How to Make a Gantt Chart in Google Sheets: Free Template

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Big projects take teamwork, and every project manager knows collaboration is the fuel that gets projects across the finish line faster.

If you want to build a gantt chart your whole team can work on, you’ve come to the right place! We’ve got 3 different options for you, depending on the time you can afford to spend and the gantt chart features you’re looking for.

How to make a gantt chart using Google Sheets

This step-by-step tutorial guides you through how to build a basic gantt chart in Google Sheets from the ground up.

  1. Add basic task details to the Google Sheets worksheet
  2. Calculate the Start on Day for each task
  3. Apply a simple formula to automate task duration
  4. Select the data you want to include in your gantt chart
  5. Insert a stacked bar chart
  6. Add the project title to your chart
  7. Change the fill color for the Start on Day bars
  8. Remove the legend from your gantt chart
  9. Customize your chart axis titles
  10. Set weekly intervals for your Google Sheets gantt chart
  11. Change taskbar colors for a customized look

1. Add basic task details to the Google Sheets worksheet

Create columns for Task Name, Start Date, End Date, Start on Day, and Duration. Complete the first 3 columns with the basic details for your project tasks and milestones.

Add task details to your Google Sheets worksheet

Format these columns as follows:

2. Calculate the Start on Day for each task

Use an automated formula to determine the interval between the first task’s Start Date and each subsequent task in your project.

In our gantt chart example, we entered the following formula into the Start on Day cell for our first task: =int(B2)-int($B$2).

Calculate Start on Day for each task

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

Google Sheets will prompt you to autofill the rest of the Start on Day column. Click the green checkmark icon to apply this formula to the remaining cells in column D.

Apply Start on Day formula to remaining tasks in column

3. Apply a simple formula to automate task duration

Next, add a formula that subtracts the start date from the end date in the Duration column. That way your Google Sheets worksheet will automatically calculate the length of each task in your gantt chart.

In our Google Sheets gantt chart, we entered =C2-B2 into the Duration field for our first task.

Calculate task duration

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

Google Sheets will prompt you to autofill the rest of the Duration column. Click the green checkmark icon to apply this formula to the remaining cells in column E.

Apply Duration formula to the remaining tasks in the column

4. Select the data you want to include in your Google Sheets gantt chart

Highlight all the completed cells in columns A, D, and E to select the data you’ll use to populate your gantt chart.

Select data for Google Sheets gantt chart

5. Insert a stacked bar chart into your Google Sheets worksheet

Click Insert >Chart, and choose Stacked bar chart from the Bar section to add a chart to your Google Sheets worksheet.

Insert a stacked bar chart into your Google Sheets worksheet

6. Update the project title on your chart

Double-click the chart title text box to select the full title, and enter the name of your project to replace the placeholder text.

Update Google Sheets chart title with project name

Tip: You can also update the chart title in the Chart Editor settings under Chart & Axis Titles.

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7. Change the fill color for the Start on Day bars

Next, format the stacked bar chart in your Google Sheets worksheet to look like a gantt chart by removing the fill color from the first portion of each bar.

Click on the Start on Day portion of any bar in your chart to select the entire data series. In our example, this data series is represented by blue bars.

Select Start on Day data series in chart

Then click the Fill color menu in your Series settings, and select either white or No fill to remove the blue bars that precede your task start dates.

Choose white or no fill for the data series color

8. Remove the legend from your Google Sheets gantt chart

Open the Legend menu from the Customize tab on your Chart Editor settings, and choose None from the Position menu.

Remove the legand from your Google Sheets gantt chart

9. Customize your chart axis titles

Next, adjust the labels on each axis of your Google Sheets gantt chart to keep it clean and easy-to-read.

Open the Chart & axis titles menu from the Customize tab on your Chart Editor settings.

Select Horizontal axis title, and enter Day of the Month in the Title text field.

Add a title to the horizontal axis of your chart

Then select Vertical axis title, and delete Task Name to blank out the Title text field.

Remove the title from the vertical axis of your chart

10. Set weekly intervals for your Google Sheets gantt chart

Right now, our gantt chart displays the timeline in 20-day intervals. Let’s change that to 7 days, so we can see project tasks laid out in a weekly view.

Open the Gridlines and ticks menu from the Customize tab on your Chart Editor settings, and enter 7 in the Major step field.

Set weekly intervals for your Google Sheets gantt chart

11. Change taskbar colors for a customized look

Finally, give your Google Sheets gantt chart a custom look by applying your favorite colors to the taskbars.

Click on a single taskbar 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 Fill color menu in the settings, and choose the color you want from the palette options.

Customize your taskbar colors

Repeat this process to change the colors of the rest of the taskbars in your newly made Google Sheets gantt chart.

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

Apply a gold color to project milestones

Congratulations! You’ve created your very own gantt chart in Google Sheets. Feel free to customize it even more to fit your project needs.

Building a Google Sheets gantt chart from scratch was probably more steps than you anticipated—especially if you have to do that every time you make a timeline for a project. That’s why we created an automated template to help you save time and effort.

Download a free Google Sheets gantt chart template

Download our dynamic Google Sheets gantt chart template to get started. We’ve done all the heavy lifting for you.

Once you’ve downloaded TeamGantt’s automated Google Sheets gantt chart template, give yourself a high-five, then put your own fresh spin on it.

