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A PhD timeline for finishing quickly [Free Gantt Download]

Navigating the labyrinthine journey of a PhD program is no small feat.

From the day you step into your graduate program as a bright-eyed doctoral student, you’re immediately thrust into a complex weave of coursework, research, and milestones.

By the second year, you’ve transitioned from coursework to research, laying the groundwork for your dissertation—a pivotal component in your scholarly endeavour. 

Come the third year, you face the critical oral examination, a hurdle that could make or break years of hard work.

But how does one streamline this multifaceted journey? The answer lies in a well-planned PhD timeline.

This blog serves as an invaluable guide for any PhD student looking to complete their doctoral studies efficiently, walking you through each milestone from coursework to graduation.

How to Begin with the PhD Timeline Planning?

Planning your PhD timeline is an essential first step in your PhD program.

Success in any PhD program depends, to a large extent, on effective time management and keeping track of progress through a thoughtfully crafted PhD timeline. 

Start with outlining all your major requirements:

  • coursework,
  • dissertation,
  • and the expected time needed for each task.

I also highly recommend factoring in failure time – give yourself a little bit of wiggle room for when things, invariably – go wrong. 

It’s crucial to remain realistic about the time you can commit daily or weekly while keeping long-term goals in mind.

Regular check-ins on your PhD timeline and supervisor will help you stay on track and allow you to adapt if necessary.

Adjustments may be needed as you progress through your PhD program, but having a timeline as a guide can make the journey less daunting and more achievable. 

Elements to include in a 3-year PhD timeline

The initial stage in this timeline typically involves coursework, often lasting one year, where the student engrosses themselves in advanced study in their chosen field.

Once the coursework is done (USA PhDs), they focus on proposing, conducting, and presenting their initial research.

By the end of the second year, most students should have a clear direction for their dissertation, a core component of the PhD process.

In this third and final year of the PhD timeline, the student focuses primarily on completing their dissertation, which involves collecting data, analyzing results, and organizing their research into a substantial, original, and cohesive document that contributes to contemporary knowledge in their field.

Regular reviews and modifications of the PhD timeline may also be necessary to accommodate various unpredictable circumstances, thus making this timeline both a guide and a flexible workplan.

It is a significant tool in successfully navigating the maze of becoming a PhD holder. 

Create Your PhD Timeline for a 3 year completion

Creating a timeline for a 3-year PhD program requires careful planning, as you’ll have multiple milestones and tasks to complete.

This timeline may vary depending on your specific field, institution, or country, but here is a general outline you can use as a starting point:

Free Gantt chart excel template

Here is a free template you can modify for your own research:

Example Gantt chart for a USA PhD

Here are some common steps involved in completing a PhD, which I’ll use to create the Gantt chart:

PhD timeline USA PhD Gantt Chart

  • Orientation and Coursework (Semester 1) : Familiarization with the university, department, and coursework.
  • Coursework (Semester 2) : Continued coursework and possible teaching/research assistantships.
  • Select Advisor and Research Topic : Usually done towards the end of the first year or the beginning of the second year.
  • Preliminary Research : Initial research and literature review.
  • Complete Coursework (Semester 3) : Wrap up any remaining required courses.
  • Research Proposal : Develop a full research proposal including methodology.
  • Qualifying Exams : Exams to transition from a Ph.D. student to a Ph.D. candidate.
  • Begin Research : Start of actual research based on the approved proposal.
  • Conduct Research : Data collection, experiments, and analysis.
  • Intermediate Review : A review to assess the progress of the research.
  • Write Papers : Start writing papers and possibly publishing in journals.
  • Finalize Research : Final experiments and data analysis.
  • Write Dissertation : Writing the actual Ph.D. dissertation.
  • Dissertation Defense : Defending the dissertation before the committee.
  • Graduation : Completing all requirements and graduating.

Example Gantt chart for a UK, European and Australian PhD

For Ph.D. programs outside the United States, especially in Europe and some other parts of the world, students often go straight into research without the need for coursework. Here are some common steps for such programs:

PhD timeline UK PhD Gantt Chart

  • Orientation : Familiarization with the university and department.
  • Select Advisor and Research Topic : Usually done at the beginning of the program.

Wrapping up

The journey to earning a PhD is complex and demanding, filled with academic milestones from coursework to research to dissertation writing.

The key to a smooth and efficient doctoral journey lies in well-planned time management—a structured PhD timeline.

This blog serves as an invaluable guide, offering detailed tips for planning out each academic year in both U.S. and international PhD programs. It emphasizes the importance of starting with an outline of major requirements and factoring in “failure time” for unforeseen challenges.

For those looking to navigate their PhD journey in three years or beyond, having a flexible but comprehensive timeline can be the compass that guides them successfully through the academic labyrinth.

Whether you’re just starting out or already deep into your research, the principles and strategies outlined here can help streamline your path to that coveted doctoral hood.

thesis gantt chart template

Dr Andrew Stapleton has a Masters and PhD in Chemistry from the UK and Australia. He has many years of research experience and has worked as a Postdoctoral Fellow and Associate at a number of Universities. Although having secured funding for his own research, he left academia to help others with his YouTube channel all about the inner workings of academia and how to make it work for you.

Thank you for visiting Academia Insider.

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thesis gantt chart template

Creating awesome Gantt charts for your PhD timeline

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It’s a common scenario: you have never heard about Gantt charts. Then, when writing a PhD application or planning your PhD timeline for the upcoming years, someone suggests: You should include a Gantt chart! No need to worry. Here is all you need to know about Gantt charts for your PhD timeline.

What are Gantt charts?

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A Gantt chart is a visual representation of a project schedule and a widely used tool in project management.

Gantt charts belong to the family of bar charts. In a Gantt chart, bars depict different project tasks. The length of each bar is proportionate to the task duration and indicates both start and finish dates.

Gantt charts are named after Henry Gantt. He lived from 1861-1919 and developed these types of charts as part of his work as a management consultant.

A Grantt chart is a great way to provide an overview of project tasks, activities and milestones.

Gantt charts are frequently used to illustrate PhD timelines because doing a PhD essentially means creating, managing and implementing a project with many components over several years.

Therefore, Gantt charts are popular tools among (aspiring) PhD students.

They are often featured in PhD proposals: Through visual representations, Gantt charts help communicate milestones, plans and estimated task durations.

Furthermore, Gantt chart PhD timelines allow PhD students to track their progress. They can also help PhD students to stay on track with their work.

You may also like: How to develop an awesome PhD timeline step-by-step

Gantt charts can include all kind of information, based on the specific project they are focusing on. When it comes to Gantt chart PhD timelines, there are several elements that are commonly featured:

  • Extensive PhD proposal/plan
  • Data collection
  • Experiments
  • Data analysis
  • Writing plan
  • Publications
  • Conferences
  • Courses/Coursework

Of course, every PhD project is unique. This uniqueness should be reflected in your Gantt chart. For instance, your Gantt chart PhD timeline will look different if you write a PhD based on articles or if you write a monograph .

For a PhD based on published articles, different bars in a Gantt chart PhD timeline could for example represent individual papers. For a monograph, it may be smarter to focus on research stages.

