11 project templates to start your work on the right track

We all love it when projects run smoothly: There’s a clear plan, everyone knows what needs to get done and when the deadlines are, and the project gets completed on time and on budget. But what if you’re the person tasked with planning and managing that project?

Planning a project takes time, and it tends to require a lot of manual, repetitive work to get the project up and running—things like creating sections, drafting template tasks, and distributing information to stakeholders and collaborators. Project templates can help reduce the work at the beginning of the project, so you and your team members can hit the ground running. Plus, a good project template doesn’t just make starting one project easier—it sets you up for success with all projects to come.

[Read: How to successfully manage multiple projects]

What is a project template?

Unlike planning a project from scratch, a project template gives you the building blocks you need to get started. Depending on what tool you use, your project template could include sections, example assignments, task tags, and more. A project template allows you to “plug and play” and get a head start on your work.

How do templates help with project planning?

A project plan is a blueprint of the key components your team needs to know in order to successfully achieve your project goals. A good project plan outlines your project deliverables, project scope, and project schedule. In particular, a good plan should track seven key project elements:

  • Goals
  • Success metrics
  • Stakeholders and roles
  • Budget
  • Milestones and deliverables
  • Timeline and schedule
  • Communication plan

Not every project template will have all of these elements baked in. However, a good project template will set you up with example tasks to help you and your team answer project needs, plan project deliverables, and get started in record time.

[Read: How to create a project plan that actually keeps you on track]

Finding the right project template tool

The quality of the tool you use to build your project template is just as important—if not more so—than the quality of the project template itself. There are a variety of project management tools out there designed to help teams with project planning, but not every tool is made equal.

Naturally, you want a tool that offers free and simple project templates—but your wishlist shouldn’t stop there. In order for a project template tool to check off all of your boxes, look for a tool that’s flexible enough for your team to plan complex projects from initial deliverable to final project goal.

We think Asana is a great place to start. Asana is a work management tool, where your team can coordinate team processes in addition to projects. Work management platforms help your team accomplish individual projects, but they also help you create repeatable processes and dependable systems that your team can use—not just for one project, but for all of them.

[Read: The difference between work management and project management]

11 free and simple project plan templates

If you don’t consider yourself a professional project manager and you’re not quite sure where to start, you’ve come to the right place. Here are eleven templates to help you get your next project up and running in no time.

1. Simple project template: Get started

Simple project plan template

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No two projects are exactly alike, but every project plan has a few basic elements in common. Clear goals, deliverables, and timelines give structure to your project plan.

They also help you break down your big, daunting project into smaller, actionable steps. Be sure to also assemble your project team—these are the people who will help you execute the project—and clearly define what everyone’s role is.

If you’re still not sure where to start, try our simple project plan template. It helps you organize all your project to-do’s into planning work and milestones while making it easy to see priority levels and task status.

[Read: How to set, achieve, and celebrate project milestones]

2. Product marketing template: Plan your next launch

Product marketing launch template

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Product marketing managers juggle many responsibilities. They do market research to inform product strategy, craft messaging and positioning, and bring new products to market. They’re often also the de facto project manager of a product launch, coordinating across product, marketing, and creative teams to ensure that new products are ready to ship and launch assets are delivered on time.

Instead of reinventing the wheel for every launch you’re running, use our product marketing launch template to create your plan. It includes steps like setting launch targets and defining a channel strategy, so you don’t forget any product launch essentials.

3. Content calendar template: Hit publishing deadlines

Content calendar template

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Managing a content calendar is an ongoing project that requires you to stay on top of many moving parts. From assigning work to writers to producing visual assets and coordinating reviews and copy edits, every piece of content you create is like its own mini project with clearly defined steps.

[Read: How to create and manage a project calendar to set your team up for success]

To keep your content production on track, take advantage of our content calendar template. With this template, you can manage all the content you’re writing, editing, and publishing in one place—from idea to completion.

4. Marketing campaign template: Map out your plan

Marketing campaign template

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Planning and execution are the keys to a great marketing campaign. But if you’re managing a campaign for the first time, it can feel overwhelming to think about every piece of work that needs to get done. What assets need to be created? Who is going to create them? And what if something falls through the cracks?

With our campaign project template, you can map out your entire campaign plan and manage day-to-day execution with your team. Use it to track assets and deliverables, plan and execute your channel strategy, and more.

[Download guide: The Marketer’s Playbook]

5. Agency management template: Nail your next collaboration

Agency collaboration template

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For most projects, you’re likely to pull together a team of internal collaborators. In some cases, though, you might turn to a marketing or creative agency to execute your project. Whether it’s an advertising campaign, brand refresh, or research initiative, a successful partnership starts with a clear plan and tight ongoing coordination, which can quickly become a challenge if you’re collaborating primarily through email or weekly conference calls.

