Canva Gantt Chart: A How-to Guide With Pros, Cons & Alternatives


Gantt charts are one of the most versatile project management tools there are as they can help plan, schedule and track projects. However, not all Gantt chart software has the features needed. That’s why we’ve reviewed some of the best Gantt chart software alternatives to help make a more informed decision.

In this blog, we’ll go over the key features and pros and cons of a Canva Gantt chart, as well as some alternatives that can be used instead.

What Is Canva?

Canva is an online graphic design tool that allows users to edit images and videos for creative briefs, presentations, websites and many other creative projects. For example, it can help design printed products, make a logo for a business or create social media content.

The software uses a drag-and-drop interface to make the design process easier. Since its introduction in 2013, Canva has added services such as a print product platform and video editing tool. It has a free model, but users can unlock premium features and upgrade to Canva Pro for professional design tools.

This has made Canva one of the most popular graphic design tools used by creative business owners. It’s simple enough to use that beginners can make a quick graphic on a collaborative platform. The web-based tool has regular updates and additions that are constantly improving its functionality.

Does Canva Have a Gantt Chart?

Gantt charts are foundational tools for managing work. While Canva focuses on graphic design and offering users a simple and effective way to make quick designs, it falls short on project management. It relies on the graphic creation of presentations and other visual tools. However, it falls short when managing those projects with essential tools, such as Gantt charts.

Gantt charts are made up of two parts. On the left is a spreadsheet that lists all the project tasks, their duration and related costs and resources. On the right, this data is populated on a visual timeline that shows the entire project on one page. Gantt charts can then plot milestones, link dependencies and more, giving managers greater control when planning, managing and tracking projects.

Related: Best Gantt Chart Software Rankings

Canva has templates and design tools that can mimic a Gantt chart, but lack the features that project managers need to ensure their projects are delivered on time and within budget. Design apps like Canva aren’t built for that sort of work.

Short Answer: Yes, Canva Has a Gantt Chart

Canva doesn’t have a built-in Gantt chart feature but has free and paid productivity and document editing tools such as tables, graphs and charts that can be used to make a basic Gantt chart. To do so, export the Canva Gantt chart as an image or PDF format and attach it to a project documentation or presentation slides.

Long Answer: Canva’s Gantt Chart Lacks Key Features for Project Management

Canva has Gantt chart templates to list tasks and edit timelines and bars. These Gantt chart templates can also add details, such as milestones and assignees. But because Canva relies so heavily on templates there is limited customization. This restricts creative freedom and, more importantly, limits the value of using a real, robust Gantt chart.

Unfortunately, there are more disadvantages to making a Gantt chart in Canva, which are to be expected when using graphic design software for making a project planning tool. Here are some of them.

  • Creating and maintaining the Gantt chart is a labor-intensive and time-consuming process
  • Canva Gantt charts have no project management features such as linking task dependencies, identifying the critical path or tracking progress
  • Canva files can’t be exported as Excel or CSV files, which are the standard for most Gantt chart software
  • There are no spreadsheet formulas, which means making calculations manually
  • Need a paid plan to use most Canva Gantt chart templates

That’s a lot of disadvantages. It could mean the difference between a successful project and a failure. Don’t take that risk. ProjectManager is award-winning project and portfolio management software with powerful Gantt charts that are easy to use. They can do everything a normal Gantt chart can do, such as organizing tasks, resources and costs, but go beyond the basics. Users can link all four types of task dependencies to avoid costly delays, filter for the critical path to identify essential tasks and set a baseline to track planned effort against actual effort in real time to stay on schedule and keep to the project budget. Get started with ProjectManager today for free.

ProjectManager's Gantt chart
ProjectManager has robust Gantt charts that do more than Canva can. Learn more

How to Make a Canva Gantt Chart Better With ProjectManager

Don’t let Canva keep the power of a Gantt chart beyond reach. Get a fully functional Gantt chart that can do much more than the bare-bones ones users make in Canva. Follow these steps to create a better Gantt chart in ProjectManager.