How do you create a Gantt chart for your PhD timeline?

Unfortunately, creating a Gantt chart in Microsoft Excel is far from straightforward as Excel does not provide its own Gantt chart template.

You can create a table, turn it into a bar chart and manually edit it until it looks like a Gantt chart. If you have some experience with Excel, it is doable. Detailed instructions on the process can be found in this manual from Ablebits.com.

However, why go through all the hassle when you can simply download a template? You can use Microsoft’s own free Gantt project planner template and adjust it to your PhD project.

Manually creating a PhD timeline Gantt chart in PowerPoint is a bit easier than in Excel. Therefore, I will explain the process here.

First, you need to open a blank PowerPoint slide. Then click on Insert (1.), then Chart (2.). A popup will appear. Select Bar (3.) and finally select the Stacked Bar option (4).

thesis gantt chart template

A standard bar chart will appear on your slide and a small Excel table with open next to it. The first column in the Excel table is called Categories . You can replace categories with the PhD tasks that you want to display. For instance, Literature Review, Interviews, Transcribing and Analysis. You can add more categories or delete existing ones by removing a row in the small Excel table.

thesis gantt chart template

Next to the Categories (now tasks) column, you see three more columns: Series 1 , Series 2 , Series 3 . You can use these columns to showcase the length of tasks. Rename Series 1 into Start Date and Series 2 into End Date . Series 3 indicates the overall length. Depending on the timeframe you want to showcase, you can opt for instance for Length (weeks) or Length (months) .

In the example below, I decided to plan PhD tasks for a year. Thus, 1 means January, 2 means February, 3 means March and so forth. The length of tasks is also indicated in months:

thesis gantt chart template

Next, click on your chart and three icons will appear in the upper-right corner next to it. Click on the bottom one, the Chart filters , remove the tick of the check box of End Date , and click on Apply. You will see that the bar chart will start to look like a Gantt chart:

thesis gantt chart template

Now, the blue parts of the bar, indicating the Start Dates, need to be removed. Just click on one of them, and on the righthand side, Format Data Series should appear. Select No fill. Alternatively, in the upper menu, select Format , go to Shape fill, and select No fill .

thesis gantt chart template

Now comes the fun part, namely decorating. You can add a chart title, colour the bars in the colour of your choice, edit the legend and the axis descriptions. Just play with it to explore the options.

One more thing I did was changing the value of the axis, because I want to illustrate the months of a year. Thus, it was a bit weird that the horizontal axis started with 0 and ended with 13 while I needed 1-12 to indicate each month of a year. You can simply change this by clicking on the axis. On the righthand side, Format Axis will appear. Go to Axis Options , Bounds , and enter 1 for Minimum and 12 for Maximum .

thesis gantt chart template

And voila! Your Gantt chart is ready.

The nice thing about learning how to create a Gantt chart in Microsoft PowerPoint is that you basically teaches you how to create one in a Word file as well! The process is very similar.

To start the process in Word, it is smart to first change the orientation of your page to Landscape . In the top menu, click on Layout , then select Orientation , then choose Landscape .

Next, select Insert , then Chart , and select a Stacked Bar chart again.

A basic bar chart will appear on your page:

thesis gantt chart template

Looks familiar? Yes! From here, it is basically the same process as editing the bar chart in PowerPoint.

If you don’t want to go through the hassle of creating your own Gantt chart but are not convinced by any templates, you can make use of online tools and software.

There are some paid providers out there, but in my opinion, it is not worth paying to create an awesome PhD timeline.

You can use a free provider (or make do with one of the many Gantt chart templates that exist on the internet). One free online tool is the Free Online Gantt Chart Software :

thesis gantt chart template

The site requires no signup. You can editing and simply start filling in the Gantt chart, and export it as an Excel, Image or PDF file when you are done!

PhD timeline Gantt chart templates

A great way to create a detailed Gantt chart in Microsoft Excel is by using Microsoft’s free Gantt project planner template . The level of detail and functionality exceeds those of simple, manually created Gantt charts. This makes this type of Gantt chart especially useful to track detailed PhD progress.

A useful Gantt chart template for PhD timelines in PowerPoint can be downloaded here via OfficeTimeline.com This Gantt chart is particularly great to provide a rough overview of plans over a longer period. For instance, with a few edits, you can illustrate a nice 3-year PhD timeline.

Useful Gantt chart templates for Microsoft Word can be downloaded here from TemplateLAB. I like these templates as they can be easily adjusted to the needs of a PhD timeline. For instance, a weekly Gantt chart template can be useful to establish a detailed plan with weekly objectives to keep your PhD progress on track.

PhD timeline Gantt chart examples

Using the template provided by Microsoft above, an example PhD timeline to track regular progress on tasks could look, for instance, like this:

thesis gantt chart template

Using the Gantt chart PowerPoint template by OfficeTimeline.com above, an example PhD timeline to present a plan for a 3 year PhD could look, for instance, like this:

thesis gantt chart template

Using a weekly Gantt chart template from TemplateLab mentioned above, an example PhD timeline with weekly tasks and objectives could look, for instance, like this:

thesis gantt chart template

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How to use a Gantt chart for a research project

thesis gantt chart template

Using a Gantt chart for a research project can give all stakeholders a better understanding of timelines and the resources needed for each task.  With all project activities neatly laid out within a timeline and every minor detail accounted for, a Gantt chart provides your team with the framework for successful project operations.

In this article, we’ll discuss a Gantt chart and how you can use it in a research project to maximize efficiency and promote greater transparency. We’ll also share how you can use monday.com’s project management Work OS to simplify the management of any research project further.

What is a Gantt chart?

A Gantt chart is a bar chart popularized in the early 1900s by Henry Gantt. It lets you establish a detailed project plan according to when you need each task completed.

If done correctly, a Gantt chart creates a realistic time frame for a project by establishing a start date for the whole project and each task. Then, you can pair these start dates with an estimation of how long the task will take, broken down by days, weeks, or months.

What makes a Gantt chart unique is that it establishes dependency relationships between all relevant tasks, which can help you better understand necessary workflows.

For example, let’s say you’re creating a research proposal. One of your tasks is to promote awareness and garner support for the proposal on social media. However, before you can do that, you need to create informational materials you can distribute and have the proposal outline ready for viewing. Since these necessities are clearly outlined in the Gantt chart, you can plan your project timeline accordingly.

How can you use a Gantt for research projects?

Research projects are vast undertakings that require a lot of your time, effort, and brain power. Sometimes it’s easy to get sidetracked or confused about what comes next in your research or how you should put it together.

A clear understanding of objectives and deadlines can help you organize even the most complex research project undertakings. Even better, a Gantt chart provides clear step-by-step instructions with dependency relationships marked to ensure every team member understands their responsibilities.

A Gantt chart ensures all research project team members clearly understand objectives, deadlines, and task dependency relationships.

