One thing that is common across all projects is excessive planning. Nothing can be achieved at work (or in life) without proper planning, no matter how small or big your goal is. But plans are not always the same. Even if there are certain tasks that belong to the same project, completing those tasks in time requires you to plan them individually as well as from the project’s perspective. This is where timeline project management saves managers and teams a lot of time and effort.
Wondering what it is and how exactly does it help in project management? Well, you’re about to find the answers.
In this particular post, you’re going to learn all about timelines, what exactly they do, why would you need them, and how one creates a timeline while managing a project.
Ready? Let’s begin.
Table of Contents
- What is a timeline in project management?
- What is the best project timeline software?
- 1. ProofHub
- 2. Bitrix24
- 3. GanttPRO
- 4. Wrike
- 5. Workzone
- 6. Easy Projects
- 7. Celoxis
- 8. Project Insight
- 9. Smartsheet
- 10. SmartDraw
What is a timeline in project management?
According to Wikipedia, “A timeline is a display of a list of events in chronological order. It is typically a graphic design showing a long bar labeled with dates paralleling it, and usually contemporaneous events; a Gantt chart is a form of timeline used in project management.”
To simply put, in project management, a timeline provides project managers and teams insights that help them to keep their projects on track.
With a timeline in project management, you can see the following details of a project:
- What tasks are already in the past?
- What tasks are in progress right now?
- What tasks are supposed to be finished in the future?
Create project timelines and ensure you’ll hit every deadline with ProofHub. Sign up!
What are the key elements of a timeline?
The key elements of a timeline vary from project to project. However, there are a few details that you would be able to see in almost any timeline of any project.
Here, have a look.
- Dates of tasks (start date and due date)
- Duration of tasks
- Task dependencies
Why would you find timelines helpful?
Sure, timelines are an important part of the whole project management life cycle. But how does that make a difference for you? If you’re like any other professional in the industry, you probably have the habit of leaving things as they are as long as you’re getting the expected outcome.
Do you think that’s right? Wouldn’t it be better if you deliver better than what was expected of you?
This is where you will find timelines most helpful. Sure, your current project management tips and approach are working successfully. But there is always room for improvement and timelines can certainly help you find that room and fill it with efficient work and peak productivity.
Still, need a reason to use Gantt charts and project timelines? Here, we’ll give you six.
- It boils down multiple tasks and project management phases into a single place
- It offers an easy, visual way for teams to understand and discuss task/project progress
- It offers a realistic view of a project that helps teams to recover from setbacks or adjust to key changes
- It offers team members the ability to focus on the work that is most important
- It provides managers the ability to sequence events across a project and avoid overburdening team members
- It helps to create a work environment for better time management and resource management
What is a Gantt chart timeline?
As we discovered, timelines provide a great way for project managers and teams to stay up-to-date on everything that is happening across a project. But what is the best type of timeline for any project? Well, based on the choices of many managers and teams, we would say it’s an “online Gantt chart timeline”.
It is basically the most popular type of timeline that works for almost any project and business. Gantt chart timelines are popular for providing a clear project plan timeline or view that includes all events, actions, and tasks in the most creative way possible.
What is the best project timeline software?
Now that you know what are timelines in project management and what kind of timelines are ideal for project management and task management, let’s take a quick look at some of the best options that are accessible to you.
Below is the list of best tools and apps that businesses can use to create a more accurate project timeline and increase your chances of conducting a successful project management process.
ProofHub is basically a project management software that comes packed with every feature that can make project management easier, faster—including Gantt charts that make planning and meeting deadlines effortless.
With ProofHub, you can:
- Visualize, plan, and schedule the order in which you want to complete tasks in a timeline view.
- Add task lists and tasks to the Gantt chart. Assign tasks or subscribe task list to one or multiple people.
- Create private task lists in the Gantt chart and limit its visibility only to the assigned team members.
- Associate milestones with tasks and mark key dates on the project plan.
- Set dependencies between tasks to share accountability and easily adjust schedules when work changes and deadlines shift.
- Add tasks in the Gantt chart without having to log in to your ProofHub using the email-in feature.
- Track progress across tasks in real-time. Get a quick view of how much work has been done and how much is left using progress percentage.
- Highlight the tasks that are likely to affect the start and finish date of your project using the critical chain.
- Practice effective scheduling with easy drag and drop. Drag and drop tasks right in the chart to change their dates or duration.
- Get a unified view of all timelines and Gantt charts. Track progress of all tasks from all the projects at one centralized place.
Adjust project plans with task dependencies in ProofHub’s Gantt chart. Sign up for FREE.
