Task List Templates

The Excel task list templates on this page demonstrate some of the many ways that you can track tasks using a spreadsheet, from simple to do lists to more advanced Gantt charts. These templates demonstrate using icon sets to display priorities, using conditional formatting to display a progress bar, creating a gantt using using a stacked bar chart, and using a check mark to cross out tasks when they've been completed.

Tell me what you think about these templates: Leave a comment on the related blog article " Add Cool Features to Your To Do Lists ."

This Page (contents):

  • Project Task List
  • Simple Task Tracker
  • Task List with Gantt Chart

Task Checklist Template

Printable task list templates, project task list template.

Project Task List Template

License : Private Use (not for distribution or resale)


This spreadsheet demonstrates the use of conditional formatting to highlight the Priority column, to add a progress bar to the % Complete column, and to create a functioning check box via data validation. It also includes columns for entering budget and hours spent on each task.

Update 9/23/2019: Added the Google Sheets version - replaced the icon sets with in-cell checkboxes. Google Sheets does not yet have in-cell data bars (for the % Complete column).

Simple Task Tracker Template

Screenshot of the Task Tracker Template in Excel

This task tracker template demonstrates the use of custom icon sets via conditional formatting to show a priority rating of 1-4 with different color circles. It uses a similar technique for the checkbox in the Done column.

Project Task List with Gantt Chart

Project Task List Template with Gantt Chart

A gantt chart can be created from a task list using a stacked bar chart in Excel. This is a functional template that can be used for real project management tasks, but the primary purpose is to demonstrate how the data table is set up to create the gantt chart.

Screenshot of the Task Checklist in Excel

This task list template demonstrates how to create a checkbox using a data validation drop-down and how to use simple conditional formatting conditions to display HIGH, MEDIUM and LOW priority values. It also uses conditional formatting to change fonts to a gray strike-through when the checkbox is checked.

► How to Insert a Check Mark in Excel (on youtube)!

More Templates For Tracking Tasks

Thumbnail - Action Items Template

  • How to Use Conditional Formatting in Excel at vertex42.com
  • Create a Drop Down List in Excel at vertex42.com

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Related templates.

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Project Management

Excel Consulting, Development and Training [Expert Consultants]

How to Use Excel for Task Management: Guide, Tips, and Tricks 2022

Excel Task Management

Monday, February 21st, 2022 / by ExcelHelp

A pioneer in data management and analysis, Microsoft Excel has been around for over 30 years. From inventory management to business analysis, performance reporting to project management, Excel helps millions of individuals and businesses stay on track with strategic goals, record keeping, and project management.

A simpler task within grander project management is task management, a function offered by countless project management tools out there like Asana, GitHub, Microsoft PowerApps, and Jira.

But many of these tools, while useful, are needlessly complex for the simple function of task management. When it comes to task management, it’s best to return to the basics with a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet.

Today we’ll cover the basics about using Excel for task management, tips, and tricks, and a few examples to help you check off every task within your upcoming project. You might even learn a few surprising things about Excel in the process!

How to Use Excel for Task Management

You can create a basic task tracker and lists of tasks within a short amount of time on Excel, even without a template. Here are a few steps to create and track your task list.

1. Add Headers to an Excel Spreadsheet

You don’t need a fancy or familiar template to start your task list. Start by opening a regular Excel spreadsheet and add a few headers to organize your information. “ Task ” should be the first, left-hand header. Moving horizontally to your right, add more qualifiers like:

  • Notes/Updates

2. Fill in the Details for Each Task

Add some information into the tabs to outline your tasks. Fill in each area to allow for filtering when needed.

Here’s an example:

3. Add a Filter to Your Task List

Each heading should have a drop-down menu so you can sort your tasks. Try sorting them by status to see which tasks are still outstanding. Or, sort them by the deadline to help you prioritize your work schedule.

4. Sort Your Tasks

Highlight a header, then click the Sort and Filter button at the top right corner. You may filter the tasks by the deadline (soonest to latest), status (ongoing, pending, complete), etc.

Tips for Using Excel for Task Management

Creating a task list is quite simple in Excel. But there are ways to make task management more efficient and tailored to your needs. Check out the tips below:

1. Export Tasks to Other Project Management Tools

We think Excel is a sufficient tool for task management. But if you want to see the tasks in the greater context of a project, you can always export your spreadsheet to Microsoft Teams or another app to continue your work.

2. Make it Pop

To-do lists are boring, and many people find Excel boring as well. Add some pizzazz to your task list by customizing colors for each tab. You might highlight all complete tasks in Green, for example.

3. Try Out a Template

If you don’t want to start from scratch, there are plenty of Excel spreadsheet templates that you can use to organize your project’s task management goals. Here are some examples:

  • Simple Excel Task Management Template
  • Daily Task List
  • Projects To-Do List

4. Keep Notes Organized

Task updates may come sporadically, but it’s important to keep them organized. Make sure you input updates chronologically so that another team member can intuitively gather the lifecycle of a task.

5. Make Regular Updates to Status and Notes

Your team should be providing updates to your task list, but they may not always remember at the end of the day. Send emails, make phone calls, and host meetings to ensure the task list is as up-to-date as possible. And, ensure you have a regular schedule for sharing the task list with all relevant parties.

Why Use Excel for Task Management?

Tons of project management tools can handle task management, so why rely on Excel for your task lists? Here are a few benefits of using excel for task management:

Familiarity: Being around for 25 years has its perks. Most team members, young or old; recent or familiar; will know how to use Excel, especially with a function as intuitive as task management.

Reporting: Since Excel’s to-do list templates have reporting tools, you can create charts, tables, and matrices to provide better visualization of the task data and inform strategic decisions.

Accessibility: Most of your team will have access to Microsoft Suite, making Excel an accessible option. If you introduce a new project or task management tool, it may delay progress with the learning curve.

Customizable: Despite its age, Excel has many customizable capabilities, from different headers, filtering, colors, and more.

Millions of people understand basic Excel functions, making the platform a superior choice for simple task management. With its customizability, wide usage, and accessibility, task management is a breeze on Excel.

Interested in learning more about Excel and how you can optimize it to its fullest potential? ExcelHelp supports thousands of businesses in optimizing Excel, be it through training, consulting, analysis, and more. Contact us today to find out more about your potential with Excel!

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task management with excel

10 Powerful Excel Project Management Templates for Tracking Anything

Want Microsoft Excel to manage your projects? Use these free Microsoft Excel spreadsheet templates for tracking any project!

Project management templates are an essential tool for replicating successful projects. With Microsoft Excel's free templates, you can turn your simple spreadsheets into powerful project management tools.

In this article, you'll find some of the most useful and free Microsoft Excel project management and project tracking templates you'll want to use for your next project.

Microsoft Excel Project Timeline Templates

Let's take a look at the best Microsoft Excel project management templates.

We cover both native and third-party templates here. To find the pre-installed Excel spreadsheet templates, open Excel and search for the respective keyword from the New document screen.

If you're already in Excel, go to File > New to bring up the template search. Check the Managing Microsoft Excel Templates section below for more details.

Excel comes with several timelines and Gantt chart templates provided by Microsoft, but it also integrates templates from Vertex42, one of the most popular third-party resources for spreadsheets.

1. Work Plan Timeline

Blank Work Plan Template in Microsoft Excel.

The Work Plan Timeline template is suitable for a basic project with multiple phases. When you enter your data into the worksheet, the roadmap will update automatically. This template comes pre-installed in Microsoft Excel 2016 and up.

2. Date Tracking Gantt Chart

Blank Date Tracking Gantt Chart template in Microsoft Excel

Gantt charts are a staple in every project manager's toolset. They help you visualize the flow of your tasks and track progress.

With this template, you can create a comprehensive Gantt chart with minimal effort. Just enter each task, complete with a description, who it's assigned to, a percentage to indicate progress, a start date, and allocated days until completion. This template is a Microsoft Excel default.

3. Milestone and Task Project Timeline

Milestone and Task Project Timeline template in Microsoft Excel

If you want to integrate milestones into a basic timeline, this template provided by Vertex42 is ideal. It combines the best elements of a Gantt chart, i.e. the visualization of the task flow, with milestones hovering above the timeline.

Just fill in the respective tables to populate the visual. You can find this template by searching in Excel.

Excel Project Plan Templates

A project plan is a document that may require Excel charts, but is otherwise composed in Microsoft Word. For basic projects, however, you may get away with only a Microsoft Excel document.

4. Simple Gantt Chart

Simple Gantt Chart template in Microsoft Excel

When you search Excel's template repository for project plan templates, you'll mainly find different Gantt chart variations, including this Simple Gantt Chart from Vertex42. What sets it apart from the Gantt chart above is the inclusion of project phases. This template is included in Microsoft Excel.

5. Event Planner Template

Event planner template in Microsoft Excel

A project plan really isn't something you typically put together in Excel. However, if you are planning a small project, like a party, you just need a one-page template that lists the essential tasks and lets you define a schedule and a budget. This template from Office Templates Online is a great start.

Excel Project Tracker Template

A search for a tracker will bring up a wild mix of personal and business-related Excel spreadsheet templates for tracking. However, you can narrow down your search by selecting categories that relate to the project management task you're dealing with.

6. Activity-Based Cost Tracker

An Excel template to track indirect and direct product costs.

This tracking template can help you get an overview of direct, indirect, and general and administrative product costs.

7. Project Tracking Template

An Excel template to track multiple clients, projects, or deliverables.

This Vertex42 template is essential if you are handling multiple different clients, projects, and/or deliverables. It combines project details, expenses, task statuses, and due dates.

Business Plan Templates

Microsoft Excel 2016 had its own category for business plans. You could search for the keyword business and select the Business Plans category on the right.

In Excel 2019 and onwards, you can perform either query, but the latter misses some templates, while the former might be overwhelming. We recommend looking into the following.

Business Plan Checklist

Microsoft Excel 365 Business Planning Checklist With SWOT Analysis

Creating a business plan can be a complex project in and of itself. This checklist will help you cover all your bases by guiding you through the process using a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analysis.

Note that you'll find two similar templates in Excel, but they're both identical SWOT analysis checklists, differing only in their formatting.

Startup Expenses

MIcrosoft Excel 365 Startup Expenses Template

This template is a great starting point for a budding business owner who needs some help with projecting the costs of their endeavor. The template will guide you through the most common assets and services your new business might require.

Once you've filled in all the potential expenses, you'll have a much better idea of how much funding you'll need to raise to get your business up and running. For more business plan templates , take a look at our dedicated article.

