Office Timeline Pro is here!
Create impressive Swimlane slides and Roadmaps with the Pro add-in.
Use these free PowerPoint and Excel templates to create unique, professional project visuals for your next stakeholder meeting.
Office Timeline helps you quickly turn complex project data into clear PowerPoint graphics that are easy-to-follow, but hard to forget.
The right template is a mix of various ingredients and there are many aspects to take into consideration: your industry, company size, or project complexity. To help you get started quickly, we’ve put together a list of the best PowerPoint templates for project management – from straightforward project plans to complex Gantt charts and strategic product roadmaps.
You can access these templates as Excel and PowerPoint files and customize them to fit the specific needs of your project. They’re free and you can download them directly, without the obligation to fill in any contact details.
For the PowerPoint templates, you can edit them manually by moving the shapes or use the Office Timeline add-in to edit and update automatically. It plugs natively into PowerPoint so you can make your project visuals with just a few clicks and save them as your own personalized templates to use time and time again.
Find out below the answers to the most common questions on project management templates.
As a staple program in many project managers’ toolkit, Microsoft Excel does offer a series of templates that you can use to outline your project plans. To get access to these pre-built samples, simply open the spreadsheet platform, go to New and browse through the gallery of available models.
If none of the preview examples suits your particular needs, try to refine your search by typing “project plan” or “project chart” in the search bar at the top of the New section and then pressing Enter. This will further filter Excel’s collection of pre-designed layouts from which you can choose a preferred one for your project plan. Double-click to select the project plan template you want to use and start customizing it with your own data.
Although providing a pre-made structure to start from, Excel’s native project plan templates are quite basic and mainly suited for the illustration of a rather simple input. In addition to their limited scope of use, these also require a significant amount of manual formatting to reach fairly reasonable project management visuals that can be included in business presentations.
To spare you from these time-consuming inconveniences, we’ve put together a varied range of free, ready-to-use Excel project management templates that you can easily customize to effectively visualize even complex project plans in an appealing and professional way.
The short answer to this question is yes – yes, it does. However, the most accurate one is that Google actually offers some project management templates via its spreadsheet platform, Google Sheets. Currently, you can find only 4 in-built pre-formatted samples under the Project management category of the latter’s template gallery. To access these, follow the steps below:
Open Google Sheets.
Click the up-down arrow icon next to Template gallery at the top-right of the home screen.
Within the newly expanded gallery, scroll down to the Project management category.
Double-click to open any of the project management templates available under this section.
If you look for “Google project management templates” online, your search will lead you to other custom examples that have nevertheless been created with the same tool, that is Google Sheets. The bottom line is that all of these templates feature a standardized spreadsheet format, which can prove rather limiting and unsuitable when representing rich-data projects as the output can be dull, cluttered, and difficult to follow.
However, loyal fans of the table-layout that also want to save time and effort when planning a project can find many other ready-made and diversified templates on our dedicated page on project management in Excel. To explore more visual, dynamic, and flexible ways to convey your project data to executive audiences, check out our visual project management charts page.
Primarily used for word-processing purposes, Microsoft Word does not have any incorporated visual project templates per se. Its only project-related samples come under the form of pre-formatted text and table documents and can be accessed by going to New from the Home screen, typing “project template” in the search box at the top, and hitting the Enter key.
However, those who want to get a more visual result can manually build various types of basic project management charts in Word through its SmartArt and Shapes tools. Depending on the kind of project visual you want to create, you can use Word’s range of graphics from the Shapes and SmartArt sections of the Insert tab.
To sum up, Microsoft Word does allow you to produce basic visuals for small-scale, personal projects by using its graphic tools and with some tedious manual formatting work. But the truth is that the text-editing platform is not a proper solution for professional visual project management requirements. To discover more suitable, specialized, and effective alternatives to this end, please visit our project management tools page.
Successfully delivering a project often relies on performing a balancing act between strategical goal setting, Agile project planning, and effective communication of the steps necessary to achieve your deliverables. This explains the large variety of project management templates out there, with layouts and structures that depend on aspects such as the industry one operates in, company size, and project complexity. To choose the ones that best serve your purpose, you will thus need to look for samples that allow you to clearly and efficiently:
Create work schedules.
Track project status.
To make it easier for you, we’ve compiled a whole collection of free PowerPoint and Excel project management templates that you can use to create plans, organize tasks, and track overall progress visually.
There are no hard-and-fast rules for a simple project template, however, we recommend that you consider the following aspects when creating one:
The project objectives and goals;
The final deliverables;
Summary of tasks to be undertaken;
Critical milestones along the way of your project’s lifecycle;
An overview of the project timeline (due dates of your milestones and tasks).
Once these elements have been defined, you can then proceed to choosing the best way to illustrate them. Learn more about the various types of project management charts that can be used to visually represent your data or choose any of our ready-made free project templates to get started faster.
A project management template or PM template is a pre-formatted sheet, document or graphic with placeholders that you can replace with your own data in order to document various project activities such as:
Structuring the overall work breakdown;
Tracking progress and status.
Despite being frequently used in project data processing and reporting, Microsoft Excel is not the most effective tool a project manager can opt for in today’s increasingly visual project management environment. Not only because it offers a rather inflexible format in which to structure your project information, but also because of its limited project management templates that you could use to save time in organizing and planning your initiatives. To find and access any of these pre-built samples, simply open the spreadsheet platform, click on the New tab and type “project” in the search bar at the top. Here are the few results that will be returned:
Gantt chart template;
To-do list template;
Status report template;
Project plan template.
As you are likely to find out on your own, these can yield a rather basic output and prove useful only for simple projects plans. However, if you want to learn how to maximize Excel’s productivity in this respect, check out our dedicated page on project management in Excel. Those who want to explore more specialized solutions for project planning can do so on our visual project management tools page.
Templates are one of the best tools to use in project management because they:
Enable project managers to set up tasks, reports, and other important details without having to start from scratch every time, thus reducing rework.
Allow users to produce individual views and reports that reflect specific information when needed, if the template is customizable.
Ensure that every relevant project participant starts with the correct structure and format.
Lower the risk of essential information being missed.
Help create a standardized process to keep recurring work consistent.
With such positive outcomes to benefit from, what’s not to like about templates? Get inspiration from our collection of free, customizable project management templates and use any of them to successfully kick off a new project.
To explore even more templates that suit a wide range of project management needs, you can try out the lightweight PowerPoint project planner add-in called Office Timeline. Coming with a rich gallery of pre-built project plan examples that you can easily customize as presentation-ready PowerPoint slides, the tool also helps you create and save your very own samples that you can use for future work.
Office Timeline is an award-winning project management tool for PowerPoint with dozens of templates that can be easily customized into unique, professional project visuals.