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Project timeline template

Between tracking multiple deadlines, collaborating with cross-functional teams, and balancing resources, keeping a project on track can feel impossible. But it doesn’t have to. A project timeline template gives your team visibility into every project step and any potential roadblocks. Learn how.

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You know how the beginning of a project feels—all that excitement and potential. All the possibilities for what the project could become. You have a vision and a high-level plan—but now what? How do you turn that vision into actionable steps that will get completed on time and turn your project into a reality? 

You can do it with a project timeline template. 

[Product ui] Timeline in Asana, Gantt chart-style view (Timeline)

What is a project timeline?

A project timeline is an overview of all project steps, including project tasks, important milestones, and deliverables, in chronological order. These charts visually represent every point in a project from start to finish, so your team can see upcoming next steps—and any potential bottlenecks

What is a project timeline template?

The early stages of project planning can feel overwhelming. It can be hard to know how all the pieces of your project fit together and how you’ll keep everything on schedule and headed toward success. Luckily, project timeline templates do the heavy lifting for you. 

Project timeline templates are templatized, reusable resources that break down the different phases of your project at a high level. An essential project management tool, project timeline templates act as the foundation for a project’s schedule by providing a visual timeline of the project's next steps. Once you’ve created a basic project timeline template, you can easily duplicate it for future projects—from product launches to event planning—and adjust the structure as needed. Go from overwhelmed to organized in one simple step. 

Benefits of a project timeline template

Put away the printable timeline charts. Step back from the timeline makers and disorganized infographics. You don’t need another downloadable worksheet—you need a digital project timeline template.

A digital project timeline template does more than show you upcoming project to-dos—a lot more. When created in a project management tool, project timeline templates act as your single source of truth for all project work. Reusable templates simplify project planning and completion by aligning your cross-functional teams on upcoming tasks and providing the visibility and accountability needed for the project to stay on track.

Other benefits of building an editable project timeline template include:  

  • Align all project components in one place

  • Provide visibility for your team and project stakeholders

  • Visualize your workflow, including current tasks and upcoming to-dos

  • View potential roadblocks before they happen

  • Understand resource management at-a-glance

  • Shift due dates as priorities change

  • Sync calendars across cross-functional teams

  • Assign and re-assign tasks to team members

  • Keep track of completed tasks and upcoming to-dos 

  • Add task dependencies, so all team members know how work connects 

  • Set project milestones to track major progress points  

  • Keep the entire lifecycle of the project on track

  • Take advantage of integrations to attach important documents and receive notifications from your most-used apps, like Google Drive and Google Slides, right where you work

[Product UI] Brand campaign project in Asana, Gantt chart-style view (Timeline)

How to use a project timeline template

Sick of tracking project progress with disorganized spreadsheets and manual to-do lists? We don’t blame you. Digital project timeline templates can end that disorganization and create a reusable foundation for all your projects. 

All project timeline templates should start with the same basic components: project phases and tasks. Once you’ve built out your basic timeline template, you can customize it for upcoming projects by building out the phases with to-dos, assigning tasks to owners, and adding deadlines and dependencies. 

And remember, despite their name, project timeline templates don’t always need to be viewed as a timeline. Sometimes seeing things mapped out in a timeline chart is the best way, but other times it can be more helpful to view it in a grid style or a Kanban board. Choose the view that works best for your project.

[Product UI] Brand campaign project example (Boards)

To build out a project timeline for a specific project, follow these steps: 

  1. Determine your goals for the project, keeping them SMART and attainable. 

  2. Outline the project timeline from planning to execution. 

  3. Develop project milestones as checkpoints for task completion or benchmarks for when a new phase launches.   

  4. Build out your project to-do list with any task, big or small, that you’ll need to complete for project success. 

  5. Determine how long each to-do will take, taking into account the resources available and the project budget.

  6. Finalize each task, adding due dates and owners.

  7. Add task dependencies to any task that relies on a previous task’s completion.  

  8. Share with the team for visibility and accountability.

  9. Adjust as needed, shifting due dates as priorities change. 

Types of timeline templates

Project timeline templates aren’t just for one type of project. There are many use cases where free timeline templates can help you plan and track progress.

