Top 23 Best Project Plan Templates (Excel, Word, PDF & More)

Monday, July 25, 2022
Sandra Petrova

Are you looking for the best project plan template you can find?

This is the place where we’ll check out 20+ templates for effective project planning and management in 2023.


Just choose the project template you're interested in, follow the link to download, and start populating the project plan template with details. You can download all the templates here for free. 

But first, let’s see what a project plan template is and how to use one for your project. 


What is a project plan template?

A project plan template is a document that provides you with a step-by-step guide for creating your own project plan. Project plan templates are standard documents that have been pre-populated with sections, checklists, and other helpful information to streamline the creation of your own project plan.

Project managers use these templates to document all kinds of project activities, like:

  • Project planning

  • Creating work schedules

  • Setting goals

  • Tracking budgets

  • Assigning tasks

  • Tracking project status

  • And more 

PM boils down to a combination of day-to-day tasks done individually or with teamwork, guided by clear project objectives, and aimed at project success. As such, templates are key.

Instead of writing a project from scratch and reinventing the wheel, you can instantly jump to filling in the blanks. Everything is laid out for you. It reduces friction and removes that challenging "where do I begin" feeling before starting a project. You'll save a great deal of time and can focus your efforts on more critical tasks. 

The templates you need to manage your projects effectively depend on you and your team. Are you a marketing team or a software development team? Do you need help with tracking your project expenses, or do you need a Gantt chart project template for your agile team? 

Luckily, there are tons of free project plan templates you can choose from. We'll review 23 of them below. 

Now let’s discuss how you can use a project planning template. 


How to use a project planning template

There are hundreds of templates out there in tools like Excel, Google Sheets, Microsoft Word, and Powerpoint. You simply download the template in the preferred software and customize it to fit your specific project. Additionally, you can download templates in a PDF format.

Of course, the best project management software options come with templates, so you may not have to look beyond what you have. For instance, platforms like Asana, Trello, and have a generous library of project templates you can use for your workflows. 

After all, what is project management without structure? There are templates for all kinds of workflows, from Sprint planning and event management to content calendar and work requests. 

You simply choose the template you need and customize it to fit your unique workflow. Phase templates can help you implement a range of project management techniques like waterfall, agile, and so forth.

Some platforms even let you create your own project templates from scratch and then use those templates for your workflows. Instead of recreating the same workflow repeatedly, you only create it once and save it as a template. 

Both types of templates come with their own benefits. For instance, Excel and Google Sheets templates are more affordable as you can download them for free. 

If you want to use project templates from a project management tool like Asana, you'll have to subscribe to a paid plan. Some platforms offer generous free plans, so that's always an option, although you can expect a more limited templates gallery.


23 Best Project Plan Templates

If you’re looking to save time when creating new projects and eliminate repetitive and tedious work, you’ve come to the right place. Try one or more of these 23 project plan templates to kickstart your project planning process. Hopefully, they will help you get your next project up and running in no time.

1. Project Plan Outline for PDF & Word & Google Docs (Best Template Overall)

Project Plan Outline for PDF & Word & Google Docs

If you're looking for a simple project plan template, this is the one. The best thing is that it’s available for download as a Google doc, Microsoft Word doc, and PDF. Use this template to stay on schedule and within budget. 

The template has several sections, including:

  • Overview

  • Scope

  • Objectives

  • Roles and Responsibilities

  • Deliverables

  • Schedule

  • Budget

  • Approval and Signatures

The Overview section is where you identify the client's needs and the problem that needs to be solved. Use the Scope section to describe every activity that will occur during the project timeline. 

The Roles and Responsibilities section is where you explain the duties of each member of the project team. At the bottom of the document, you’ll find the Approval and Signature section. You can include signature lines directly in the document or request electronic signatures using DocuSign or a similar product.

Download this template


2. Agile Project Plan Template for Google Docs (Good template for agile teams)

Agile Project Plan Template for Google Docs

Agile projects are fast-paced, collaborative processes designed to produce optimal results in minimal time. And because there’s no one right way to do things, agile is a mindset first and foremost. It’s about iterative development, continuous feedback, and transparent accountability as much as it is about frequent deadlines or daily standup meetings.

