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What is Gantt Chart software?

A Gantt chart is a type of bar chart that represents the timeline of a project, highlighting its progress, key milestones, and the interdependencies of tasks. It’s like a visual roadmap, enabling you to track the status of project tasks at a glance. Gantt charts are remarkable tools, integral to effective project management, providing a visual roadmap to project success. 

Conceived by engineer Henry Gantt, these innovative charts played a key role in major infrastructure projects like the Hoover Dam and the expansive U.S. highway system in the 1950s. These complex feats of engineering and organization were facilitated by the careful planning and tracking capabilities of Gantt chart software. As we delve into the world of Gantt chart project management software, envision harnessing their potential power for your own projects, transforming ideas into structured, manageable plans.

The initial concept of a Gantt chart was fairly straightforward—a stacked bar chart that was gradually filled as the project progressed. In its early stages, it was somewhat rigid and not particularly user-friendly. However, the advent of Agile and SCRUM project management methodologies transformed the landscape, pushing Gantt chart software to expand its capabilities.

Here are some of our top software choices that offer robust Gantt chart tools: 

  • Monday.com: Best for visualizing project timelines with Gantt charts
  • Wrike: Best for real-time Gantt chart updates and collaboration 
  • Microsoft Project: Best for advanced Gantt chart customization and detailing 
  • Smartsheet: Best for integrating Gantt charts with broader project management features 
  • ClickUp: Best for user-friendly Gantt chart creation and management 

What is the best Gantt chart software?

monday.com – Best for visualizing project timelines with Gantt charts


  • Intuitive visual interface
  • Timeline view
  • Integration with other views
  • Collaboration features and real-time updates 


  • Lack of a tool to compare planned vs. actual progress in a Gantt chart
  • Limited drag-and-drop capabilities
  • Limited automatic scheduling 

Free plan available

Free trial available

Basic: $8/seat/month

Standard: $10/seat/month

Pro: $16/seat/month

Enterprise: Contact Monday.com for a customized quote

Visual Timeline view: Monday offers a visually appealing and intuitive timeline view that allows you to see the entire project at a glance. This feature enables project managers to visualize sequences, durations, and dependencies across the project’s lifecycle. 

Drag-and-drop rescheduling: Monday’s Gantt charts are hughly interactive. The drag-and-drop feature allows you to easily adjust timelines, reschedule tasks, and modify dependencies directly on the chart. The live, real-time editing capability makes the platform perfect for dynamic projects where changes are frequent. 

Milestone marking: Users can highlight critical points or goals in the project timeline as milestones. These are clearly visible on the Gantt chart, which is excellent for keeping team members aligned on important tasks and deadlines.

monday.com overview

monday.com is a versatile project management platform known for its visually intuitive interface. Its strength lies in its ability to offer multiple project views, including a timeline view, akin to a Gantt chart. It promotes real-time collaboration with features such as task comments and updates. 

The platform is recognized for its seamless integrations with other popular tools and its capacity to automate workflows, saving time and reducing manual labor. Catering to various industries, from marketing to software development, Monday.com offers a flexible, customizable solution for teams seeking to streamline project management processes.

Why we chose monday.com

monday.com takes the crown for ‘Best for Visualizing Project Timelines with Gantt Charts’ for its clean, color-coded, and user-friendly interface is its key selling point, making timeline navigation a simple experience. Combine this with an effective timeline view that integrates seamlessly with other project views, and you’ve got a winning formula for clear project tracking. Even better, its in-timeline collaboration keeps teams connected and in sync. 

Learn more about monday.com

Wrike – Best for real-time Gantt chart updates and collaboration


  • Real-time updates on tasks
  • Interactive Gantt charts where dependencies can be created and adjusted by dragging and dropping tasks
  • Collaboration features including comments, @mentions, and file attachments 
  • Automated scheduling


  • Limited Color Coding
  • Dependency view may require additional clicks or navigation
  • No built-in risk management features
  • Limited reporting on Gantt charts

Free trial available

Free plan available

Team: $9.80/user/month

Business: $24.80/user/month

Enterprise: Contact Wrike for a customized quote

Pinnacle: Contact Wrike for a customized quote

Interactive Gantt charts: Known as Timelines on Wrike’s platform, the feature allows users to visualize their project schedules and monitor the progress of tasks over time. Task dependencies can be created and adjusted easily by dragging and dropping tasks on the Timeline. 

Real-time updates and collaboration: Any changes on the Gantt chart are immediately visible to all team members. Collaboration features include @mentions and direct file attachments. 