Best practices for planning and scheduling a research project

Understanding the best practices for planning and scheduling a research project can help you get the most out of your Gantt chart . A few best practices include:

  • Have a clear goal : Before sitting down to plan your research project, ask yourself some crucial questions. What are you trying to achieve? Why are you trying to achieve it? When do you need to complete it?
  • Use scheduling tools : Use task and resource scheduling tools when possible to reduce the risk of human error.
  • Get the team involved :  Gather your team together for a brainstorming session, if possible, when developing a list of tasks required to meet your final objective.
  • Consider dependency relationships :  Consider the dependency relationships between objectives carefully and be realistic about time frames. Ensuring your team has enough time to successfully and thoroughly complete each task from the beginning sets your research project up for success.
  • Identify potential issues : Identify risks and potential roadblocks in your schedule and have a backup plan for each to ensure a steady workflow with minimal pushbacks.
  • Consider resource requirements : Consider the resources necessary to complete each task. Remember to include work hours as resources and schedule each team member appropriately to achieve objectives in the desired time frame.
  • Plan for reporting : Assign specific times, or interval periods, for progress reports and compare these with your initial estimations. If these reports show alterations are necessary, don’t be afraid to make changes.
  • Identify KPIs :  Before the research project begins, identify key performance metrics and track them as you go to define your success clearly. You may find using a relevant tool or platform the easiest way to track performance metrics.

Having the right tools can increase efficiency, decrease downtime, and ensure objective deadlines are not only met but exceeded.

Managing research projects on monday.com

monday.com’s robust project management Work OS makes managing research projects easier by:

  • Centralizing projects from start to finish : Our Work OS lets you centralize all projects from conception to completion, with customizable dashboards that show you the information you deem most important. Quickly assess risks, bottlenecks, and roadblocks to keep your research project moving forward.
  • Streamlining project workflows : Streamline workflows by automating routine tasks and assigning teammates to the work they’re most qualified for. Then, track individual and project-wide progress in real-time with regular task updates. Use color coding to make task management even more straightforward.
  • Enabling communication across teams :  Our Work OS promotes communication between project members and across different teams, so all stakeholders know where things stand at all times. You can share documents, leave notes, and work together in real-time for more effective communication that allows you to exceed every deadline and meet every objective.

monday.com can provide your team with a Gantt chart view to make project management easier. Get started with monday.com’s powerful Work OS by building a research project workflow from scratch or try a few of our other templates for managing research projects easier.

Related templates

A basic Gantt chart can help you plan your research project in detail. On monday.com, you can add a Gantt View to any type of project board. Below are some of our recommended templates from our Template Center that you can use to fine-tune other essential aspects of your research project.

Keyword power tools template

Our  Research Power Tools Template uses a Gantt chart format to help you visualize project timelines, manage project resources, and monitor each phase of your research projects from one platform.

Publication and journals template

Our  Publications and Journals Template is an excellent tool for content publishing companies. You can use our template to:

  • Manage your publication process: Our template enables whole-process management from submission to approval. Easily track article status and monitor writer workload to ensure you meet publishing deadlines.
  • Visualize your publishing pipeline: Customizable dashboards allow you to receive a high-level overview of all current and upcoming articles and where they stand.
  • Track individual contributions: Ensure each writer meets minimum contributions and isn’t given too large a workload by tracking individual contributions.

By now, you should have a working idea of Gantt charts and how they increase transparency and efficiency in project management. However, if you still have questions, we’ve answered a few FAQs below.

How do you create a dissertation in a Gantt chart?

To create a Gantt chart for a dissertation, you should first understand your timeline and deliverables. Once you’ve written these down, create detailed task lists of how you’ll accomplish each deliverable and consider dependency relationships between each. Finally, use the Gantt chart to outline your dissertation from start to finish.

What should be in a dissertation timeline?

In a dissertation timeline, you should include the following:

  • Role assigning (if applicable)
  • Research tasks
  • Experiments, social or scientific (if applicable)
  • Data collection and analysis
  • First draft completion
  • Submission to the advisor (first) and dean (at completion)

How do you create a Gantt chart in Word?

You can create a Gantt chart in Microsoft Word by:

  • Opening a new Word document
  • Change the document orientation from vertical to horizontal
  • Insert a bar graph into your document
  • Make format alterations as necessary to make the graph look like a Gantt chart
  • Insert information and customize as necessary

Any team can increase transparency in their research projects with monday.com

Using a Gantt chart to create a detailed project timeline can help increase transparency and promote greater efficiency in your organization’s research projects.

When you pair a Gantt chart with monday.com’s robust project management system, you have the tools you need to meet deadlines, complete objectives, and exceed expectations.

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Dissertations 1: getting started: planning.

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  • Choosing A Topic and Researching
  • Devising An Approach/Method
  • Thinking Of A Title
  • Writing A Proposal

Planning Your Time

The dissertation is a large project, so it needs careful planning. To organise your time, you can try the following:  

Break down the dissertation into smaller stages to complete (e.g., literature search, read materials, data collection, write literature review section…). 

Create a schedule. Working backwards from your deadline, decide when you will complete each stage. 

Set aside time to regularly work on the dissertation. 

Consider what times of day you are most alert and what makes a suitable space to study. 

Identify a specific task to work on. 

If overwhelmed, try to identify one task that needs doing rather than focusing on the larger project. 

Leave time to redraft, proof-read, format, and complete the reference list. 

Gantt Charts

As the dissertation project involves certain processes to take place simultaneously, rather than in a sequence, you can use a Gantt chart to organise your time.  

A Gantt chart is a bar chart which shows the schedule for a project. The project is broken down into key tasks/elements to be completed. A start and finish date for each task/element of the project is given. Some tasks are scheduled at the same time or may overlap. Others will start when a task has been completed. 

To produce a Gantt chart, you can use Word, Excel (see example in the attachment) or an online planner.

  • Tom's Planner . There's  an example  for you to use to complete your plan. 
  • Excel:  example of Gantt Chart in Excel . This is an example of a Gantt chart which can be used to generate a plan of work (timeline) for your dissertation. You can download and edit it as you please. The chart has been created by the University of Leicester. 

Gantt chart using Excel

Research Data Management

This video helps you to understand the importance of research data management and how you can plan, organise, store, preserve, and share your data.

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What is a Gantt chart

Some University departments require students to create a Gantt chart to represent a schedule for the research project. The Gantt chart shows the timelines of the various steps of the project including their dependencies and any  resources needed . In other words, the chart depicts when an event is supposed to take place in your project by providing an outline regarding the order in which the various tasks  need to be performed .

An example of a Gantt chart.

thesis gantt chart template

Gantt chart on Moodle

How to create a Gantt chart - videos

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Gantt Chart for Thesis

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You can easily edit this template using Creately. You can export it in multiple formats like JPEG, PNG and SVG and easily add it to Word documents, Powerpoint (PPT) presentations, Excel or any other documents. You can export it as a PDF for high-quality printouts.

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Gantt Chart for Dissertation – Important Ingredient for Dissertation Success

Published by Ellie Cross at January 26th, 2023 , Revised On October 9, 2023

A dissertation is an important part of academic life. You may have spent a lot of time thinking about it, researching it, and writing it. And because of that, you want to put your best foot forward.

You want to make sure that your dissertation is well-organized, easy to read, and compelling. One way you can do this is by using a Gantt chart for your dissertation.

