Project managers are pretty divided when it comes to Gantt charts.
A recent survey stated that 38% of respondents tend to ignore the Gantt chart feature of their project management software.
However, the same report revealed that Gantt charts were the third-most desired feature in project management tools that lacked it.
To understand this divide better, this article is a primer on three free Gantt chart apps and some general benefits. We’ll also show you how to use a Gantt chart view on monday.com to help boost team efficiency.
What is a Gantt chart?
A Gantt chart is a bar chart where each bar depicts a project task. It visualizes your entire project timeline.
Depending on the software being used, PMs can customize the overall chart to suit each project task list, and denote important information such as critical paths, progress, resources, and dependencies.
What are the advantages of a Gantt chart?
Robust Gantt chart timeline software (like monday.com) helps you visualize:
- Project plan
- Project timeline
- Task duration
- Task assignees
- Task dependency
- Task and project deadlines
- Potential roadblocks
3 key benefits of using a Gantt chart
Many companies lack the clear communication required for project completion. A recent report stated that 33% of businesses lost a customer in 2020 due to a communications issue.
A Gantt chart template can foster transparent communication, both internal and external, by providing clarity on the project schedule, tasks, task dependency, and progress.
2. Bird’s eye view of project progress
Organizations are struggling to deliver projects on time, with IPMA’s 2019 report revealing that only 30% managed to do so.
An online Gantt chart tool helps PMs manage all aspects of a project by outlining who’s working on what and when in a single board, even across multiple teams.
3. Task overload prevention
PMs can use Gantt charts to track how many tasks are assigned to every employee — whether they’re remote or not— to reduce the chance of PMs overloading team members with too much work.
What are the top free Gantt chart apps?
There are many free Gantt chart tools to choose from. We’ve listed the top three to get you started:
ClickUp isn’t known for its Gantt charts, however, its Gantt chart creator offers the following features:
- Unlimited tasks: just click on a date to create a task or drag and drop unscheduled tasks directly onto the timeline.
- Organize tasks: Use color to indicate priority or task assignee.
- Set dependencies: PMs can set task dependencies by just drawing a line from one task to another. You can reschedule every dependent task in a group or just a select few.
The main limitation here is that you cannot create teams. PMs are forced to assign tasks individually rather than differentiating by departments, like design, marketing, or IT.
The Gantt chart view is also limited to 100 cumulative uses per month. So for a team of 5 people, each member can only perform a total of 20 Gantt chart actions during the entire month.
2. Toggl Track
Toggl Track is a time tracking platform with 3 main tools — Track, Plan, and Hire.
Toggl Plan is free for up to 5 users, and Gantt charts are one of its primary offerings. The charts have the following features:
- Unlimited tasks: PMs can add unlimited tasks, milestones, and boards. Each task will have dates, descriptions, and a checklist if needed.
- A drag-and-drop builder: They have an easy-to-use drag-and-drop online Gantt chart maker.
- Effortless sharing: Easily share project timelines with team members and shareholders via URLs.
The free plan’s biggest downfall is that recurring tasks must be manually scheduled. You also cannot assign multiple team members to a single task.
TeamGantt is a dedicated Gantt chart maker.
The software’s main features are:
- Drag and drop builder: An intuitive drag-and-drop interface that makes it easy to move around tasks and adjust timelines.
- Track availability: The software has an availability tab to make workload and resource tracking easier.
- Collaborative features: Daily email reminders, file attachments, and task conversations to boost collaboration.
TeamGantt’s Free Forever plan is a decent choice for small teams because it only allows 3 users per account and 1 Gantt chart with unlimited tasks.
Why you should consider a paid Gantt chart app
A free Gantt chart software may seem to have all the basic features for project planning, but they’re free for a reason.Free apps cannot handle the demands of multiple, complex projects that are critical for business growth. You’ll typically find pretty low limits on the number of users, number of charts, volume of data, or all 3.
Plus, you’ll sacrifice the automation, integrations, and other powerful features that come with a paid plan.
Comprehensive project management software includes Gantt charts as just one small element that works in tandem with many other features to improve the way your business works.
More PMs are choosing complete project management platforms over standalone tools like free Gantt chart apps.
A 2019 survey revealed that 71% of organizations used dedicated project management software like monday.com to improve overall management.
Here are 5 features that a free app does not provide:
1. Multiple views
Every team member needs to clearly understand project timelines.
While one employee might thrive using Gantt charts, others might need a list view or a calendar. A free Gantt app chart rarely offers multiple views.
A paid project management software like monday.com offers multiple viewing options — all of which can be customized extensively.
2. Feature-filled task management
Every task on a paid project management platform can be personalized endlessly, beyond start and end dates.
For example, on monday.com, users can assign multiple people to every task, add descriptions/ lists/ images, attach files, leave real-time comments, set task priorities, move tasks individually, in groups, or all at once.
You can also set up recurring tasks and track time spent on each task.
3. Centralized team communication
A workspace platform has everything you need in one place, eliminating the need to send emails for every single task-related issue.
Instead, you can add real-time comments to every task on the Gantt chart to provide feedback or request files. Users can reply to this comment to create a conversation or react using GIFs and emojis.
Teams can also streamline communication by integrating third-party apps like Slack with monday.com.
4. Workflow automation
PMs can reduce scheduling burdens by automating repetitive tasks on paid software, unlike most of the free apps.
With software like monday.com, you can set up “if this, then that” logical automation, so repetitive tasks can be eliminated from the workflow.
For example, you can create a repetitive task to receive progress reports every Friday. Since monday.com provides data-driven reports, you can automate the entire process and have a report every Friday without fail.
5. One tool to top them all
Juggling multiple tools with separate functions and limitations drains PMs and requires a ton of time and effort. Moreover, your data is scattered.
A platform like monday.com combines all these apps into 1 dynamic platform.
A free online Gantt chart software is great for helping you plan straightforward projects, but you can’t manage multiple projects spread across different teams.
This is where a comprehensive platform like monday.com saves the day. With never-ending planning and task management features, you can execute any project effectively.
Check out our project planning template to get a taste of what we offer.