Search for Online Templates

Couldn't find the exact project management template you need in Excel? Turn to a third-party online resource for a wide selection of Excel spreadsheet templates. We recommend the following sites.

Vertex42 Critical Path template for project management

This website has a few great project management templates for Microsoft Office 2003 and up. The site notes that its templates are mostly related to project scheduling. Anything more complicated might require Microsoft Project or other project management software.

On the page dedicated to project management , you'll find a list of useful material, including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Project Budgeting
  • Critical Path Method

Each page contains a quick rundown of what the template does, one or more templates, and further tips and tricks for the respective project management tool. It's a great resource for budding project managers.

Project Cost Tracking Worksheet Excel template

TidyForm has a respectable selection of Microsoft Excel project management templates. The most popular categories are listed on the homepage. If you can't immediately spot what you need, switch to the Business section or try the search feature.

When you scroll to the bottom of a section, you'll see a list of popular categories and related categories. This can be helpful when trying to find just the right template. We recommend the following pages:

  • Project Budget
  • Project Proposal
  • Work Breakdown Structure

Still looking for the perfect template? You might have to create custom Excel templates to get exactly what you want.

Managing Microsoft Excel Templates

First, let's see what templates you already have installed in Microsoft Excel. For the purpose of this demonstration, we've used Excel 2019, but the procedure is similar in Microsoft Office 2013 and Office 2016.

Default Templates

When you start up Microsoft Excel, the first window you see will contain a search field for online templates. When you're starting from an existing workbook, go to File > New to arrive at the same view.

Search and select an Excel template

Microsoft Excel comes with a selection of pre-installed templates. They are listed underneath the search field. You can pin your favorite ones by clicking the respective symbol in the bottom right of the listing.

Pin an Excel template for later use

Search Online for More Project Templates (Excel 2016)

Searching for the type of template you need is the fastest way to locate it. For example, if you search for the term "project," you may also see template categories listed next to the templates that match your search. The category feature no longer appears in Excel 2019.

Template search with category list in Excel 2016.

Narrow Down Your Search (Excel 2016)

A neat feature is that you can narrow down your search by selecting multiple categories. This helps you exclude templates that may match your keyword, but not your desired category. On the downside, you may find that the perfect template is not available in Microsoft Excel.

Template search trick in Excel 2016.

Preview & Create Your Template

When you click a template, you'll see a preview with a brief description of what the template provides. You can also pin the template from its preview; the symbol sits in the top right.

Preview of an Excel template

To download and use a template, click the Create button, which will open a new Microsoft Excel workbook with the template pre-filled.

Template Ready, Set, Go

Now that you have all the project management templates you could ever need, maybe you're interested in additional tools, tips, and tricks. For example, you could build a custom interactive Excel dashboard to manage data within your projects. The possibilities are endless.

Run and collaborate on creative projects more smoothly.

Plan, manage, and track product launches and campaigns.

Stay organized and communicate critical details to teams.

Streamline and scale manufacturing operations.

task management with excel

See how TeamGantt helps teams like yours meet deadlines, streamline communication.

task management with excel

Successful marketing project starts with a plan.

Track event details and to-dos.

Scope out roadmaps and manage backlogs.

Manage design, copy, and video work.

Learn all about gantt charts and how to use them to manage projects more easily.

Hear real testimonials from real TeamGantt customers.

How to Create a Task Tracker in Excel: Free Template

Excel to-do list template example

Checking tasks off your to-do list feels pretty awesome, right? If only everything in life gave you that instant sense of accomplishment!

A task list earns its keep by helping you schedule, assign, and track all the work that needs to be done for a project. You can also use it to give stakeholders and team members at-a-glance updates on project progress.

With our free Excel task checklist template, you can keep up with all the to-dos you need to knock out—whether you’re focused on an important work assignment or just want to finish up a few projects around the house. We’ve done all the hard work so you can have all the fun marking things done.

Ready to get started? We’ll show you just how easy it is to take your task list from to-do to ta-da! Here’s what we'll cover:

How to create a task tracker in Excel

How to customize your task list template, how to create an online task tracker in teamgantt.

Let’s start with a simple tutorial on how to keep track of tasks at work using Excel. 

1. Download our free Excel task tracker template

At TeamGantt, we know how important it is to ensure projects get done on time and on budget. That's why we created this Excel task list template to make tracking project progress a breeze.

Make this task tracker template your own by adding to-do list items and tasks, assigning task owners, and tracking task status, budgets, and costs. 

Download your free Excel task tracker template

2. Add to-do list items and tasks

First, find the T ask Name column on your worksheet, and enter a descriptive name for each task you want to track for a particular day of the week.

3. Indicate the status of each task

This sample to-do list template features four different status options—with icons as easy visual cues—so you can see where each task is at a glance: Not Started , In Progress , Complete , and On Hold .

To assign a status to a task, click on the status dropdown menu in that task’s row, and choose the status that applies to the task you’re working on.

task management with excel

4. Set task due dates

Set clear expectations for your team by entering the deadline for each task in the Due Date column.

task management with excel

5. Assign task owners

Start by specifying which team or department will carry out the work using the Task Type column. Then pair each task with its rightful owner by entering the team member’s name into the Assigned to column.

task management with excel

6. Include task budgets and costs

Use the Hours Budgeted column to let team members know how much time has been budgeted for each task.  

‍Once a task is complete, log the time spent on it in the Actual Hours column.

task management with excel

Tracking daily and monthly tasks in Excel

We’ve designed this task tracker template to track your weekly to-do list. But you can create additional task lists for monitoring daily and monthly to-dos.

Click Insert > Sheet > Blank Sheet to add a new worksheet. Then give each row and column a header label, and use the formatting tools to design your own daily or monthly task tracker.

task management with excel

Once you’ve got the basics squared away, feel free to customize your Excel task list template to ensure it fits your project needs. You can add a title, switch up the colors, add or delete new rows and columns, or even dress your to-do list up with your company logo.

Adding titles

We’ve titled this checklist template “Weekly Task List.” As exciting as that moniker may be, we bet you’ll want to give your to-do checklist your own snazzy (and specific) name.

1. To add or edit the title of your project task list template, double-click your cursor into cell A-2.

2. Enter a new title for your task list. Feel free to include the project name and date range in your title so there’s no doubt what this task tracker covers.

task management with excel

3. Format the header text using the same formatting tools you’d use to format any other text in the worksheet.

Changing colors

Want to apply your own brand colors to your task list? Or make it easy to tell Tom’s tasks from Bill’s? No problem!

1. Click to highlight the cell, row, or column you want to change.

2. Go to Format > Cells , and select the Fill tab.

3. Click on the Background Color dropdown, and choose the new color you want to apply to the cell, row or column you’ve highlighted.

task management with excel

Adding rows/columns

We’ve outlined a few basic to-do list categories to get you started. But there may be other details you need to track along the way. For example, you might want to add a priority column. Or maybe your Monday has a lot more to-dos than the other days of the week.

1. To insert a new row, click Insert > Rows . A new row will be added above the one you currently have selected, using the same formulas and formatting of the row above.

task management with excel

2. To insert a new column, go to Insert > Columns . A new column will be added to the left of the one you currently have selected, using the same formulas and formatting of the column to the left.

task management with excel

Removing rows/columns

We may have included details you simply don’t need to track. That’s okay! Deleting extra info won’t hurt our feelings a bit.

1. To delete an existing row, click on the row you want to remove. Go to Edit > Delete , and choose Entire Row .

task management with excel

2. To delete an existing column, click on the column you want to remove. Go to Edit > Delete , and choose Entire Column .

task management with excel

Adding a company logo

Want to give your project task list template some more flair? Add your company logo to the worksheet.

1. Right-click on the TeamGantt logo/header image in row 1, and select Change Picture .

task management with excel

2. Choose the image file you want to add to the worksheet, and click the Insert button.

Printing the to-do list template

By the time you finish customizing your to-do list template, it’ll be so pretty you just might want to print it out and pin it to the wall—and we don’t blame you.

1. First, let’s set the print area. Simply click and drag your cursor to highlight all the cells you want to print out. Then go to File > Print Area > Set Print Area.

task management with excel

2. If you want to adjust the scale of the checklist to fit on a single page, click on the Page Layout tab. Then go to Margins > Custom Margins and select the Page tab.

task management with excel

3. Once you’ve set the print area and adjusted the scale of your checklist, you’re ready to send your task list to the printer. Click File > Print.

task management with excel

Additional resources

  • Project management template library : Use these simple templates in any industry to plan and manage projects, identify and mitigate risk, and communicate effectively at every project step.
  • ‍ Gantt chart Excel template : Save time organizing your project plan with our premade Excel gantt chart template! Simply plug in your tasks and dates, and you'll have a presentation-quality Excel gantt chart.

Want to take the tedium out of task lists? Give TeamGantt’s online gantt chart software a try , and create a customized task tracker in minutes.

With TeamGantt, it’s easy to collaborate on work and streamline workflows. Here are just a few of the handy features you—and your team—will have at your fingertips:

  • Drag-and-drop simplicity
  • Reusable project plan templates
  • Project dependencies
  • File storage
  • Time tracking
  • Resource management
  • Planned vs. actual timelines

And because TeamGantt is all online, everyone on the team can update tasks in real-time. No more juggling a million different spreadsheets or scrambling to capture last-minute updates before a big meeting!

Sign up for your free account and get started. (No strings attached, we promise!) Once you’re in, here’s a sneak peek at just how easy it is to create and manage task lists in TeamGantt.

Setting up your task list project

Before you can set up tasks, you’ll need to answer a few quick onboarding questions and then create a new project.

task management with excel

1. Start by entering a descriptive name for your project on the project setup page. We called our example project “Weekly Task List.”

task management with excel

2. Then, choose a new Start Date , if you want your list to begin on a day other than today.

task management with excel

3. Next, decide whether you want to start from scratch with a blank project or choose a template from our handy library of pre-built options . To make things super easy for you, we created a Weekly Task List template .

Simply click on the Preview templates icon, expand the Admin & Personal category, and select Weekly Task List to preview the template. If you’d like to use it, select Use Template in the bottom right corner of the window.

task management with excel

4. If not, feel free to choose a different template option or click anywhere outside of the preview window to return to the Create a new project page.