A typical project follows the waterfall model, where each task follows the previous one sequentially. In contrast, an agile project works by breaking down the project into smaller pieces, called “user stories” or “epics”; these smaller tasks can be completed more quickly while still fulfilling the needs of the final product. To do this efficiently, an agile team has several guiding principles in how they manage their time and resources. 

Since agile teams are self-organizing, collaborate with people from other departments, and focus on continual improvement, they must have a reliable way of planning projects. That's what this Agile Project Plan template is for: to ensure timely project delivery. It comes with every section and detail agile teams need to plan a project.

You can document your project's primary features, break down large tasks into smaller work items you complete in sprints, and assign an owner to each task. Tasks can have a status (e.g., "On Hold," "Not Started," "In Progress," "Overdue," "Complete") so that the project manager and other team members are informed about a project's overall progress.

Download this template


3. Excel Agile Project Plan Template (Top-choice template for agile teams working in Excel)

Excel Agile Project Plan Template

If you're working with an agile methodology and prefer working in Excel, use this project plan template to track your project progress. You can easily use this template for each new project. 

Projects can have a name, start and end dates, overall progress percentage, deliverables, and scope statement. You can create tasks, assign tasks to team members, add task durations, track agile requirements, and organize resources to ensure all sprints of your Agile project stay on track. 

Download this template


4. Weekly Project Schedule for PDF and Excel (Great templates for tracking team’s activities)

 Weekly Project Schedule for PDF and Excel

This is the simplest weekly project schedule template you can find online. It's basic but easy to use. It's a seven-day schedule template that you can use to keep track of your team's work activities. Simply insert the date, the hours, and what each team member worked on during the week. It can't get simpler than this.

Download this template


5. Simple Gantt Chart for Excel (Best Gantt chart template for visualizing your project)

Simple Gantt Chart for Excel

A Gantt chart is a type of chart that shows the tasks in your project, their start and end dates, and their relationships with other tasks. It's a great way to visualize your project and helps you stay on track by managing your resources effectively. You can create a Gantt chart for any type of project, but it’s most commonly used for project management. 

This easy to use Gantt chart template will help you create a project schedule and track your progress. It’s designed by, a leading designer of Excel spreadsheets. This template breaks down a project by phase and task, letting you add start and finish dates, assignees, and percent completed. You can share it with your team and edit it collaboratively. 

Download this template


6. Visual Gantt Chart Template (Top choice for people working in Powerpoint)

Visual Gantt Chart Template

Many Gantt charts can be too complex for non-project audiences to read. But this free Gantt chart was created differently. It's more visual, colorful, and easy for anyone to understand. The template is a PowerPoint slide that you can include in your presentations for clients, executives, or other stakeholders.

Since it's a native PowerPoint chart, you can also edit, share, or reuse the slide in your communications, scorecards, or presentations. Simply download the template and edit the Gantt chart directly in PowerPoint. 

Download this template


7. Simple Gantt Chart Template (Top choice for people working in Google Sheets)

Simple Gantt Chart Template

If you and your team prefer working in Google Sheets and need a simple Gantt chart, this template is for you. The template includes information about each project stage, including subtasks involved within phases. Tasks can have an owner, start and due date, and duration. The different project phases are also mapped out in color-coded 3-week blocks of time for additional organization.

Download this template


8. Project Budget for PDF & Excel (Sample template for managing your spending) 

Project Budget for PDF & Excel

There are two main reasons why project budgeting is important. Firstly, it establishes a set of rules and regulations for spending money on projects. Secondly, it ensures that costs remain in check and don't spiral out of control. A good project budget also leaves enough room for unforeseen expenses, so you don’t risk running out of money midway through the project.

This sample project budget template for PDF & Excel will help you manage your spending effectively and efficiently. Before you start your project, add details like project name, project leader, and start date. Then you can start populating the template with tasks, labor costs, material costs, and fixed costs.

The good thing is that the total will be calculated automatically, so there'll be less manual work for you. As you complete tasks, add their actual costs to the budget in Column M. The difference between the planned and actual costs will auto-calculate in Column N. You'll see the sum total of your planned costs in cell G4, as well as your actual spend and how far over- or under-budget you are.

If you want to add more tasks, click "Insert a new row." You can choose the template as an Excel or PDF file. 

