9 Essential Excel Spreadsheets for Tracking Tasks, Costs and Time


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Your work isn’t going according to plan. Nobody has enough time or money to do their tasks. The best you can hope for is to finish them quickly, saving as much time and costs as possible.

If you’re in this spot, then you may seek out some task, cost and time tracking templates for Excel. We’ve collected ProjectManager’s 9 best Excel spreadsheets for tracking that you can download and use for free.

1. Dashboard Template

A dashboard is how you keep track of your work, including the time spent on tasks, what you’re spending and if you’re making progress as planned. ProjectManager’s free dashboard template for Excel gives you an overview of how you’re doing on your work. This information is vital to know if you’re overspending or running behind on your schedule.

Project Dashboard Template for tracking

ProjectManager’s free dashboard template has several widgets that monitor metrics in your work. For example, there’s a color-coded task graph that shows if your tasks are complete, in progress, not started or overdue. There’s also a workload chart for managing teams and making sure their workload is balanced.

There’s another task graph that measures the duration of the tasks, which is helpful in seeing what is getting done on time and what is taking too long. Finally, there’s a cost bar chart to help you stay on budget.

This Excel dashboard template can manage your work, but it’s a static document that must be updated manually. Project tracking software automates that process. ProjectManager goes one step further by accumulating real-time data, crunching the numbers and displaying it. Get started with ProjectManager free today.

ProjectManager's real-time project management dashboard

Not all project management software offers the same project dashboards. ProjectManager’s project dashboard comes equipped with the right project management features to help you keep track of time, tasks, costs and more.

2. Task Tracker Template

ProjectManager’s free task tracker for Excel template can organize your work and keep track of it. It’s similar to a to-do list, where you just need to add the work and manage it. Having a task list is the first step to controlling your work.

This task tracker spreadsheet captures all the details of your work. Add the name of the task and include dependent tasks. You can assign it to yourself, or someone on your team.

free task tracking template

Next, set the priority and when you expect to finish. Finally, there’s a column to mark its status, which is essential to track your work. It’s got everything you need to track your tasks at a basic level with an Excel spreadsheet.

3. Budget Spreadsheet for Cost Tracking

Managing costs in your work is as important as meeting deadlines. ProjectManager’s free budget template for Excel helps you keep to your budget by tracking all of your financial details on one spreadsheet.

Project budget spreadsheet for tracking

Tasks cost money. The budget defines the costs of the resources you’ll employ to deliver those tasks to completion. First, the spreadsheet template has a numbered list that corresponds to your work breakdown structure (WBS). Then, there are labor costs: planned vs actual hours, plus the cost per hour. Materials are broken down by units and cost per unit.

There is also room for other line items on your budget, which include travel, equipment, fixed and miscellaneous costs. Finally, there are columns to collect the budgeted and actual cost for each line item, then a balance showing if the line item is above or under budget.

Related: How to Track Project Expenses

4. Timeline Template

ProjectManager’s free timeline template in Excel is perfect for scheduling your project from start to finish in Excel. It’s a way to view all your tasks and keep on schedule. You can even add milestones!

Timeline template for tracking

To get started with this free timeline template, you first need to list all your tasks and give them a name. Each task must have a start date and an end date, plus the time you think it’ll take to complete.

You add all that data to the left side of the template, which is a normal tracking spreadsheet. Then, on the right, you’ll see the timeline. All your tasks are now laid out as horizontal bars across a timeline so you can see how long it’ll take to complete each task.

If you want to take your planning even further, upgrade to an online software that lets you build timelines in minutes. ProjectManager has online project timelines that update instantly as the team collaborates on tasks. Track costs, workload, planned vs actual progress and more. Get started for free.

Online project timeline for tracking projects
Build a plan with a timeline, then track it with dashboards and reports. Get started for free.

5. Action Plan Spreadsheet

Managing work means outlining the steps you must complete in order to achieve your goals. Use ProjectManager’s free action plan spreadsheet for Excel to track tasks and detail the strategy you’ll use to complete your work on time and within budget.

Action plan spreadsheet for task and project tracking

We’ve broken up this action plan template into three sections. The first are the action steps, which note priority, list tasks, phases and assignments. There’s also space to note the status of your tasks and track their progress.

