Gantt Charts in Google docs Google Sheets Icon

This Gantt Chart Google Docs article will show you how to create a Gantt Chart from your Google Docs spreadsheet. I have
posted a similar step-by-step article that shows you how to make an Excel Gantt chart or timeline. Many of the steps are similar.

Project management for google apps

Why use project management visuals

A Gantt chart is a critical project management tool for anyone working on a project. Gantt charts help visualize the project schedule and status, which makes them useful particularly when communicating with project stakeholders.

google docs project management

There is a lot of Project Management software available to manage projects, but these tools create complex schedules that are often too confusing for executive reporting or client reviews.

Google Docs are easily editable and accessible from the cloud, which makes them useful for collaborating on projects. Although there is no native Google apps solution for project management, Google spreadsheets is perfectly suitable for tracking project schedules. When it comes time to presenting those schedules to customers or management, you will need to create a Gantt chart.

I will show you how to easily create a simple Gantt chart in Google Docs. If you have access to Microsoft PowerPoint, I will show you how to turn your Google Docs data into a beautiful Gantt chart or timeline, which may be better suited for project reporting. The short video at the bottom of the page demonstrates how to do this.


Google Docs Gantt Chart How To

Step 1

Set up your Google project management spreadsheet by building a table for your project schedule. As shown below, it should include the description of your tasks or phases and the start and finish date for each of them.

google docs project management step 2: how to set up your Gantt chart’s task start date

Step 2

Add a second table underneath. The purpose of this table will be to calculate the intervals in days (duration) between the start date and the finish date. These intervals will be used to build your Gantt chart. The 3 columns in this table will reflect the 3 columns in your original table. Set it up like this:

a.

The first column will be your Task Descriptions copied exactly from your original table. In my new table, I called them “Critical Tasks”. To copy them from your original project schedule with a formula, in the first cell of your new table type “=” and then click on the cell with the title of your project description in the original table. You can repeat or simply drag the corner of this cell downward and your formula will be copied for each of your task descriptions.

b.

I called my second column “Start on Day.” Basically this column figures out the day into the project each of your tasks will begin on. So the first/earliest task will obviously start on day 0. To calculate this column, use the following Google spreadsheet formula as shown below: =int(F7)-int($F$7) and in the cell beneath =int(F8)-int($F$7). This formula translates into: This Task's Start Date – The First Task's Start Date (in my example, cell F7). See more Google Spreadsheet formulas here.

google docs project management step 3: how to set up your Gantt charts task duration
c.

I called my third column “Task Duration in Days.” In this column, Google Spreadsheet figures out how many days each of your project's tasks will go on for. In my example, the first task, Sourcing, will last for 77 days. Calculate this for each of you tasks using this Google spreadsheet formula as shown below: =(int(G7)-int($F$7))-(int(F7)-int($F$7)) and in the cell beneath =(int(G8)-int($F$7))-(int(F8)-int($F$7)). This formula translates into: (This task’s End Date – the first task’s start date) – (this task’s start date – the first task’s start date) = Task Duration.

google docs project management step 4: how to convert your google spreadsheet into a Gantt chart

Step 3

Click in the corner of your new table and select all the data in it. Navigate to the “insert chart” icon on the Google Docs ribbon and select “Chart” from the drop down menu.

google docs project management step 6: navigating to google docs charts

Step 4

On the Chart Editor, in the Data tab, click the drop-down arrow under the "Chart type" header to open the menu.

google docs project management step 7: how to setting up your Gantt chart from a stacked bar chart how

Step 5

Scroll down the Chart type menu until you reach the Bar section and select the Stacked Bar Chart.

google docs project management step 8: changing from a stacked bar chart to a gantt chart

Step 6

Now, select any of the "Start on day" bars on your chart (the blue ones, in my case) and, from the Customize tab in the Chart Editor, change the color to "None" as shown in the image below.

google docs project management step 9: make your gantt chart

Step 7

Once you have created your chart, you can rename it, add horizontal and vertical axis titles, and make other customizations by right-clicking anywhere on the graphic.

google docs

Turn your Google Docs project schedule into a PowerPoint chart with key milestones

If you have access to PowerPoint, you can instantly convert your Google Gantt chart into an impressive image or slide that can be used for project management purposes, such as client presentations or stakeholder reviews. As shown in the image below, you can also add critical project milestones to the Gantt chart. This does require the PowerPoint add-in Office Timeline Plus be installed.

Project management for google apps

Step 1

To add milestones to your Gantt chart, create a second table in your Google docs spreadsheet that includes your project’s important milestones and dates.

making a google docs timeline

Step 2

From the Office Timeline tab in PowerPoint, click on New and start a timeline from scratch or choose one of the styles and templates available.

creating a timeline with google docs

Step 3

Copy your project’s milestone table from your Google docs spreadsheet, paste it into the Data Entry Wizard, and then do the same with your task table. Alternatively, you can create a single table with both tasks and milestones and copy & paste all the data at once.

project management with google spreadsheet

Office Timeline will automatically differentiate the milestones from the tasks.

project management with google spreadsheet

Step 4

Click the Create button, and the PowerPoint add-in will automatically generate your visual. Mine looked like the image below.

I recorded the steps in this video.

Make gantt charts from Google docs

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