Automated scheduling: When a task’s dates or dependencies change, Wrike automatically updates the Gantt chart accordingly, ensuring projects are always up to date. 

Wrike overview

Wrike is a cloud-based project management solution that offers an efficient way to coordinate and track projects. The platform’s multifunctional toolkit includes task management, interactive Gantt charts, time tracking, and document sharing, among others. 

Offering an intuitive interface and integrations with popular tools like Google Drive, Dropbox, and Slack, it has become a preferred choice for teams seeking an all-in-one project management platform. 

Why we chose Wrike 

Wrike’s edge lies in its remarkable fusion of flexibility and functionality, making it a trailblazer in the field. With real-time updates, users stay in sync, keeping a finger on the pulse of every project shift. A standout feature is the interactive timeline. 

Essentially a Gantt chart on steroids, it enables seamless adjustments of tasks and dependencies. Add in stellar collaboration features like @mentions and file attachments directly on tasks, and you have a powerhouse tool for project management. Wrike’s real ace in the hole, however, is its automated scheduling, a feature that responds to date changes and dependency shifts, eliminating the need for manual updates. 

Learn more about Wrike

Microsoft Project – Best for advanced Gantt chart customization and detailing


  • Detailed customization
  • Advanced task dependency mapping
  • Integration with Microsoft Suite
  • Resource management that allows users to track usage


  • Limited compatibility for Mac users
  • High cost
  • Limited collaboration features

Project Plan 1: $10/user/month 

Project Plan 3: $30/user/month 

Project Plan 5: $55/user/month 


Project Standard: $620 (one-time payment)

Project Professional: $1,030 (one-time payment)

Project Server: Contact Microsoft for a customized quote

Advanced customization: The platform’s Gantt chart offers in-depth customization options. Custom fields, varied task dependencies, personalized views, and more are all adjustable to suit your project’s requirements. 

In-depth dependency mapping: Users can define complex task relationships, providing granular control over how tasks interrelate. This includes the specification of different types of dependencies, lead times, and lag times, offering a highly detailed view of task relationships. 

Integration and collaboration: Project integrates with the Microsoft 365 Suite, allowing for easier data sharing and collaboration.

Microsoft Project overview

Microsoft Project, a staple in the Microsoft 365 Suite, is a comprehensive project management solution known for its advanced Gantt chart capabilities. It stands out for its detailed customization options, allowing users to tailor Gantt charts to their specific project needs, including defining intricate task dependencies. 

Its integration with the Microsoft Suite streamlines data sharing, bolstering its appeal. However, its complexity may pose a challenge for newcomers, and its pricing may be steep for smaller outfits. 

Why we chose Microsoft Project

This tool is a titan in the realm of detail-oriented project management, offering extensive customization options. We’re talking intricate task dependency mapping, custom field creation, and personalized view adjustments. Plus, it integrates seamlessly with the Microsoft Suite, making sharing data a breeze. 

Its resource management capabilities, which include assignment and tracking of resources within the Gantt chart, take it over the edge as a top choice. It’s granular Gantt chart control at its best.

Learn more about Microsoft Project

Smartsheet – Best for integrating Gantt charts with broader project management features


  • Gantt chart integration with other project management tools
  • Automatic adjustments of project schedules based on dependencies
  • Robust collaboration features
  • Integrates with various third-party apps


  • Complex user interface
  • Limited customization
  • Higher-tier subscriptions for premium features
  • Limited mobile experience

Free trial available

Free plan available

Pro: $7/user/month

Business: $25/user/month

Enterprise: Contact Smartsheet for a customized quote

Integration with existing systems: Smartsheet provides integration capabilities with a variety of other project management tools such as Microsoft Project, Excel, Google Drive, Jira, Salesforce, and more. 

Real-time collaboration: Smartsheet’s Gantt chart feature supports real-time collaboration, meaning multiple team members can work on the chart simultaneously. Changes and updates are reflected immediately across all users. 

Automated workflows: Smartsheet’s automated workflows allow project managers to set up rules that trigger specific actions (like notifications and status updates) based on changes to the Gantt chart.

Smartsheet overview

Smartsheet is a dynamic project management platform known for its flexible, grid-based interface and robust integration capabilities. It features a comprehensive Gantt chart tool that’s seamlessly integrated with other project management functionalities within the platform. Users can easily adjust project schedules based on task dependencies, switch between project views, and collaborate in real time directly within the Gantt chart. Furthermore, Smartsheet’s ability to integrate with various external apps, such as Microsoft Teams and Google Workspace, extends its reach, making it a compelling solution for project managers seeking an all-encompassing tool for managing and visualizing their project timelines.

