Project calendars are instrumental in planning the next month, quarter, and year. Building a project management calendar can be time consuming, and some deadlines shift before you finish.

The madness doesn’t stop there. Once you have your calendar built, how do you align your plans with other teams’ calendars?

If this struggle sounds familiar, it’s time to find a way to wrangle the chaos and easily share project calendars across teams.

Here are three different ways to build a digital project manager calendar to support your project planning efforts. It’s up to you to decide which one is right for your team.

1. Project Planning with Excel

Excel is a default project planning tool because it’s familiar to many people. Formatting calendars in Excel is easy because of its native table view.

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Excel has a prebuilt project calendar template, so you save time creating one from scratch and can easily jump into planning. The good news is, if you use an Excel spreadsheet to plan your project calendar, your team members probably already know how to open and edit this document.

Here’s a short video on how to build a project planning calendar template in Excel:

However, using Excel spreadsheets as your project management calendar means everyone must view and edit separate files. If multiple people edit the calendar, they need to separately upload their latest version and eventually consolidate all these versions into one. Upkeep can be time-consuming and costly.

While adding a finalized calendar or creating a work schedule in Excel is easy, collaborating around a shared project manager calendar is difficult. Task management within Excel is also challenging. Spreadsheets are a breeding ground for outdated information and security breaches because there’s simply no way to know who has access to it and what changes have been made.

2. Project Planning with Google Calendar

An online calendar like Google Calendar is a good solution for teams that want to collaborate on project planning in real time. Wondering how to use Google Calendar for project management? Check out this article on LifeHacker.com to learn how to manage project timelines via Google Calendar.

Google Calendar is super flexible. It allows you to create multiple calendars and view them simultaneously or one at a time. You can organize your calendars in one of two ways:

  1. By Assignee: Create a separate calendar for each team member and put their task deadline on this personal calendar. Team managers can look at each member's or multiple team members' workloads to see which deadlines are approaching.
  2. By Project: Create a separate calendar for each major team project, and enter task due dates and project milestones. Compare project timelines to see if any work should be moved around to accommodate high-priority tasks or heavy workloads.

Although Google Calendar can be an efficient method for collaboratively planning projects, it’s mostly used to schedule meetings.

3. Project Planning with Wrike Calendars

If you’re looking for a way to collaboratively plan projects and connect launch dates to underlying work, Wrike Calendars is the best way to make a calendar for your team.

What are you waiting for? Start building your project planning calendar here.

Wrike Calendars provides a high-level view of scheduled tasks by day, week, month, and/or year. Scheduled tasks contain all related information, files, and conversations, so it’s easy to jump from the calendar right into work. Drag and drop the task on the calendar to change due dates, and all dependent tasks will follow suit.

Having a sharable task management calendar allows you to view project plans for not only your own team, but for other teams as well. Whether it’s planning blog posts to correspond with a product launch or scheduling email campaigns around an upcoming customer event, Wrike Calendars make it easy to align efforts and prevent deadlines from falling through the cracks.

Looking to visualize your calendar in a different way? Try using interactive Gantt charts.

Gantt charts are a timeline view of all ongoing projects and deadlines. They show task durations, connect task dependencies, note task assignees, and compare progress to the projects’ critical path. You can also view several projects on the same Gantt chart to see which ones overlap.

Which project planning calendar is right for you?

From Excel spreadsheets to Gantt charts, there are many different ways to build a project calendar. It’s up to you and your team to decide which is the most efficient and effective method for your needs.

While you’re evaluating which method is right for you, check out these additional resources on building a project planning calendar:

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