INTRO

You’ve read the project management ultimate guide, you’ve gone through the software solutions (including the free ones!), and now you’re ready to get down to business. But in order to do that, you need some project management templates!

Why use a project management template, you may ask? Project managers have a lot they need to plan for, and also have a lot of wheels in motion all at once. Without documentation and checklists to cross your t’s and dot your i’s, it’s very easy to let things slip through the cracks. Furthermore, many businesses will require extensive documentation of all your planning, tracking, and execution right from the very start of the project, through to its completion.

The good news is, you can save yourself the trouble of coming up with all of these tools yourself. Though it’s possible to use one of the many software solutions now available, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with using a physical project management template the old-fashioned way. Or perhaps you are using more high-tech tools, but decide you’d like to supplement your work with some more traditional methods. Whatever your preference, there are free project management templates available to track, organize, and boost your team’s productivity.

Below you’ll find a collection of project templates for all the forms, charts, and spreadsheets that project managers and teams need, including: task managers, checklists, time and resource management tools, forms for outlining goals and deliverables, and much more.

And just in case that’s not enough for you, we’ve also included three graphic design platforms for you to create your own free project management templates.

WHAT PROJECT MANAGEMENT (PM) TEMPLATES SHOULD I USE?

There are two main factors that will determine what project management documents you’ll need. The first is the scope of the project. As discussed in the Ultimate Guide to Project Management, the 4 stages of project management (sometimes divided into 5 phases of a project) include: initiation, planning, execution (with monitoring and controlling), and closure. Depending on how big your initiative and/or business is, each stage may require its own documentation, and you may end up with anything from a couple pieces of paper, to a full binder’s worth of information.

The second factor that will determine the applicable management templates, is what style of project management your team adheres to. If you fall along the traditional lines, perhaps implementing a PRINCE2 or Waterfall project management methodology, you’ll likely be required to provide much more documentation than someone adhering to an Agile style of project management, such as Scrum or Kanban.

 

FINDING THE RIGHT TEMPLATE

All templates have been presented first as a full list, then once again divided into categories based on the project stage, project management style, or specific purpose. All documents have been slotted into the category where they fit best, but note that there is often crossover, especially between the project management stages. Be sure to explore the entire list to ensure you find the very best resources for you and your business.

It should be noted that some of the resources listed below are gated, meaning that the website requires some information from you before handing over the goods. They should all still be free, though paid-for upgrades or memberships are available for most websites as well.

Now without further ado, here are your 52 project management, project planning, and reporting templates (be sure to scroll to the end for the bonus template builders!)

 

PROJECT MANAGEMENT (PM) TEMPLATES (UNCATEGORIZED)

  1. Project Definition
  2. Project Charter
  3. Project Planner (for Initiation phase)
  4. Project Planner (also for Initiation phase)
  5. Benefits Management
  6. Roles and Responsibilities
  7. Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) Tree Diagram
  8. Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) Spreadsheet
  9. Action Plan
  10. Action Log
  11. Excel Project Tracker (scroll down to the sixth download on the linked page)
  12. Printable Planner
  13. Complete Project Planner
  14. Powerpoint Planner (scroll down to eleventh download on the linked page)
  15. Excel Project Schedule (scroll down to forth download on the linked page)
  16. Project Timeline
  17. Excel Critical Path (scroll down to seventh download on the linked page)
  18. Project and Milestone Planner
  19. Simple Milestone Tracker with Needs Assessment, Roles, and Evaluation
  20. Exhaustive Contingency Plan (created for the IT industry, but adaptable)
  21. Simple Contingency Plan (created for Humanitarian work, but adaptable)
  22. Materials Procurement Cycle Tracking Log
  23. Evaluation Checklist for Managing IT Projects
  24. Status Report
  25. Excel Project Status Report (scroll down to fifth download on the linked page)
  26. Excel Milestone Tracker  (scroll down to eighth download on the linked page)
  27. Issue Tracker
  28. Project Timesheet
  29. Risk Assessment Quality Review Checklist
  30. Contingency Risk Management Plan
  31. Project Risk Tracker
  32. Budget Tracking
  33. Project Resources Budgetary Analytics Tool
  34. Excel Budget (scroll down to first download on the linked page)
  35. Project Budgeting
  36. Resource Planner
  37. Statistical PERT™ Estimation Worksheet
  38. Statistical PERT™ Estimation Worksheet for Revenue Forecasting
  39. Detailed Project Change Request
  40. Excel Sprint Project Tracker (scroll down to third download on the page)
  41. Agile Project Plan
  42. Gantt Chart 1
  43. Gantt Chart 2
  44. Gantt Chart 3
  45. Gantt Chart 4
  46. Construction Project Planner
  47. Complete Project Management Package (with Work Breakdown Structure (WBS))
  48. Essential Project Management Bundle
  49. Decision Log
  50. Microsoft Excel Project Management Dashboard
  51. To-do List
  52. Project Management Dashboard

Interested in learning about project management software solutions? We've reviewed all the top tools on the market today.