Gantt Chart for Dissertation 

The Gantt chart is one of the most important and useful tools for dissertation writing or even in project management. It enables the planner to develop a detailed schedule showing all the planned work, activities, milestones, and deliverables. 

The Gantt chart is not just a simple table with dates, but it is a graphical representation of a project plan that can be used to show relationships between tasks. For example, the Gantt chart shows when something has to be done and how long it takes to finish this task. It also shows how long other tasks take before they can start or after they are completed. 

The basic concept behind the Gantt chart is that there must be sufficient time allocated for each task within a given time scale so that there is no interference between different tasks being carried out simultaneously by students. 

With the help of a research Gantt chart , you can create a visual roadmap that shows how your project will be completed. This is especially important when you have many tasks to complete.

When Using a Gantt Chart for a Dissertation?

Gantt charts are really helpful for project management. It is often used in business management, engineering and construction, software development, and other fields where projects must be managed.

Sometimes, it is possible to use these charts even if there are no deadlines set for your tasks. This can be useful if you want to understand how much time different types of activities take and how they affect each other.

We use them because they help us visualize our workload and plan our resources accordingly:

  • They help us see which activities depend on each other so we can better coordinate them.
  • They allow us to see what parts of our project are delayed easily.
  • They show whether or not we have enough resources at our disposal.
  • They help us decide when we should reschedule some activities if necessary.

How Can ResearchProspect Help?

ResearchProspect writers can send several custom topic ideas to your email address. Once you have chosen a topic that suits your needs and interests, you can order for our dissertation outline service which will include a brief introduction to the topic, research questions , literature review , methodology , expected results , and conclusion . The dissertation outline will enable you to review the quality of our work before placing the order for our full dissertation writing service!

How to Create a Gantt Chart

Creating a Gantt chart for a dissertation is simple. First, you need to enter your task names, durations, and start dates into an Excel spreadsheet and then use the built-in tools to insert a Gantt chart. There are the following steps:

  • Start with a blank Gantt chart and customize it according to your needs.
  • Add tasks in the form of boxes that represent activities in your project plan. If more than one person is involved in an activity, add lines between them for each step in the process.
  • Add resources (people or equipment) by clicking on the “Resources” tab at the top of the page, selecting from a drop-down menu, or typing in a name manually if you know it already. You can also search for specific names from here if needed and assign resources to tasks by clicking on them once they’ve been added.
  • Use different colours for each task or phase of your project. This makes it easy to see at a glance whether each phase is on track or behind schedule.

Dissertation Planning Template

You can plan your dissertation with the dissertation planning template. This is not a strict structure. It is just a guide. You can adapt it to suit your needs as long as you clearly understand what you want to achieve before you start writing.

The Dissertation Planning Template has Five Main Sections:

Introduction – and overview of the problem and why it is important.

Research question(s) – clearly defined research questions will be investigated during the project.

Objectives – specific objectives that need to be met to achieve the research goals. These may include several smaller objectives (e.g., data collection methods).

Literature review – an analysis of existing literature related to your topic and any gaps in understanding. This section should also include any relevant theory (e.g., theories from other disciplines) and methodologies used within those disciplines which could be applied to your project (if applicable).

Methodology – an outline of how you will address each research objective in relation to your chosen methodology.

Why Choose a Dissertation Gantt Chart Template?

There are many reasons why you would want to use a Gantt chart for a dissertation template rather than creating one yourself:

They Save Time  

Creating a dissertation Gantt chart takes time, effort, and knowledge using Microsoft Excel or PowerPoint software. Therefore, you may find it easier to use an existing template instead of creating one from scratch if you do not have much experience with these programs.

They Look Professional

Gantt chart templates will make your final presentation look more professional using the best dissertation.

Gantt Charts Help Prevent Problems from Arising.

By using a Gantt chart template, you can spot potential problems before they arise. Such as missing deadlines or conflicting tasks and taking action immediately.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a gantt chart for a dissertation.

A Gantt Chart for a dissertation is a visual timeline that outlines the research tasks, milestones, and deadlines. It helps students plan and manage their dissertation projects efficiently.

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Get organized with Gantt chart templates

Gantt charts give you a visual timeline of the steps in your project, and they've never been easier to put together than with these templates. with just a glance, you'll know exactly when and how things will come together, and these templates will be just the beginning of your journey to a successful, well-run project..

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Let these Gantt chart templates guide your success

Let these customizable Gantt chart templates help your business see into the future. This staple of project planning just got easier to outline with templates where all you need to do is bring your parameters and yourself to get started. A Gantt chart is the ideal tool to coordinate groups of people and simultaneous goals and keep all aspects of a plan moving when they're supposed to. With these easy-to-use templates, your Gantt chart can be as colorful and as detailed as your organized heart desires. Make sure everything's going smoothly for your grand opening by know exactly what you have to do and when you have to do it. Or, add a compelling visual to a presentation by laying out the various elements of your project in a comprehensive yet comprehendible way. Dive into timelines and deliverables and let the planning stage of your project be the easy part—a Gantt chart is your business's new best friend.

University Thesis Developing Gantt Chart in Excel

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Thesis Proposal Gantt Chart Template

Thesis Proposal Gantt Chart Template in Excel

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How to Create a Simple Gantt Chart in Excel: The Best Free Template

excel gantt chart template

Create an easy Excel gantt chart with our free template

Our easy premade Excel gantt chart template can save you tons of time by organizing your project plan and tackling the tedious scheduling work for you! Use this Excel gantt chart to simplify complex projects into an easy-to-follow plan and track the status of tasks as work progresses. This free template is also useful for keeping track of project deadlines, milestones, and hours worked.  Learn more about gantt charts . Before you get started,  check out this quick Excel vs. TeamGantt comparison  to see how you can save time and effort managing gantt charts in TeamGantt.

How to use our free gantt chart Excel template

We made this Excel gantt chart template easy, powerful, and painless to use for projects of any kind—from construction projects to website redesigns and beyond. It’s great for scheduling simple projects that don’t require real-time collaboration. 

TeamGantt’s free Excel gantt chart template enables you to:

  • Customize the gantt chart to fit your project needs
  • Set up new tasks
  • Assign task dates and team members
  • Automate task durations and timeframes
  • Track task progress

You can customize our Excel template to view and manage projects over any time period, whether it’s weekly, monthly, or quarterly. Simply plug in your tasks, dates, and resources, and you'll have a presentation-quality Excel gantt chart. Be sure to update the percent complete as work progresses to stay on top of project tracking. Want to learn how? First, download the Excel gantt chart template , then watch our Excel gantt chart template tutorial on YouTube below.

thesis gantt chart template

Additional Excel project management templates

If you want to spend less time building spreadsheets, check out some of our other Excel project management templates. Here are a few you can download for free:

  • Excel timeline template
  • Project schedule Excel template
  • Excel to-do list template and task tracker
  • Work breakdown structure (WBS) template in Excel

How to make a simple gantt chart in Excel

Want to learn how to build an Excel gantt chart from scratch? This step-by-step tutorial guides you through how to do an Excel gantt chart that maps out dates on your project timeline.

Note: We performed the following steps in Microsoft Excel 365 for Mac, but the basic workflow should be the same on a PC or in any version of Excel with minor changes.