Why we chose Smartsheet

The depth of Gantt chart integration within Smartsheet is commendable, bolstering an all-encompassing project management experience. Coupled with an advanced dependency management system and solid collaboration tools, Smartsheet facilitates seamless transitions between project views and efficient task tracking. Its impressive compatibility with external apps like Microsoft Teams and Google Workspace significantly amplifies its project management prowess. Smartsheet offers an integrated, comprehensive solution, meriting its top spot in this category.

Learn more about Smartsheet

ClickUp – Best for user-friendly Gantt chart creation and management


  • Ease of use
  • Versatile views
  • Dependency management
  • Real-time updates


  • Limited customization 
  • Performance issues with large projects
  • Limited Gantt chart export options
  • Absence of baseline feature

Free trial available

Free plan available

Unlimited: $5/user/month

Business: $12/user/month

Business Plus: $19/user/month

Enterprise: Contact ClickUp for a customized quote

User-friendly interface: ClickUp’s Gantt chart feature comes with an intuitive and easy-to-use interface, which makes it simple for users of all technical levels to create, manage, and interpret their project timelines. Drag-and-drop functionality for tasks and dependencies simplifies the process of adjusting timelines or restructuring tasks. 

Automated progress tracking: ClickUp automatically calculates the percentage of project completion based on the tasks completed in the Gantt chart. 

Filtering and sorting options: Users can filter tasks by assignee, priority, due date, and more. 

ClickUp overview

ClickUp is a project management tool celebrated for its user-friendly approach to Gantt chart creation and management. It boasts a range of views including a Gantt view, enabling seamless transition between task lists, boards, and timelines. ClickUp’s intuitive interface allows users to easily manage task dependencies, while its real-time updating keeps teams informed about project progress. 

Although offering less customization compared to some other tools, ClickUp’s ease of use and seamless experience makes it an ideal choice for teams seeking a straightforward approach to Gantt charts and overall project management.

Why we chose ClickUp

ClickUp’s strength lies in its straightforward interface, which simplifies the process of crafting and supervising Gantt charts. With diverse views and an effortless switch between task lists, boards, and timelines, it makes project navigation a cinch. Factor in the automatic adjustment of timelines based on task dependencies and real-time updates, and you have an incredibly user-friendly environment for Gantt chart management. 

Despite a few limitations, ClickUp’s dedication to simplicity and efficiency makes it a standout choice in this category.

Learn more about ClickUp

Find your new Gantt Chart software

Components of a Gantt Chart

A Gantt chart, at its core, is a visual representation of a project timeline. But it’s not just a simple bar chart; it’s a comprehensive tool that incorporates key project management components to offer a detailed overview of a project’s progression.


The backbone of any Gantt chart tool, tasks are the individual work elements that need to be completed for the project. Each task gets a bar that spans the projected duration of the work.


The horizontal axis of a Gantt chart is usually a timeline. It provides a temporal reference to tasks, allowing users to see the start and end dates, as well as the duration of each task.


Some tasks depend on the completion of others before they can start. These dependencies are typically represented by arrows connecting related tasks.


Milestones are critical events or goals in the project timeline. They are usually represented as special symbols or icons on the Gantt chart.

Understanding Different Types of Gantt Charts

Gantt charts can take on different forms, depending on the complexity and requirements of your project. Understanding the variations can help you select the right chart for your needs.

Basic Gantt Charts

Basic Gantt charts are perfect for small projects or for those just getting their feet wet in project management. They display tasks against a timeline, providing a clear visual of the project’s flow.

Complex Gantt Charts

Complex Gantt charts are designed for larger and more complicated projects. They often include additional details such as task dependencies, assigned personnel, and resource allocation. These charts provide a more comprehensive overview but may require more time and skill to manage.

ALSO READ: How to Use an Agile Gantt Chart for Project Management

Understanding Different Types of Gantt Charts

Gantt charts can take on different forms, depending on the complexity and requirements of your project. Understanding the variations can help you select the right chart for your needs.

Basic Gantt Charts

Basic Gantt charts are perfect for small projects or for those just getting their feet wet in project management. They display tasks against a timeline, providing a clear visual of the project’s flow.

Complex Gantt Charts

Complex Gantt charts are designed for larger and more complicated projects. They often include additional details such as task dependencies, assigned personnel, and resource allocation. These charts provide a more comprehensive overview but may require more time and skill to manage.