Tip: To edit the template, you'll need to save a copy to your own Google Drive first. Simply click File >Make a Copy, and you're ready to go!

How to customize your Google Sheets gantt chart template

Follow these simple steps to adapt our free Google Sheets template to your project needs.

Choosing your Google Sheets gantt chart style

TeamGantt’s Google Sheets gantt chart template gives you 3 choices for building your own project timeline. You can find each gantt chart option on the tabs at the bottom of the worksheet.

Adding project titles to your gantt chart

Giving each gantt chart a project-specific name helps minimize confusion, especially if your team has multiple projects to juggle. Here’s how to personalize your Google Sheets gantt chart:

  1. Double-click your cursor into cell A-3.
  2. Highlight the existing gantt chart title.
  3. Replace it with a descriptive title of your own.

Customizing project tasks

We’ve preloaded this Google Sheets gantt chart template with 4 sample projects that you can customize to fit your company’s needs. Simply swap out the placeholder data with your own project tasks to make it your own!

  1. Enter a basic description for each project task in the Task Name column.
  2. Assign each task by entering the name of the person who will be responsible for it under the Team Member column.

Creating a simple timeline for your project

Next, you’ll want to establish a timeline for each task in your project.

Tracking project progress with automated progress bars

A project plan works best when it acts as a living document everyone can use to log up-to-the-minute project updates.

  1. Use the Percent Complete column to track progress for each task. Enter 0% for tasks that haven’t started yet and 100% for completed tasks. The closer a task is to completion, the deeper the color gets. That way you can tell how a project is progressing at a glance.
  2. The Google Sheets gantt chart template automatically calculates the Days Complete and Days Remaining for you based on the task’s Start Date, End Date, and Percent Complete.
  3. Scroll to the right of the worksheet to see your project displayed in gantt chart form. Progress bars gradually fill in with a darker color as each task races toward the finish line.

Changing chart colors using conditional formatting

We applied our favorite shade of blue to the progress indicators in this gantt chart template, but feel free to switch up the palette to match your own brand colors.

To change the color scale in the Percent Complete column:

  1. Select a cell in the Percent Complete column.
  2. Go to Format >Conditional Formatting.
  3. Click Color Scale in the Conditional Format Rules box at the right of your worksheet.
  4. Click the Maxpoint paint bucket to assign a different color to tasks that are 100% complete. Google Sheets will automatically graduate colors for tasks that are less than 100% complete.
  5. Click Done.
  6. The new color scheme should apply to all of the cells in the Percent Complete column.

To change the progress bar color scheme:

  1. Click on the gantt chart to select it.
  2. Then click on the 3 vertical dots in the top right of the gantt chart, and select Edit chart.
  3. In the Chart Editor, go to Customize >Series.
  4. Click on the Apply to drop-down to choose which portion of the progress bar you want to update. Bar 2 is the dark segment of the progress bar that represents the percent complete, and Bar 3 is the light segment of the progress bar that represents the percent incomplete.
  5. Use the paint bucket tool to apply a new color to each portion of the progress bar.
  6. Close the Chart Editor when you’re done.

Sharing your Google Sheets gantt chart with others

Sharing is caring, so why keep your Google Sheets gantt chart all to yourself? Follow these easy steps to spread the project joy.

Giving team members access to your project plan

Want to let team members or stakeholders in on your beautiful new project plan? Here’s how.

  1. Click the blue Share button in the top right corner of your worksheet.
  2. Enter the names and/or email addresses of the people you want to share the gantt chart with.
  3. Click the drop-down menu with the pencil icon to assign the appropriate level of access for that person or group.
  4. Add a brief note for the recipient(s).
  5. Click Send.
  6. Each person you’ve shared the document with will receive an email with a link letting them know they now have access.

Importing the data into Google Slides

Got a big presentation coming up? Show off your project progress by importing your gantt chart into Google Slides.

To import your Google Sheets gantt chart into Google Slides:

  1. In Google Slides, go to Insert >Chart >From Sheets.
  2. Choose the Gantt Chart Template for Google Sheets, and click Select.
  3. Click the chart(s) you want to import into your Google Slides document, and indicate whether or not you want the chart to link to the spreadsheet.
  4. Click Import.

Build a free gantt chart in minutes with TeamGantt

Google Sheets is a great option for sharing simple projects that won’t throw you any curveballs. But we all know change is a constant—especially when people and projects are concerned.

Lucky for you, TeamGantt’s got you covered! Give our free gantt chart software a try, and roll with the project punches in real time. Here are just a few of the features you’ll have at your fingertips.

Drag & drop simplicity

Need to rearrange your whole plan? No problem! Change start and end dates and adjust timelines, all in a matter of seconds. Create dependencies to ensure tasks stay in the right order with every move you make.

Collaborate with ease

TeamGantt comes jam-packed with tools for keeping your team and stakeholders in the loop. Streamline conversations, store documents, and share key updates so no one’s left in the dark about a project.

Forecast workloads

Crush deadlines without busting your budget—or your team’s spirit. With TeamGantt’s forecasting features, you can check team availability before assigning tasks so everyone has just the right balance of work.

Additional resources

Save the day by signing up for a free TeamGantt account

You don’t have to wear a cape to be a superhero. You simply have to give your team the tools they need to succeed.

With TeamGantt’s collaborative project management software, you can boost your project power without breaking a sweat or spending hours on the details.

Sign up for your free account today!