MS Project is not an easy tool, but it creates one of the best Gannt Chart or Schedule display tools you can get.

People ask for a simple guideline that can be followed to create a Baseline for the Schedule.

Note: I also recommend following this if you are looking to track real costs, or levels of "Effort" (as PMI would call it) but in the MS Project software it is called "Work". One must clearly understand if you are tracking Calendar Time vs Duration vs Work.  Each tells a different story and has their place.

12 Steps Before Baseline and the Sequence to do it in, includes:
1)  Project Start Date (Project - Project info)

2)  Calendar (Project – Change working time)

3)  Effort Driven Schedule (File - Options – Schedule)
·        New tasks created (Auto)
·        Work is entered in: (Days)
·        Default task type (Fixed Work)
Note: Duration = Work/Units
(Advanced – Display Options)
·        Show Project summary task

4)  Task Entry (Deliverables, Work Packages, Tasks)

5)  Activity Sequencing, Dependencies/Linking (FS then SS, FF)

6)  Resource Sheet (enter initials)

7)  Assign Resources to tasks

8)  Assign level of effort (Work)
·        Milestones (zero effort)

9)  Level resources, alter resources

10) Verifications

11) Set the baseline

12) Track Actuals and Progress (% work complete)
·        % Work Complete Column
·        Bar colours and styles, bar text
·        Critical Path (View – Highlight)
·        Red/Dashed Status Date (Project - Status Date – right click gridlines)