 

PROJECT MANAGEMENT TEMPLATES (CATEGORIZED)

Initiation Stage

This is the time when you’re sorting out what problems need to be addressed, how they could potentially be addressed, and if your ideas are feasible, achievable, and worth the resources they will require.

  1. Project Definition
  2. Project Charter
  3. Project Planner (for Initiation phase)
  4. Project Planner (also for Initiation phase)

Planning Stage

(Also see Risk Assessment and Management, as well as Budget and Resource)

The planning stage is when you break down all the elements of what it will take to complete your project, including what options you have if things don’t go according to plan.

  1. Benefits Management
  2. Roles and Responsibilities
  3. Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) Tree Diagram
  4. Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) Spreadsheet
  5. Action Plan
  6. Action Log
  7. Excel Project Tracker (scroll down to the sixth download on the linked page)
  8. Printable Planner
  9. Complete Project Planner
  10. Powerpoint Planner (scroll down to eleventh download on the linked page)
  11. Excel Project Schedule (scroll down to forth download on the linked page)
  12. Project Timeline
  13. Excel Critical Path (scroll down to seventh download on the linked page)
  14. Project and Milestone Planner
  15. Simple Milestone Tracker with Needs Assessment, Roles, and Evaluation
  16. Exhaustive Contingency Plan (created for the IT industry, but adaptable)
  17. Simple Contingency Plan (created for Humanitarian work, but adaptable)

Execution

Time to get down to business! Here’s where your team gets to work to achieve your goals, and where you, as their project manager, keep an eye on the whole operation to make sure it’s going according to plan.

  1. Materials Procurement Cycle Tracking Log
  2. Evaluation Checklist for Managing IT Projects
  3. Status Report
  4. Excel Project Status Report (scroll down to fifth download on the page)
  5. Excel Milestone Tracker (scroll down to eighth download on the page)
  6. Issue Tracker
  7. Project Timesheet

Risk Assessment and Management

Starting during the planning phase and continuing throughout execution, risk assessment begins with trying to identify potential pain points before they arise, then deciding how you will respond to them if they do. Once the project begins, project managers need to keep a particularly close eye on these areas to make quick adjustments sooner rather than later.

  1. Risk Assessment Quality Review Checklist
  2. Contingency Risk Management Plan
  3. Project Risk Tracker

 

Feel like you’re just scraping the surface of project management? Read our Ultimate Guide to Project Management in 2019.

 

Budget and Resources

Like risk assessment, budgeting and resource allocation begins in the planning stage, or even in project initiation. It will continue through execution, and even into the closure and end reporting on your project.

  1. Budget Tracking
  2. Project Resources Budgetary Analytics Tool
  3. Excel Budget (scroll down to first download on the linked page)
  4. Project Budgeting
  5. Resource Planner

Traditional Project Management

If you've read our Ultimate Guide to Project Management, you'll know that there are two main styles of project management: traditional and agile. The templates below apply strictly to traditional methodologies.

  1. Statistical PERT™ Estimation Worksheet
  2. Statistical PERT™ Estimation Worksheet for Revenue Forecasting
  3. Detailed Project Change Request

Agile Project Management

Conversely, these templates are strictly for agile project management methodologies.

  1. Excel Sprint Project Tracker (scroll down to third download on the page)
  2. Agile Project Plan

Gantt Charts

Ah, the Gantt Chart. It’s been a cornerstone of project management for longer than many of us have been alive, so it’s no surprise that there are many different teams that offer up their own versions. Check them all out and find the format that feels most comfortable for you.

  1. Gantt Chart 1
  2. Gantt Chart 2
  3. Gantt Chart 3
  4. Gantt Chart 4

Beginning-to-end Project Templates

Want one package that includes everything you need? Or some of those documents that will follow you through every stage? Here’s where you’ll find these beginning-to-end documents to make reporting as straightforward and organized as possible.

  1. Construction Project Planner
  2. Complete Project Management Package (with Work Breakdown Structure (WBS))
  3. Essential Project Management Bundle
  4. Decision Log
  5. Microsoft Excel Project Management Dashboard
  6. To-do List
  7. Project Management Dashboard

BONUS

If none of those quite fit your needs, or if you’ve got an eye for aesthetics, you may be more interested in using one of the design tools listed below. You may recognize some of the platforms and may have even used them for creating posters, instagram posts, or other graphic design-related projects, but what you may not know is they also offer a selection of free project management templates. While all three have a free tier, and you can often do quite a lot without committing to a paid package, for full access to all of their features and tools you may find it worth it to subscribe to their pro or premium tiers.

  1. Canva
  2. Venngage
  3. Vizzlo

CONCLUSION

You did it! You are now armed with all the tools you need to manage your team, your tasks, and your project to success.

If you’re still feeling a bit insecure, or if you’re interested in what it takes to become a certified project manager, be sure to read our Ultimate Guide to Project Management, and perhaps our list of the 45 Best Project Management Tools or the 12 Best Free Project Management Software.

Happy project managing!