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Creating a Multi-Project Timeline in Excel

How to use OnePager Express to make timelines of multiple Excel project plans

If you manage projects or schedules using an Excel spreadsheet, you may be struggling to find an easy way to summarize multiple projects into a single timeline report. Merging spreadsheets is difficult, and drawing the timeline by hand in PowerPoint takes too much time.

Multi-project timeline created in OnePager Express using several Excel project plans.

OnePager Express is a project management tool that imports project plans from multiple Excel spreadsheets to create a consolidated timeline report. If you don't have OnePager Express, you can download a free trial and follow these step-by-step instructions to build your first multi-project timeline:

  1. Open your first Excel project plan. In the example below, you'll see that we have a simple schedule consisting of a task name, start date, and finish date:
    First project plan (Excel spreadsheet). Before importing multiple projects into OnePager Express, you'll also want to specify the project name for each task, and give each task a unique ID, as shown above. Now, replicate this same format across all the Excel spreadsheets you want to include in your multi-project Excel timeline.
  2. Double-click the OnePager Express icon on your desktop. From the Start screen that appears, choose New.
    OnePager Express Start screen.
  3. Select one of your spreadsheets as the first Excel source file. Then, click the Add/Remove button to add the rest of your spreadsheets. In this example, we'll import three Excel project plans into one timeline. Once you've selected everything, hit OK.
    Import multiple Microsoft Excel spreadsheets into your OnePager Gantt chart.
  4. OnePager Express will launch an easy import wizard. Give your timeline a name, and then click the Edit Filter button if you want to choose which tasks appear in your timeline and which don't:
    OnePager Express' easy import wizard creates timelines and Gantt charts from Excel spreadsheets.
  5. In this example, we'll filter the three Excel files for tasks that start after January 1, 2017:
    Filter your timeline to decide which tasks will be included.
  6. Click OK then Next button to select which Excel fields you want to use in your timeline. For example, the "Start" column is a good choice for the start date of each task:
    Field mapping wizard for timelines in OnePager Express.
  7. Click on the Create new project view button. OnePager will import the task data from your selected Excel spreadsheets and create your multi-project timeline. After minor cosmetic adjustments, you'll get a multi-project timeline that looks like this, with all tasks lined up left-to-right in a timeline for each project:
    Time management solutions: A multiple project timeline created from a project timeline spreadsheet in Excel, using the OnePager Express add-in.

That's it! From here, you can save OnePager Express timeline as a PowerPoint or PDF file to share with everyone else on your team.

Customizable

OnePager Express allows you to customize your timeline, giving you the ability to:

  • Change colors, symbols, fonts, and layouts
  • Automatically group or color-code by resources, project phase, or any other Microsoft Excel data
  • Show baseline dates and durations
  • Add comment boxes, text boxes, curtains, or images to your project presentation
  • Split into multiple pages for timelines with lots of detail

Using OnePager Express will allow you to create dynamic, multi-project timelines in minutes, all based on data you already have in Excel.

Get started today by downloading a free trial or attending one of our demonstration webinars.

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