Hierarchical Gantt Charts

Hierarchical Gantt charts display tasks and subtasks in a clearly organized, nested structure. This is particularly useful for multi-layered projects where tasks are broken down into smaller, more manageable pieces. It provides a macro and micro view of project progress.

Collaborative Gantt Charts

In the era of remote and distributed teams, collaborative Gantt charts have become indispensable. These charts allow multiple users to view, edit, and update task progress in real-time, keeping the entire team aligned.

How to Create a Gantt Chart

Whether you’re a first-time project manager or a seasoned professional looking for a refresh, creating a Gantt chart doesn’t have to be daunting. As TechRadar often does, we’ll break down the process into straightforward steps, perfect for both novices and the more experienced.

Steps to Building a Gantt Chart Manually

1. Define your tasks: Begin by listing out all the tasks necessary for your project. Be specific and detailed; clear task definitions make for better planning and tracking.

2. Establish a timeline: Determine the start and end dates for your project. Identify when each task should begin and end within this overall timeline.

3. Identify dependencies: Some tasks can’t start until others finish. Recognizing and marking these dependencies on your Gantt chart will help you avoid scheduling conflicts and delays.

4. Allocate resources: Identify who or what is responsible for each task. This could include team members, equipment, or specific materials.

5. Plot tasks on your chart: Create a horizontal bar for each task. The position and length of the bar should correspond to the task’s start date, duration, and end date.

6. Mark milestones: Highlight important goals or events as milestones on your chart. This helps to keep everyone focused on critical project achievements.

7. Review and adjust: Once your chart is populated, review it. Make adjustments as necessary, considering dependencies and resource availability.

Using Software to Create Gantt Charts

Manual creation can be time-consuming and less flexible. Thus, project managers often turn to software solutions for constructing and managing their Gantt software.

Excel or Google Sheets

Excel and Google Sheets offer basic functionality for creating Gantt charts, making them a solid choice for smaller projects. They offer freedom in design but require more manual effort in tracking and updating progress.

Dedicated Project Management Tools

For larger projects with more complex requirements, dedicated project management tools, such as Microsoft Project, ClickUp, or Wrike, offer advanced features. These include automatic progress tracking, easy updates, and real-time collaboration capabilities.

Tips and Best Practices for Using Gantt Charts

Even the most powerful tools need to be used wisely to deliver their maximum potential. Gantt charts are no exception. Here are some tips and tricks for effectively using Gantt charts to drive your project management success. 

Keeping charts simple and clean

Overly complicated Gantt charts can become counterproductive, obscuring key information with unnecessary details. Keep your charts clean, focusing on essential tasks and dependencies. Use clear, straightforward task names and keep design elements consistent for easy reading. 

Regularly updating the Gantt chart

A Gantt chart is a dynamic tool that should evolve with your project. Regularly update your chart to reflect changes in task timelines, completed tasks, and new dependencies. This keeps your team informed and aligned with the project status. 

Color coding for better organization

Color coding can be a powerful ally when managing complex projects. Assign different colors to different tasks, stages, teams, or task statuses. This adds an extra layer of information to your chart, enabling team members to quickly understand task distribution and status at a glance. 

Using milestones

Milestones are critical goals or points in your project timeline. They’re your project’s signposts, indicating significant progress. Use them to keep your team motivated and to ensure you’re hitting your project targets on time. 

The Importance of Gantt Charts in Project Management

When it comes to project management, complexity is the name of the game. Tasks, resources, timelines – balancing these elements can be like trying to tame a many-headed beast. Yet, a hero emerges from this chaos: the Gantt chart. Let’s dive into why this tool is a project manager’s best friend. 

A Snapshot of project management

Project management is akin to conducting an orchestra, ensuring all parts come together in a harmonious symphony. It’s about guiding a team through the lifecycle of a project – from initiation to closure – all the while juggling resources, timelines, and objectives. Enter the Gantt chart, a veritable baton in a project manager’s hand.

Gantt Charts: Planning like a pro

When planning a project, Gantt software offer invaluable assistance. They transform abstract ideas into a tangible roadmap, outlining tasks, pinpointing dependencies, assigning resources, and defining milestones. It’s like having a birds-eye view of the project landscape.

Scheduling made simple

Gantt charts turn the complex web of scheduling into a walk in the park. They highlight the relationship between tasks, stopping conflicts and delays dead in their tracks. Plus, by offering a panoramic view of the project timeline, they ensure that every task is slated for completion before the curtain call.