5. Next, select which days of the week you want to assign and track work for this project. The default is Monday through Friday, but you can choose any configuration of days that make sense for your work schedule.

task management with excel

6. Finally, select Create new project to save your changes and get to work.

Adding and editing task lists

Now that you have a project, it’s time to set up your task list! We chose the Weekly Task List template for our example, which gives us a labeled task group for each day of the week.

task management with excel

1. Simply click on each task group field, if you want to rename it.

task management with excel

2. If you need to add more task groups, click +Group of Tasks , and enter the name of your new task group in the blank field that appears below.

task management with excel

3. To add a new task, click +Task and enter a name in the blank that appears below. Then, use the drag-and-drop features to adjust the timelines for each task .

task management with excel

4. To delete a task, hover over it and select the trashcan icon that appears to the right of the task name.

task management with excel

Assigning team members

To invite other users to your project, select the People tab in the top navigation bar of your project. Then, select Invite People to add new users by name and email address.

task management with excel

Once a user has been added to your project, designate them to a task by clicking assign in the Assigned column and selecting the checkbox next to their name.

task management with excel

Here’s an in-depth tutorial on how to invite users and assign them to tasks .

Creating dependencies

Dependencies enable you to control the order of tasks in your project. If one task has to wait for another to get done before it can begin, the dependency will account for that. For example, a designer may not be able to design a landing page until the content’s been written.

1. To add a dependency, click on the gray dot to the right of the first task in the gantt chart.

task management with excel

2. Then drag the dependency line to connect it to the dependent task below.

task management with excel

Changing task colors

To change the color of a task, hover over the task, and choose a new color by clicking on the colored square that appears to the right of the task.

task management with excel

Ready to discover just how easy and fast task tracking can be?

This is just a preview of all the fun you can have with task lists on TeamGantt—but there’s so much more to see! 

Sign up for your free TeamGantt account today to learn all about the project management possibilities you could have at your fingertips.

Try TeamGantt for Free

task management with excel

How To Use Excel For Project Management (+Free Templates)

Jitesh Patil

Small teams and businesses prefer using excel for project management for its availability, familiarity, and cost-effectiveness. Further, templates make it easy to get started with Excel project management quickly.

But what are the best practices when using Excel for project management?

That’s what you’ll learn in this article. Here’s what we’ll cover:

When Should You Use Excel For Project Management?

Disadvantages of managing projects in excel, create a project timeline.

  • Manage tasks

Plan & Manage Resources

  • Effort Tracking
  • A Better Alternative to Excel Project Management

Ready to get started? Let’s begin.

You don’t always need project management tools to manage projects. Sometimes a simple spreadsheet can do the job. Here are some situations where project management in Excel makes sense:

  • You work on simple projects: If you work on projects with very few dependencies and team members, you may not need project management software. A simple spreadsheet to track project tasks is perfect for such simple projects.
  • You work on one project at a time: If you work on multiple projects simultaneously, you’ll need to share team members across projects. Shared resources create complex dependencies. But if you work on a single project at a time, spreadsheets are often enough.
  • You already have access to Microsoft Office: Almost everyone already has access to Microsoft Office. You, too, can consider using Excel for managing projects if you have easy access to it. 

Even if you have access to Excel and manage simple projects, Excel still may not be the right choice. These are some of the disadvantages of Excel project management:

  • No communication features: All spreadsheets, including Excel, lack communication features. Communicating with clients and other team members can be a big challenge.
  • No collaboration features:   There’s no way to share files or documents via Excel. You’ll have to use a file hosting service to share files. On the other hand, most PM tools come with built-in file sharing.
  • Information overload: Over time, Excel spreadsheets accumulate a lot of information. Clients and most team members rarely need access to all this information. As a result, time is wasted looking for information.
  • Hard to ensure data integrity: When everyone is updating the same sheet, it’s easy for someone to update or remove information accidentally. Plus, project information can get lost as we discuss tasks over chat or email.
  • Expensive in the long run: Most PM tools have a free plan. Paid plans often cost less than $10 per user per month. Considering the above disadvantages, using Excel for project management can be expensive in the long run.

Excel Project Management Use Cases

So far, you’ve learned about the kind of work you can manage with Excel. You’ve also learned about the disadvantages of Excel project management.

Next, let’s look at the project use cases you can manage with Excel.

A timeline is a simple way to visualize plans — whether it’s a high-level project roadmap or a detailed project schedule. Using Excel or other spreadsheet software like Google Sheets, you can easily create a project timeline . 

task management with excel

Typically, a project timeline is created using a Gantt chart. 

The Gantt timeline helps your team members visualize the project’s schedule.

Excel and other spreadsheets are not meant to be used as project planning tools . They don’t have an in-built Gantt chart feature. Instead, you can customize the horizontal bar chart to look like a Gantt timeline. Check out these tutorials on how to create a Gantt timeline in Excel and Google Sheets .

Other than the above-mentioned disadvantages:

  • Excel timelines are hard to keep up to date. 
  • There’s no way to add milestones to an Excel Gantt timeline.
  • And, it’s almost impossible to work collaboratively on an Excel project timeline.

Gantt Timeline Template For Excel

If you want to use Excel, despite its disadvantages, use this simple template or choose from the project timeline templates available here.

Manage Tasks

Once the project plan is ready, the next step is to start executing and tracking day-to-day tasks.

task management with excel

Using a spreadsheet, it’s fairly easy to track task status. 

List down all the start with their start and end dates. Assign tasks to team members. And, finally include a column to track task status. You can either create a simple to-do list using checkboxes or include more task statuses in a dropdown.

Tracking task progress using Excel suffers from the same disadvantages mentioned above. Also:

  • You cannot create custom task workflows.
  • Unlike Kanban boards, it’s not easy to visualize task progress in Excel.

Project Task List Template

You can use the same timeline spreadsheet template given above or use this simple spreadsheet template to track task progress. 

Planning resource availability and allocating them to projects is the next use case for Excel project management.

Resource Allocation Template. Use Excel For Project Management.

Before you allocate resources to a project or a task, you need to know if a resource is available. For example, you cannot plan for a team member who’s on vacation or busy with another project. 

You’ll need two separate spreadsheets — one to track off-days and another to track project allocation.

Using Excel to manage resources is hard. You’ll have to update the spreadsheet constantly based on inputs from team members and other project managers.

Resource Management Templates

These templates cover all team resource management use-cases, including:

  • Track team availability
  • Allocate resources to projects
  • Plan project resources
  • Plan resource capacities

You can copy these from File > Make a copy or download as Excel from File > Download as > Microsoft Excel (.xlsx) .

Learn more about how to use these resource planning templates .

Track Project Efforts

Finally, using Excel, you can track your team’s actual number of hours into a project. This is a critical step in project management, especially if you bill clients by the hour.

Time Sheet Template in Excel For Project Management

You can calculate the total number of hours put in by each team member in a project. Also, you can set the rate for each team member and calculate the billable amount.

Tracking project efforts in Excel is fairly easy. But, it’s cumbersome to record the time spent on each task. 

Excel Timesheet Template

Use this simple Google Sheets template to track time spent on a project. You can make a copy of it from File > Make a copy or download it as an Excel from File > Download as > Microsoft Excel (.xlsx) .

Toggl Plan: A Better Alternative to Excel Project Management

Considering the use cases above, it’s definitely possible to manage projects using Excel. But keeping information up to date in all these spreadsheets can be quite a task. 

That’s where using a project management tool like Toggl Plan can help.

Toggl Plan is a beautifully simple tool that helps you with project planning, task management, and managing team workloads.

Here are some ways you can use Toggl Plan to manage projects:

Project Planning

task management with excel

With Toggl Plan, you can create unlimited project Plan Timelines. 

Creating a Gantt timeline is as simple as dragging and dropping tasks on the timeline. Also, you can add color-coded milestones to keep track of critical dates.

You can zoom in to a week to look or zoom out to get a bird’s eye view of the entire year.

Also, you can share a read-only view of the timeline with clients and other stakeholders to keep them up to date.

Tasks can be assigned right from the timeline. Plus, you can import tasks to the timeline from a spreadsheet.

Task Management

Toggl Plan Tasks

You can manage tasks in Toggl Plan from timelines and task boards. 

With Toggl Plan, task workflows are customizable. You can assign tasks to one or more team members, record task estimates, and categorize tasks using tags.

Also, team members can collaborate on tasks using file attachments and task comments. 

Using task boards, your team can visualize task progress. And update task status by just dragging the task across the board.

Team Management

task management with excel

Along with Plan Timelines, you can also create unlimited Team Timelines. Team Timelines can be created with people across your organization, including shared team members.

On the Team Timeline, you can visualize your team’s availability and workloads. 

If you find overworked team members, you can rebalance work right from the timeline.

Any changes you make in one timeline or board automatically are reflected everywhere.

Toggl Plan Pricing

Solo users can use Toggl Plan for free.

Paid plans range from $9-$15 per user per month and have a 14-day free trial. Toggl Plan paid users get Team Timelines, multiple assignees for a task, and recurring tasks.

Get started with Toggl Plan for free .

Jitesh Patil

Jitesh is an SEO and content specialist. He manages content projects at Toggl and loves sharing actionable tips to deliver projects profitably.

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Access and update your tasks as you work, no matter which app you’re using.

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View all your tasks from Microsoft To Do and Microsoft Planner with Tasks in Microsoft Teams. Plus, create tasks from Teams messages and publish tasks from corporate to frontline workers.

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Convert emails to tasks

Flag emails or drag them into the Microsoft To Do pane to create and manage tasks directly in Outlook for the web.

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Keep track of individual tasks in Microsoft To Do using intelligent features to collect, prioritize, and accomplish what’s most important.

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Get more work done as a team

Manage team tasks with Planner. Build Kanban boards, add content-rich tasks, get visual status, and collaborate within Planner or Tasks in Microsoft Teams.

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Collaborate on shared Microsoft 365 documents

Use @mentions within comments in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint to create and assign tasks. 1  Receive an email notification when you’re assigned a task, see a preview of the document, and reply directly from Outlook.

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10 Free Excel Project Management Templates

Wes Brummette

ClickUp COO

January 17, 2023

Want to know more about managing projects with Excel? 

Or are you looking for a helpful Excel project management template?

You’ve come to the right place!

Microsoft Excel is an incredibly versatile tool that you can use for a number of different tasks. However, it’s not without its drawbacks. 

In this article, we’ll review using Excel for project management and give you some handy Excel templates to use right away.

Is Excel Project Management Useful?

