Start a new plan

  • 3/15/2022

In this chapter

  • Create a new plan and set its start date

  • Set nonworking days in the project calendar

  • Enter the plan title and other properties

A project’s schedule or plan is essentially a model that you construct for some project aspects that you’re anticipating—what you expect will happen or what you want to happen. This model focuses on certain key aspects of a project, such as tasks, resources, time frames, and possible associated costs. Note that this book refers to the types of documents that Project Online desktop client works with as plans, not documents or schedules.

This chapter guides you through procedures related to creating a new plan and setting its start date, setting nonworking days in a project calendar, and entering a plan’s title and other properties. No practice files are necessary to complete the practice tasks in this chapter.

Create a new plan and set its start date

As you might expect, Project focuses primarily on time. Sometimes you might know the expected start date of a project, the expected finish date, or both. However, when working with Project, you specify only one date, not both—either the plan’s start date or its finish date. After you enter the plan’s start date or finish date and any additional details, Project calculates the other date for you. Remember that Project is not merely a static repository of your schedule information or a Gantt chart drawing tool—it’s an active scheduling engine.

Most plans should be scheduled from a start date, even if you know that the plan should finish by a certain deadline date. Scheduling from a start date sets all tasks to begin as soon as possible and gives you the greatest scheduling flexibility. In this chapter and later chapters, you’ll see this flexibility in action as you work with a plan that’s scheduled from a start date.

To create a new plan

  1. In Project, select the File tab, and then select New.

  2. In the list of templates, select Blank Project or any other template you want.


  • If you already have a list of available templates on the Start screen, select Blank Project or any other template you want.

When you create a new plan, Project sets the plan’s start date to the current date. As Figure 3-1 shows, Project draws a thin green vertical line in the chart portion of the Gantt Chart view at the current date.


FIGURE 3-1 The current date is shown in the Gantt Chart view; look for the green vertical line (your current date likely differs).

To set (or change) the plan’s start date

  1. On the Project tab, in the Properties group, select Project Information.

  2. In the Project Information forfile name’ dialog, in the Start Date box, either enter the start date you want or select the arrow to select one from the calendar.

  3. Select OK to accept the start date and close the Project Information dialog.

To save the new plan

  1. Select the File tab, and then select Save As.

  2. On the Save As page, navigate to the location where you want to save the plan.

  3. In the Save As dialog, in the File name box, type the desired file name and select Save.