Bitrix24 is a free project management timeline software for small businesses. Bitrix24’s timeline view (Gantt chart) is fully interactive, zoomable and supports all four dependency types.
With Bitrix24, you can:
- Create interactive, creative timelines
- Track time spent on each task/project and compare it with your original estimates
- Issue project quotes and invoices, and accept online payments via PayPal
- Access instruments for successful collaboration, including shared calendars, group chats, video conferencing, and more
GanttPRO is a web-based solution that uses a Gantt chart approach to help managers and teams manage their projects effectively. It’s an outstanding tool with an easy-to-use interface that makes even the most complex projects simple.
With GanttPRO, you can:
- Plan and control multiple projects at once
- Organize, schedule, and track tasks right on a Gantt chart
- Set dependencies between them
- Set accurate estimates
- Manage your resources wisely
- Achieve the best results in project management
Wrike is a leading work management and task management tool that scales across teams and businesses worldwide. It organizes everything you need in one place and lets you communicate and deliver projects in the most productive manner.
With Wrike, you can:
- Instantly generate impressive visuals for project management and communication
- View real-time reports and status for all projects
- Turn strategies into actionable plans that guarantee success
- Manage and track the team’s approach to projects
Workzone is a web-based project management and document collaboration software that you can use to organize projects by tasks/subtasks, assign responsibilities and notify everyone associated with the project when a task is due.
With Workzone, you can:
- Create distinct and secure workspaces for each group
- Effectively manage your projects and teams
- Create templates for regular projects
- Stay on top of projects with automatic alerts and cross-project views
6. Easy Projects
Easy Projects is a multi-functional, cloud-hosted project management tool. This solution is quick to customize and has all the features that you need to manage your projects efficiently. Its features including interactive Gantt charts and time tracking for better project planning, along with complex ones like task dependencies creation, resource loading, critical path, and timeline view.
With Easy Projects, you can:
- Create unlimited projects, tasks, as well as portfolios
- Improve your team collaboration
- Get a detailed overview of your milestones, vacations, tasks, among others
- Automate repetitive or tedious tasks
- Set permissions and check anyone’s calendar or schedule
Celoxis is an easy-to-use and affordable project management app. The solution is designed for some serious project management and collaboration capabilities. It is a solution you can use to manage your projects, workflows, timesheets, resources, and team collaboration.
With Celoxis, you can:
- Keep all your conversations in one place
- Access clickable and customizable charts
- Create and update tasks via email
- Access unlimited task hierarchy, constraints, and dependencies
- Access out-of-the-box Integrations and web-based API
- Turn all your project data into actionable insights using advanced reporting engine
8. Project Insight
Project Insight is one of the best solutions for project prioritization, resource allocation, collaboration, and reporting. The tool comes with an easy-to-use interface and a comprehensive set of features. It is designed to help project managers and teams streamline their operations, accelerate processes, and make better business decisions.
With Project Insight, you can:
- View and edit schedules with just a few clicks
- Comments and collaborate on any item within the system
- Create, save, and share custom reports
- Streamline your process and reduce double data entry with powerful integrations
Smartsheet is one of the leading enterprise collaboration solutions for companies that are looking for an innovative way to collaborate on projects and processes. The solution is accessible from any browser and device. It also effectively combines the ease-of-use of a spreadsheet with visual timeline management, collaborative file sharing, and automated workflow capabilities.
With Smartsheet, you can:
- Leverage team collaboration
- Automate your repetitive tasks
- Get your hands with real-time information using configurable reports and widget-driven dashboards
- Identify bottlenecks early
SmartDraw is a popular flowchart maker and diagramming solution that organizations and teams can use to document processes, manage projects, and plan strategies. SmartDraw is easy-to-use and certainly one of the top alternatives to Visio (a diagramming and vector graphics app by Microsoft). Using SmartDraw, you can make almost any type of diagram, including chart-based, graph-based, as well as a schematic.
With SmartDraw, you can:
- Document facts, draw plans and capture ideas using diagrams and charts
- Create diagrams and visuals from any Windows or Mac computer, and any mobile device
- Highlight trends or changes over time
- Effortlessly collaborate through integrations
Wrapping it up
Project management is difficult. Every project you and your team manage is somehow different than the one who delivered before. Now, if you’re looking for a creative way to manage and accomplish projects, then choose a good timeline project management software. Vertical bar charts of chronological order, using online Gantt chart timelines is definitely one of the most efficient ways to manage projects.
So what are you waiting for? Start working with timelines and experience project management like never before.