Think of the last project you had to manage. Did you have any tools to help you plan the project or stay on track? If not, there’s a good chance that a few things fell through the cracks.
Successful project managers have realized that having a standardized process in place is one of the recipes for achieving and exceeding goals. This is why everyone who is faced with managing a project should have an arsenal of trusted tools at their disposal.
Excel is a useful resource for creating and tracking projects, but it might be a waste of time to create one of these documents from scratch. What if you miss something or there is a function that you aren’t sure how to use?
Fortunately, you can use a project tracker template as a starting point. These free Excel templates can not only improve your project management efficiency but also give you the standardization that you need.
Not every project tracker template is going to meet your requirements exactly. You have several choices. You can keep looking until you find that perfect template, or you can customize one to suit your needs.
At Excel Chat, we have thousands of Excel experts who are available around the clock to provide any assistance that you might need with troubleshooting and customizing templates. Before you jump into your next project, here are 23 free project tracker templates for Excel that can help you increase the odds of success.
Gantt Chart Project Templates
Gantt charts are some of the most popular types of templates used by project managers. These charts give a visual depiction of project or task start and end dates with a horizontal bar chart. Here are several free sources for Excel Gantt chart project templates.
1. Smartsheet provides a free Excel Gantt chart template that includes the task name, start and end dates, and durations.
2. Analysis Tabs also offers a free project Gantt chart template for Excel. This is a project planning tool that allows you to assign a task ID, task name, responsible party, start and end date, days required for the task, status percentage, and days completed.
3. Vertex42 provides a free project management Gantt chart template for every version of Excel as well as Google Sheets. The template has many of the same fields as the previous template, and the chart breaks down results by day and week for detailed project tracking.
4. The official Office site also has a free Simple Gantt chart template that you can customize for your next project. This chart is already set up to deal with the different phases in a project.
Excel Project Tracker Templates
A project tracking spreadsheet can include a Gantt chart, but it is also a one-stop location for tracking just about anything to do with your project. This might include your tasks, deadlines, deliverables, hours, and budget. Here are some free sources for Excel project tracker templates.
5. Project Manager offers a free project and task tracker template. This includes columns for planned and actual completions to track progress as wells as priorities and costs.
6. Microsoft Office has a free project performance tracking and reporting template. This allows you to track the progress of your project over one year with details about actual vs. planned timeframes, effort, workload, costs, and duration of tasks.
7. Smartsheet has a free project tracker template for Excel that will allow you to track everything in one place. This is a tool that gives you the power to track many aspects of your project in real time and provide the greatest level of transparency to project owners and team members.
8. If you are concerned with the delivery of features during your project instead of dates, you might be more interested in the free Agile project plan template that you can also download from Smartsheet. This template groups similar features and lets you add tasks to get these features delivered efficiently.
Excel Project Budgeting Templates
One essential part of managing a project effectively is making sure that it stays on budget. You’ll need to do this by tracking materials, labor, fixed costs, from budget to actual expenditures. Here are several sources for free Excel project budgeting templates to help.
9-11. Vertex 42 offers three different free project budget templates for Excel. The first is a detailed project budget with WBS (work breakdown structure). This template allows you to categorize all of the costs associated with your project with breakdowns for quantities, materials, and labor for each. The basic project budget with income section template is a more general business template that has a section for breaking down work and identifying income sources. The last is a monthly project budgeting template that defines your project’s budget by breaking down income and expenses by month.
12. Office Timeline has a feature-rich Excel project budget template that is free. It combines a project budget, with details about budget vs. actual work and materials costs and Gantt chart to show progress by week.
13. Smartsheet offers a free Excel project budgeting template that will work for a project of just about any size. You can enter your budgeted and actual figures, and the pre-built formulas will automatically tell you variances or flag items that over budget.
14. Project Manager also has a free project budget tracking template for Excel. This template allows you to track anything associated with a cost or time. This includes labor, materials, travel, equipment, and space. There are columns for budget and actuals, and another to show whether you are over or under budget for your project.
Excel Project To-Do List Templates
There may be a ton of moving parts in your project, so a to-do list can help you focus on what’s most important and avoid letting something fall through the cracks. Here are several options for free project management to do list templates.
15. Smartsheet has a free Excel to-do list template for projects that you can download. It has columns for the task title, date, priority, start and due dates, as well as comments.
16. Vertex42 also has a free project to-do list template for Excel. The columns in this template include the project/task, status, priority, due date, owner, and notes. When you choose “completed” in the status column, the font color will change to gray.
17. If you want to have a multi-user to-do list, Office has a group project task list template for Excel that you can download for free. It includes information for the task, resources required, priority, target date, status, and notes.
Excel Issue Tracker Templates
If a potential issue falls through the cracks, it could derail your entire project. Whether unnoticed or left resolved, these are problems that can blow up your budget or cause significant delays in completion. These free Excel project issue tracker templates can help you stay on top of potential hiccups that might otherwise threaten your project.
18. Project Manager provides a simple free Excel issue tracking template. You can assign a number to each issue as well as a description, category, priority, and status. You’ll also be able to record who it is assigned to, when it was opened and closed, and any other comments.
19. Smartsheet also has a project issue tracker template for Excel that is free to download. It includes many of the same columns as the previous template.
Excel Project Timesheet Templates
One of the biggest resources in some projects is the investment of time, which is also an expense. When you are managing a large team, it’s essential to be able to track the time spent on your project so that you can identify budgetary issues as well as where resources are being over or underutilized. These free Excel project timesheet templates can help.
20-21. Vertex42 offers two free timesheet templates that would work well in a project management scenario. The first is an employee time tracking template that has columns for project ID and task ID. You can customize it for any time period (week or month). The second is a monthly timesheet template that tracks how many hours an employee spent on a particular project for each day of the week.
22. Project Manager has a free Excel timesheet tracking template that allows an employee to specify the project and their rate of pay. There are columns for the date worked, start and end time, regular hours, overtime, sick, vacation, holiday, other time, and total hours.
23. Smartsheet also an Excel timesheet template for projects that is free to download. It includes many of the same columns as the prior template.
While there are hundreds of software tools for project management, these are costly and can have a learning curve. Most people are already familiar with spreadsheets, and using one of these project management templates takes Excel to a new level.
Hopefully, one of these free Excel project tracker templates will meet your needs. If the template even comes close, you can make a few simple changes that will make your next project more efficient than ever.
As always, Excel Chat is available to provide any assistance with Excel that you might require. Whether you need to troubleshoot an error in your template or create a more detailed customization, our Live Chat service can help. Your first session is always free.