Download this template


9. Product Roadmap for PDF & Excel & Google Sheets (Excellent template for communicating your strategic plan)

Product Roadmap for PDF & Excel & Google Sheets

A roadmap is a high-level plan that outlines how you intend to achieve your strategy and drive growth in the coming year. It's a versatile tool that can be used to communicate almost any kind of strategic plan. It explains why you are building your product, who it's for, where it currently stands, and where it will likely go in the near future. A good product roadmap focuses on what customers want, not what the team believes they want or need to build next. 

To use this template, download it as an Excel spreadsheet, Google Sheets document, or PDF. You may want to first write your company name and the year at the top of the template. List your products/teams in the first column, then add your release details to the timeline. 

Download this template


10. Google Docs Multiple Project Roadmap Template (High level template for managing multiple projects)

Google Docs Multiple Project Roadmap Template

If you and your team work on multiple projects at the same time, this Google Docs Multiple Project Roadmap Template can help you manage your tasks more efficiently. The high level template is a great communication plan tool for companies that have one product manager responsible for multiple projects.

It's a visually dynamic template that has built-in and color-coded status and risk assessment keys so that you can get easy-to-read status updates at a glance. You can easily drag and drop phases or tasks and extend their durations to accommodate each of your project's elements and keep them all running at an optimal rate. 

Download this template


11. Google Docs Project Management Timeline Template (Good option if you prefer a simpler version of a Gantt chart)

Google Docs Project Management Timeline Template

Project management timelines are essential for every project manager to ensure a successful project. They're a detailed schedule of your project that explains all tasks and deadlines so that your team can see the dates of every deliverable and know when the project will be completed.

A project management timeline usually appears as a horizontal bar chart containing every activity's start and end date. To some people, it may resemble a Gantt chart. The difference is that a timeline contains tasks visualized on a single line, and a Gantt chart is a two-dimensional chart of a sequence of tasks and their dependencies. 

This simple project management timeline template can ensure you meet all project deliverables. When you assign each milestone to a business quarter in the Milestones table, a sequential view of your project’s phase and task start and end dates will populate in the Phases timeline. Use it to keep sponsors, team members, and other stakeholders up-to-date with a project’s due dates and status. 

Download this template


12. Google Sheets Project Timeline Template (Best project work plan template for tracking task progression)

Google Sheets Project Timeline Template

This project work plan template for timelines is similar to a Gantt chart in style, as it shows your project in a sequence of tasks. You use this template by outlining the project's phases, along with details. Then, the project details will appear in the calendar view where you can track their progression. 

Download this template


13. Project Tracking Google Sheets Template (Great template for maintaining control over projects)

Project Tracking Google Sheets Template

Project tracking is a way of measuring how well your project is progressing towards completion. It involves monitoring the progress of different project elements and recording that data to measure its effectiveness. Modern project management methodology emphasizes visibility and tracking to maintain control over projects and their resources.

In this Project Tracking template from Google, you can track your deliverables and projected costs and set task priority. There's also a status key to keep everyone on your team in the loop.

Download this template


14. Excel Project Tracker Template (Solid template for getting a bird’s eye view of the entire project)

Excel Project Tracker Template

This Project Tracker template for Excel can help you to streamline your project management workflows and processes. It provides a bird’s eye view of the entire project by tracking each and every project stage. You can even see the big picture of your projects and how they’re progressing against your project plan. You can add or remove details like tasks, deadlines, budget, priority, resource hours, and more. 

Download this template


15. Project Charter Google Sheets Template (Top project plan document template for project success) 

Project Charter Google Sheets Template

A project charter is an essential document that sets the scope, objectives, and principles for an entire project. It's used to align team members and project stakeholders on what needs to be done, why it needs to be done, who will do it when they will do it, how they will do it and what measures of success have been established. With a well-defined project charter, teams are more likely to succeed in their projects.

With this Project Charter Google Sheets Template, you'll be able to create a project charter within a few minutes. It has everything you need for smooth project management, including Project scope, Stakeholders, Priority, Constraints, Project Goals, Problem and Opportunities, and more.  

Download this template


16. Google Sheets Weekly Timesheet Template (Basic time tracking template for contractors) 

Google Sheets Weekly Timesheet Template

Many businesses rely on contractors to complete projects their employees don’t have time for. But working with contractors can be confusing, as they don’t work set hours each day. But keeping track of how much you spend on different contractors is essential if you want to stay on budget. Luckily, documents like timesheets can help you record contractors’ work hours and pay them accordingly.