  1. Simple timeline template: Map out the sequence of events that will lead your project to success. A project management timeline template can help you spot blockers, adjust dates in real-time, and hit milestones.

  2. Product roadmap timeline: Track and monitor your product initiatives, from development through launch.

  3. Event planning timeline: Use an event timeline template to track all your event information in one place, from pre-event details to post-event tasks.

  4. Event marketing timeline: Map out your event marketing tasks and keep your promotion plan on schedule.

  5. Marketing timelines: Coordinate every aspect of your marketing organization, from planning marketing campaigns and mapping customer journeys to creating brand assets.

  6. Business timeline template: Track your high-level business goals, check off major milestones, and keep informed as your business plan progresses.

  7. Non-profit timeline: Nonprofits can use templates to map out fundraising timelines and make workflows crystal clear.

  8. Professional timeline: Make your five-year plan a reality by outlining the sequential steps you need to take to hit your goals.

Integrated features

  • Timeline View. Timeline View is a Gantt-style project view that displays all of your tasks in a horizontal bar chart. Not only can you see each task’s start and end date, but you can also see dependencies between tasks. With Timeline View, you can easily track how the pieces of your plan fit together. Plus, when you can see all of your work in one place, it’s easy to identify and address dependency conflicts before they start, so you can hit all of your goals on schedule.

  • Project Brief. A project brief is a way to communicate important details and dates to your broader project team. Make sure your team can easily access your project brief by putting it in a central source of truth like Asana.

  • Milestones. Milestones represent important project checkpoints. By setting milestones throughout your project, you can let your team members and project stakeholders know how you’re pacing towards your goal. Use milestones as a chance to celebrate the little wins on the path towards the big project goal.

  • Dependencies. Mark a task as waiting on another task with task dependencies. Know when your work is blocking someone else’s work, so you can prioritize accordingly. Teams with collaborative workflows can easily see what tasks they’re waiting on from others, and know when to get started on their portion of work. When the first task is completed, the assignee will be notified that they can get started on their dependent task. Or, if the task your work is dependent on is rescheduled, Asana will notify you—letting you know if you need to adjust your dependent due date as well.

  • OneDrive. Attach files directly to tasks in Asana with the Microsoft OneDrive file chooser, which is built into the Asana task pane. Easily attach files from Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and more.

  • Google Workplace. Attach files directly to tasks in Asana with the Google Workplace file chooser, which is built into the Asana task pane. Easily attach any My Drive file with just a few clicks.

  • Zoom. Asana and Zoom are partnering up to help teams have more purposeful and focused meetings. The Zoom + Asana integration makes it easy to prepare for meetings, hold actionable conversations, and access information once the call is over. Meetings begin in Asana, where shared meeting agendas provide visibility and context about what will be discussed. During the meeting, team members can quickly create tasks within Zoom, so details and action items don’t get lost. And once the meeting is over, the Zoom + Asana integration pulls meeting transcripts and recordings into Asana, so all collaborators and stakeholders can review the meeting as needed.

  • Gmail. With the Asana for Gmail integration, you can create Asana tasks directly from your Gmail inbox. Any tasks you create from Gmail will automatically include the context from your email, so you never miss a beat. Need to refer to an Asana task while composing an email? Instead of opening Asana, use the Asana for Gmail add-on to simply search for that task directly from your Gmail inbox.

FAQs

What types of projects does a project timeline template work for?

The simple answer? If it’s a project with a start date and an end date, a timeline template can help keep it on track. You can adjust digital project timeline templates to work for many different timeline types, including event timelines, marketing timelines, creative timelines, and more. From launching a new product to tracking the progress of a social media campaign, timeline templates act as a roadmap that keep your project deliverables on track.

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