1. Start a Free Trial

Take a free trial with ProjectManager. There’s no credit card info needed. Once signed up, users have 30 days to kick the tires and explore the features of ProjectManager. There are Gantt charts, of course, but also task and resource management features, risk management tools and real-time dashboards and customizable reports to monitor and control projects to deliver them successfully.

Import Canva Gantt chart data into ProjectManager

2. Import Project Tasks Into ProjectManager

Instead of manually adding tasks into Canva, you can instantly import several columns of project data from existing Excel spreadsheets, CSV files or even Microsoft Project files.

Import a project into ProjectManager for something better than a Canva Gantt Chart


3. Select Options

Now, decide if this will be a new project or if it should be added to an existing project. If it’s new, name it, and if it’s being added to a project note whether to keep or delete the existing data.

4. Create a Robust ProjectManager Gantt Chart with More Features Than a Canva Gantt Chart

A popup window will say, “Success!” showing that the project has been imported. It’s now a real Gantt chart in ProjectManager. Look around and see what our Gantt chart can do. It’s packed with features, can be shared with the team and also links to the other project views (kanban boards, task lists, calendars, etc.) and informs other features, such as the dashboard, reports and workload chart.

Import a project into ProjectManager for something better than a Canva Gantt Chart

ProjectManager’s Gantt Chart Does More Than a Canva Gantt Ever Could

Now it’s time to look at ProjectManager’s Gantt chart and see what it can do. There’s no reason to ever go back to Canva because our Gantt chart seamlessly integrates with the rest of our project tools. That means users can track time and costs, balance workload and much more.

Set Milestones & Track Baselines

Milestones are represented by diamond icons. They are used to indicate important project dates, such as the end of one phase and the beginning of another. They can help track progress, but for a more powerful tracking tool, set a baseline. Once the baseline is captured on the Gantt chart, users get real-time data on how the project is doing. They can see planned costs against actual costs and planned progress against actual progress in real time to help deliver the project successfully. Plus, it’s easy to filter for the critical path. There are no time-consuming and complicated calculations needed. Try that on Canva.

ProjectManager's Gantt chart with critical path feature.

Filter by Priority, Dependencies & More

The Gantt chart can be filtered in any number of ways to allow project managers to focus on the information they want to see. For example, they can filter by priority to ensure those tasks are being executed in a timely fashion. It’s also possible to filter by dependencies to avoid delays. Canva can’t do that. A big difference between Canva and ProjectManager is that users can link all four types of task dependencies. There are also customized tags to make tasks easier to find. It’s easy to assign team members to tasks, see their availability and better manage resources.

Gantt chart with assingee popup

What Can You Use a Canva Gantt Chart For?

Canva Gantt charts are simplistic and only allow for basic task management and scheduling. Users can plan and schedule project tasks, track their progress on timelines and visualize the project in one place. While these Gantt charts can be helpful in specific situations, they aren’t nearly as powerful as project management software.

How to Create a Canva Gantt Chart

If you’re still curious about how to make a Canva Gantt chart, we’ve outlined what you should know. There are two main methods for making a Gantt chart in Canva. Use a free or paid Canva Gantt chart template or make one from scratch. Here’s a quick overview of both of these approaches.

Use a Canva Gantt Chart Template

Using a template is the easiest way to make a Gantt chart in Canva.

1. Choose a Gantt Chart Template From Canva’s Library

First, log into the Canva account and use the search box to look for a Gantt chart template.


Gantt chart search field in Canva


There are hundreds of Gantt chart templates in Canva’s library. However, some of them aren’t free and require a paid plan. Also, it’s important to notice that most Gantt chart templates available in Canva’s library are uploaded by users, so there might be some errors.


