A Gantt chart is a useful graphic representation system to display the different phases of a project over time as well as view at a glance how they are interrelated; in short, it lets you practically manage complex tasks over a long period of time. Gantt Project, in turn, is a free multiplatform tool to easily create this type of chart.
Gantt Project is an open initiative born in 2003 in a French university and still in constant evolution, offering a full array of tools to design and work with this type of chart. In fact, one of its design maxims is the KISS principle: ‘Keep it simple, stupid!’ Or in other words, keep the result accessible and intuitive even when many features are added.
Gantt charts are useful for many domains, whether they be individual projects with different development phases or group-work plans with links between the different participating members. In fact, the work breakdown structure is a philosophy of work applicable to any project plan and enormously accelerates prioritization and temporal distribution.
Gantt also allows you to work with the program evaluation and review technique (PERT), a probabilistic system to calculate the estimated time to complete each phase of the project, with the added benefit that it’s possible to work with your planning document in groups by storing it on a remote server so multiple people can access it at the same time.
It’s also possible to import and export all the data in the spreadsheet formats CSV, PDF or HTML, meaning the program has nothing to envy other alternatives that work over the web. You just have to figure out how to handle all these planning systems to apply them to your daily to-do lists. Obviously, in most cases it will be worth the effort.