1. excel gantt chart template, 2. excel project timeline template, 3. excel task list or project tracker template, 4. excel multiple project tracking template, 5. excel swot analysis template, 6. excel project budget templates, 7. excel cost-benefit management template, 8. excel agile project planning template, 9. excel burnup chart template, 10. excel workflow template, challenges of using excel templates for project management, excel project management template alternatives.

Let’s start.

Microsoft Excel is a handy tool that can do many different things to help you and your project team. And on its good days, Excel can function as a basic project management tool. 

Here’s what it can offer you:

1. Detailed spreadsheets  

This is the most obvious reason to turn to Excel.

Excel is great for crafting detailed spreadsheets with tons of project data. Categorize information easily, highlight important sections, and even create separate sheets within a spreadsheet. 

For example, Excel is perfect for a long list of prospects to keep track of their details. 

You can also create a timesheet in Excel to keep your team accountable or maintain expenses on a budget template. 

When it comes to data logging, Excel is still one of the best tools in the business!

2. Conditional formatting

Another great Excel feature is conditional formatting .

You can turn simple project data into powerful insights. 

There are tons of Excel formulas you can employ to automate the data logging process and create detailed calculations. With the right formula, you can organize large amounts of data within seconds.

Say bye to that complicated scientific calculator !

For example, Excel can manage your project budget or timesheet a piece of cake with its advanced mathematical formulas. 

The only issue with conditional formatting is that it’ll take some time to get used to .  

3. Data storage and recovery

Excel can handle all project-related data. 

From your project budget to your timeline, you can store it in Excel without worrying about losing it. 

Additionally, like most other Microsoft tools, Excel has built-in data backup functionality. So if, for example, your timeline data gets accidentally deleted, you can always recover it!

10 Excel Project Management Templates & Use Cases

Excel is pretty much the Superman of basic project management, powerful enough to take on most tasks you’d otherwise have to struggle with manually. 

Here are some examples of Excel project management templates and use cases:

Your brain responds better to visual stimuli, and a Gantt chart is nothing but that !

It gives you a complete overview of a project, all at once. 

A Gantt Chart project template makes it easy to map out a project’s course. 

Use it to keep on top of all the project milestones, dependencies , and project tasks that are left before your end dates.

gantt chart excel templates

Once the project begins, all anyone will think of is deadlines. 

But how do you track them?

A project timeline template is similar to a project milestones sheet .

Use it for tracking project progress as you move towards completion. With an accurate project timeline, you’ll be able to know what stage a project plan is in at all times.

excel project timeline template

You won’t go shopping without a shopping list. 

So why not carry around a task list for your project too?

A task list gives you a list of deliverables for completion, along with their deadlines. 

Use this task tracking template for tracking the Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) and project phases to keep track of your project schedule .

But what’s WBS anyway? Check out this detailed breakdown of a project scope document to learn about your WBS. 

excel project tracker template

This multiple project tracking template in Excel allows you to get an overview of all the current projects underway.

Super helpful to manage a business’s project portfolio or implement your organization’s enterprise project management !

You can enter all the project’s data in the Data Sheet, and view the overall progress of the project plan in a dashboard. Furthermore, you can filter by individual columns and see all the tasks in a Gantt chart.

excel project management dashboard for multiple projects

Simple pros-cons lists may help you decide on your next vacation.

But you need more when it comes to project management.

In project management, you need to SWOT things!

A SWOT (S trength, W eakness, O pportunity, and T hreats ) analysis template is used for tracking a project’s strengths and weaknesses when evaluating your project plan. 

After you’ve conducted this analysis, reformulate your project activities, project phases, and deliverables to align with your findings.

excel swot analysis template

This project budget template itemizes your WBS. You can input the projected cost of each task depending on which column it fits under.

With this template, you can keep track of labor, materials and fixed costs, as well as keep a pulse on actual spend.

When the actual cost is incurred, the handy formulas of this template will let you know whether you are over or under budget.

project budget templates

The cost-benefit management template lets you gauge a project’s success before you start it. Because if something costs more than it gains, it’s already a loss. 

Remember, doing a cost-benefit analysis isn’t needed for all software developmen t projects. 

However, it does have applications in some industries which use Agile project management . Moreover, this chart in Excel is important for senior leaders in charge of project accounts and budgets.

Calculate the value of a project’s deliverables vs. what the project budget is and use this project information to schedule a cost-effective Work Breakdown Structure ( WBS ) with correct project phases.

excel cost benefit analysis template

Want to say goodbye to traditional project management methods like Waterfall and enter the Agile realm?

Good for you. You’re about to deliver better results, faster. 

And isn’t that what every project planner wants?

However, that’s possible only if you do it on a project management tool that supports and enhances your team’s agility throughout the project lifecycle. 

While we’d never recommend doing it on Excel, the right template might just do the trick for you. 

Catch up on Agile project management and Agile software development . 

agile project management template excel

In an Agile project , a burnup chart is an essential part of your arsenal. 

It helps you keep track of all you’ve accomplished in each sprint and keeps you well within the project scope . 

But here’s the thing. 

Setting a burnup chart requires careful calculations about each aspect of your sprint. 

So you can either start setting aside some time each day to deal with numbers. 

Or you can download a simple burn up chart template for Excel. 

Excel burnup chart template

Microsoft Excel’s SmartArt Flow Chart template is a helpful instructional list of graphics that you can effortlessly manipulate and customize to build out your diagram. By selecting the Insert tab, users unlock an array of vibrant color-coded visuals they can add text, shapes, and other formatting elements to in order to develop their desired workflow sequences quickly and effectively.

While Excel templates add some functionality to your standard Excel file, they aren’t ideal project management solutions . 

Here are three significant reasons why:

A. Not a dedicated project management software

Remember, Excel wasn’t built for project management. 

It’s an excellent data management tool that can supplement your project management. 

But that’s about it. 

So why use an Excel report template when you have access to far better tools for managing projects for free?

From creating your project charter to managing projects and analyzing your breakdown structure , the ClickUp management tool can handle it all!

B. An Excel project management template is difficult to customize

Working on Excel templates is like shoe shopping. 

There’s no customizing it once you’ve bought them. 

So you don’t have a lot of flexibility when it comes to customizing the templates for Excel as per your project’s needs. 

For example, you may be using a sales invoice template or budget report template but can’t tweak it to reflect the project budgeting interface you want accurately. 

C. There’s no automatic data entry

All the templates in Excel require manual inputs at all points . 

There’s no way to schedule automated updates or create team-wide notifications like project management tools can. 

For example, if you’re using an Excel schedule template, you won’t be able to readjust task dependencies and deadlines automatically after schedule changes.

Remember, Excel templates can help, but they can’t solve all the issues associated with Excel project management. 

Bonus: Data Entry Software

Let’s explore these limitations and the solutions with a dedicated free project management tool: ClickUp

Excel isn’t always the ideal way to go about managing your project tasks.

Check out these project management templates from ClickUp:

1. ClickUp Project Mangement Template

ClickUp Project Management Template

This ClickUp Project Management Template is a great way to get started quickly with your projects and tasks. By following the pre-made templates, you can streamline your process and make sure all of your tasks are organized and tracked in an efficient manner. The template includes steps for creating a project plan, assigning tasks, tracking progress, monitoring deadlines, and more.

The template also includes helpful views such as a Board View, Gantt Chart, and List View. All of the components are easy to customize so you can tailor the project management system to fit your needs.

2. ClickUp Agile Project Management Template

ClickUp Agile Project Management Template

The ClickUp Agile Project Management Template is the perfect choice for anyone looking to efficiently manage agile projects. It covers all aspects of project management, from sprint planning and story mapping to creating user stories and tracking progress on tasks. This template not only streamlines your workflow but also helps you prioritize requests with clarity, organize sprints in multiple views, collaborate with team members as well as stakeholders seamlessly!

Related Excel Resources:

  • Create burndown charts in Excel
  • Create a form in Excel
  • Create a graph in Excel
  • Create a mind map in Excel
  • Create a flowchart in Excel
  • Create an Org Chart in Excel
  • Create a Database in Excel
  • Create a Waterfall Chart in Excel

Break Free From Excel Project Management

While Excel has many uses, project management isn’t something it does very well. 

Even with Excel templates, you’re still going to have a tough time managing your projects in Excel.

While there are many Excel alternatives to consider, the smarter choice would be to use a specialized task management tool like ClickUp instead.

That’s because ClickUp is a tool designed for project management . Its features were designed to help you manage your projects more efficiently at a very friendly pricing point!

So why not try ClickUp for free and experience it yourself?

Questions? Comments? Visit our Help Center for support.

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How to Create a Project Timeline in Excel (Free Template Included)


A project timeline is a project scheduling tool that’s used to estimate the total duration of a project from start to end by mapping tasks, deliverables and milestones in chronological order. Gantt charts are the most commonly used tool to create and manage project timelines, but there are other methods and tools you can use like Excel.

In this blog, we’ll go through a step-by-step guide on how to create a project timeline in Excel using various methods and then, we’ll explore other project scheduling tools that can help you create a project timeline such as Gantt charts, kanban boards or project calendars.

Why Should You Make a Project Timeline In Excel?

Before learning how to make a project timeline in Excel, let’s review the final product to better understand how this tool can help you. As you can see, this Excel project timeline resembles a Gantt chart that includes your project tasks, their duration and due dates as well as a visual representation of your project timeline .

Excel project timeline

The best part is, that once you make this Excel project timeline, you’ll have a template that will allow you to estimate future project timelines based on project tasks and due dates. As project timelines are one of the most important tools to execute a successful project , having a template on hand can be extremely helpful and reduce wasted time. We encourage you to download our free file below!

task management with excel

Get your free

Project Timeline Template

Use this free Project Timeline Template for Excel to manage your projects better.

While Excel can be a helpful tool, a project timeline in Excel can only do so much. Think of timelines as just an inferior Gantt chart, which is a staple of project management. If you want to elevate your project timelines, ProjectManager is an award-winning project and portfolio management software that has powerful Gantt charts that can do more than what Excel does.

For example, our Gantt chart will link all four dependencies to help you avoid costly delays. It also filters for the critical path to identify essential tasks. Then, set a baseline to track planned progress and costs against actual progress and costs to avoid missing deadlines and overspending your budget. Get started with ProjectManager for free.

task management with excel

How to Make a Project Timeline In Excel

Excel wasn’t designed for project scheduling , but fortunately, we can use its stacked bar chart feature for creating a simple Gantt chart project timeline. Here’s what you’ll need to do.

