Before you can plan for your project you have to have the right tools to collect the data you need in order to formulate a strategy. You know there are a lot of balls to keep in the air, regardless of whether the project is big or small, so think of these tools as safety nets that make sure you don’t lose track of anything essential.
Think of all the things you have to process, from scheduling to resources and defining tasks and milestones along the way to a successful project completion. The days of Post-It notes and notebooks filled with scraps of paper are long gone. Thankfully, we’ve got you covered.
Visit our Templates Page and you’ll find Excel and Word templates for creating all the project documents you need to manage your project. Are you interested in free project management Excel spreadsheets? Here are eight essential PM templates you can download and use right now, including two new templates we’ve recently added!
New! Gantt Chart Maker
A Gantt chart is a visual tool that helps you see at-a-glance the scheduling of tasks and their dependencies over the lifecycle of a project.
While it’s true a Gantt chart can be overly complex in Excel, especially when you are need more advanced scheduling features like task dependencies and resource allocation, they remain a vital part of any project manager’s toolkit. That’s why we recommend using online Gantt chart software to help plan tasks and projects collaboratively with your team. Online Gantt chart tools integrate into project management & planning software, so it can update in real-time. This allows for easy drag-and-drop changes and can be color coded to customize as you need.
But to quickly make a Gantt chart from your task lists, download this free Excel Gantt chart template for an easy way to create a project schedule. Just add tasks and deadlines to visualize how long your project will take.
New! 1-Page Status Report
The need for a status report is obvious. If you don’t have good intel on what is happening in the project, then you are managing blind. You have no idea if you’re on track or if resources are being blocked.
With this free Excel status report template, you have a tool to greatly improve your project communications, both with stakeholders when you’re delivering a presentation, but also with team members.
It’s up to you to decide on the frequency of the reports. But with a status report template a lot of the busy work that can pull you away from a project is already done, giving you greater access to the information you need.
Project & Task Tracker
Tracking the project is crucial to insure that it remains on schedule. That means also keeping tabs on the work at a task-level.
This free project and task tracking template can help as a task to-do list, and it includes columns for the planned and actual duration of the project in order to know what’s working and what needs more attention.
Once you integrate your project and task tracking template into a project management software system, then you can produce Gantt charts to get a clear visual on the project, as well as get that data delivered to your dashboard to note progress in real-time.
Risk is a part of managing a project. The job is being able to anticipate what risks are likely to occur and then formulating a response to get the project back on track. That’s where this free Excel risk tracking template comes in.
First, it allow you to list all the possible risks you believe may happen over the course of the project. Next you can define how it will impact the project. You determine level of the risk and assign it an owner, so that someone is responsible to keep an eye out for it.
Now you have a plan in place to resolve that risk quickly, a document that can be shared so risk is never given a chance to blindside a project.
Issues are when something is happening right now in your project. So, what do you do when this happens? You track those issues and resolve them with the help of this free issue tracking template.
The first thing, of course, is identifying those issues as they occur. This is the document in which you can collect that information. The issue tracking template serves you by making sure every step of the way from identifying to resolving the issue is documented.
Of course you will want to share the issue tracking template, and you can with this free Excel template, but only as a static document. In a project management software program that information is easy to collect and share, as well as edit in real time.
Project Budget Tracker
A project can have a great plan, but without the financial backing to pay for it nothing can happen. That’s why a project budget, as tedious as it might be, is one of the most important phases of getting a project on track to a successful completion.
With this free Excel project budget template you can literally see when you’re in the red, because it’s color-coded. And this document, more than just one that is crucial to the start of a project, is also a way to track that budget across the lifecycle of the project.
This template has room to cover all your costs, from easy ones to collect — such as labor and materials — to ones that change or carry over from project to project. Budgets are estimates, but with this free template those numbers will be more accurate.
Team members need to have a way to track their work through the tasks they are assigned, and a simple timesheet can provide an easy way to keep them on schedule as well as giving you the needed information to know where they are in their tasks.
The free Excel timesheet can calculate cost per hour and includes vacation and overtime columns, to accurately note the time spent on and off the project. But project timesheets are useful for a number of different purposes, so this is a handy tool.
