Simple Gantt Chart Maker

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A Gantt chart template for Excel is one of the best tools a project manager can have in their collection.

You can fill in your work breakdown structure with tasks and task dependencies. Along with start and end dates, you have complete task management. Or, you can enter the small amounts of data you might have at the start of a project and then add tasks, dependencies, and dates as you go. And you can effortlessly see your project’s progress and timeline in the built-in chart view for the critical path method.

You can do all of this and more with a template, which is much faster and easier than creating a Gantt chart from scratch. After all, you don’t want to spend more time creating a Gantt chart than the actual project takes, right?

But what if you want a bit more control? Maybe you like the idea of a template for a jumpstart but don’t need the number of rows, columns, or fields included in most templates. How would you like to create your Gantt chart on your own but with a little help from The Spreadsheet Page?

Say hello to our Simple Gantt Chart Maker. This tool gives you the best of both worlds when need to build a Gantt chart. It starts you off with just the basics you need and lets you control the rest.

Why You Should Use the Simple Gantt Chart Maker

If you’ve come across this tool while searching Google for the right Gantt chart maker for you and your team, then you’ve likely seen the other options for chart software.

You can use online Gantt chart tools like Wrike, infographic makers like Venngage, or drag and drop design applications like Canva. The problem is that for each of these types of tools, there are strings attached.

If you want more than five users and project planning with collaboration, you’ll need a paid plan using Wrike. With Venngage, you can only create Gantt charts with a subscription plan. Now with Canva, you can use one of their chart templates for free. Unfortunately, they’re designed more for a one-time snapshot of your project rather than as an ongoing, interactive planning and management tool.

Our Gantt chart creator is available for free with no hidden costs or subscriptions to worry about. You can use Excel’s sharing tools or one of your own to collaborate with your team, no matter how many teams or members you have. And finally, you can interact with the Gantt chart you build from the first to the last day of your project.

Now let’s get to the fun part! Here’s how to use the Simple Gantt Chart Maker.

File Download Contents

When you download our free Gantt chart maker, you’ll see two files:

  1. Simple Gantt Chart Maker with Completions by Day: Use this file to view your project by day and date. This works well for more detailed projects when you need to track progress each day.
  2. Simple Gantt Chart Maker with Completions by Week: Use this file to view your project by week and week number. This works better for high-level tracking view rather than a drilled-down Gantt chart view by day.

Create Your Gantt Chart

You only have a few steps to perform with this Gantt chart generator to get started.

Enter the Project Start Date (Completions by Day file)

If you use the Simple Gantt Chart Maker with Completions by Day file, you’ll begin by entering the Start Date of your project on the top left. Once you enter that date, you’ll see the months, days, and dates adjust in the Gantt chart view.

Simple Gantt Chart Maker Start Date

Add the Project Tasks

For both day and week completion files, you’ll next enter the project tasks. These go in the column labeled Activity. You can change the name of this field if you prefer to Task, Assignment, or something similar.

Simple Gantt Chart Maker Project Tasks

Insert the Start and End Day or Start and End Week

For each Activity, you’ll move on by entering when they are scheduled to begin and end. For the Completions by Day file, insert the Start on Day and End on Day for each task. Since you entered the Start Date for the project already, you will only enter numbers for the Start on Day and End on Day. This number will correspond to the Start Date.

For instance, say you enter June 20, 2019 for the project Start Date. And the first activity begins on day one of the project, the second on day two, and the third on day five. You would enter the numbers, 1, 2, and 5 for those tasks’ Start on Days. Use the End on Day column in the same way, by entering numbers that correspond to the Start Date.

Simple Gantt Chart Maker Start Day

You’ll also see a small dialog box pop open if you put your mouse over the Start on Day and End on Day labels as a convenient reminder.

Simple Gantt Chart Maker End Day

For the Completions by Week file, enter the Start Week and End Week for each activity. Since this is a weekly picture of your project, you won’t enter specific dates. The Gantt chart view will begin with week one and the activity or activities you assign to start on week one. The same applies to how the End Week works.

Simple Gantt Chart Maker Start End Week

Enter the Completions

The final column in the work breakdown section is the Percent Complete (% Compl). When you receive updates from your project team on the progress for their tasks, you’ll enter numbers in this column. The column is formatted for percentage automatically, so just pop in a number.

Simple Gantt Chart Maker Completion

Understanding the Gantt Chart View

The Gantt chart view on the right is the area that contains the calculations to display your project timeline. These calculations are based on the starts, ends, and completions you enter in the work breakdown section.

The blue boxes cover the numbers of days or weeks that an Activity is scheduled to start and end.

The white boxes inside the blue boxes indicate the percentage complete. This amount is spread evenly across the number of days or weeks in the blue boxes.

For example, let’s say an Activity is scheduled to start on day two and end on day five and is 50% complete. You would see blue boxes across four days and two white boxes within them to indicate that it is half done.

Simple Gantt Chart Maker View

This display gives you a nice and easy way to view the overall project timeline and how it’s progressing.

Customize Your Gantt Chart

For that control you were hoping for, you can change the appearance of many items in the chart. The only area you should leave intact is the chart view on the right and this is due to the built-in calculations.

Simple Gantt Chart Maker Customize

Here are some suggestions that you might consider for customizing the rest of the template.

  • Add more rows or columns: If you would like to add more rows or columns, you can do this easily because the chart maker is table-based. Select either the row number or column header, right-click and select Insert from the context menu. This is handy if you need more rows for tasks or a new column for team members’ names for tasks.
  • Enter your project title or company name: Click the cell containing Simple Gantt Chart Maker at the top and insert your own text.
  • Change the row colors of the work breakdown section: You can use your company’s colors or even your favorites. Drag through the cells in the row, click Fill Color from the ribbon, and pick a color.
  • Change the text in the work breakdown section: You can also change the text sizes, syles, and colors by dragging through to select the cells and picking a size in the Font Size box, font in the Font box, or a color with the Font Color button on the Home tab.

Create a Gantt Chart Easily

For those situations where you want a quick way to start creating a Gantt chart but don’t want the limitations that some Gantt chart tools, templates, or software come with, this Simple Gantt Chart Maker is ideal.

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