1. List Tasks and Their Due Dates

Start by creating four columns for your task names, start and end date and duration. List your tasks and due dates in day/month/year format, but leave the duration column empty. We’ll add a formula to calculate task duration in the next step.

Excel project timeline task list

2. Create a Formula for Calculating Task Duration

Go to the first row in the duration column, and enter a formula to subtract the “End (Date)” value from the “Start (Date)” value. To do so, begin by typing an equal symbol “=” to start creating a formula, then select the “End (Date)” cell, add a minus symbol “-” and finally select the “Start (Date)” cell as shown below. The difference between these two values will determine the duration of each task measured in days.

Excel project timeline formula

Apply the same formula to the remaining cells in the task duration column. Then you should have a table that indicates your project tasks, their due dates and duration. Now it’s time to create a Gantt chart so you can visualize your project timeline.

3. Insert a Stacked Bar Chart for Your Excel Project Timeline

Select all values in the “Start (Date)” column and then insert a stacked bar chart following these steps:

  • Click on the “Insert” tab at the top left corner of your screen
  • Click the chart icon
  • Select the stacked bar chart

Steps to create a stacked bar chart for your Excel project timeline

4. Select Data for Your Excel Project Timeline Gantt Chart

Once you complete the last step, a stacked bar chart should automatically appear. Now we’ll need to add some data to it so it shows your project timeline information. Right-click your stacked bar chart and click select data from the dropdown menu.

Select data for your project timeline

A window will pop up. Now, click “add” as shown in the example below.

select the data for your Excel project timeline stacked bar chart

Now choose the “Duration (Days)” column header as the series name and then, select all the numeric values in the “Duration (Days)” column as the series value.

Select data

Again, right-click your stacked bar chart and click on select data. This time, select edit under “horizontal (category) axis labels” once the window pops up and then select the values from the task name column as shown in the examples below.

task management with excel

5. Format Your Excel Project Timeline

Now your project timeline’s Gantt chart has the right data. Now it’s time for the final formatting steps to create your project timeline in Excel. Right-click on the blue bars of your stacked bar chart, go to the “fill” options and select no fill. This will make those blue bars disappear and will show your project tasks as the remaining stacked bars.

task management with excel

Now right-click the task names, select “Format Axis…” and then check the “categories in reverse order” checkbox on the right side of your screen.

task management with excel

Congratulations! You’ve created an Excel project timeline equipped with a working Gantt chart that’ll adjust itself based on the task information data you add to the table.

Project Timeline Excel Template

This project timeline Excel template is ideal for creating a project timeline you can share with your project team members or stakeholders. Simply enter your project information and estimate your project timeline in minutes.

Project timeline template for Excel

Once you’re ready to try project management software, you can upload this project timeline Excel template to ProjectManager and use its advanced project management tools such as Gantt charts, project calendars, dashboards and much more.

Advantages of an Excel Project Timeline

Now that you’ve learned how to make a project timeline in Excel, it’s important that you clearly understand both the pros and cons of using Excel for project scheduling or project management . Let’s start with the advantages of using a project timeline for Excel.

  • Most People Are Familiar With Excel: Excel is a very popular software that’s widely used by organizations across industries, so your team members are likely familiar with it.
  • Compatible With Project Scheduling Software: Excel files can be exported to advanced project management software such as Microsoft Project or ProjectManager, which have much more advanced project scheduling features and are easier to use.
  • Simple to Use Project Timeline Template: Our Excel project timeline is simple to use. All you need to do is fill out the template with your project information and it will automatically generate a Gantt chart project timeline.

Disadvantages of an Excel Project Timeline

While a project timeline for Excel can help you visualize your project timeline, it’s a very limited tool with very few project scheduling features that can’t compete with more robust project management software .

  • Limited Project Scheduling Functionality: Our Excel project timeline only allows you to get a high-level view of your project timeline, but lacks advanced Gantt chart software features such as assigning tasks to team members, monitoring their progress, identifying task dependencies or finding the critical path .
  • No Online Collaboration, Hard to Share Files: Excel doesn’t allow multiple users to collaborate on files online, which means everybody has to work on their copy of the Excel project timeline. Worse than that, that means that whenever someone makes changes to it, it needs to be sent to everyone on your team.
  • Editing Excel Files Is Time Consuming: In general, creating, editing and maintaining Excel project documents and templates is a time-consuming process that involves too much manual work.

More Free Project Management Templates for Excel and Word

We’ve created dozens of project management templates for Excel, Word and Google Sheets. Here are some that can help you as you go through the process of creating a project timeline.

Task Tracker Template

As discussed above, your project timeline is made up of many individual tasks that need to be completed on time. This task tracker template for Excel helps you to track the due dates, progress and status of your project tasks so you can track their completion. This is very important; if tasks aren’t completed on time, their duration will extend and so will your project timeline.

task tracker template for Excel

Project Budget Template

Creating a project timeline is just one of your responsibilities as a project manager. Besides estimating the duration of your project tasks, you’ll also need to estimate their costs. Once you do so, you’ll need to create a project budget which will define how much money will be available for the execution of your project.

project budget template for Excel

Project Plan Template

A project plan is a comprehensive document that describes how a project will be executed. It includes important components such as the project timeline, budget and schedule. It also establishes the guidelines and procedures that the project team should follow for specific project management areas like resource management and risk management.

project plan template for Word

Using ProjectManager Is Better Than Creating a Project Timeline for Excel

ProjectManager offers a wide variety of project management tools that will allow you to create detailed project timelines, collaborate with your team and track your project progress. Here’s a quick overview of some of its key features.

Multiple Project Scheduling Tools

ProjectManager offers multiple project management views such as Gantt charts , kanban boards, task lists and project calendars to give you multiple project planning alternatives. You can use them to assign tasks to your team members, set due dates and adjust your project timelines. All of them sync with each other so the changes you make in one view will reflect on the others.

Gantt chart showing a project timeline

Powerful Resource Tracking Features

To execute your project tasks, you’ll need resources like people, materials and equipment, so you’ll need a tool that helps you allocate them and track their availability and utilization. ProjectManager offers various tools like workload management charts, dashboards and timesheets to help you allocate, schedule and track your project resources and costs.

ProjectManager has resource tracking tools for managing resources and project timelines

Import and Export Excel Project Timelines

ProjectManager allows you to import Excel files so you can view and edit your Excel project timeline with its project views. Or in the opposite case, you can create project timelines in ProjectManager and then download your project data as an Excel file.

ProjectManager is online project management software that connects teams whether they’re in the office, out in the field or anywhere else. Excel can’t let you share files, comment at the task level and stay updated with email and in-app alerts like we do. Join teams at Avis, Nestle and Siemens who use our software to deliver successful projects. Get started with ProjectManager today for free .

Click here to browse ProjectManager's free templates

Deliver your projects on time and under budget

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Free Excel Project Schedule Templates

By Kate Eby | May 13, 2023

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We’ve compiled the top free Excel project schedule templates for project managers, project team members, stakeholders, and project sponsors to use as a roadmap for their work within a specified timeframe. Various industries can use them.

On this page, you'll find five helpful Excel project schedule templates, including a simple Excel project schedule , an Excel project management schedule with phases , and an Excel project schedule with monthly Gantt chart . You’ll also learn how to do a project schedule in Excel .

Excel Project Schedule Template with Gantt Chart

Example Project Schedule Template with Gantt Chart

Download the Sample Excel Project Schedule Template with Gantt Chart   Download the Blank Excel Project Schedule Template with Gantt Chart  

Use this Excel project schedule template with Gantt chart to keep your project running on time and to monitor progress at a glance. Download the template with sample data as an example of a project schedule, or use the blank version to create your own. Enter the project name, project manager, and primary project deliverable, along with details for individual project tasks, including who is responsible, task start and end dates, and task status. The template’s bar chart helps you gather overall progress and individual task progress at a glance 

For helpful project plan templates, see our article on top project plan templates for Excel .

Simple Excel Project Schedule Template 

Example Simple Project Schedule Template

Download the Sample Simple Excel Project Schedule Template   Download the Blank Simple Excel Project Schedule Template  

This simple Excel project schedule template is ideal for project teams that need to proactively schedule and track every facet of their project’s progress. Download the example template to understand how your data fits, or create your own with the blank version. Each task is automatically assigned a unique work breakdown structure (WBS ) number for easy reference and tracking. Use this basic, all-in-one template to keep project sponsors and team members up to date on project progress.

Excel Project Management Schedule with Phases Template

Example Project Management Schedule with Phases Template

Download the Sample Excel Project Management Schedule with Phases Template   Download the Blank Excel Project Management Schedule with Phases Template  

When you need to provide management, team members, or other stakeholders with phase-by-phase project scheduling and progress, use this streamlined Excel project management schedule with phases template. Download the example template with sample data to understand how it works, or get started with the blank version. This unique template breaks project tasks into distinct phases (e.g., Project Conception and Initiation, Project Definition and Planning, Project Launch & Execution, and Project Performance / Monitoring ). 

For additional resources and templates for project planning, see our article on top project management Excel templates and learn more about the phases of project management .

Excel Project Schedule with Monthly Gantt Chart Creation Template

Project Schedule with Monthly Gantt Chart Creation Template

Download the Excel Project Schedule with Monthly Gantt Chart Creation Template

This Excel project schedule with monthly Gantt chart create template lets you chart progress month over month. The template’s automatic five phase sections ( Project Conception and Initiation, Project Definition and Planning, Project Launch and Execution, Project Performance and Control, and Project Close ) are color coded for tracking project progress easily through the template’s vibrant Gantt chart. Help keep your project on schedule and all stakeholders apprised with this visually dynamic Gantt chart-rich template.  

Check out this article for templates and resources for creating the perfect weekly project schedule in Excel .

Excel Master Project Schedule Template

Master Project Schedule Template

Download the Sample Excel Master Project Schedule Template   Download the Blank Excel Master Project Schedule Template  

Download the sample version of the template with example data to see how to use it to plan and track the progress of your project. This template is particularly helpful for creating a work-back project schedule, which enables you to arrange your project’s phases and associated tasks from your project due date backward. This work-back schedule helps you plan your project in a logical sequence, identifying the dependencies and timing of tasks, and ensuring that you have sufficient time to complete each task. It is also good for identifying potential risks and allocating resources appropriately.

For additional project timeline tips and resources in Excel format, see our article on free Excel project timeline templates.

How to Do a Project Schedule in Excel 

The easiest way to do a project schedule in Excel is to download an existing template. Enter your project data, and the Gantt chart auto-populates. You can then visualize your schedule, manage dependencies, track progress, and allocate resources. 

