Individual cells take lineage commitment decisions in a way that is not necessarily uniform. We address this issue by characterizing transcriptional changes in cord blood derived CD34+ cells at the single-cell level and integrating data with cell division history and morphological changes determined by time-lapse microscopy. We show, that major transcriptional changes leading to a multilineage-primed gene expression state occur very rapidly during the first cell cycle. One of the two stable lineage-primed patterns emerges gradually in each cell with variable timing. Some cells reach a stable morphology and molecular phenotype by the end of the first cell cycle and transmit it clonally. Others fluctuate between the two phenotypes over several cell cycles. Our analysis highlights the dynamic nature and variable timing of cell fate commitment in hematopoietic cells, links the gene expression pattern to cell morphology and identifies a new category of cells with fluctuating phenotypic characteristics, demonstrating the complexity of the fate decision process, away from a simple binary switch between two options as it is usually envisioned.