7 Free Decision Matrix Templates to Make the Best Life Choices

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There are different ways to make decisions.

To arrive at a thorough, well-thought-out choice—especially when you’re bombarded with a ton of options, someone is trying to influence the outcome of your choice, or it is a matter that will affect your whole life—you need to forego subjective methods such as listening to your gut or following your emotions.

Instead, it is best to use a tried-and-tested decision-making technique. There are two main techniques to help you make the best choices about practically anything.

The Two Major Decision-Making Techniques

The first is the Eisenhower Matrix.

This technique uses a quadrant to help determine what’s urgent and important on your daily to-do list and what tasks you can delegate or postpone for another day.

Another technique is known as the Weighted Decision Matrix. It presents you with the best option after analyzing a set of choices against certain criteria that must be taken into consideration.

Today, we’re sharing a collection of free decision matrix template examples that help you make better decisions by quantifying choices and assessing the best options.

Several of these templates are variations of the two major techniques discussed above, designed to yield results for specific purposes.

Using a decision matrix is advantageous for several reasons. Let’s check out some of these advantages.

The Advantages of Using a Decision Matrix

With a decision matrix, you’ll be able to:

  • Make the best decisions, even in the most complicated situations
  • Recognize priorities in all areas of your life
  • Find solutions to problems
  • Strengthen your defenses against any detractors (for decisions that have already been made)
  • Eliminate confusion in moving forward with a choice that has already been decided upon

Read on to check out the templates we’ve handpicked for this article, which can help you make the best life choices.

1. Someka Decision Matrix

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via Someka Excel Solutions

Do you always struggle when making a decision, especially when there are others whose opinions are influencing your ability to choose?

With the help of this template, you list down the choices and indicate the criteria needed to come up with the best selection. The template automatically provides rates and coefficients, along with the results of its calculations on a dashboard.

A chart at the bottom of the dashboard provides a visual representation of the results.

This template is the perfect tool for arriving at the right decision every time, no matter how many choices are available or who is trying to influence your choice.

2. Weighted Decision Matrix

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via Velaction Continuous Improvement

Decision-making made simple—that’s the promise of this template. It eliminates the subjective nature of our emotions and gets right down to numerical results to help you make the best choices every time.

The template has sections for:

  • The name of the creator of the decision matrix
  • The summary of the decision made
  • Options/choices
  • Criteria
  • Results (raw score, weighted score, and rank)

The results provided by this template can aid in your decision-making. Furthermore, if someone questions the validity of your choice, these results provide incontestable proof of the soundness of your decision.

3. Eisenhower Matrix Canvas

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via Eisenhower

Statesman, military officer, and 34th President of the United States Dwight D. Eisenhower is credited with having developed a decision-making matrix to help prioritize his tasks while he served in the military.

This matrix is also known as the Urgent–Important Matrix. It features four quadrants that you can use to identify the importance or urgency of a task.

Using this template, you determine if a task is any of the following (and suggest a corresponding action):

  • Important and urgent – do first
  • Important but not urgent – schedule it
  • Not important but urgent – delegate it
  • Not important and not urgent – eliminate

You can check out how to fully utilize the Eisenhower Matrix to improve your productivity and the quality of your life in this post.

4. Decision Matrix Spreadsheet

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via Captain Time

As mentioned earlier, results shown in numerical format are often the best way to arrive at a final decision.

This template provides that numerical result. It only requires you to input decision factors with their respective ratings (from 0 to 5, with 5 being the best).

With the decision factors entered into their corresponding columns, this Excel-based template can automatically provide the results you need. It helps determine the best decision or course of action to take.

5. Decision Tree Template

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via World Templates Online

Need a decision-making method that allows you to fully analyze the consequences and/or possible outcomes of your decision? Look no further than this decision tree!

This tool, when laid out on paper or screen, is a tree-shaped matrix that provides an unbiased look at the potential rewards and risks associated with a certain choice.

The matrix has three major elements:

  • Root node – Represents the decision that needs to be made
  • Branch node – Represents the probabilities or courses of action
  • Leaf nodes – Attached to the end of a branch node, these represent the possible outcomes of a course of action

This matrix is ideal in situations where those who are making the decision have an idea of the choices available, as well as the potential consequences of choosing a particular idea.

6. Pros and Cons List Template

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via Vertex42

If you’re having a hard time deciding between two specific scenarios (e.g., whether or not to accept a job offer that is based overseas), you can use this matrix to determine the best decision.

In this template, you are asked to enumerate the pros and cons of a possible decision. Next, the value of the items in your pros and cons list needs to be calculated.

To do this, each of the items in the pros and cons list needs to be rated on a scale of 1–10. Based on the rating you’ve given, the template calculates the scores of the pros and cons.

Usually, the simple process of listing down the pros and cons and rating each of the items gives you an idea of what decision to take even before seeing the respective scores generated by the template.

7. Pugh Matrix Template

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via UpBoard

If it’s difficult to arrive at the best decision for the benefit of your team, customers, or company, this template can help make the decision-making process easier.

Another example of a weighted decision-making template, the Pugh Matrix has a column designated for enumerating specific “critical qualities” you’re looking for in a job candidate, a project to be implemented, or a program to be launched.

Another column is assigned for the respective “weight” of the critical qualities. Then there are up to six more columns designated for the “concepts” to choose from.

Each concept needs to be rated on a scale of 1–10 in order to determine if it possesses the critical qualities specified on this matrix. A summary of results is presented in the lower portion of the template.

Final Thoughts

Setting priorities and making decisions can often be difficult when there are too many potential choices, or when one allows their emotions to influence their decisions.

A well-designed decision matrix template can eliminate these issues. This is essential when you’re making important, life-changing choices.

If you’re interested in more resources about decision-making and critical thinking, the following posts are worth checking out:

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7 Free Decision Matrix Templates to Make the Best Life Choices