  • Add basic task details to the Excel worksheet
  • Apply a formula to calculate task duration
  • Insert a stacked bar chart
  • Set up your Excel gantt chart data
  • Add the project title to your chart
  • Change the chart’s date range
  • Format the horizontal axis as dates
  • Set your Excel gantt chart at weekly intervals
  • Reorder tasks and move the date axis to the top
  • Format your stacked bar chart to look like a gantt chart
  • Change taskbar colors for a customized look

1. Add tasks and dates to the Excel worksheet for your gantt chart.

Create columns for Task Name , Start Date , End Date , and Duration , and fill those cells with the basic details for your project tasks.

Add tasks and dates to Excel worksheet

Format these columns as follows:

  • Task Name = Text format
  • Start Date and End Date = Date format
  • Duration = Number format

Want to organize your Excel gantt chart into phases with subtasks? Add a row before the first task in each project phase, and enter the following dates for each task group:

  • Start Date  = Start Date of your first task or milestone in the group or phase
  • End Date = End Date for the last task or milestone in the group or phase

Insert phases and subtasks

2. Apply an automatic formula to calculate task duration

Use a simple formula to subtract the start date from the end date. That way your Excel worksheet will automatically calculate the length of each task in your gantt chart. For instance, we entered =C2-B2 into the Duration field for our first task.

Apply formula for Duration column

Tip: If you started in different cells in your worksheet, be sure to adjust this formula accordingly.

Place your mouse on the right corner of D2 until you see a black + sign and double-click or drag your mouse down to paste the formula in the remaining cells in column D.

Paste Duration formula in full column

3. Insert a Stacked Bar Chart from the Insert menu

Click the Insert tab, and select the bar chart icon. Choose Stacked Bar from the 2-D Bar section to add a chart to your Excel worksheet. This chart type most closely resembles a gantt chart.

Insert stacked bar chart into Excel worksheet

4. Set up your Excel gantt chart data

You should see a blank chart in your Excel worksheet now. Right-click the chart, and choose Select Data .

Select data source for blank bar chart

Click the plus sign (+) under the Legend entries section to add the first data set. Name it "Start Date." Then click on the Y values field, and select the data in the Start Date column.

Select data source for Start Date column

Repeat this process to add a second entry called “Duration,” making sure to select the data in the Duration column for the Y values . Click the Horizontal Axis Labels field, and select the entire Task Name column.

Select data source for Duration column

Tip: Make sure the Show data in hidden rows and columns checkbox is ticked so your Excel gantt chart will still work if you decide to hide any of the columns or rows in the worksheet.

5. Add the project title to your chart

Double-click the Chart Title textbox to select the full title. Enter the name of your project to replace the generic placeholder text.

Replace chart title with project name

6. Change the chart date range to your project start and end dates

Copy the Start Date for the first task in your project into a blank cell below your task list, and format that cell as a number rather than a date. Repeat this process for the End Date for the last task in your project.

Convert task start and end dates to numbers

Tip: Excel stores dates as numbers. In our gantt chart example , Excel converts the Start Date for our first task from 9/1/22 to 44805.00, while the End Date for our last task becomes 44865.00 instead of 10/31/22.

Now select the horizontal axis of your gantt chart, right-click, and choose Format Axis . Under Bounds , there are fields for Minimum and Maximum . These are the first and last “dates” in the chart. Change the Minimum value to the number you got when you converted the first task date into a number and the Maximum value to the number for your last task date.

Set Minimum and Maximum bounds for your chart

Hit Enter to remove the extra time from the beginning of your chart.

7. Format the horizontal axis as dates

If the labels on the horizontal axis of your gantt chart show numbers instead of dates, click the Number section of the Format Axis window to expand it. Change the category from Number to Date . Now the horizontal axis will show readable dates.

Format horizontal axis as dates

8. Set your Excel gantt chart at weekly intervals

Under Units in the Axis Options section, you’ll find Major and Minor fields. These determine the timeline intervals for your Excel gantt chart. Enter 7.0 into the Major field to set the project timeline in your Excel gantt chart at weekly intervals.

Set weekly intervals for your chart timeline

Tip: Want a monthly gantt chart? Set the Major field at 30.0 for monthly intervals.

9. Reorder tasks, and move the date axis to the top of your gantt chart

Select the vertical axis, right-click, and choose Format Axis .

Format vertical axis of gantt chart

Tick the Categories in reverse order checkbox.

Reverse task order on Excel gantt chart

This also moves the date axis to the top of the chart where it’s a little more useful.

10. Format your stacked bar chart to look like a gantt chart

Click on the first portion of a taskbar with 2 colors to select all of the bars in your first data series. In the Excel chart below, our first data series is represented by the blue taskbars.

Select first data series in chart

Then click the Paint Bucket tab, and expand the Fill section. Select No fill to remove the blue bars that precede your task start dates.

Apply no fill to first data series

11. Change taskbar colors for a customized look

Click on a single bar twice. Don’t double-click it—click it once to highlight all the bars in that color, then click it again to highlight a single bar. Click the Paint Bucket icon, and choose the color you want from the color fill options.

Change the color of a task in your Excel gantt chart

Tip: Differentiate project phases from subtasks by giving phase taskbars a neutral color, such as gray.

Apply a neutral color to Excel gantt chart phases

Tip: Color milestones yellow or gold in your gantt chart so they stand out easily from other tasks.

Color milestones on your gantt chart yellow

Repeat this process for the rest of the bars in your newly made gantt chart to change their colors.

Change colors on your entire gantt Excel gantt chart

Congratulations! You’ve created your very own weekly gantt chart in Excel. That was probably a few more steps than you bargained for. Especially if you have to do that every time you need to create a gantt chart for a new project. That’s where TeamGantt comes in.

Build a gantt chart in minutes with TeamGantt

A better, faster, and more collaborative way to create, update, and track gantt charts.

Gantt charts that are simple, beautiful, and super-easy to manage and update is exactly what TeamGantt was designed from the ground up to do.

Comparison: TeamGantt vs Excel gantt chart

Forget having to keep track of multiple Excel gantt chart files for each project and wasting time making sure all your charts are presentation-ready. TeamGantt makes it easy—and dare we say FUN—to create and manage your projects with shareable online gantt charts. Here’s a quick peek at how you can save time and headaches making gantt charts and managing projects with TeamGantt compared to Excel:

The best collaborative gantt chart template

No need to build your plan from scratch with TeamGantt’s collaborative gantt chart template! We’ve plugged in some basic project elements for you. Feel free to duplicate task groups to speed up your gantt chart setup. ‍ Try our basic project gantt chart template! Or browse our full library of free collaborative gantt chart templates .

How to create a gantt chart in TeamGantt

Ready to get started? Follow these easy steps to set up your first project in TeamGantt.

Example of a TeamGantt project

1. Go to teamgantt.com/signup to sign up for your free account to get started.

2. Once you log in, go to My Projects in the sidebar, and click + New Project , then Create New Project .

3. Give your project a name, and choose a project template to get you started if you want. Choose your default project view and the days of the week you want to be able to schedule work in your project. Then click Create New Project .

