Free Project Outline Templates

By Kate Eby | November 10, 2021

Choose from a selection of the ultimate project outline templates designed for business projects and academic research. 

On this page, you’ll find a mix of document and presentation templates, including a one-page project outline and a sample project outline template with example text, as well as a format template for a research project outline.

Business Project Outline Template

Business Project Outline Template

Download Business Project Outline Template

Microsoft Excel | Microsoft Word | Adobe PDF | Google Docs

Construct a detailed outline for any business project. This template provides example headings for each outline section, along with bullet points and tables for listing subtasks. Add a brief executive summary describing the project, followed by the reasons for doing it and add broader context in the background section. Describe the scope of work and list project objectives, constraints, and assumptions. Identify members of the project team, including key stakeholders. In the timeline section, list important milestones, projected dates, and the contact person for each item. Under resource requirements, create a basic budget with estimated costs for the tools, equipment, and labor your project requires.

Simple Project Outline Template

Simple Project Outline Template

Download Simple Project Outline Template

Microsoft Word | Google Docs | Adobe PDF

Create a basic project outline with this one-page, blank document template. Write your project summary, list key deliverables, and define metrics for measuring success. Break down your project timeline into phases and milestones. Identify roles and responsibilities for stakeholders and team members. This template’s simple layout helps ensure that your project outline remains succinct and focuses on key details. The outline should provide a high-level view of how your project will play out.

Project Outline Presentation Template

Project Outline Presentation Template

Download Project Outline Presentation Template

Microsoft PowerPoint | Google Slides

Turn your project outline into a presentation using this preformatted slide deck. Each slide covers an essential element of the outline, from the project overview and goals to deliverables and scheduled milestones. The template breaks up the information into digestible pieces and adds visual interest to keep viewers engaged. Enter your text on each slide, and edit the headings or slide formatting to create a customized template.

Sample Project Outline Template

Sample Project Outline Template

Download Sample Project Outline Template

Microsoft Word | Adobe PDF

This project outline example gives you an idea of how a template might look after you fill it out. The template is fully customizable, and you can replace all sample text with your original content. Each section in the outline expands as you add text, allowing you to create a longer document. Insert the details you want to track in the project timeline, such as specific due dates or milestones. Use bullet points to accentuate important points and increase readability.

Design Project Outline Template

Design Project Outline Template

Download Design Project Outline Template

Microsoft Excel | Microsoft Word | Adobe PDF

Similar to a design brief, this template covers primary elements of a design project. However, the project outline is less comprehensive, providing a higher-level overview of the design project’s purpose and process. Use this template for in-house planning or in the initial stages of client communication. Include a project description, list of objectives, problem statement, and design concept and style. Add a projected time frame and deliverable dates, meetings, and other events. Itemize costs to estimate budget needs.

Research Project Proposal Outline

Research Project Proposal Outline

Download Research Project Proposal Outline Template

Microsoft Word | Google Docs

This template provides a basic outline for a science, academic, or other research project proposal. Fill out each portion of the outline, using the numbered headings as a guide. Discuss the research problem, the rationale for the project, and the significance of the study. Cite sources for literature review topics, and describe your hypothesis and research methodology. Use the template like a worksheet to help you organize your project proposal.

For business project proposals, see our roundup of the top project proposal templates, including proposals for specific products and services.

Research Project Outline Sample Format

Research Project Outline Sample Format

Download Sample Research Project Outline Format

Microsoft Word | Google Docs

Use this template to create an outline for an academic research paper or a capstone project. The template provides a sample format with numbered headings and sub-items. For example, the introduction features subsections for a problem statement, research review, study significance, and thesis statement. If you are conducting original research as part of the project, list your research methods for a further level of organization. The outline offers example headings and subheadings to guide you through the process of developing your outline. Edit the text to suit your project type and requirements.

What Is a Project Outline Template?

A project outline template breaks down the parts of a project into its essential elements. The outline provides a glimpse into the project background, objectives, deliverables, and scheduling. It does not offer the depth or detail of a project plan

For more project planning tools, download free project overview templates.

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