The perks of Gantt charting

Think of Gantt charts as the Swiss Army knife of project management – versatile and efficient. They amp up communication by laying out a project’s status in vivid detail, simplify change management, guard against scope creep, and enhance the project manager’s ability to lead effectively.

Gantt charts, in essence, are the unsung heroes of project management. They lend clarity to complexity and order to potential chaos, helping project managers orchestrate their projects with a confident hand.

Limitations and Challenges of Gantt Charts

As potent as Gantt charts are for project management, they’re not without their shortcomings. At Technology Advice, we believe in delivering the whole picture—the good, the bad, and the challenges in-between. Let’s delve into some limitations you might encounter when using Gantt charts.  

Handling complex projects

Gantt charts shine when managing relatively straightforward projects with clear, linear task sequences. However, when projects become complex with overlapping tasks, multiple dependencies, and concurrent processes, Gantt charts can quickly become cluttered and challenging to interpret. 

Time consumption

Creating and maintaining a Gantt chart, especially manually, can be a time-consuming process. It requires continuous updates to keep up with project changes, which might distract project managers from other responsibilities. 

Dependence on accurate initial estimates

Gantt charts are heavily dependent on initial task duration estimates. If these estimates are inaccurate, it can lead to misrepresentations of the project timeline, causing scheduling conflicts and delays. 

Limited flexibility

Gantt charts, by design, are linear and structured. They offer limited flexibility when unexpected changes occur. Adapting to changes can mean a complete restructuring of the chart, which can be cumbersome—particularly for large scale projects.

In light of these challenges, it’s essential to consider whether a Gantt chart is the right tool for your project. Keep in mind that numerous project management methods exist, and the best one often depends on the specific requirements of your project. Remember, a tool is only as useful as its application allows it to be. 

ALSO READ: The Advantages and Limitations of Gantt Charts in Project Management

The Future of Gantt Charts: Trends and Predictions

Gantt charts, already an indispensable asset in project management, are poised for an exciting future. Let’s don our futuristic goggles and explore what advancements await Gantt charts.

Integration with AI and machine learning

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning are no longer just buzzwords; they’re dramatically reshaping how we approach project management. We foresee AI making Gantt charts more dynamic and responsive, automatically adjusting timelines based on project changes, predicting potential bottlenecks, and optimizing resource allocation.

Enhanced collaboration features

In an increasingly connected world, real-time collaboration is the cornerstone of efficient project management. Future Gantt charts are likely to facilitate improved collaboration, with features like instant updates, task commenting, and integrations with communication platforms, further fueling team synergy.

Increased use of mobile platforms

As the work landscape becomes more mobile, we predict Gantt charts will follow suit. Expect more robust mobile applications that offer comprehensive Gantt chart functionality, empowering project managers to monitor and adjust their projects on-the-go.

Advanced data visualization techniques

Data visualization is an evolving field, and it’s poised to make Gantt charts even more insightful. We anticipate future Gantt charts harnessing advanced visualization techniques, delivering multi-dimensional views of projects that go beyond simple task timelines, offering deeper insights at a glance.

In the world of project management, Gantt charts have proven their mettle. As we gaze into the future, it’s clear they’re not resting on their laurels. On the contrary, they’re gearing up to ride the wave of technological advancements, bringing even more value and versatility to project management. 

Choosing the right Gantt chart software 

The right Gantt chart software should be a seamless extension of your project management needs. Whether it’s the real-time collaboration capabilities of Wrike, the advanced customization options of Microsoft Project, the striking visual timelines of Monday Projects, the integrative power of Smartsheet, or the user-friendly nature of ClickUp, each offers unique strengths.

Remember, a tool’s power lies in how well it aligns with your specific requirements. Are you managing complex, multi-faceted projects? Looking for increased team collaboration? Or perhaps you desire a more visual approach to your project timelines? Answering such questions will guide you towards your ideal software.

No one size fits all in the world of project management, and the Gantt chart software landscape is a reflection of this diversity. Whichever you choose, rest assured that a well-utilized Gantt chart will be a formidable ally in your project management endeavors.


What type of information is typically included in a Gantt chart?

A Gantt chart typically includes a list of tasks or activities related to a project, the start and end dates of these tasks, the duration of each task, and any dependencies between tasks. Some Gantt charts also include information about task assignments and progress.

What are the main advantages of using a Gantt chart in project management?

Gantt charts are used in project management because they offer a clear visual representation of the project timeline, help in scheduling and tracking progress, and clearly show dependencies between tasks. This helps project managers to better plan and coordinate work, manage resources effectively, and keep stakeholders informed about the project status.

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