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Thinking about Better Project Management Templates? Check Out Excel

Using Excel for Project Management, and Where to Get Templates

Managing a project requires a combination of communication and leadership skills. But you need the right tools too. Even though some people look down on using spreadsheets, they are still popular. Here’s a list of where to find the best Excel project management templates for small business plus tips for using them.

Tips for Getting Started

There are few things that you need to do before you can manage projects using Microsoft Excel. Here’s a few starter tips to get you going in the right direction.

You need to define the scope of your project. That means looking at the goals and objectives of what you want to do.  Putting everything down in a project statement makes it all easier to work with.

Define Your Tasks

Then you’re ready to start using the templates. Define the tasks you want to accomplish for each goal. This makes it easier to break everything down into tasks. These can be assigned to teams.

After putting your plan together, you can start assigning deadline dates. These come with milestones to gauge your progress along the way.

Microsoft Excel Project Management Templates

Following are just a few of the more popular excel templates specifically designed for small business:

Work Plan Timeline

If you’re looking to get started with something simple, this is the perfect template. The worksheet included will automatically update the data.

Simple and easy to use for the small business that’s looking for a straight line to results.

Project Tracker

This has specific categories for whom the project was assigned to. There is even a spot for a short description. You can also fill in the hours and days spent on each project.

This is a good template for project managers who have more than a few balls in the air.

The hours and days feature allows you to report the ROI on each project as it unfolds.

Milestone Tracker

Every project your small business works on needs to have a deadline. This template allows supervisors and small business owners to list their milestones. Once you have those plotted, you can measure them against a graphic that tracks your progress.

Project Schedule Template

A little bit like the milestone tracker with some different features. This scheduling template allows project managers to monitor each project by the hour.

There are categories for estimated as well as hours remaining. One of the difference makers here is the cell that shows the percentage of hours used.

Project Review Template

One of the interesting features here is this template includes risk management details. There’s an issue description cell and one for any proposed changes.


These folks boast a collection of over 400 templates to choose from. They specialize in high-quality Excel templates like a ‘To Do’ list teams can use. If you get stuck, they even offer consulting services.

Gantt Charts

Gantt charts first came to be around 1910. Safe to say, they stood the test of time. In fact, they’ve made the transition to the digital world successfully and use Excel. Smartsheet promises it can help your small business make a Gantt chart in any version of Excel.


Looking for a budget planner fashioned with Excel? This company lists Google and HootSuite among their customers for client reporting and project management.

Pricing starts starts at $15 a month and goes up to $25 for the business features. Your small business can get the advantage of real time dashboards. You’ll also get instant Excel reports that you can share in a variety of formats including Word and PDF as well as, of course, Excel.


This article, “Thinking about Better Project Management Templates? Check Out Excel” was first published on Small Business Trends

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