Talk about a project management calendar and you think of Excel, Google Calendars, or any other tool that helps you organize and schedule your project’s timeline.
I am no exception to this. There were days when project management calendars were unheard of. And I have used Spreadsheets and desk calendars to mark important dates, tasks, etc.
However, as I was working on developing ProofHub with my team, I wanted to include a useful project scheduling calendar as one of the features offered.
The reason was simple yet solid. Traditional calendars lack the flexibility and functionality that dynamic project teams need.
For project teams of any size, from any industry, project management calendars are critical in ensuring that tasks are planned, organized, completed, and projects are delivered on time while adhering to set deadlines.
Now, project management calendars are way different from your traditional calendars as the former is more complex and offers a wide variety of information.
This article will explain in detail project management calendars, their importance, limitations in different formats, examples, and how to create them using dedicated project management software, like ProofHub.
Table of Contents
- What is a project management calendar?
- What is the importance of a project calendar?
- How to use project calendars in project management
- How to create & manage your project calendar with ProofHub
- Why use project management tools to create a project calendar
- Examples of project management calendar
What is a project management calendar?
A project management calendar is a visual display tool that you can use to organize and schedule project tasks as well as keep track of impending deadlines and milestones. The tool displays your project’s timeline and enables you to make necessary adjustments due to sudden changes in project’s schedule and deadlines.
A project management calendar enables project managers and team leaders to share information related to the project timeline with other team members so everyone can track their progress, identify potential bottlenecks, and stay on top of deadlines.
Struggling to keep deadlines and team communication organized? Sign up for ProofHub’s project management calendar and never miss a deadline again.
What is the importance of a project calendar?
Traditional calendars are useful for creating a schedule and visualizing the passage of time, but they are not ideal for project teams managing multiple projects simultaneously and making adjustments to the schedule due to sudden changes from the client’s side.
Using a project management calendar offers several benefits, which are as follows:
- Clear visibility of tasks
One of the most important benefits of using a project calendar is how easily you can visualize all your tasks, events, and milestones in one place.
Project managers can see all tasks at a glance as well as which team member is supposed to work on what and when. You can monitor your team members’ progress and identify bottlenecks in time before it derails your project off track.
- Improved Communication
A project management calendar is easily shared and accessible by teams across various departments within the organization, which significantly improves internal communication for improved coordination on work.
Team members can seamlessly collaborate on different tasks scheduled within a calendar while project managers and supervisors can convey vital information (updates and feedback) to team members and vice versa.
- Better Planning
A project planning calendar lets project managers accurately plan their project’s timeline by planning and organizing tasks in a sequential manner. You can set task dependencies and schedule tasks with clear deadlines, which also gives clarity to task assignees.
Also, project managers can make different calendars for important meetings, one for project deadlines, and another for work events to keep your work life more organized.
- Enhanced collaboration
A project calendar plays an important role in improving team collaboration, especially among remote teams.
You can easily share real-time calendar updates with other team members and stakeholders, which means your clients can easily have a Bird’s eye view of your project schedule and upcoming key dates.
- Efficient Resource Allocation
Efficient resource utilization remains one of the most important objectives of project managers across various industries. By using a project calendar, project managers can optimally utilize available resources by allocating tasks to the right people, after checking their workload.
How to use project calendars in project management
Here are some tips on how to effectively use project calendars in project management:
- Create a comprehensive plan: Project calendars let project managers create a comprehensive plan that involves bringing all tasks, events, and milestones in a centralized location.
- Break Down the Project: After creating an initial plan, project managers should break down a project into smaller, manageable tasks and subtasks. Create a list of all tasks within a project as well as define the estimated time of each task to ensure project completion within specified timeframe.
- Set Deadlines: Setting deadlines is important to give a clear target to your team members. You can set deadlines either by setting start-end dates for a task, or by setting the time estimate. This will help you track the progress of assigned tasks.
- Assign Tasks: Once you have set the deadlines, assign tasks to team members based on their workload and availability. Make sure that every team member stays updated on their job responsibilities and deadlines.