The great thing about this Google Sheets Weekly Timesheet Template is that it’s fully customizable. Simply edit it as you see fit to match your relationship with contractors. Another great thing is that you can use it for every contractor on your team.  

You can even ask your contractors to duplicate each sheet on a new tab so that you can refer to older timesheets should you need to.

Download this template


17. Microsoft Word Weekly Timesheet Template (Good template for monitoring team’s productivity)

Microsoft Word Weekly Timesheet Template

This Weekly Timesheet template is a good alternative to the one above. It calculates the hours based on time in and time out. You can also insert breaks, which need to be entered in minutes. You can allocate the hours as needed to regular and overtime. If you only need a weekly timecard, delete the second week. Delete the payment information if you only need to track time.

Download this template


18. Google Docs Project Kickoff Checklist Template (A simple checklist template so that nothing slips through the cracks)

Google Docs Project Kickoff Checklist Template

Starting a new project can be overwhelming, especially one with many moving parts. That's why it's always a good idea to use a pre-project kickoff checklist to prepare for your project and ensure nothing falls through the cracks. This Google Docs template is designed as a checklist that includes example steps for project managers to follow. It includes steps such as "confirm roles and responsibilities," verify project funding," and "reserve meeting location." But you can always customize the template to match your project needs and priorities. 

Download this template


19. Simple Project Scope Statement for PDF (Top project-planning template for timely delivery)

Simple Project Scope Statement for PDF

When you are managing a project, it’s vital to have a clear understanding of the scope of work. Without a clearly defined scope, there's a high risk for problems in the future regarding expectations, budgeting, and resource allocation. 

A Project Scope Statement is an essential document that outlines the details of the project. The scope statement should be developed during the project's planning phase and made available to team members and other stakeholders. 

Whether you’re working on a small or large project, this project-planning template can help you create a detailed scope statement. Simply outline the project scope, deliverables, exclusions, milestones, and costs. 

Also, the project plan outline template includes project details at the top and an approval section for stakeholder signatures at the bottom.

Download this template


20. Project status report for Word (Simple template for keeping stakeholders in the loop)

Project status report for Word

A status report is intended to provide stakeholders with an update on the progress of a project or a milestone within the project. They’re usually produced on a set schedule, such as weekly, biweekly, or monthly. 

Regardless of your PM process, updating stakeholders regularly helps them understand where you are with your project and how you plan to get from point A to point B. 

You can use this template to inform team members, the management, or anyone who needs to know about the progress of the project or any milestones in it. It can easily be personalized by using built-in themes and styles.

Download this template


21. To-Do List Template (Basic template for managing tasks)

To-Do List Template

Use this simple to-do list template to keep track of your project’s tasks. You can fully customize the template and add details like task status, priority, due date, assignee, and deliverables. It’s a great way to view your tasks across the entire week to stay ahead.

Download this template


22. Issue Tracker Template (Great template for avoiding issues)

Issue Tracker Template

Use this template to track and manage the issues that appear on your project. Issues can have a description, status, category, priority, assignee, open/close status, and comments. A good strategy would be to assign team members to solve problems as soon as they appear to avoid delays. 

Download this template


23. Project Risk Template (Top-choice template for predicting project risk)

Project Risk Template

Project risks are changes to the scope, cost, or schedule of a project. If you don't identify and manage project risks, you increase the likelihood that one or more of them will happen. The consequence of this is usually negative.

For example, an unplanned risk might result in poor quality output because the cost or time to implement something was not considered when planning the project. Or perhaps the scope was not captured correctly initially; as a result, a new scope would need to be created, which adds time and cost to the project. 

Use this template to identify project risks, like scope creep or poorly-defined dependencies. It’s a sure-proof way for identifying and mitigating risks early in the project and avoiding negative consequences. 

Download this template


Which are the best project planning templates? Our conclusion

Starting a new project can be an overwhelming experience. The stress can be greater if you’re in charge of the planning process and managing the project.

Regardless of what kind of project you’re leading—a marketing campaign or a product launch—these 23 project plan templates can give you a starting point so you don’t have to reinvent the wheel from start to finish. 

Simply choose the template that would benefit your project and follow the download button. After that, you’re free to customize the template to fit your specific needs.

Good luck!