Section two is a timeline, with start and due dates, including planned hours. Finally, section three focuses on resources; for example, which department is responsible for which task, what materials are needed and the resource cost.

6. Status Report Template

Knowing where you are at any particular point in the project life cycle is how you manage time and costs. Our free status report template is a great tool to track your progress and keep on schedule.

Status report template for tracking in Excel

This free status report template is made up of five sections: project information, project status summary, project health, risk management overview and a conclusion that includes recommendations for the future.

A status report is a cornerstone of tracking your work. It’s used in project management and work management alike because it gives managers a picture their planned vs actual progress. It’s also a powerful tool when presenting to stakeholders.

7. Risk Tracking Spreadsheet

No matter how well-planned your work is, there are unknowns that can impact your progress. Use ProjectManager’s free risk register spreadsheet to help you plan for risks in your work.

Risk tracking spreadsheet for Excel

This free risk register for Excel has columns to ID the risk to make it easier to track. There’s a column to describe the risk and explain how it will impact the work you’re doing if it goes from a risk to an actual issue.

For each risk you identify on the template, you can add a risk response, which the response you’ll take if the risk actualizes. You can also note the risk level. Then, if you’re working in a team, you can assign the risk so that team member is responsible for identifying and rectifying it.

8. Change Tracking Spreadsheet

Download ProjectManager’s free change tracking spreadsheet for Microsoft Excel to manage change when it impacts your work management. It will help you control change so it doesn’t make you spend too much overtime or add costs.

Change log template for tracking changes

A change log Excel spreadsheet is one of the most important Microsoft Excel templates we offer. It’s a document that captures change when it happens. You can number changes for better tracking, and note when the change first came up and who discovered or requested it.

You can then prioritize the change, and you or a team member can be given ownership to see it through to completion. The Excel spreadsheet tracks the change from discovery to recovery, and makes sure that no change order is lost in the cracks.

9. Time Tracking Spreadsheet

There’s no better template to track the time you spend on your tasks than with ProjectManager’s free time tracking spreadsheet. This timesheet is great for you, or for team members, to record the amount of time spent on work.

Timesheet template for time tracking

The timesheet has space for your name or the name of the employee, what department they’re working in, who their supervisor is and the hourly rate of pay they get. The template collects their hours, such as their start time and end time for their workday. There’s even a place to add overtime and lunch.

Then, the total for the week is added up and multiplied by the rate of pay to show the total amount the employee is owed. Finally, there’s a line for the employee to sign and the supervisor to look it over and sign it, too, if accurate.

Use ProjectManager to Track Time, Costs and Tasks Better Than Excel

Templates and Excel spreadsheets for tracking are great, but as noted above, they can only do so much. ProjectManager is cloud-based work management software made for hybrid teams that connects everyone, no matter where they work, what time, department or skill level. And it does it in real-time, so everyone is collaborating and working on the most recent data.

Automatically Fill Out Timesheets

Take timesheets, for example. Instead of having your employee fill out the timesheet, ProjectManager’s timesheets autofill their tasks and update the time they’ve spent. This streamlines payroll, but also offers a window into tracking the time they spend on their tasks. That way, you know if they’re meeting their quota or not. Also, once submitted, timesheets are locked and secure.

ProjectManager's timesheet view

Work in the Way That Suits You

Multiple project views allow everyone on the team to work how they want. Managers can plan ahead on Gantt charts that show all your tasks on a timeline. The duration bar that connects each task’s start and end dates will automatically show progress based on how much of it is shaded. Teams can use task lists, kanban boards or calendars if they prefer, all of which are updated and show progress. There’s not a more flexible tool available for hybrid work management and tracking work.

A screenshot of a gantt chart in ProjectManager

Generate One-Click Reports in Seconds

Tracking time, costs and more is easy with ProjectManager’s one-click reports. Get status reports, reports on tasks, timesheets, expenses and more. These reports take complicated data and turn it into insightful and easy-to-read reports to monitor progress and more. Reports can also be filtered to see only the data you want and then shared to keep stakeholders updated.

ProjectManager's status report filter window

ProjectManager is award-winning work management software for hybrid teams. Our real-time tool tracks time, costs and more to make sure you’re always on schedule and never spending over your budget. Join the 35,000-plus people using our software to track tasks, cost and time. Get started with ProjectManager free today.

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