- Monitor Progress: Once you’ve assigned tasks, track them regularly to ensure the project stays on track, and update the project management calendar accordingly. You can identify delays for slow progress and take timely action.
How to create & manage your project calendar with ProofHub
At times, the position of a project manager can be too hot to handle.
Believe me with that!
Imagine managing multiple projects, widely distributed team members, and managing tasks at the same time when project information is scattered all over the place.
It’s easy to over and under-allocate tasks to people when you only have a plethora of spreadsheets to refer to.
This is where using a powerful, intuitive project management and team collaboration software with an inbuilt scheduling calendar can prove immensely useful for both project managers and their teams alike.
The tool ends scheduling chaos and organizes all your tasks, events, and milestones in one place for easy management of all your important to-dos.
You can view your project calendar in different views and merge your ProofHub calendar with the ones you generally use.
Here are some easy steps that you can implement to create and manage your project calendar without any hassles.
- Organize all project-related data in one place
Many project teams spend their valuable time switching tools to access project-related data. This results in a lot of confusion and poor collaboration with peers on tasks and projects.
ProofHub’s scheduling calendar helps you bring and organize all your tasks, events, and milestones in one central place. You can visualize all calendar data in one place, which makes it easier for you to stay on top of deadlines and avoid missing out on high-value tasks within the project.
- Break down the project into smaller tasks
When you have a big project in your hands, it can overwhelm you and your team members. However, you can make things easier when you break down the project into smaller, manageable tasks and subtasks.
ProofHub helps you create tasks and subtasks in the most simple manner possible. You get a neat, listicle view of all tasks, which further helps you with analyzing different types of tasks, time required to complete them, and assigning them accordingly to groups and individuals.
- Assign tasks to team members
You cannot assign tasks randomly to team members. Doing so is likely to bring you an avalanche of issues, like missed deadlines, poor quality of work, stressed-out employees, etc.
ProofHub lets you visualize all your available resources, their workload, and assign tasks accordingly. Fair and even workload distribution results in a happier, engaged workforce that leads to noticeable improvements in the overall productivity and quality of work.
- Set deadlines and avoid delays
Missing deadlines is any project team’s worst nightmare. Surprisingly, many individuals miss deadlines because there are no deadlines set. Instead, there are vague deadlines. For instance – The task is supposed to be completed within this week. This leaves task assignees confused and relaxed.
Using ProofHub’s time tracking software, you can add important details to tasks, like start-end dates and time estimates to fix job accountability among team members. If the task is not finished on the due date or exceeds the estimated time, you can identify the reasons for project delay.
- Communicate and collaborate in real-time
Communication failures can result in misunderstandings among team members, delayed tasks, poor quality work, and even loss of revenue. Using emails and video conferencing for exchanging information takes a lot of time and should only be used in conjunction with other communication modes.
ProofHub, with its smart communication features, like Instant Chat, Discussions, Real-time notifications, @Mentions, and Announcements enable instant communication between project managers and team members. Smooth communication flow prevents vital information falling through the cracks and prompts timely actions to keep projects on track.
- Choose different views to track progress
Many projects miss deadlines because project managers lack a comprehensive view to track their progress at every stage, from the start to finish. They are unable to identify bottlenecks and fail to check the progress of individuals and groups.
ProofHub offers multiple project views to managers that helps them visualize tasks and project progress in a way that suits their tracking requirements. Boards let you check the current status of tasks, Gantt view lets you check task dependencies and critical path, Table view offers a neat, listicle view of all your to-dos and their progress, and the Calendar view lets you visualize all your tasks, events, and milestones in a single calendar.
You are not to miss out on anything important with ProofHub, indeed!
No more missed deadlines, confusion, or wasted time. Give ProofHub a try today and experience the difference for yourself!
Why use project management tools to create a project calendar
It’s likely that you’ve been using Excel or Google Calendar to create project calendars for years, and don’t see a reason to use PM tools.
