OKRs, which stands for Objectives and Key Results, is a framework for setting and tracking performance goals. It involves setting specific, measurable, and time-bound objectives that align with an organization's overall strategy, and then defining key results that will indicate whether or not those objectives have been met. The OKR framework is designed to help teams and organizations stay focused, aligned, and accountable, and can be applied at all levels of the company, from individual employees to management.
Whether you’re new to OKRs or have done them before, it’s always helpful to start with a template. The hardest part about OKRs is usually the goal-setting phase, where you’re brainstorming and writing the goals for your next quarter. Templates can give you a sense of how to write good measurable OKRs (or SMART goals), get examples of proper OKR formatting, as well as show you other success metrics you can track that maybe you haven’t thought of yet.
The following are the best free OKR templates and example resources out there – and who doesn’t love free stuff?
For some, it’s best to start off with a no-frills, basic OKR tracking template. This OKR template for Google Sheets from Michael Williams gives you just that, with this OKRs tracking template that will get you familiar with the OKR methodology. If this is your first time using OKRs, this is a great place to start.
This OKR template will give you a place to track company-level and team-level objectives and a way to track progress with by inputting percentages and status colors in your excel or Google sheets.
One of the most common ways OKRs are tracked is in a spreadsheet, especially at the beginner level. Though there’s a bit of heavy lifting to get started, it’s likely that this is a tool you already use with your business, and can be a very effective way to get your goals down on paper. Luckily, there are a lot of templates out there including this one by Martijn Burgman, that help you with formatting, help with calculations and even brings in some visual elements.
In this post, he also does quite an extensive starter guide to tracking OKRs, which is great if you’re trying OKRs out for the first time.
This detailed OKR template is great for those who want to use Excel to track their OKRs. Much like the others above, this template will help you track your Objectives and Key Results with progress percentages, and color statuses. What this OKR Excel sheet also allows you to track is confidence levels and trends on your Key Results. This means that, even though you can’t check previous scores or progress, you can show whether it’s trending up from before or down. If you’re a team that updates your OKRs weekly, this is essential.
This template also gives you a few columns to write in actionable notes or blockers, to keep your teammates informed on what's happening beyond the progress value. Comments and analysis of this sort, can be really important to communicate the whole story of your work to the team. More than 75% of teams worldwide are either remote or remote-hybrid these days, and having that context on paper, allows for teams to be on the same page asynchronously.
Now Excel and Google Sheets are usually the go-to for tracking OKRs, however some people like to work more visually, and prefer Powerpoint instead. Like the OKR methodology, the best way to do it is the way that makes sense to you.
If you’re a CEO or on the leadership team, tracking your OKRs in Powerpoint could possibly save some time. You’re likely presenting OKRs often to an all-staff or leadership meeting, and having it already in it’s final, presentable state, can be a massive time save. Why track it somewhere else when it’s going to end up in your Powerpoint anyway?
Of course, there will be features you aren’t going to get with Powerpoint vs Excel or Google Sheets. Calculations can be tedious done manually and updating and formatting a design file like Powerpoint can sometimes be tricky. Not every template is going to fit the text or images that you may want displayed.
That said, we probably don’t really recommend using Powerpoint as a way to track, but certainly a great way to present. For someone who prefers to work more visually, a combo of a Excel template to track, and a Powerpoint template to present, may be a prefect combo. They are all free after all 😉
If tracking your OKRs sounds like a chore, that’s because it truly is. Without proper tooling, there’s a lot of manual work that goes into keeping the momentum up in your OKRs. Creating a progress report every week, sending reminders every week, locating and updating your numbers every week, doing maths (yuck) – it’s all a lot.
Luckily, there is software out there made for OKR tracking. Tability, is the top OKR tracking platform that’s easy to use with simple setup, and a robust set of features, to track OKRs (try it for free today).
Tracking your OKRs in a sheet or ppt will work fine for many, but most of the time, you’ll reach your limitations with them. The beauty of Tability, is that not only is it easy to get started, it’s also built to guide you through the process. So if you’ve never done OKRs, a tool that teaches you best practices as part of using the tool can be a huge advantage.
That’s our list! Those are some free OKR tracking templates for Excel, Google Sheets and Powerpoint. Once you’ve got your free template set up, browse through this free OKR template library to get some inspiration for OKRs you can track in your Google Sheet or Powerpoint. There’s hundreds of free OKR examples that you can copy and paste into your OKRs.
If you have any questions about tracking OKRs or other general OKR questions, feel free to reach out to us at [email protected]!