A gantt chart comes in handy when your project requires more planning than a basic to-do list. This guide will give you the basics of what you’ll need to create a gantt chart in Excel, Google Sheets, or TeamGantt. For a more detailed look into creating a turbocharged project plan, check out TeamGantt’s Guide to Project Planning.
To build a gantt chart, you'll need important project information before you're ready to begin.
Address these questions before starting your gantt chart:
One benefit of a gantt chart is that it's easy to create. There are a variety of ways to make a gantt chart, some free and others paid. Just be sure to choose a gantt chart builder that gives you the features you need.
Here, we'll cover 3 popular and easy programs you can use to make a gantt chart—Excel, Google Sheets, and TeamGantt.
Excel is a popular program for creating gantt charts. To learn how to make a gantt chart using Excel and download a free template, click here.
Google Sheets is a popular alternative to Excel. Download our free template and learn how to create your own by visiting our Google Sheets gantt chart template.
Click the ‘New Project’ button in the upper right corner of the ‘My Projects’ screen, then click the green ‘Create New Project’ button.
Name your project, select the days of the week you want to be included in your project, and click ‘Save New Project’.
Adding tasks to your gantt chart is the first step in creating your project timeline. To create tasks, click on the Add Task button (+ Task) and type the name of your first task.
Hit enter to add another task. Repeat this process until you have all (or most) of your tasks added to the task list.
Now that you’ve got a full task list, it’s time to schedule all those tasks. TeamGantt makes scheduling tasks super simple because you can click and drag each task for as long as it should take.
Click in the timeline on the start date for the task and drag it out to its end date.
Now that your tasks are entered and scheduled, hover over a task and click the gray dot that appears.
Click and drag the dependency line to the task you want to link it to.
Color is a great way to make your project easy to understand at a quick glance.
Hover over a taskbar and click on the colored square. Choose a new color and you’re all done.
TIP: You can even change the color of multiple tasks at one time by holding down the shift key on your keyboard to select multiple tasks and then use the same color picker to update all of your selected tasks at one time.
Now that you’ve got the gantt chart basics down, you’re ready to roll up your sleeves and create a gantt chart of your own! Keep reading, and you’ll learn what you need to get started and how to build a gantt chart that makes your next project a breeze.
NEXT CHAPTER: Managing Resources with Your Gantt Chart
When you’re a project manager, every minute counts. So why waste time building out a bunch of complicated spreadsheets just to keep tabs on a project?
At TeamGantt, you don’t have to. Our free online gantt chart software enables you to stay focused on the tasks that move the needle. Whip up a project plan in minutes, and watch your team cross the finish line faster. It really is that simple.