Follow these step-by-step instructions to do a project schedule in Excel.

1. Download and Add Project Scheduling Details to the Excel Project Schedule Template

  • Download the Excel Project Schedule Template, and save it to your hard drive, network, or cloud location. 
  • Enter the name for your project in the Project Name field. 
  • Enter the name of the project manager in the Project Manager field. 
  • Provide a brief description of the project’s primary deliverable in the Project Deliverable field. 
  • Enter the project start date in the Start Date field. 
  • Enter the project’s targeted date of completion in the End Date field. 
  • Enter the project’s current percentage toward completion in the Overall Progress field.

project schedule excel basic details

2. Fill in Data for the Tasks Table

  • Enter the name of each project task in the Tasks field.
  • Enter the name of the person responsible for each project task in the Responsible field.
  • Enter a start and end date for each project task in the Start and End fields, respectively. The number of days and the bar in the Gantt chart will automatically populate based on this data. 
  • Click the drop-down menu in the Status field, and click a status ( Not Started, In Progress, Complete, On Hold, Overdue, Needs Review, and Needs Update ).

project schedule excel tasks

3. Review Project Data 

Once you’ve entered all project-scheduling information, including task-specific details, be sure to take the following two steps to ensure that you have a project schedule that outlines the tasks, timeline, and resources needed.

  • Review the schedule with stakeholders and team members, and refine it as necessary based on their feedback. 
  • Once the project is underway, monitor the progress of each task and update the schedule as needed to keep the project on track. 

Streamline Your Project Schedules with Smartsheet

From simple task management and project planning to complex resource and portfolio management, Smartsheet helps you improve collaboration and increase work velocity -- empowering you to get more done. 

The Smartsheet platform makes it easy to plan, capture, manage, and report on work from anywhere, helping your team be more effective and get more done. Report on key metrics and get real-time visibility into work as it happens with roll-up reports, dashboards, and automated workflows built to keep your team connected and informed.

When teams have clarity into the work getting done, there’s no telling how much more they can accomplish in the same amount of time. Try Smartsheet for free, today.

Discover a better way to streamline workflows and eliminate silos for good.

Task Management in Excel

Sometimes less is more. If you do not have a professional project management tool, you can still manage your projects in Excel. Although it is not ideal for advanced project management, task management Excel spreadsheets provide a good framework for planning and monitoring small projects.

With a specially designed Excel template, you can easily plan, manage and track your team's projects, deadlines, tasks, costs, and resources.

The video shows the basic functions of the Excel task management template.

Learn more about Excel task management 3D template ›

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Business Improvement and Productivity guide

How to create a task tracker in Excel (with 5 templates)

  • Oct. 13, 2023
  • Task management

Picture of How to create a task tracker in Excel (with 5 templates)

  • “I want to visualize the progress of tasks held by employees.”
  • “I want to streamline the creation of task tracker with templates.”
  • “Feeling that task tracker of Excel is troublesome because it requires a lot of management man-hours.”
  • 1 What is task tracker?
  • 2.1 (1) Set goals
  • 2.2 (2) Subdivide the tasks
  • 2.3 (3) Prioritize
  • 3.1 For Individuals|How to create a task tracker
  • 3.2 For Teams|How to create a task tracker
  • 4.1 (1) Microsoft template
  • 4.2 (2) Smartsheet
  • 4.3 (3) ProjectManager
  • 4.4 (4) Office Timeline
  • 4.5 (5) Teamgantt
  • 5.1 (1) Visualization of project progress
  • 5.2 (2) Management charts can be customized
  • 5.3 (3) Low implementation costs
  • 6.1 (1) Difficult to use on a smartphone
  • 6.2 (2) File management is troublesome
  • 6.3 (3) Information gets mixed up
  • 7.1 Stock|The easiest tool for task tracking
  • 8 Summary of how to create a task tracker in Excel

What is task tracker?

Points to keep in mind before creating a task tracker, (1) set goals, (2) subdivide the tasks, (3) prioritize, how to create an excel version of a task tracker, for individuals|how to create a task tracker.

  • Priority (high, medium, low)
  • Progress (not started/on going/completed)

For Teams|How to create a task tracker

  • Progress (not started, in progress, completed)
  • Contact Person

5 recommended templates for task tracker

(1) microsoft template.

Image about templates of Microsoft

(2) Smartsheet

Image of Smartsheet template

(3) ProjectManager

Image of template of ProjectManager

(4) Office Timeline

Top image

(5) Teamgantt

Image of template of Teamgantt

3 merits of managing tasks in Excel

(1) visualization of project progress, (2) management charts can be customized, (3) low implementation costs, 3 demerits of task tracker in excel, (1) difficult to use on a smartphone, (2) file management is troublesome, (3) information gets mixed up, the best task management tool for solving the demerits of excel, stock|the easiest tool for task tracking.

TopPage of Stock


<Why do we recommend Stock?>

  • A tool for companies that are not familiar with IT You don't need to have any IT expertise to get started.
  • Simple and usable by anyone Stock is so simple that anyone can use it without any unnecessary features.
  • Amazingly easy information storing and task management It is amazingly easy to store information such as shared information within a company, and intuitive task management is also possible.

<Stock's pricing>

Stock's fee plan page

  • Free plan : Free
  • Business plan : $5 / User / Month
  • Enterprise plan : $10 / User / Month

Summary of how to create a task tracker in Excel

President and CEO Daisuke Sawamura

Born in 1986. Graduated from Waseda University, School of Law. After graduating, he joined Nomura Research Institute (NRI) as a management consultant. He then established LinkLive inc.(currently known as Stock, inc. ) He was appointed as Representative Director. In 2018, they officially launched Stock, the simplest tool to stock information, with the mission to remove the stress of information sharing from non-IT companies around the world. In 2020, the company raised a total of 100 million yen in venture capital (VC) funding. In 2021, the company was selected as one of Toyo Keizai's "100 Amazing Venture Companies".

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The Ultimate Excel Task Management Template: Features and Benefits

Are you struggling to stay organized and keep track of your tasks? Look no further. An Excel task management template can be your ultimate solution. This article will explore the features and benefits of using an Excel task management template to streamline your workflow and increase productivity.

What is an Excel Task Management Template?

An Excel task management template is a pre-designed spreadsheet that helps individuals or teams organize, track, and manage their tasks efficiently. It provides a structured framework that allows users to input task details, due dates, priorities, and other relevant information in a systematic manner. With its user-friendly interface and customizable features, an Excel task management template can be tailored to suit the specific needs of any project or individual.

Key Features of an Excel Task Management Template

Task Tracking: One of the key features of an Excel task management template is its ability to track tasks effectively. By providing columns for task names, descriptions, due dates, and assigned team members, it allows users to keep a comprehensive record of all pending tasks in one central location. This feature ensures that no task slips through the cracks and helps in prioritizing work accordingly.

Progress Monitoring: Another valuable feature of an Excel task management template is its progress monitoring capability. With columns for status updates or progress percentages, it enables users to visually track the completion rate of each task. This not only helps in identifying bottlenecks but also provides a clear overview of project progress at any given time.

Priority Setting: Prioritizing tasks is crucial for effective time management. An Excel task management template offers the flexibility to assign priority levels to different tasks based on their urgency or importance. By highlighting high-priority tasks or sorting them based on priority levels, users can focus on critical assignments first and ensure timely completion.

Collaboration Tools: Many Excel task management templates come with built-in collaboration tools, such as shared access or real-time updates. These features enable teams to work together seamlessly, even if they are geographically dispersed. By allowing multiple users to access and edit the template simultaneously, it promotes collaboration and fosters a sense of accountability among team members.

Benefits of Using an Excel Task Management Template

Increased Productivity: By providing a structured framework and clear visibility of tasks, an Excel task management template helps streamline workflows and increase productivity. It eliminates the need for manual tracking methods or scattered notes, saving time and reducing errors in task management.

Enhanced Organization: With an Excel task management template, all your tasks are neatly organized in one central location. This eliminates the hassle of searching through multiple platforms or documents to find relevant information. You can easily filter or sort tasks based on parameters like due dates, priorities, or assigned team members, making it easier to stay organized and focused.

Improved Communication: Effective communication is crucial for successful project management. An Excel task management template allows teams to communicate more efficiently by providing a shared platform for task-related discussions and updates. This promotes transparency among team members and reduces miscommunication or duplication of efforts.

Scalability: An Excel task management template can be adapted to fit projects of any size or complexity. Whether you’re managing personal tasks or coordinating a large-scale project with multiple stakeholders, the customizable features of an Excel template make it highly scalable and versatile.

An Excel task management template is a powerful tool that can revolutionize your approach to task organization and project management. Its robust features, including task tracking, progress monitoring, priority setting, and collaboration tools, offer numerous benefits such as increased productivity, enhanced organization, improved communication, and scalability. So why struggle with disorganized tasks when you can leverage the power of an Excel task management template? Give it a try today and experience the difference it can make in your workflow.

This text was generated using a large language model, and select text has been reviewed and moderated for purposes such as readability.


task management with excel


Project Management Templates

Excel Template for Task Management

task management with excel

Table Of Contents

Effortlessly manage your projects, 120+ project management templates.

Seamlessly manage your projects with our powerful & multi-purpose templates for project management.

120+ PM Templates Includes:

50+ Excel Templates

50+ PowerPoint Templates

25+ Word Templates

Excel Task Management Template helps you to manage list of Tasks. This Excel template for task management is created using simple formulas and function in Excel. It is very easy to use and enter data into the Task Management Sheet.

This is the best Excel template for task management to manage multiple tasks using our Free Excel Template. Download the Excel Template below and open and Enter the list of tasks to manage your project tasks items. You can enter both tasks and sub tasks using this Excel Task Management Tracking Template.

How to create a Task Tracker in Excel

Follow the below steps to create Task Tracker to manage list of tasks in Excel. You can download our free template or follow the steps below to create your own Task Management Template.

Task Management Task List

  • Open Excel and Create Two Worksheet
  • Rename the Sheet1 as “Task Tracker”
  • And rename the Sheet2 as “Summary”
  • Now Insert a Table (List Object) in Task Tracker Sheet
  • Create Task ID, Task Title, Responsible, Start and End Date Fields
  • Now Enter Your list of tasks in the table
  • Create Summaries in the Summary Sheet
  • You can use SUM, COUNT, COUNTIF formulas to prepare this.
  • Alternatively, download our free template and manage your tasks

Elements in Task Management Templates

Here are the important elements and sections in the Excel Task Management Template.

