Best Project Timeline Software of 2023

As projects become more complex and deadlines become shorter, project managers feel pressured to start working on tasks immediately. On the contrary, good project management suggests that these are occasions where they should spend time planning the project. Poor planning provides opportunities for scope creep or inefficient resource management. But the planning stage does not have to take too much time.

Using a project plan template, teams can quickly clarify objectives, schedule milestones, assess risks, calculate resources, and identify dependencies. To make the plan more visible for all involved, project managers should create a project timeline.

What Is a Project Timeline?

A timeline is a line with dates, events, or activities displayed in a chronological order. A project timeline is a document that chronologically shows a list of tasks, activities, and milestones, with dates, duration, and dependencies. It provides an overview of the entire project from start to finish. Successful projects depend on following the timeline or work plan, so project managers and teams do their best to keep the project schedule on track.

PM Software With Timelines

Project management software that allows you to create timelines is highly useful. Here are our top selections for timeline project management software.

1 monday.com

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monday.com Work OS is an award-winning no-code work management platform that helps teams manage projects and workflows more efficiently.

Used by 152,000+ customers worldwide, this fully customizable software lets you plan, manage, and track every project in one place. monday.com offers time-saving and easy-to-use features such as automations, time tracking, document sharing, and real-time collaboration. Multiple board views such as Gantt and Kanban help you structure and navigate tasks and projects the way you prefer, and dashboards give a high-level overview of your progress.

In addition, integrations with apps such as Outlook, Microsoft Teams, Gmail, and Excel, allow you to easily continue working with your favorite tools from within the platform. monday.com also offers dedicated solutions, such as monday dev and monday sales CRM, designed to answer the needs of specific industries.

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2 ClickUp

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ClickUp is one of the highest-rated project management tools today. Use Docs, Reminders, Goals, Calendars, Chat, scheduling, assigned comments, custom views, & more with this all-in-one project management tool.

Used by 800,000+ teams in companies like Airbnb, Google, and Uber, it brings all of your projects into a single app! Built for teams of all sizes and industries, Our fully customizable & proprietary features make it a must-have for anyone wanting to keep project management in one place.

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3 Wrike

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Wrike is the most powerful work management platform on the market, enabling teams to plan projects and collaborate in real time. Our award-winning software is trusted by 20,000+ companies across the globe, including Sony, Estée Lauder, and Siemens.

Wrike’s customizable features include Gantt charts, request forms, dashboards, cross-tagging, time tracking, and proofing. Integrate with 400+ apps from the likes of Microsoft, Google, and Salesforce. Automate repetitive tasks and achieve 50% faster planning. Work from anywhere with 100% access to your files via our mobile and desktop apps.

Whether you’re a small startup or an established brand, Wrike has the solution for you. Paid plans start at $9.80/user/month. Join our community of 2.3 million — start your free two-week trial today.

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4 Smartsheet

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Smartsheet is a leading work execution platform that has real-time work management features, collaboration and automation tools. Users are presented with a familiar and easy-to-use spreadsheet-like interface. However, it has enterprise-grade capabilities that even Fortune 500 companies like Cisco, Bayer, HP, and PayPal are confident to adopt in their business. Strong project management features enable teams to utilize different views of real-time data, and switch easily from Gantt, card, grid and calendar views. Smartsheet has automatic update requests, and can be used for waterfall and agile projects, product launch, sprint planning, and more. The resource management feature provides users the visibility who is busy, and who is not, in real-time. They can also attach files, share sheets, get notified, view the activity log, export, email, and print.

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5 Rocketlane

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Rocketlane’s collaborative customer onboarding platform helps businesses accelerate time-to-value, streamline implementation journeys, and deliver exceptional customer experience. By replacing generic project management and document collaboration tools with a unique, unified workspace, Rocketlane helps improve communication, collaboration, and project visibility for businesses and their customers. We help businesses consistently hit their goals by making onboarding more delightful and friction-free.

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6 Zoho Projects

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Zoho Projects is an online project management application that helps its users to plan projects, collaborate with employees and clients, keep track of time, manage documents, and generate charts and reports. Users work on a central platform where they can keep track of progress, discuss ideas, communicate easily and stay updated. It is cloud-based and highly accessible, where user data is kept safe with stringent security systems. The software is also scalable depending on the number of projects, with the option to add more features. Zoho Projects is a cloud-based project management tool that helps you plan your work, track it efficiently, and collaborate with your team wherever they are.

