As a project manager, you have to create a project plan that have to map the entire project plan detail and present it to your client. Usually, your client will inform you his project timeframe, and you should create a project plan based on those information. If you have enough budget, you could buy a Microsoft Project to help you creating your project plan. But, if you have a tight budget, you can use Microsoft Excel to create it.
How good is the outlook of Microsoft Excel compare with Microsoft Project? It depends on how perfect you want to create your project plan. You can create a basic Gantt Chart from the scratch, and it will take some time to finish it if you just know the basic of Excel. Or, you can search a free Gantt Chart template for Excel in internet and start to create your own. Or, you can use this Gantt Chart template and start to fill with your project information. This Gantt Chart template is designed to people who knows a basic function of Microsoft Excel. It needs a short time to learn how to use it, and once you understand it, you can start to create and finish your project plan in minutes.
This Gantt Chart template for excel below is free. It works with Microsoft Excel 2007/2010. But, there is a premium version that you can buy, if you need more features to enhance your Gantt Chart outlook with the price much more cheaper than Microsoft Project.