Get Your Project on Track With Project Timeline Templates That Are Better Than Spreadsheets

Do you need to build a project timeline but are unsure of where to begin? Here are free and paid templates to help you get started.

Graphic illustrating resource article

A project timeline template is a ready-made visual tool that presents a project's scheduled start and end dates of activities, tasks, and milestones.

“The main purpose of project timelines is to help us measure how your team is doing against expected progress,” explains Colin Ross, Director of Engineering at Float. “In that sense, timelines allow us to make judgments and decisions around resource allocation and prioritization to give projects more chance for success. If a project is proceeding according to the timeline, we can have some reasonable confidence in the future success of that project.”

In this article, we'll provide you with downloadable project timeline templates and also outline easier options you can use to plan your project timelines.

Excel project timeline template

Project timeline templates in Excel are simple tools for visualizing the project schedule.

Timeline template in Excel

We recommend you use it for simple projects as it can be challenging to manage Excel sheets.  

Pros

  • It is customizable
  • It has filter options for easy sorting
  • Bars can be color-coded to make tracking activities easier
  • Timelines can be displayed in the form of a Gantt chart

Cons

  • You can’t track dependencies easily
  • All changes to the timelines have to be made manually
  • It doesn’t reflect changes made to the project schedule and can become outdated

Pricing

Free

➡️ Access Excel project timeline template here

Google Sheets project timeline template

Although it is a spreadsheet, the Google Sheets project timeline template offers some great features that support project planning.

A great feature that can’t go without mention is the timeline view in Google sheets which lets you generate a timeline from a project schedule or list.

Timeline template in Google Sheets

It is best for monthly, quarterly, and yearly project timelines.

Pros

  • You can add milestones or events
  • You can view the timeline at different time intervals.
  • You can easily sort by using the filter view
  • It can automatically generate a timeline view of your schedule
  • You can customize the timeline's appearance by color-coding tasks
  • It supports collaboration as team members can all work on the sheet in real time

Cons

  • You can’t track dependencies easily
  • All changes to the timelines have to be made manually
  • It doesn’t reflect changes made to the project schedule and can become outdated

Pricing

Free

➡️ Access Google Sheet project timeline template here

Are spreadsheets the best options for planning timelines?

Spreadsheets are a popular option for project timeline templates. You might even be looking to get a downloadable Google sheet. While those are good, they are hard to manage, often error-prone, and a time suck.

“You can make excellent project timelines in a spreadsheet and manage it well, says Michael Luchen, Director of Product. “However, the lift for who’s managing it and the team will always be greater than a purpose-built tool that bakes in project-management specific features such as task assignments, notifications, collaboration, and much more.”

So instead of recommending only Excel timeline templates, we will provide you with free and paid collaborative options that can be easily adjusted to fit your project schedule.

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Notion project timeline template

If you are looking for a simple project timeline, consider Notion’s timeline options.

Notion's timeline template

Notion’s project timeline template provides a clear roadmap for your team to follow, helping you to stay on track, on time, and within budget.

It is best for high-level planning that doesn’t involve all the details of tasks and activities.

Pros

  • It has filter options for easy sorting
  • It provides a Gantt-chart view of project progress
  • You can prompt Notion’s AI tool to create a project timeline
  • It has a drag-and-drop feature that allows you to move tasks easily
  • It is fully customizable, so you can make changes to suit your projects
  • You can automatically generate a timeline from a project plan or schedule in Notion
  • You can also provide an extra level of detail by linking to tasks, notes, and internal documents

Cons

  • It offers a very basic timeline view, so it might not be a good fit if you are looking for a detailed timeline
  • No options for color-coding tasks or activities, so you might miss important details

Pricing

Free

➡️ Access Notion’s project timeline template here

Miro project timeline template

This template provides a chronological view of your milestones, phases, and deadlines.

Timeline template in Miro

Miro’s project timeline template is best for high-level planning, especially for a project that spans a year or over several quarters.

Pros

  • It is downloadable
  • You can add videos, documents, and screenshots for better context  
  • It has a timer allowing you to timebox activities on your timeline, but this feature is unavailable on the free plan.

Cons

  • There are no filter options
  • It is not the best tool for detailed timelines as it provides a bird’s eye view
  • A lack of a drag-and-drop feature makes it less convenient to change timelines

Pricing

Free

➡️ Access Miro project timeline template here

Asana project timeline template

Detailed project timeline templates in Asana are your best bet to track project progress and ensure tasks are complete before the due date.

Project timeline template in Asana

They are best for complex projects with changing timelines, providing a granular view of project progress. It is also great for building a multi-project timeline.

Pros

  • It has filter options for easy sorting
  • You can assign tasks to people on the timeline
  • You can link tasks and track dependencies
  • It provides a Gantt-chart view of project progress
  • It has a drag-and-drop feature that allows you to move tasks easily
  • It automatically reflects any changes made in the schedule on the timeline

Cons

  • This timeline template is only available on the paid plan

Pricing

Paid

➡️ Access Asana’s project timeline template here

Float project timeline view

With Float's timeline view, you can easily see your team's schedule for both people and projects, allowing you to toggle between views and spot any potential issues. Float supports linking tasks together so you can easily connect and move dependencies when the timeline changes.

Project timeline view in Float

Unlike time-consuming spreadsheets that get outdated, Float provides insight into team capacity or availability with a timeline view of your project schedule. It's the best of both worlds in one.

Float also integrates seamlessly with your project management tools, ensuring your timeline is always up-to-date and in sync with other project plans.

Say goodbye to outdated project timelines and hello to streamlined project planning with Float. Try it for free today and see the difference for yourself!

Linear project timeline view

Linear’s project timeline provides an extensive view of the timelines of ongoing projects in your organization.

This option is not a template. It's a tool that provides a timeline view of your projects.

Project timeline view in Linear

It is best for a granular view with details about subtasks and people. It can be used for monthly, quarterly, and annual timelines.

Pros

  • It is a smart timeline because it estimates completion dates based on remaining issues and past performance and speed of previous projects
  • Easy drag and drop to make changes and reprioritize when necessary
  • Changes in schedule/timeline show up everywhere
  • Easy to collaborate with others
  • It offers a multi-project view

Cons

  • No filters for easy sorting

Pricing

Free

➡️ Access Linear’s project timeline view here

Project timeline templates FAQ

Does Excel have a project timeline template?

Yes. If you want to create a timeline template in Excel, follow these simple steps:

  1. Determine the tasks required to complete the project and estimate the start and end dates.
  2. Enter the task information in a new worksheet in Excel, creating columns for task name, start date, end date, and duration.
  3. Create a Gantt chart to visualize the project timeline using the Stacked Bar Chart feature. Select the task names and start, and then go to the "Insert" tab and select "Stacked Bar Chart" or "Bubble Chart."
  4. Customize the chart to suit your needs by changing colors and formatting.
  5. Update the worksheet with actual start and end dates as the project progresses.

How to create a project timeline in Google Sheets?

Follow these easy steps to set up your timeline view in Google Sheets:

  1. Input your project data, including tasks and start and end dates, into your Google Sheet cells.
  2. Select the data you want to use for your timeline view. Click on the "Format" tab and select "Timeline view." This will create a new tab with your timeline view.
  3. Customize your view by changing the colors and formatting as desired.

Looking for more project plan templates?

Project planning can take more time than it should if you create every single document from scratch.

A faster and accurate alternative is to use project plan templates. Whether you need to create a communication plan or a project budget, you’ll find everything you need to get your project planning underway.

Dive into our guide and start downloading templates right away.

FAQs