Create a new gantt chart in TeamGantt

4. Your project is created, and you’re ready to start adding your tasks!

5. Once you’ve added your tasks to the task list, just click and drag each taskbar to set the dates and duration.

Add and schedule tasks in your gantt chart

6. If you have tasks that can’t begin until another task is complete, you can add a dependency to your gantt chart to make sure those tasks are always done in the proper order. Simply click the gray dot to the right of the first task, and drag the dependency to the dependent task.

Add dependencies between Gantt chart tasks

You’re all done! Congratulations on creating your first project in TeamGantt!

How to save a TeamGantt project as a gantt chart template

In TeamGantt, you can create unlimited gantt chart templates from the projects you build. Here are 2 easy ways to save a project as a template from Gantt view:

  • Option 1 : Click Menu > Save as Template .
  • Option 2 : Go to Menu > Project Settings , and click the Mark as Template toggle on.

Your gantt chart template evolves with your root project so it stays up-to-date.

How to apply a gantt chart template to any TeamGantt project

Using a template to create a new project is as easy as clicking the Template dropdown on the project creation screen and choosing the one you want to use from the template library. No more starting from a blank screen!

thesis gantt chart template

Any gantt chart templates you save will be listed under the My Templates section. Once your gantt chart template loads, simply update the tasks and invite your team.

Get started with TeamGantt today

You can create a beautiful project plan in just minutes with TeamGantt. And because everything happens online, it's easy to track project progress and collaborate with your team in real time.

Sign up for your free account today!

Excel Gantt Chart FAQs

Is there a gantt chart template in excel.

Unfortunately, Excel doesn’t come with a built-in gantt chart template. You’ll need to create a gantt chart manually in Excel, then save it as a template for future project use.

How do I create a gantt chart template in Excel?

You can save any Excel file you make as a template. Simply follow these steps to build a gantt chart of your own in Excel . Then click File > Save as template to create an Excel gantt chart template you can use again and again to schedule project timelines.

How do I format a weekly Excel gantt chart?

To format your Excel gantt chart by week, right-click on the date axis, and select Format Axis. Expand the Axis Options section, and enter 7.0 into the Major field below Units for weekly intervals.

How do I format a monthly Excel gantt chart?

To format your Excel gantt chart by month, right-click on the date axis, and select Format Axis. Expand the Axis Options section, and enter 30.0 into the Major field below Units for monthly intervals. It won’t be a perfect monthly picture since some months have more or less days, but it should provide a decent visual approximation for your Excel gantt chart.

How do I track work progress in Excel?

Start by downloading our free gantt chart Excel template , which has progress bars built-in. Then all you have to do is update progress in the Percent Complete column, and Excel will adjust the taskbar on the gantt chart to reflect the current status.

Try TeamGantt for free today!

Free Gantt Chart Project Plan Templates

By Diana Ramos | May 24, 2022

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We’ve collected the top free Gantt chart templates for project planning. Use these templates to outline project details and get a broad visual overview of your plan. Choose from multiple file formats, all free to download.

On this page, you’ll find a Gantt project planner , a simple Gantt chart project plan , a construction project Gantt chart template , and other Gantt chart plans with daily, weekly, and monthly views.

Gantt Project Planner

Gantt Project Planner

Download Gantt Project Planner - Microsoft Excel

Create a project management plan that includes a Gantt chart schedule, stakeholder list, cost baseline, and communication plan. This template provides sample tasks for a software development or other IT project, and it displays task owners, dates, status, and a visual Gantt schedule. Enter your project details, including a scope statement, starting and ending dates, and all relevant activities. Complete the list of stakeholder names along with their roles, contact information, and expectations. Use the cost baseline sheet to plan and track project costs, and develop a detailed communication plan listing the audience, frequency, methods, and deliverables for various project communications.

Simple Gantt Chart Project Plan

Simple Gantt Chart Project Plan

Download Simple Gantt Chart Project Plan Microsoft Excel | Google Sheets

This simple project plan template features a Gantt chart timeline and a spreadsheet. You’ll find ample room for notes on project scheduling, budget, risks, and issues. At the top of the template, enter the project start and end dates to adjust what’s shown on the Gantt chart. List project phases or tasks with corresponding dates to calculate the estimated duration in days for each item. Use the notes portion of the spreadsheet to flesh out your project plan and provide details on each phase.

Construction Project Gantt Chart Template

Construction Project Gantt Chart Template

Download Construction Project Gantt Chart Template Microsoft Excel | Google Sheets

This construction Gantt chart planner shows example project tasks, from demolition and excavation to final inspections. Edit the task list based on your specific project, add beginning and ending dates for each activity, and view your project schedule in the Gantt chart. The Gantt calendar makes it easy to see the timeframe for each task and the entire construction project, allowing for detailed planning while providing a bird’s-eye view.

Multi-Project Gantt Chart Planner

Multi Project Gantt Chart Planner

Download Multi-Project Gantt Chart Planner - Microsoft Excel

Plan and track multiple projects with a single Gantt chart template. For each project, add task titles and descriptions, deliverables, costs, and estimated hours. Use the drop-down menu to assign a priority to each project and task. The template calculates the number of days required for each task, as well as total days, hours, and costs for each project. The Gantt chart shows a weekly schedule based on the starting date entered at the top of the template.

Agile Project Plan Gantt Chart Template

Agile Project Plan Gantt Chart Template

Download Agile Project Plan Gantt Chart Template

Microsoft Excel | Microsoft PowerPoint

This Agile project plan template is divided into sprints and features, with a Gantt chart showing the timeline for each. Use the spreadsheet to document feature types, responsible parties, story points, start and finish dates, and at-risk items. The template will help you track the status for each activity and overall progress, so you can adjust your project plan as issues arise. The Gantt schedule provides a color-coded bar chart for distinguishing between sprints.

Gantt Chart Project Plan Timeline

Gantt Chart Project Plan Timeline

Download Gantt Chart Project Plan Timeline - Microsoft PowerPoint

This template combines a Gantt chart with a timeline format, highlighting project milestones. Label the horizontal bars with project tasks or phases, dates, and duration. Move the bars and milestone markers to the places along the timeline that match your project dates. This template provides a simple visual schedule that works well as part of a presentation or brief summary for stakeholders.

Find more scheduling templates in our roundup of free project schedule templates .

Hourly Gantt Project Planner Template

Hourly Gantt Project Planner Template

Download Hourly Gantt Project Planner Template — Microsoft PowerPoint

Create an hourly project plan over the course of a single day, from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Enter your activities, along with starting and ending times, and adjust the Gantt chart bars to reflect the duration planned for each task. Use the color key to assign owners or divide tasks into categories. The template also includes symbols for marking scheduled breaks and key events.

Weekly Gantt Project Planning Template

Weekly Gantt Project Planning Template

Download Weekly Gantt Project Planning Template — Microsoft Excel

This weekly Gantt planner has room for project tasks and subtasks, owners, duration and percent complete for each task. The Gantt chart is divided into four phases highlighted by different colors, with three weeks in each phase. The schedule is also broken down into days, so you get a daily and weekly view of your project plan.

