A Quick Reference Guide for Microsoft Project (for Seasoned Users)

For a long time, I’d been wanting to create an e-book for Microsoft Project users. Something concise and practical that walked you through the most important features and processes in Microsoft Project.

Now, finally, after 3 months of work, I was able to finish this e-book. It is called The 80/20 Guide to MS Project. It is primarily a quick reference guide for experienced users of Project who have not used the application in years. But also, I believe it is the right book for you if you want to see how Microsoft Project can help you get more transparency and control over your project.

The 80/20 Guide to Microsoft Project: Your Quick Reference Guide For Using Microsoft Project

I wrote the book to give project managers an easy to follow and concise overview of Microsoft Project. It teaches you those features that you are going to need in most of your projects, no matter if these are $50k, $5m or $50m projects. It  shows you how to use MS Project in the typical lifecycle of a project – from start to finish!

To make sure I didn’t miss any key topic, I spoke to other senior project leaders and asked them for feedback. And so, the outcome is this e-book which you are reading about here.

MS Project book: The 80/20 Guide to Microsoft Project
The 80/20 Guide To Microsoft Project is a quick reference guide for anyone who wants to get started with MS Project quickly

You’ve probably come across dozens of other books or online resources about Microsoft Project.

How is this e-book different? And how can it help you?

The e-book gives you a process

In Microsoft Project, it is very important to follow the right sequence of steps when setting up a new project. Because if you take steps at random, you’ll end up re-working your schedule over and over until Santa Clause is coming.

I’ve included a “cheat sheet”: It lists out the exact steps you need to go through for setting up a new project in Microsoft Project. You start with entering the high level tasks, breaking those down into detailed tasks, adjusting the calendar for your needs, setting up resources, entering a budget and so on … until you’re ready to go! You don’t have to guess “What do I have to do next?”

MS Project quick reference guide - sample page

It is very practical

I wanted to make sure the e-book actually helps you solve day-to-day problems in Microsoft Project and doesn’t just give you surface-level (ideal world) instructions.

For this reason, I’m going into quite some depth and address real-life questions:

For example:

  • What do you do if a task is delayed?
  • What do you do if cost rates change during the project?
  • How do you perform plan / actual comparisons?
  • How to set different working times for individual people?
  • How do you handle change requests?

These are just examples to show you the practical perspective of the e-book. I created it for people like you, who want to do things in the right way.

MS Project Quick Reference Guide

It is straight to the point

The e-book is also designed as a quick reference guide, so that you don’t have to wade through pages to find the answer to your specific question.

If you want to know about a specific topic, for example “fixed unit” tasks, you can simply use the search function — the e-book is a searchable PDF file — and you will be taken straight to the right page where I cover the topic.

Alternatively, you can take a look at the table of contents and you’ll see that task types such as “Fixed units” are covered on page 57.

Finally, you might be wondering if the guide is right for you. Let me answer your question.

“Is the guide right for me”?

You can benefit most from the e-book if you fit into one of the following categories:

  • You manage projects but haven’t used a professional PM tool yet. You want to explore how Microsoft Project can help in your job by having more transparency over your projects.
  • You are a seasoned user of MS Project, but haven’t used the application in years. Now you are looking for a practical quick reference guide to get yourself up to speed.

So, I hope you got a good impression of the e-book and how it can help you.

You can buy the 100-page PDF e-book here:

The 80/20 Guide to MS Project

If you have any questions, email me at adrian@tacticalprojectmanager.com

Best wishes,



  • Adrian Neumeyer

    Hi! I'm Adrian, former Senior IT Project Manager and founder of Tactical Project Manager. I created the site to help you become an excellent project leader and manage intense projects with success!

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