  • Project Details: You can enter the Project Title, Manager Name and Project Background in this section.
  • Summary: Top-Right portion of the template includes Task Summary. You can view all tasks aggregated by status.
  • Task Manger: Add list of tasks and assign to responsible person. Set Start and End Date of the task. You can update Progress and Status of tasks regularly.
  • Gantt Chart: You can visualize all your tasks and timeline on Gantt Chart. It is very useful to understand all list of tasks in one view.

Manging Task in Excel Template

We have provided all important variables required for effectively manage your tasks using our Free Task Management Excel Template. You add Task details as shown below and Plan your Tasks.

Task Management Data Sheet

  • Task Title: Helps you to add the Task name or task description. This is useful to the responsible person to understand the requirement and finish the task and sub tasks related the respective task.
  • Assigned To: Every Task must be assigned to a person. He/she will take the responsibility to complete task and deliver the outputs on time.
  • Start Date: You should have clear understanding of your task and mention the Start date of your task when to start working on it.
  • End Date: Task must be finished on or before End Date of the task. You must complete the task before due date.
  • Progress%: It is important to update your task Progress on daily basis to check the overall progress of your Tasks.
  • Status: You can mark your task as completed, in progress or not yet started.

Download: Free Excel Template for Task Management

Here is out Free Excel Task Management Template, you can download the open with Microsoft Excel. Go to Task Management Sheet and add your task to manage in Excel.

Download – Excel Task Management Template

A Powerful & Multi-purpose Templates for project management. Now seamlessly manage your projects, tasks, meetings, presentations, teams, customers, stakeholders and time. This page describes all the amazing new features and options that come with our premium templates.

All-in-One Pack 120+ Project Management Templates

Essential pack 50+ pm templates, excel pack 50+ excel pm templates, powerpoint pack 50+ excel pm templates, ms word pack 25+ word pm templates, ultimate project management template, ultimate resource management template, project portfolio management templates.

Thank you for the Task Management Template, it is very useful and easy to use.

Great Template, I am very impressed and found very useful features!

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Effectively Manage Your Projects and  Resources

ANALYSISTABS.COM provides free and premium project management tools, templates and dashboards for effectively managing the projects and analyzing the data.

We’re a crew of professionals expertise in Excel VBA, Business Analysis, Project Management. We’re Sharing our map to Project success with innovative tools, templates, tutorials and tips.

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Download Free Excel 2007, 2010, 2013 Add-in for Creating Innovative Dashboards, Tools for Data Mining, Analysis, Visualization. Learn VBA for MS Excel, Word, PowerPoint, Access, Outlook to develop applications for retail, insurance, banking, finance, telecom, healthcare domains.

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Best free task management software in 2024

Mehdi Punjwani

Sierra Campbell

Sierra Campbell

“Verified by an expert” means that this article has been thoroughly reviewed and evaluated for accuracy.

Published 7:24 a.m. UTC Feb. 15, 2024

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A good task management software will give you the tools you need to organize projects for your business and help individuals, teams and businesses stay organized and productive. They offer a range of features and capabilities depending on the complexities of your business and projects, allowing you to set deadlines, assign tasks to team members, allocate resources and track and report on progress.

Finding the best task management software for your business means considering a range of factors, like the core features on offer, the customer service you’ll get and the ability to scale up according to your needs. We’ve tried and tested some of the biggest platforms available to give you our list of best task management software in 2024.

Best free task management software

  • Notion : Best for flexibility.
  • ClickUp : Best for customization.
  • Trello : Best for automation.
  • Hive : Best for collaboration.
  • Zoho Projects : Best for startups using Zoho.
  • Teamwork : Best for client task management.
  • Monday : Best for individuals and freelancers.
  • Asana : Best for complex tasks.
  • Podio : Best for app building.
  • GoodDay : Best for scaling up.

Why trust our small business experts

Our team of experts evaluates hundreds of business products and analyzes thousands of data points to help you find the best product for your situation. We use a data-driven methodology to determine each rating. Advertisers do not influence our editorial content. You can read more about our methodology below.

  • 62 companies reviewed.
  • 164 products reviewed.
  • 2,028 data points analyzed.

Best for flexibility


Cheapest paid plan (billed monthly)

Number of users, number of projects/tasks, what you should know.

Notion is a versatile task management platform that gives you a high degree of control and customization even on its free plan. With an abundance of views and formats, including Kanban boards, Gantt charts, calendar views and to-do lists, it offers users multiple ways to track and organize projects. You can also make use of thousands of templates built by Notion and its users, catering to an array of health and fitness, work and office and day-to-day home management needs.

You won’t need to pay anything to get unlimited pages and workflows as an individual, but you’ll need to upgrade to give multiple users full functionality. While you can upload unlimited files on the free plan, you’ll be limited to 5 MB per file, as well as a seven-day history and one synced database.

We’d recommend it if you want to use one platform to manage a variety of project and task types with flexible views and displays; it’s particularly good for content creators.

Pros and cons

  • Multiple views, including Kanban boards, Gantt charts and to-do lists.
  • Thousands of versatile templates for things like health and fitness, work and home.
  • Free version offers individuals unlimited pages and workflows.
  • Custom automation features only available on paid plans.
  • Maximum file upload of 5 MB on free plan.
  • Limited admin and security features on free plan.

Best for customization


ClickUp’s free platform gives you a highly capable and customizable task management platform with an unlimited number of tasks and members. It also offers 24/7 customer service on all plans. You’ll be able to view tasks in unlimited lists, boards and calendars, but you’ll only get 60 uses of Gantt charts, timelines and workloads.

The free plan also allows custom statuses and up to 20 custom task types, as well as other useful features like multiple assignees, checklists, dependencies and a basic custom field manager. However, you’ll only be able to create five “spaces” as part of the free plan — unlimited spaces are only available on paid plans. There are also no time-tracking features and very limited other reporting capabilities.

  • Free version offers unlimited free plan members and tasks.
  • A range of views, including Kanban boards and Gantt charts.
  • 24/7 customer support on all plans.
  • Limits on how many views, custom fields and workloads you can use.
  • No time tracking features.
  • Only five ‘spaces’ on free plan.

Best for automation


While Trello’s free platform only offers its Kanban-style board view, its two main highlights are its automation services and unlimited power-ups. With its Butler automation, you’ll be able to create rules, buttons and commands, and repetitive actions are recognized with suggested automations that help increase productivity. Third-party apps you can integrate include Slack, Jira, Gmail, Microsoft Teams and Google Drive.

You’ll be limited to 10 MB file uploads and only 10 boards per workspace, though with unlimited storage and workspaces for all plans, this isn’t too restrictive. It’s not ideal if you want to see projects and tasks in calendar or timeline views, but as a basic task manager with smart automation tools, it can be a useful platform for individuals and small businesses.

  • Very straightforward and easy to use.
  • Built-in automation features, including an automation bot called Butler.
  • Unlimited power-up feature lets you integrate third-party apps.
  • File uploads are limited to 10 MB per file.
  • You only get up to 10 boards per workspace.
  • Limited view options.

Best for collaboration


Hive comes with its own native communication tools, allowing for straightforward collaboration with up to 10 workspace members on its free plan. As a task manager, it’s fairly capable, offering unlimited tasks and subtasks as well as multiple views such as Kanban, Gantt, calendars and tables. However, you’ll only get two pages and 100 workflows, and while Kanban views are unlimited, the free plan only offers 100 uses of Gantt, calendar and table views.

Your ability to customize projects and tasks will also be fairly restricted with no custom fields or labels, and your storage limit on the free plan will be 200 MB overall. Its free plan also comes without a few other features, such as AI assists, custom dashboards and analytics. We’d recommend it as a simple free task manager for small teams working together that will benefit from its native collaborative tools.

  • Native collaboration and communication tools.
  • Multiple views and layouts.
  • Unlimited tasks and sub-tasks.
  • 200 MB storage limit.
  • 10 projects and two pages on free plan.
  • No custom project fields or task labels.

Best for startups using Zoho

Zoho projects.

Zoho Projects

Zoho offers a project manager as part of its larger suite of tools and products, offering a free version for up to three users as well as a 10-day free trial on its paid plans. You’ll be able to manage two projects, create feeds, share documents and custom statuses and set up task dependencies within projects. It’s particularly useful for startups already making use of other Zoho products like CRM, Meeting and Sprints, all of which integrate into the free platform.

You can also use third-party app integrations for Microsoft Teams and Office 365, Slack, Dropbox, Zendesk and Zapier. However, there are some significant limitations to the free version, including limited customization — you can’t create custom fields or views, and there are only basic reporting capabilities.

  • Integrates with Zoho CRM, Meeting and Sprints.
  • Straightforward and easy to use.
  • Offers useful core features, including document sharing, subtasks and custom statuses.
  • Only three users and two projects on free plan.
  • No Gantt charts, custom views, time tracking or custom fields.

Best for client task management


Teamwork will be particularly useful for agencies needing to manage client tasks, as it comes with built-in billable time-tracking features and estimated time management. It also offers client-level insights and client-company management, though you’ll only get client users with premium paid plans. With Teamwork, you’ll also get a range of automation features, including automatic Slack updates, HubSpot deals and Microsoft Teams messages.

It does have drawbacks in the shape of limited reporting capabilities — while all plans come with a dashboard, only premium paid plans offer reports on status, portfolio health, time, utilization and profitability. You also won’t have any phone, live chat or email support options on its free plan.

  • Billable time-tracking and invoicing features useful for agencies.
  • Client views and management features.
  • Wide range of automation features.
  • No phone, live chat or email support.
  • Limited reporting and customization options.
  • No client users on free plan.

Best for individuals and freelancers


Monday is a popular task management platform with businesses worldwide, but we’d recommend its free plan specifically for individuals and freelancers managing their businesses. It offers a straightforward Kanban interface only, with over 200 templates available, so you’ll be able to create up to three boards with two users and unlimited documents.

However, Monday’s free plan is missing a number of wider features like timeline, Gantt and calendar views, as well as offering no integrations or automations. It’s a relatively simplistic platform compared to others, so we’d recommend it more for individuals than teams that will need more advanced collaboration and reporting capabilities.

  • Over 200 templates available.
  • Apps for iOS and Android.
  • Intuitive and easy to use interface.
  • No integrations on free version.
  • Only offers Kanban view.