Monthly Gantt Chart Project Plan Template

Monthly Gantt Chart Project Plan Template

Download Monthly Gantt Chart Project Plan Template Microsoft Excel | Google Sheets

Use this Gantt template complete with example activities for project planning on a monthly and quarterly basis. View a breakdown of tasks for each project phase on the chart. Edit the tasks on the bar chart to suit your project, and add important details, such as specific dates. The bold markers for the current date and project end date will help you track performance and manage plan updates.

Gantt Chart Project Plan with Dependencies

Gantt Chart Project Plan with Dependencies

Download Gantt Chart Project Plan with Dependencies - Microsoft Excel

View primary tasks, subtasks, and dependencies with this project plan Gantt chart. The template provides columns for work breakdown structure numbering, task descriptions, assigned owners, and percent complete for each activity. You can also see the variance between planned and actual work dates, so you can manage and revise the project plan as it progresses. The Gantt chart features a weekly schedule view with milestone markers to emphasize important events.

Marketing Project Gantt Chart Planner

Marketing Project Gantt Chart Planner

Download Marketing Project Gantt Chart Planner Microsoft Excel | Microsoft Word

Use this template to create a Gantt chart plan for your next marketing project. Edit the example project phases and activities to match your marketing campaign plan. Enter start and end dates for each task to get a daily and weekly view of your project schedule. On the Microsoft Excel and Apple Numbers templates, add the project start date at the top of the template to automatically change the dates shown on the Gantt chart. On the Microsoft Word version, manually enter your dates on the chart, then adjust the task bars to line up with the appropriate dates.

Project Plan Dashboard with Gantt Chart

Project Plan Dashboard with Gantt Chart

Download Project Plan Dashboard with Gantt Chart — Microsoft Excel

Manage your project plan with this dashboard template. In the notes tab, enter your project data in the corresponding tables to populate the dashboard charts, including Gantt, task status, budget and pending items. The Gantt chart is a basic weekly schedule, providing a quick view of your project timeline. The template allows you to mark high-priority tasks and assign owners. Get a snapshot of your budget, change requests, and overall task status, so you can anticipate revisions.

How to Create an Excel Gantt Chart Using a Template

Creating a Gantt chart is simple when you use a preformatted template. To get the most out of your template, follow our guide to making a Gantt chart in Microsoft Excel . You’ll get step-by-step instructions for creating a project timeline and tips for customizing it.

To determine what type of Gantt chart to use for your project and find more downloadable templates, see our collection of free Gantt chart templates and other project planning tools .

Use Smartsheet to Quickly Create and Update a Gantt Chart Project Plan

Empower your people to go above and beyond with a flexible platform designed to match the needs of your team — and adapt as those needs change. 

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.

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The 10 most stunning excel dissertation Gantt chart templates

Excel is a fantastic tool that provides everything for you. Excels templates are doing an excellent job of managing everyday tasks. Now, you can arrange your project's tasks using a dissertation Gantt chart and monitor your progress. If your data is spread throughout a continuous range of cells, you can choose any one of those cells to include the entire range of data. The 10 most stunning excel dissertation Gantt chart templates are now available for your use.

These 10 most stunning excel dissertation Gantt chart templates are managing your tasks in chart form.

1. Gantt Chart dissertation Project Template

Using a Gantt chart project template, you may arrange your project's tasks and monitor your progress. Select any cell to include all the data in that range if your data is spread across a continuous range of cells. Select the cells while holding down the command key if your information isn't in a constant range.

2. Progress Gantt Chart with Events Template

Project Gantt chart with events is going to manage your events with the help of this template. It is stunningly designed for you. Use it now if you want to control the events with Gantt charts.

3. Red Simple Gantt Chart Template

This template is designed with beautiful red velvet. It is easy to handle and free to download.

4. Construction Schedule Gantt Chart Template

Construction Schedule Gantt Chart template is now available at the WPS office. This template is created explicitly for the construction project, either large or small.

5. Planning Gantt Chart Template

The Planning Gantt Chart template is now available at the WPS office in the premium version. This template is beautifully designed for planning big tasks. You can easily use this template now.

6. Sales Activity Gantt Chat Template

Sales Activity Gantt Chat is used for sales management in the chart. A Gantt chart template is created for this purpose so you will easily manage your tasks.

7. Project Management Gantt Chart Template

Project management Gantt Chat is used to manage your projects in the chart. A Gantt chart template is created so you can easily manage your projects.

8. Grant Analysis Chat Template

Now there is a template named as Gantt analysis chart, which is designed to analyse your data. All the information of data is anlysed by using this Gantt chart.

9. Simple Gantt Chart Template

The simple Gantt chart is free to download at the WPS office.

10. Simple Monthly Gantt Chart Template

The simple monthly Gantt chart is available for the monthly assessment purpose. You can analyse your data every month.

The bottom line

Teams can visualize a project's chronology using a Gantt chart template, a project management tool. It comprises a list of project tasks, project dates, and bars that show the start and end dates and the length of each work. All these 10 most stunning dissertation Gantt chart templates are created for your convenience. If you want to get these charts for the free or premium version, go to the WPS office and download them now. It is a great opportunity offered by the WPS office. Grab it now before it runs out.

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  • 6. The best gantt chart excel template free download

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5 Best Tools for Creating a Simple Gantt Chart

ProjectManager

Gantt charts are powerful planning tools in project management, but they’re also notoriously difficult to make. There is, however, a simple Gantt chart that can be made in a variety of ways that can be essential when scheduling a project.

Let’s look at what a simple Gantt chart is and why one would want to use it over the more dynamic Gantt charts. Then, we’ll explore the different tools that you can use to build a simple Gantt chart and offer some free simple Gantt chart templates to get you started.

What Is a Simple Gantt Chart?

A simple Gantt chart is a Gantt chart that doesn’t have as many functions as more advanced Gantt charts . You can think of it as a Gantt chart that you create on a spreadsheet. It will look very much like a Gantt chart, but won’t be interactive and, therefore, less powerful than Gantt chart software.

However, a simple Gantt chart might be just what you need to plan a project. It’s certainly better than trying to schedule work without one. A simple Gantt chart is relatively the same as a more dynamic one. It’s a horizontal bar chart that visually represents a project plan over time, listing all the project tasks and their start and end dates.

If you need more than a simple Gantt chart, try ProjectManager , an award-winning project and portfolio management software with powerful Gantt charts that do more without the difficulty of other digital Gantt charts. You can organize tasks, create milestones and assign tasks to team members, but that’s only the tip of the iceberg. We let you link all four types of task dependencies to avoid costly delays, filter for the critical path to identify essential tasks and you can set a baseline to track planned effort against your actual effort in real time. Get started with ProjectManager today for free.

ProjectManager's Gantt chart

Benefits of a Simple Gantt Chart

Whatever type of Gantt chart is right for you, using one is always helpful when planning your project . There are many advantages to using even a simple Gantt chart to schedule your tasks. Here are only a few reasons why.