When you manage timesheets with online project management software, then the rubber hits the road. You’ll be able to filter columns and customize reports, easily share in an email, PDF or Excel and CSV file. Plus your team can submit timesheets based on actual tasks in the system, and you’ll get alerted by email when they do.
The project dashboard is what keeps you in the driver seat as you travel through the lifecycle of the project. It allows for you to monitor the project, tracking the task status, budget and more in one place.
From this free project management dashboard you create graphs and charts that give you a visual and easily digestible look at your task and workload management, as well as cost. It’s a sure way to stay on top of a project generally and know where you have to drill down into specifics.
You can add more power to your PM dashboards when you use online project management software. That way, when team members are updating statuses on tasks, the dashbaords are populating with real-time data. That makes it even more like the dashboard on your car, and just as efficient at getting you from Point A to Point B. This way, you always know where you stand.
Get all the features of these templates and more when you use ProjectManager.com. All of these tools are available in our award-winning software to help you plan, track and report on your project in real-time. ProjectManager.com has repeatedly been ranked #1 in project management by Gartner’s GetApp. See what it can do for you by taking a free 30-day trial run.
Updated by Tina Sieber on 28 February, 2017.
Is your life a hotch-potch of missed deadlines, forgotten shopping, and reneged commitments? Sounds like you need to get organized. Where better to start than with hard numbers and figures?
For this, you might want to take advantage of the many spreadsheets available on Vertex42 that allow you to keep track of your time, belongings, projects and money.
Here are 10 of the best Excel spreadsheet templatesAn Excel Template for Every OccasionAn Excel Template for Every OccasionSkip the steep learning curve and sort your life with the power of Excel templates. We have compiled a selection of auto-updating templates to track budgets, manage projects, and more.Read More to organize your life.
1. Excel Money Management Template
If you’re anything like me, your finances are scattered around a smattering of savings and checking accounts, with the odd credit card thrown in. Perhaps you’ve even got a mortgage. This makes it incredibly challenging to keep on track of your income and expenses.
Sure, you could lean on a product like You Need A Budget. Or you could take this spreadsheet for a spin. Your shout.
The template allows you to create a yearly budget to handle all your income and expenses for multiple accounts in a single worksheet. This will let you track your spending habits and plan for unexpected costs.
2. To-Do List
Visualizing what you have to do as a list is a valuable tool in increasing your productivity. There’s no shortage of tools on the market that help you do this. Personally speaking, I’m quite partial to Wunderlist (use this Wunderlist tipHow to Use New Wunderlist Folders to Boost Your To-Do ListHow to Use New Wunderlist Folders to Boost Your To-Do ListWunderlist got a big update with two new features essential for a good to-do app: organizing and quickly adding tasks. Do these help it become the productivity app of your choice?Read More).
But if you want a simpler solution, check out this to-do list spreadsheet.
It lets schedule tasks, set a priority, and get things done on time. Best of all, you can easily customize it to your needs. You can even use it to schedule tasks among team members.
3. Medication List
Got any long-term health problems? If you’re on a number of medications, you may find it challenging to organize what you take, the amounts taken, and when you take them.
Thankfully, this spreadsheet takes away all the stress of managing your medication.
Just add what you need to take when and how. You can add notes to keep track of who prescribed it, why you’re taking this, when you should stop taking it, what the pill looks like, or anything else you notice while taking your medication.
4. Travel Budget Worksheet
Are you planning a vacation soon? It’s easy to fall into the quagmire of expense that comes with traveling. There are flights, hotels, and food to pay for, and everything in between. If you’re not careful, it’s really easy to find yourself paying more than you’ve intended to.
Now this Travel Budget Worksheet makes it incredibly easy to keep on track of your expenses when you’re seeing the world.
Set your total budget before you start booking, then insert individual expenses to keep track of how much room is left in your budget. The spreadsheet will also visualize your spending.
5. Checkbook Register
You don’t need a paper checkbook to take advantage of a checkbook register. In its simplest form, it allows you to track each and every incoming and outgoing payment, and then add (or subtract) that from a running total. This allows you to keep current on your checking account, and to avoid falling into the mire of debt. You can use paper for this, but why not try Excel?
