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 with the software's native table view.


Excel has a prebuilt project calendar template, so you can save time creating one from scratch and easily jump into planning. The good news is that 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, the bad news is that 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 Spreadsheets are a breeding ground for outdated information and security breaches, as there’s simply no way to know who has access to it and what changes have been made.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 who want to collaborate on project planning in real time.

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 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's calendars

If you’re looking for a way to collaboratively plan projects collaboratively and connect launch dates to underlying work, Wrike's calendars are the best way to do so.

Wrike's calendars provide a high-level view of scheduled tasks by day, week, month, 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 shareable task and time management calendar allows you to view project plans for your own team and others. Whether it’s planning blog posts to correspond with a product launch or scheduling email campaigns around an upcoming customer event, Wrike's calendars make it easy to align efforts and prevent deadlines from falling through the cracks.

Looking to visualize your calendar differently? Try Wrike's Gantt charts for yourself.

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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?

Wrike’s calendar features are more robust than Excel and Google calendars, making them the clear choice for your next project management plan. A Wrike subscription will also allow you to avail of a selection of pre-built templates, including one for monthly planning that will help you set up a calendar and pair it with a variety of other features like Gantt charts and project dashboards that will supercharge your project planning. 

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