  • Some Project Management Software Can Be Hard to Use: Gantt charts have a bad reputation. They can be hard to use, even Gantt chart software , especially when it comes to editing. Projects change fast and simple Gantt charts can be easier to edit than even digital ones. However, not all project management software is created equally. You’ll probably want to try it and see how they function in the real world.
  • A Simple Gantt Chart Can Be Implemented Easily: If you solely want a visual timeline to view your entire project from start to finish, then a simple Gantt chart is the right tool. All you have to do is list your tasks and the duration of each. It’s a lot easier than having to add resources, costs, dependencies, milestones and more. All of those things are helpful but add complexity you might not want.
  • Simple Gantt Chart Templates Help Project Managers Save Time: The effort of setting up a more dynamic Gantt chart might be unnecessary if your project is relatively simple. A simple Gantt chart can be created quickly and easily, saving you time to focus on the more important execution and monitoring of your project .

What Tools Can Be Used to Create a Simple Gantt Chart?

If you’re ready to use a simple Gantt chart , there are several ways you can make one. Each of these methods has thas advantages and disadvantages, but overall provides you with the simple Gantt chart you need to schedule your work and get started on executing your project.

ProjectManager

ProjectManager is a project management software that makes it easy for users to build the Gantt charts they need for their projects. There are industry-specific templates in the software that can help you get started. You can also import CSV, Excel and even Microsoft Project files. In the case of MS Project, you can even export them back into MS Project, if you’re stuck using this expensive and complicated project management software. ProjectManager also lets you build a Gantt chart from scratch. There is a lot of functionality to these Gantt charts, but you can make a simple Gantt chart to meet your needs. Get started with a free Gantt chart template .

Simple Gantt chart in project management software

Microsoft Excel

Microsoft Excel is probably the most popular spreadsheet software. You can make a simple Gantt chart in Excel by following the steps outlined in this blog. With a simple Gantt chart for Microsoft Excel, you can organize all your project tasks, including when they start and when they’re due. The duration of each task is then shown in the visual timeline as a bar running horizontally across the chart. You can pinpoint milestones on the timeline and even indicate dependent tasks to a degree. However, you have to manually update it and Microsoft Excel documents aren’t great for collaborating.

Simple Gantt chart template for Excel

Microsoft Planner

Microsoft Planning is a tool offered in the Office 365 suite and is designed for work management. While Microsoft Planner doesn’t have a Gantt chart, there is a way to make a Microsoft Planner Gantt chart with ProjectManager. This involves the import and export function we talked about earlier. You can download your Microsoft Planner project as an Excel, CSV or MMP file and import it into ProjectManager. Then you can customize it as a simple Gantt chart and even export it back to Microsoft Planner after you’ve made whatever changes you needed to make.

Google Sheets

Another tool that can make a simple Gantt chart is Google Sheets, which is an online spreadsheet. The advantage of this tool over Microsoft Excel is that it’s collaborative. The simple Gantt chart lives online and there is only one document that is updated that everyone can view. Therefore, this is a more collaborative tool than a simple Gantt chart in a static spreadsheet. Read how to make a simple Gantt chart in Google Sheets .

Powerpoint is a very familiar software tool, at least in a business environment. Making a simple Gantt chart in PowerPoint is helpful because most people will know how to use the software. Also, you’ll find that PowerPoint is almost universally used throughout companies and industries. That means it’ll be easy to share this simple Gantt chart as most people are going to have PowerPoint on their computers. Follow the steps in this article to make a Gantt chart in PowerPoint . While it’s not project management software, it can be a helpful workaround for people who aren’t ready to upgrade to more dynamic Gantt charts.

Free Simple Gantt Chart Templates

If you don’t want to go through the effort of making a simple Gantt chart, you can use a Gantt chart template. We’ve created dozens of project management templates for Excel, Word and Google Sheets including Gantt chart templates that facilitate the process of setting up a Gantt chart. All you need to do is fill in the blanks. Templates aren’t ideal, but if all you need is a simple Gantt chart and you don’t want to build one from scratch, then these are a good option.

Gantt Chart Template for Excel

ProjectManager has over 100 free project management templates for Excel and Word that you can download. Some templates address every aspect of managing a project across many industries. This is a simple Gantt chart that lists all your tasks, start and end dates and then they’ll automatically populate a visual timeline.

Gantt Chart Template for Google Sheets

We’ve also created a free simple Gantt chart for Google Sheets to help you plan and schedule projects. Follow the link above and you’ll get a view-only simple Gantt chart template for Google Sheets. To use the simple Gantt chart, you’ll have to make a copy by clicking File at the top left-hand corner and then Make a Copy. You can also copy and paste the simple Gantt chart into a new Google Sheet.

Gantt Chart Template for PowerPoint

We’ve mentioned the popularity of PowerPoint. If you want to make your own, then follow the link earlier in the blog. But if you want to just get a simple Gantt chart, use the link above and after you’ve submitted your email you’ll get access to the Gantt chart template for PowerPoint.

ProjectManager Is the Best Gantt Chart Software

Of course, even a simple Gantt chart template, regardless of whether it’s in Excel, Google Sheet or PowerPoint, will only take you so far. They’re labor-intensive and require users to manually update them. That’s not the best solution for managing your projects. Even if you just want a simple Gantt chart, ProjectManager is a better option. Our Gantt charts can be as simple or dynamic as you need and they’re fully customizable, collaborative and track your progress in real time. Unlike templates, they can filter for the critical path and update in real time to give you an overview of your project’s progress.

Use Multiple Project Management Tools

Project managers love Gantt charts. They can track costs, have built-in work breakdown structures (WBS) , sync with timesheets, workload charts and more. But teams don’t need even a simple Gantt chart when executing their tasks.

That’s why we have multiple project views, including kanban boards , task lists, sheet and calendar views, so team members can use the tool that best suits their needs. All our project views are updated simultaneously, which means everyone is updated and working on the most current project data. That type of collaboration can’t be achieved with templates.

Manage Resources and Track Labor Costs

Another thing you can’t do with a simple Gantt chart is manage resources. Resources are anything you need to execute your tasks, such as your team. We allow you to set their availability, such as vacation, PTO and even global holidays for remote teams, which makes it easier to assign them tasks on our Gantt chart.

Then you can view the team’s allocation by visiting our color-coded workload chart. With team management software , it’s easy to see who is overallocated and you can balance the team’s workload right from the chart to keep them working at capacity and staying productive. We also have secure timesheets that streamline the payroll process and give managers a window into labor costs to help them stay on budget.

Related Gantt Chart Content

There’s a lot more to know about Gantt charts than how to create a simple Gantt chart. Our site publishes weekly blogs, tutorial videos and free templates. Here are some of the pieces we’ve posted that are related to Gantt charts.

  • Best Gantt Chart Software (Free & Paid Options Ranked)
  • Gantt Chart Alternatives for Project Management
  • Displaying the Critical Path on a Gantt Chart
  • Gantt Chart vs. PERT Chart vs. Network Diagram
  • Gantt Chart Dependencies: Understanding Task Dependency Types

ProjectManager is online project and portfolio management software that connects teams whether they’re in the office, out in the field or anywhere in the world. Teams can share files, comment at the task level and stay updated with email and in-app notifications. Join teams at Avis, Nestle and Siemens who use our software to deliver successful projects. Get started with ProjectManager today for free.

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