Yes, both Excel and Google Calendar are quite good, but why not use something that offers more functionality without making things complicated?
While using specialized project management software can provide additional benefits, both Excel and Google Calendar have the following limitations.
Limitations of project calendar in excel
Excel is one of the all-time favorite tools that companies have been using for creating spreadsheets. However, it seems that Excel lags behind a fully-equipped project management calendar due to the following limitations:
- Lack of control and security: Excel is not user-friendly, and the app slows down if the data is too huge. Also, it is a stand-alone tool that does not offer adequate control as there’s always a risk of errors when manual changes are made to Excel.
- Difficult to track project progress: Excel is not ideal for project management teams because there’s no way you can track project progress due to scattered information across multiple files.
- Not designed for collaborative work: Excel does not offer essential collaboration tools that both in-office and remote teams require today. For instance – Instant chat, File sharing, Online proofing, Boards, etc. Users cannot check the status of a task or know what to work on next.
Limitations of project calendar in Google calendar
While Google Calendar is a great tool for scheduling meetings and appointments, it has the following limitations when it comes to project management.
- Limited Project Management Features: Why would project teams use a limited tool such as Google Calendar when a powerful PM software application offers a wide range of features in a centralized location? Google Calendar lacks many essential features that project teams require in daily work.
- No Task Management: Google Calendar does not provide task management features, making it difficult for project managers to assign tasks and responsibilities, set deadlines, and track their progress at every stage.
- Limited Customization: Google Calendar provides limited customization options and its interface is too plain and underwhelming for users.
Examples of project management calendar
There are primarily 4 types of project management calendars that are used by project managers across various industries.
- Task calendar: As the term suggests, a task calendar is a visual display of all the tasks that fall outside the project scope. It is designed to complete one-off tasks. For example, installing servers in a client’s building is a one-off task that needs scheduling and resources.
- Resource calendar: The resource calendar displays dates, times, and days planned to be allotted to a specific resource, which can be human or machinery.
For example, John (the resource) is available for the first two weeks of March and absent from work for the remainder of the month. For example, installing servers in a client’s building is a one-off task that needs scheduling and resources.
- Timeline calendar: The timeline calendar offers a clear overview of all tasks, like responsibilities, deadlines, and dependencies. You can see what needs to be done and when. This calendar is quite simple and you can determine which tasks are urgent and which ones can be postponed or delegated.For example, you can see what are start-end dates for different tasks, dependencies, and which tasks need to be completed earlier and which ones to work on later.
- Base calendar: The base calendar is the main calendar template that is used to create calendars for your resources, programs, tasks, etc. It displays vital task information such as work days, work hours, and off days.For example, Task A is scheduled to start on Monday, end by Thursday, work hours will be 9 am to 6 pm, and Friday, Saturday, and Sunday will be off days.
Creating a project management calendar is akin to laying a strong foundation for a successful project.
It is like creating a clear roadmap for the project journey, with all important tasks, milestones, dates, and assignees neatly marked in one place.
Project managers and team members can refer to this calendar to plan their work while staying aligned with project goals.
You’d need the best project management and team collaboration tool, like ProofHub, to create a project calendar that allows you not just to schedule tasks and assign them but also to track project progress, identify bottlenecks, and make necessary adjustments to ensure deliveries are made on time.
Want to see ProofHub in action? Schedule a demo today and see how our project management calendar can transform the way you work.
What are the key features I should look for in a project management calendar?
Some key features to look out for in a project management calendar are:
1. Task management
2. Time tracking
3. Instant chat
4. Automatic reminder
5. Recurring tasks
How do you organize a project calendar?
You can create a separate calendar for each team member or create a separate calendar for each major team project, and enter task due dates and project milestones.
How do I organize my calendar and To-Do list?
Bring all your tasks, events, and milestones in one place and create a to-do list of all your tasks, based on their priority and urgency.
What is a project timeline chart called?
A project timeline chart is also called a Gantt chart, defined as a graphical representation of activity against time.