April 1

Track projects in Excel like a ninja

    I need to find a better way to manage my own projects, which are accumulating very quickly these days. I have deadlines and phases associated with editing clients, blog posts, newsletters, business courses, publishing courses, and other professional development. I know you have multiple projects, too, classes, research for one paper, revising and resubmitting another paper, ideas for writing a book, conference presentations, it goes on. I've found some incredibly simple ways to track projects in Excel like a ninja.

    The benefits of Excel templates to organize your projects:
    You probably already have Excel.
    Microsoft puts out templates for free! They a huge library of templates that you can download here.

    Let me show you a couple of my favorites.

    Simple Project Timeline

    For a simple visual of a timeline for you project, you just fill in your start date, end date, and all the milestones that have to be hit along the way. You could easily create a beautiful timeline in a of couple minutes and share it with your work group. I have not figured out a way to put multiple projects in one workbook, though. I you figure that out, let me know!
    Download the Simple Project Timeline here.

    Complicated Multiple-Projects Timeline

    If you're looking for a clean, efficient way to look at multiple projects, which have tasks that you have to accomplish over a period of several months, then this may be the solution for you. This template is actually not available on the Miscrosoft website because it's specially designed by an Excel nerd (so, you may thank my husband for his snazzy skills).

    Although not for the faint of heart because you do have to fiddle with Excel a bit, I do think this template has amazing potential. You really just need a basic Excel knowledge, how to insert rows or columns, how to fill, how to add borders to the little boxes, and how to adjust the widths of columns or heights of rows. You'll probably need at least 15-20 minutes to set it up, also.

    Wait, you should know one important before you start experimenting with the complicated timeline

    To change the dates, just change the date in this first box, circled in the image below. All of the other dates will change automatically. (Cool, right?! I told you he's snazzy.)
    Download the Complicated Multiple-Projects Timeline here.

    Writing a book?

    If you're looking to track projects in Excel because you're writing a book, I've got the perfect, beautiful, customizable timeline, to help you plan out each phase of writing, editing, publishing, and launching your book.

    Check out the Ultimate Writing and Publishing Timeline here.

    What about you? Do you track projects in Excel? Or some other way?

    I'm looking for inspiration (and aren't we all?) so leave a comment below with your favorite way to organize your own project timelines!


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