You may have seen a timeline of a friend’s journey on Facebook over the years and thought that was a particularly attractive and striking way to condense information into a simple diagram. But timelines are not limited only to Facebook users.
Whether you are a student or a professional, creating a timeline for your work can be critically important. It helps you keep track of your progress and helps you focus on completing future milestones until the work is done.
Here are some online tools that let you create excellent timelines for your projects.
1. Office Timeline
This is an award-winning project scheduler with excellent timeline making options. It’s a great favorite among working professionals because of great graphics options that make for catchy presentations.
- Works directly with PowerPoint with no other software required.
- Offers several free and professional customized styles and templates for speedy creation of timelines.
- It can sync with and import files directly from both Microsoft Project and Microsoft Excel.
- The premium version of the software is reasonably priced.
- Excellent customer support.
- It can only be used on a Windows PC that comes pre-installed with Microsoft PowerPoint.
- It works better for quick/simple timeline creations but doesn’t handle more complex timelines as well.
Subscribe: Office Timeline (Free, $59 for 1-year license)
A popular choice among students and teachers, Preceden allows you to create parallel timelines and accompanying charts. Multiple unique timelines can be created by adding layers to the initial timeline.
- You can share the timeline with other users in the form of PDF, URL embedded code, CSV etc.
- Timelines can cover periods between years right down to between seconds.
- Parallel layers allow you to easily see the connections between different types of data.
- For free users, their timelines are visible to the public at all times on the Preceden website.
- All the functions of the program do not work on an iPad or mobile.
- Free users can only add up to five events to a timeline.
Subscribe: Preceden (Free for students, $29 for professionals)
Yet another favorite among teachers and students, Sutori breaks from the tradition of other timeline makers. It shares information through interactive timelines and stories using an engaging narrative structure. You can choose from pre-made stories or make up your own.
- Plenty of use for multimedia options like text, pictures, and videos to create colorful and engaging timelines.
- Simple and easy-to-understand software design.
- You can add quizzes to the timelines to encourage better learning and retention.
- You can track the progress of the timeline and get feedback on your work.
- Excellent for creating interactive training scenarios for new learners about a topic.
- The best story templates require the 1-year premium license.
- It’s geared more towards educational use and isn’t as useful for workplace projects.
Subscribe: Sutori (Free, $49 for 1-year license)
This is a web service dedicated to creating timelines that can span centuries or seconds. It is mostly used to create timelines of historical events that can be viewed by other users.
- The timeline can be zoomed in on and moved left or right.
- Events can be color-coded for easy reference.
- You can share the timeline on your website using the URL code.
- You can collaborate with others to create the timeline.
- Does not offer as many features as certain other timeline makers.
- Can be limited in its applications.
Subscribe: Timeglider (Free, $5/mo for premium features)
A diagramming software that provides hundreds of pre-selected templates and diagrams for automatic formatting. You can create any type of timeline that includes process maps, flowcharts, schedules, mockups etc.
- It can run on any internet connected device.
- Full MS Office, Box, and GSuite integration.
- File sharing and collaboration features.
- Pre-built templates allow untrained users to operate the program easily.
- No autosave unless you’re using the Cloud.
- Consumes a lot of the computer’s running resources and can slow down the machine’s speed.
Subscribe: SmartDraw ($10/mo for a single user)
A team management software which lets you create and manage the tasks of multiple people on your team spread across a timeline. The team members can view the progress of their teammates as with a timesheet.
- Attractive design and easy to use.
- Integration with Basecam and Trello.
- The timeline can be downloaded as PDF.
- Allows for color coding, client and project labels, milestones, sub-tasks and the ability to assign tasks to team members.
- Cannot upload images into individual tasks.
- Cannot interact with your team members using the platform.
Subscribe: Teamweek (Free up to 5 members, $35/mo for larger teams)
7. Time Graphics
A free online service used mostly for business and academic presentations. It uses the privacy principles of Facebook and YouTube videos, which means you can make your timeline private, accessible by link or public.
- Synchronize your timeline with online information sources so your numbers are updated automatically.
- Analytics to help you compute the data trends on your timeline and make predictions for the future.
- You can allow other users to rate your timeline by making it public.
- Multimedia graphics can be added to the timeline.
- Supports a wide variety of options for embedding content in your timeline.
- The timeline can be downloaded in the form of XML, Excel, docX, PNG or JSON.
- Private timelines require premium membership.
- You have to pay to use the more advanced features.
Subscribe: Time Graphics (Free, $14/mo for premium features)
Staying on Track With Project Timeline Software
Creating a timeline is an invaluable way to make sure you stay on track. Especially if you’re working in a group. The details of your project might vary. It can be a piece of homework, a presentation or a workplace project. But putting the details on a timeline will be a constant reminder of how far you’ve progressed, and how far you still have left to go.
After all, boosting your workplace efficiency is a constant battle. The kind of visual reminder offered by a timeline is of great use in the fight against procrastination that every student and working professional faces at some point. It helps you stick to a plan and tackle your work bit by bit, piece by piece until you finally master it.