Best for complex tasks


We’d recommend Asana’s powerful platform as an ideal choice for small businesses managing complex tasks or projects with plenty of moving parts. With unlimited tasks, projects, file storage, assignees and messages alongside multiple views such as boards, calendars and lists all included on its free plan, it’s a capable piece of software. You’ll also have access to over 100 free third-party integrations such as Microsoft Teams, Adobe Creative Cloud, Okta and Tableau.

However, you won’t be able to use timelines, Gantt views, goals or portfolios with the free plan, nor time-tracking, workflows or various automation features. The free plan is also fairly limited when it comes to reporting, with only status updates and CSV and PDF exports available.

  • Unlimited project management essential features.
  • Multiple views available.
  • Over 100 free integrations.
  • Limited reporting features.
  • No 24/7 support.

Best for app building


Podio offers a unique solution for businesses that will benefit from building their own customized project management apps to suit their specific needs. As well as the ability to design a bespoke task manager for your team, you’ll have access to hundreds of user-created apps online. It allows you to keep all important aspects of your business and projects in one central place, depending on the requirements of you and your team.

However, its free version is limited in the other features it offers — including the number of items and client users you can support. It also doesn’t offer automated workflows or visual reports, so keep this in mind if you’re considering Podio.

  • You can build your own customizable apps for project management.
  • You’ll also have access to hundreds of pre-made apps.
  • Live chat support available.
  • Limited features on the free plan.
  • Takes a while to set up and customize to your exact specifications.

Best for scaling up


With a robust set of features and capabilities as well as relatively affordable price plans for upgrading, we’d recommend GoodDay for businesses looking to scale up their operations. Its free version is already quite powerful, offering unlimited projects and tasks for up to 15 users, with views including lists, boards, tables, calendars, event summaries and portfolios. You can customize views, priorities, workflows and statuses, as well as set up dependencies, reminders and to-do lists.

Other customization options are only available on paid plans, such as task, project and user fields, as well as task types and IDs. Additionally, many security features and all CRM features are only available when you upgrade, but with the next price plan up only costing $6 per month, it’s an affordable choice for scaling up.

  • Unlimited projects and tasks.
  • Unlimited views, with most available on free plan.
  • Powerful features for big businesses with affordable plans for scaling up.
  • Many customization options unavailable on free plan.
  • No finance, time tracking, chats or automation.

Best task management software comparison


We extensively research the key competitors within an industry to determine the best products and services for your business. Our experts identify the factors that matter most to business owners, including pricing, features and customer support, to ensure that our recommendations offer well-rounded products that will meet the needs of various small businesses.

We collect extensive data to narrow our best list to reputable, easy-to-use products with stand-out features at a reasonable price point. And we look at user reviews to ensure that business owners like you are satisfied with our top picks’ services. We use the same rubric to assess companies within a particular space so you can confidently follow our blueprint to the best free task management software.

The best task management software has positive user reviews on customer review sites and app stores. Task management software companies should provide customers with fast and reliable support. Using a combination of phone support, live chat and knowledge bases, customers should be able to quickly resolve issues 24/7.

Task management software should have role assignment features, timelines and dependencies. It should also allow businesses to use customizable templates, track expenses and track milestones.

And the best task management software should offer client access, billing and invoice capabilities and budgeting features.

What is task management software and how does it work?

Task management software is a digital tool you can use as an individual or a business to manage, organize and prioritize tasks. While levels of features and capabilities will vary between platforms, many also offer the ability to communicate between team members, share files and updates and track progress toward objectives. 

You’ll be able to use task management software to create and assign tasks, set deadlines, allocate resources and allow for collaboration between colleagues. These tools can help you and your business increase productivity and efficiency. However, it’s important to be aware of how complex your needs are. 

Some task management programs can be complex and could end up reducing your productivity and organization, which is why it’s so important to find the right platform for your needs.

Benefits of free task management software

Using task management software can offer a number of benefits for individuals and businesses, including:

  • Free forever: A good free task management software will offer unlimited projects or workflows without any extra costs — not just a free trial before you have to pay.
  • Productivity: Task management platforms can increase your team’s productivity through automation, progress tracking and reporting, saving time on repetitive tasks.
  • Centralized workflow: You can use task management software to keep all workflows centralized, allowing easy access for all team members and collaborators to stay updated and informed.
  • Collaboration: You’ll be able to clearly assign roles and allocate resources on projects and tasks to different team members, and many platforms also allow team members to work together and communicate. 
  • Manage big projects: Complex and lengthy projects can be broken down into separate tasks and workflows with multiple teams and team members. 
  • Remote workers: If you rely on remote workers or freelancers, many task management platforms allow all team members to collaborate online from any location.

Who needs task management software?

Task management software can prove useful for a variety of individuals and businesses. You might be a freelancer with a number of client tasks to manage or a hobbyist running a side hustle — in which case, a free task manager will be ideal. 

Likewise, small teams and businesses can also benefit from using task management software to organize and track workflow progress for team projects. A free plan or trial period offers a great way to try out different platforms and products so you can find one that suits your needs best before committing to a paid plan with more features and capabilities required by your business.

How to choose the best task management software

Choosing the best free task management software for your business means considering a range of factors and how each of these will best suit your needs. You will need to think about the core features offered by each platform, as well as whether it plugs into any existing software you have and how easy and intuitive it is to use. 

Additionally, you should look into the customer support options each platform offers, as this will be crucial in case things go wrong and your work is at risk.

Key features to look for

Levels of complexity and customization will vary between platforms, but in general, you should look out for the following features as part of your task management software:

  • Sub-tasks: Key to keeping big projects organized, task managers should allow you to split tasks and assign different deadlines and workers to each sub-task.
  • Views and visualizations: You should also be able to see your tasks and projects in different views, like Kanban dashboards or Gantt charts. You may find these to be limited in free versions of some platforms, so check price plans to ensure you’re getting what you need.
  • Integration: If you have any existing software or hardware in use for your business, such as finance and accounting apps, design tools or communication platforms, it’s worth seeing if these will plug into the task management software you want. It helps keep everything synchronized and centralized.
  • Tracking and reporting: Your task manager should also allow you to track task and project progress against deadlines and objectives, as well as generate reports. 
  • Automation: Some platforms will even offer automation services that let you set up automatic tracking and reporting.
  • Collaboration: Lastly, if you’re managing a team’s workload, it’s vital they can work together, so look for task management software that allows for communication and role delegation.

Ease of use

Some task management tools will be relatively simple and easy to use, with intuitive drag-and-drop interfaces that allow for straightforward organization. However, others offer more complex capabilities, including multiple views like Gantt charts, calendars, lists and galleries, automated reporting and collaboration between multiple team members. 

Consider what you’ll need the software for, how many people and tasks you’ll be managing and what kind of insights you’ll want when making your choice.


You should also factor in any security requirements you might have, especially if you’re a big organization or you use third-party apps, providers or even freelancers. Being able to control access on multiple levels may be particularly important. Additionally, consider things like two-factor authentication, secure sharing and data protection when choosing platforms.

Customer service

If something goes wrong with your task manager, it can affect your business’s ability to complete projects and assure stakeholders of progress. Customer service is a key part of being able to resolve issues, so look for providers that offer both round-the-clock availability and instant contact by phone or live chat as a priority.

How much does task management software cost?

When looking for free task management software, consider whether it’s truly free forever — meaning you’ll have access to all the features on the free plan forever without having to pay. 

While this might mean many advanced features are hidden behind paywalls, you’ll at least be able to rely on the software for your basic needs without restriction. This is in contrast to free trials that often give you access to the entire platform for a limited time, after which you won’t be able to use it without paying.

If you’re looking to try a free plan in order to get a feel for a specific task management software before committing to a paid plan, you’ll likely be more on the lookout for usability as well as scalability. Consider which paid plans offer the most bang for your buck to narrow down your options, but focus on which free software feels the most natural to use for your business. 

You may find that some software platforms offer prices on a per-user basis while others offer a set number of users for each plan. Others may even have a minimum-user requirement, so if they charge a set price per user and require at least three users, you’ll need to pay three times the price you see given as a minimum.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

The best free task management software will depend entirely on your needs and requirements as an individual or business. ClickUp and Notion both offer great customization features, with Notion especially good for content creators.

Paid task management software plans offer a range of extra benefits, including more users or projects, additional features and advanced integrations and security. These will often be more useful for bigger teams and companies managing complex projects with multiple moving parts and stakeholders that need to be kept informed. 

When prioritizing tasks in project management, you should consider the resources available, any dependencies on the task being completed and the urgency of the request. 

Task management software lets you manage multiple tasks at work by allowing you to create, organize and assign tasks, set deadlines, track progress and, if required, add sub-tasks. All tasks are kept in one place and accessible for anyone who needs to see them, often in digestible formats like calendars, boards and timelines.

Improving task management skills will require you to be disciplined and attentive to detail in order to get the best from task management software and boost your productivity. You should: 

  • Focus on prioritizing tasks on your to-do list.
  • Create a manageable schedule for delivery with realistic deadlines. 
  • Ensure you’re communicating with stakeholders to keep everyone on the same page.

The best software will make this easy and help you manage your workload efficiently and effectively — but it’s made even easier when you know you’ve picked the right task management software for your requirements.

Blueprint is an independent publisher and comparison service, not an investment advisor. The information provided is for educational purposes only and we encourage you to seek personalized advice from qualified professionals regarding specific financial decisions. Past performance is not indicative of future results.

Blueprint has an advertiser disclosure policy . The opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the Blueprint editorial staff alone. Blueprint adheres to strict editorial integrity standards. The information is accurate as of the publish date, but always check the provider’s website for the most current information.

Mehdi Punjwani

Mehdi is a writer and editor with many years of personal finance expertise under his belt. He's a spirited money-saver, with a passion for making personal finance accessible and manageable. When he isn't writing, Mehdi likes to read about history and travel, hike along coastlines and in forests, and watch his beloved team Manchester United underperform.

Sierra Campbell is a small business editor for USA Today Blueprint. She specializes in writing, editing and fact-checking content centered around helping businesses. She has worked as a digital content and show producer for several local TV stations, an editor for U.S. News & World Report and a freelance writer and editor for many companies. Sierra prides herself in delivering accurate and up-to-date information to readers. Her expertise includes credit card processing companies, e-commerce platforms, payroll software, accounting software and virtual private networks (VPNs). She also owns Editing by Sierra, where she offers editing services to writers of all backgrounds, including self-published and traditionally published authors.

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