Fortunately, there’s a template for managing your next project with an external agency. Use it to keep track of deliverables, work in progress, priority levels, and budgets in one place, so you can focus on producing great work together.

6. User research template: Organize UXR projects

User research project template

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User research is a critical part of the product development lifecycle. It’s during this phase that product managers and user experience researchers learn about the needs and goals of their customers, uncovering insights that unlock entirely new product opportunities.

Leading a research project is no small undertaking. From sourcing research participants and collecting data to analyzing that data and generating recommendations, there’s a lot to plan for and manage. Our user research template makes it easy to define research goals and questions with your team and keep your observations organized. This way, the fruits of your labor don’t become forgotten in a doc or spreadsheet.

7. Sprint planning template: Manage agile teams

Sprint planning template

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Sprint planning helps Agile project and engineering teams prioritize work and decide who has the capacity to take on certain projects. Sprint planning, along with daily standups and sprint retrospectives, are part of the larger scrum framework.

Your team is busy, and you don’t want to maintain a sprint planning template that’s hard to organize or navigate. At the same time, you need access to a variety of project data, including details about the product, who’s working on what, what the status of the work is, what priority level it is, and when the work is due. With our sprint planning template, you have a framework to get all of this work down—while still freeing up time for your team to move quickly, build fast, and ship often.

[Read: How to use Asana for Agile and Scrum]

8. Board meeting agenda template: Take meeting minutes

Board meeting agenda template

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It’s critical for your board of directors to have a productive meeting—but planning a productive meeting takes work. Your board needs an easy way to plan, share, and store critical information for upcoming and future meetings—without having to spend extra time coordinating through email or rooting through spreadsheets.

Insead, plan effective and effortless meetings with our template. Our board meeting agenda template is your one-stop-shop to share your meeting agenda in advance, capture action items during the meeting, and record important documentation like past meeting minutes or reference documents.

9. Work requests template: Simplify the intake process

Work requests template

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Work requests can quickly spiral out of control when they’re submitted through different avenues and in different formats. In order to make sure no requests are falling through the cracks, you need a central place to track and manage requests. And, to simplify the workflow for your team, you also need an intake process to guarantee you’re getting the same information in each request.

Simply put, you need a work request template. Whether you’re receiving incoming creative briefs, work orders, or IT requests, having a central source of truth for these requests is critical. Then, combine our work request template with Forms, to guarantee you’re getting all of the critical details directly when requests are submitted.

[Read: How to get from request to deliverable, fast]

10. Sales plan template: Set strong goals

Sales plan template

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Your sales plan shouldn’t be a document you create at the beginning of a sales cycle and then put aside. In order for your sales teams to create and maintain a solid foundation, they need access to a finalized, structured sales plan.

With an effective sales plan template, you have an easy, centralized way to record your sales teams’ objectives, target audience, revenue goals, strategies, and obstacles that might stand in your way. Try our sales plan template to get the structure you need to prepare each piece of your sales plan.

11. New hire checklist: Standardize onboarding

New hire checklist template

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Managers put so much time and effort into finding the best candidate that preparing for their arrival can sometimes be a scramble. But, to ensure every new hire has the best experience, you want to standardize the onboarding process and set every hiring manager up for success.

A new hire checklist is a standardized process for every manager to follow. Your checklist should include the basics that every manager should do, including welcome emails, 1:1 team meet and greets, setup requirements from your IT department, and more. Though every department will have slightly different traditions and training requirements, standardizing the general onboarding experience with our new hire checklist template will set every manager and new hire up for success.

[Read: How to use Asana for new hire onboarding]

Custom project templates

There may be cases where your team has specific workstreams you want to capture in a template. In a case like that, you want to be able to turn previously finished projects into templates, while still maintaining some of the details—like project tasks, key milestones, and project phases. Once you have a solid project plan, the next step is turning it into a template that you can use in the future.

With a work management tool like Asana, you can turn any previously finished project into a template. Then, all you have to do is choose your project start and end dates, and you can get started with a solid, custom-build project plan.

Better project templates = better project planning

Kicking off a new project can be stressful, especially if you’re the one in charge of planning and managing that project.

No matter what kind of project you’re leading—product launches, marketing campaigns, you name it—templates give you a starting point so you don’t have to build a plan from scratch. And when you use a project management tool like Asana, your project will likely stay on track, too.

Ready to plan your next project? Try a project template from Asana.

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