved, meetings can be better spent actually working on the project at hand. 

Additionally, team members don’t have to take the time to message one another. The visual project timeline serves as a quick reference. That way, everyone can stay focused on their tasks, instead of interrupting each other’s workflows to check in.

How To Create Free Project Timeline Templates

There are a few ways to create free project timeline templates. The website ProjectManager makes creating a free project timeline template easy. With five views for your projects — sheet, calendar, task list, Gantt, or kanban board — ProjectManager takes just a few minutes to use. Later, you can even export the timeline to Excel or Sheets if needed. 

Another solid website is OfficeTimeline, which offers free project timeline templates that you can customize and edit to suit your needs and preferences.

How To Create Free Project Timeline Templates in Excel

Excel has a template for nearly everything you can think of, and free project timeline templates are no exception. Easy to use, Excel boasts template options for Gantt project charts, project trackers, work plan timelines and more. 

There are a few ways to create free project timeline templates in Excel without searching for one online. If you choose the work plan timeline option, the work plan tab has columns for Phase 1 to Phase 4, meaning you can list out the tasks and anticipated outcomes or benchmarks for each phase. 

The project tracker option has columns to illustrate the project name, category, the team member assigned to each task, estimated start and finish dates, actual start and finish dates, completion percentage and more.

Other Ways to Make Free Project Timeline Templates

If the templates you find online don’t fit the needs of your project, you can always take the time to create a template yourself. Whether you use Google Sheets, Zoho, or some other online spreadsheet, make sure it has the necessary options and tools you need to create your desired template, such as checkboxes, dropdown boxes and so on. 

Remember: For efficiency, be sure to set up formulas so that when you change information in one cell that information, when shown elsewhere, automatically updates, too.