6. Home Inventory Checklist
If you’re moving house, or renting out one of your spare rooms, you probably want to keep track of each and every item you have. This home inventory checklist makes it easy to see what you own, and what’s missing. And all from within an Excel spreadsheet.
The preset items in this list are optimized for insurance purposes, hence you’ll find columns for recording details on warranty, price, condition, serial, and model numbers. However, you can expand the list with anything else you’d like to inventory.
7. Meal Planner
If you’re on a highly restrictive dietHow to Build Perfect Meals with The IIFYM Calculator and ExcelHow to Build Perfect Meals with The IIFYM Calculator and ExcelYou can easily design meals that meet your nutrition intake targets. Achieve your fitness goals by using the free IIFYM Calculator and an Excel spreadsheet for healthy meals every day.Read More, or if you’re just trying to cut down on food wastage, you’ll want to keep a meal planner.
This meal planner template allows you to organize breakfast, lunch, and dinner for a week, as well as your grocery list.
You can check meals from a drop-down menu and the spreadsheet will automatically compile your grocery list.
8. Project Schedule Template
If you’re planning a DIY project, or have a massive school assignment to get done, you might want to consider doing a bit of project managementThe 5 Best Project Management Tips for BeginnersThe 5 Best Project Management Tips for BeginnersIf you are taking on a project manager role for the first time, here are just five project management tips to help you get started.Read More.
Vertex42’s Project Schedule Template manages to transform each step of what you’re trying to accomplish, all in the form of a pleasing Gantt Chart.
If you appreciate this template, also have a look these Excel templates for project management10+ Useful Excel Templates for Project Management & Tracking10+ Useful Excel Templates for Project Management & TrackingTemplates are to project managers what knives are to professional chefs: indispensable. We show you how you can replicate successful projects by using ready-made templates in Microsoft Excel and beyond.Read More or Word templates for managing projectsHow to Manage Your Project with Word TemplatesHow to Manage Your Project with Word TemplatesIn project management, preparation is half the battle. To organize and document your project, you may need many different reports, forms or plans. We have compiled a selection of Word templates to get you started.Read More.
9. Yearly Planner Calendar
Got a busy year ahead? The Yearly Planner Calendar spreadsheet allows you to visualize your schedule for months to come, whilst sticking to a single page. And there’s even room for notes.
If this calendar layout isn’t quite what you need, why not craft a custom calendar for the yearCraft a Printable Calendar for the New YearCraft a Printable Calendar for the New YearDon't like the calendars you seen in the shop or want to create something unique? Here we show you the eight best tools for crafting you own printable calendar.Read More?
10. Continuous Monthly Calendar
The Continuous Monthly Calendar is a bit like the Yearly Planning Calendar, but with one major exception. It doesn’t show any breaks between months. It’s all just one contiguous block. Just input the start date, and it will populate the cells with days and months.
You might also want to try one of these sites to create a free custom and printable calendar template10+ Sites To Find The Perfect Free Printable Calendar Template All Year Long10+ Sites To Find The Perfect Free Printable Calendar Template All Year LongYou can never have enough reminders that your most valuable personal resource is limited. Our selection of printable weekly, monthly, and yearly calendars will help you manage your time wisely.Read More.
Organize Your Life
The 10 templates above only scratch the surface of how you can use spreadsheets to get your life in order.
If you can’t find the perfect template, here’s how you can create a custom Excel templateHow to Quickly Create a Custom Excel Template to Save TimeHow to Quickly Create a Custom Excel Template to Save TimeExcel templates are universally useful — they can help you keep your finances in order, manage a project, and organize your life. We show you how to create your own custom template.Read More. And if you need a physical copy, be sure to format your spreadsheet so it will print to one single pageHow to Print an Excel Spreadsheet on One Single PageHow to Print an Excel Spreadsheet on One Single PageA beautifully crafted spreadsheet loses all its appeal when it comes printed on nine sheets of paper, with half of them empty. We show you how to get everything nicely on one single page.Read More.
Do you have any particular strategy for staying organized? Found any useful spreadsheets on Vertex42 I might have missed? Tell us about it. The comments box is below.
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