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7 BigTime

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BigTime is a leading Professional Services Automation (PSA) software that helps you scale your business by giving you the ability to track and act on your operational metrics. Even with remote work, easily manage time, expenses, and billing for multiple projects all at once, and quickly identify areas of opportunity with advanced features like resource allocation and custom reporting. With BigTime Wallet and client portal, you can get paid faster using custom invoicing and payment processing.

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8 Resource Guru

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Resource Guru is the fast, flexible way to schedule teams and keep projects on track. Get full visibility of who’s available and who’s overworked, so people and projects succeed in harmony. Assign work, balance workloads, and edit schedules in seconds. Keep your team up-to-date with personal dashboards and daily schedule emails. Analyze utilization rates, clients, and projects for more accurate forecasts and budgets. Trusted by companies including NASA and L’Oreal. Try it free for 30 days!

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9 Height

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Height is the project management tool built for fast-growing companies, fully flexible to meet the needs of all teams — marketing, engineering, design, and more — in one place. Dynamically visualize tasks with spreadsheets, Gantt charts, calendars, or Kanban boards, while working more collaboratively with robust chat functionality within tasks (and even automatic cross-posting of Slack messages to mentioned tasks). Experience scalable, lightning-fast work.

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10 GanttPRO

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GanttPRO is a project management tool based on Gantt charts. It is used by 800K+ CEOs, team leaders, project, and other managers from different spheres: software development, construction, marketing, retail, manufacture, event industry, and many others. GanttPRO offers a nice interface and short learning curve what allows teams to start working on their projects literally in 15 minutes.

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Examples of Project Timeline Template

Project timelines provide many benefits to project teams, making it a vital project management tool. It helps organize tasks, show when work should start, and display deadlines and dependencies.

Gantt Chart Project Timelines

A Gantt chart is a popular project timeline in the form of a horizontal bar chart, where the bars describe the duration, start date, and end dates of each task. The project timeline can also highlight the different phases of a project, milestones for each phase, and responsible person for each task or task owner.

Work plan project timeline

Gantt charts are not the only types of project timelines. A work plan project timeline template divides the project into the different phases. For each phase, the work plan lists the itemized planned activities and expected outcomes.

Work plan timeline

Milestone-Focused Project Timeline

A milestone-focused project timeline is a high-level project view focused only on important periods, project stages, and milestones during the course of the project. The timeline can mention only general description of tasks or activities with limited details.

Stage-Focused Project Timeline

Another high-level type is a stage-focused project timeline. This type of project schedule template shows the major stages or phases of the project in longer time periods such as weeks or months with little to no other details.

Stages timeline

Steps to Create a Project Timeline

Project timelines are valuable documents in project plans. At a glance, all stakeholders can see a clear breakdown of the work schedule as well as the critical path without getting lost into the individual task details. By creating a project timeline, project managers help ensure to keep the team on track, promote transparency and accountability, and provide the big picture when all the pieces connect.

Here are the steps to creating a project timeline:

  1. Define project goals: Identify the key milestones and deliverables that make the project successful
  2. Identify all stakeholders: List the names of all the persons involved who will need to see the timeline
  3. Determine the final deadline: Mark the final date and make sure to include contingencies
  4. Write a project scope statement: Put in writing the goals, milestones, deliverables, tasks, and boundaries of the project
  5. Identify task dependencies: Find out which among the tasks are dependent on other tasks to start or end
  6. Estimate task duration: From the final deadline, estimate the time and duration for your team to complete the task and still meet the deadline
  7. Set milestones: Identify the important dates that mark the end of a phase or the completion of a vital part of the final deliverable
  8. Organize your project schedule using a project timeline tool: Choose an application that is easy to use and update a visible project timeline for all involved

Project Timeline Use Cases

Project timelines are applicable in a variety of industries and objectives. Here are some real-world examples where companies use project timelines to plan and schedule their tasks to achieve milestones and business goals.

Customer Appreciation Event Planning

Create a timeline for the event you planned for your customers. Identify the team members, their tasks, and the sequence of events before the big day.

Event planning timeline

Development Timeline

Make it easy for sponsors and stakeholders to approve your idea. Show the different stages that the product will go through, the activities, and important milestones over time, from conception to launch.

 development timeline

High-Level Construction Timeline

Project timelines can also have vertical layout especially when you want to fit them on printed paper. This construction plan timeline for a hospital allows you to identify the major stages, important start dates, and general details for each stage.

Construction timeline

Aside from project applications, people use timelines marketing campaigns, clinical trials, and legal court cases. Project timelines take the form of horizontal bar charts, but timelines also appear in chronology charts and vertical bar charts.

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