Canva gantt chart templates


2. Edit the Canva Gantt Chart Template

Then after having chosen a template, edit it further to visualize the project schedule as shown in the image below. We edited this Canva Gantt chart template to list project tasks and their due dates on a visual calendar.


editing a gantt chart template in Canva

This is the most basic version of a Gantt chart. Ideally, a Gantt chart should track many other task details such as resources, costs, priority, status and more. Unfortunately, most of the project templates in Canva’s library have a similar level of detail as this template. On top of that, editing these Canva Gantt chart templates can be hard to do, as most of them don’t function as spreadsheets but rather as images which editing requires lots of manual work.

Make a Canva Gantt Chart From Scratch

To add more details to a Canva Gantt chart than those offered by Canva’s templates, make one from scratch by following the steps below.

1. Make a Gantt Chart Grid in Canva

The easiest way to make a Gantt chart grid in Canva is to insert a table. To do so, open a new Canva presentation, whiteboard or document view and look for a table using the “Elements” search box on the left side of the screen. By default, the table will come with three columns, so begin by editing these three columns, one for listing your project tasks and their start and end dates.

Inserting a table to make a Gantt chart task list in Canva


Now let’s add the fields we referenced, a priority level, assignee and estimated cost of each project task. To do this, simply click the three dots of the right-end column of the table and then click “Add column.” When done, the Canva Gantt chart grid should look like this.


Gantt chart grid in Canva


2. Make a Gantt Chart Timeline in Canva

Now, create the other half of the Canva Gantt chart, the stacked bar project timeline. To do so, add 12 columns to the right and one row at the top.


adding details to the Canva Gantt chart


Then merge those cells until it looks like the example below.


Canva Gantt chart showing task details and a calendar timeline


Finally, insert rounded square shapes and adjust their size to fit each of the project task rows to indicate their duration. Fill out all the Gantt chart grid cells with the project information and adjust the task bars accordingly.


Canva Gantt chart stacked bar chart


ProjectManager Has Better Gantt Charts Than Canva

As stated above, ProjectManager is software specifically designed to plan, schedule and track projects from start to finish, which is the main reason why it offers a much better Gantt chart tool than Canva. Let’s zoom into other advantages of using ProjectManager’s Gantt charts.

Advanced Gantt Chart Features

ProjectManager is one of the best Gantt chart software due to its advanced project management features that will allow you to link four types of task dependencies, allocate resources, identify the critical path of your project, track project costs and much more. Use the task information panel popup on the Gantt chart to change priority levels, set milestones, add inter-project dependencies and more.

Gantt chart with the task information panel popup


Multiple Project Management Tools

Use other project management tools besides Gantt charts such as kanban boards, project calendars, task lists, roadmaps and spreadsheets. Each of these offers a different perspective on your projects.

ProjectManager's kanban board showing a kanban card moving from one column to another

Track Project Progress, Schedule, Resources & Costs

Real-time dashboards automatically collect data from the Gantt chart in real time and show project metrics in easy-to-read charts for a high-level overview of the project status. Customizable reports get more detailed information on project and portfolio status, workload, timesheets, variance and more.

ProjectManager's real-time data project dashboard

Resource management tools, such as the color-coded workload chart and team page show how work is being distributed among team members so you can reallocate resources to keep teams working at capacity and increase productivity.

More Free Gantt Chart Templates

While Excel is the most popular choice for Gantt chart templates, other free productivity tools can help make a Gantt chart.

While all these Gantt chart templates can be used to make a simple project schedule, they can’t compete with the functionality offered by project management software like ProjectManager.

Related Gantt Chart Content

We’ve created dozens of blogs, templates and guides to help understand how to use Gantt charts to manage projects. Here are some of them.

ProjectManager is online project and portfolio management software that connects teams in the office, out in the field and anywhere in between. They can share files, comment at the task level and stay updated with email and in-app notifications. Join teams at Avis, Nestle and Siemens who use our tool to deliver successful projects. Get started with ProjectManager today for free.