Timelines serve as one of the basic business tools for managing the workflow and making it more effective. Although the tool is widely used in different spheres of activities, not everyone is aware of all its benefits. Thus, in this article, we’re going to consider the topic in details so that you do not have questions or blank points anymore. We will explain its definition, notion, spheres of usage, application, and provide links to professional premade templates that will simplify users’ work. The first question to answer is the following: what is a timeline?
What is the timeline?
The timeline is used when it is necessary to display events or dates in chronological order. If you have a list of actions, it is possible to label points on a long bar. This is the timeline itself.
The main objective of timelines is to demonstrate a sequence of actions within a particular time interval. Although timelines cover a great period of time, it is not very detailed. Nevertheless, it is possible to add images, data, or figures.
There are different types of timelines, for example, vertical or horizontal, clickable, text or number, interactive ones. They have different designs but the basis remains the same: a long bar with points.
Where are timelines used?
We hope that we answered your question: “what is the timeline?” and now can speak about its application. The timeline template is a multipurpose tool that is applied to a great number of spheres. As it serves as the tool for chronological structuring of events, any project or topic which implies lots of data can be displayed using the timeline.
- Education. Initially, timelines were created for learning history. In order to simplify the process of historic dates and events consideration, timelines were developed and widely used. The tool conveys historical movements, events, periods and helps students easier remember new topics. Nowadays, they are also popular in the educational process.
- Research. All types of research are closely connected with time frames. If we speak about archeological studies, timelines perfectly visualize all stages of archaeological excavations, the history of artifacts. A premade timeline template will help vividly display the results of research at conferences. The tool is applied to other sciences including biology, astronomy, geology.
- Project management. In this case, timelines come in handy when it is necessary to schedule a process of certain tasks implementation, point out milestones, and visualize stages of a project. Due to the timeline, team members get an excellent tool that helps fit into the schedule and clearly see objectives to be achieved. In this regard, timelines are frequently compared with the Gantt charts which serve to schedule stages of project implementation. You can read about the Gantt charts and find more information on this topic in our article, in which the tool is described in detail.
- Business. Recently, timelines were borrowed from education to business. It has quickly gained incredible popularity in the business environment. The timeline is also used for project management. In addition, it is the perfect tool to describe a history of company or enterprise development. When looking for investors, making business proposals/ ideas or introducing your business at meetings or seminars, the timeline will vividly and attractively explain the main stages of company formation. If one is going to display a startup or search for investments, the tool will successfully visualize the plans and objectives of a project.
- Marketing. If you want to schedule the upcoming sales, seminars, or other events, timelines will be a useful tool that clearly indicates the sequence of events in chronological order.
How to make a timeline?
Now, when we considered the notion and possible spheres of use, let’s proceed to the next step and find out how to make a timeline.
- Think about content. You should thoroughly select data or information that should be displayed on the timeline. Analyze a topic and make a plan. List all the necessary events or project stages on paper.
- Name the timeline. It is necessary to think about an appropriate title. Place it at the top of the page so that everyone can easily understand the essence of the discussed topic.
- Draw a long horizontal line on paper. If you make the timeline on paper, then draw a horizontal line and label points on it from start to finish.
- Add text to each point on the timeline. In order to clarify key points, add text information about events, milestones, or dates. That’s it, your timeline is ready!. Nevertheless, nowadays people use digital tools for work. Presentations have become an indispensable element of conferences, meetings, or seminars. Thus, most frequently people use Keynote, PowerPoint or Goggle Slides utilities to create presentations. In this case, you have to do the following:
- Make a list of milestones or events on paper. Before you start creating a digital template, it is necessary to think about its content, write down the points that should be present on the timeline, think over its structure, shape, graphic. When you imagine what you want, you can start a program. We will consider timeline creation in PowerPoint.
- As the utility is started, go to the “Insert” section and find the “SmartArt” option. Click on it in order to start the creation of your own timeline.
- The “Choose a SmartArt graphic” window will open.
- There, you can choose the graphics and structure of your future timeline. Standard built-in elements include numerous unique options.
- As you finally choose an appropriate one, press “OK” to confirm your choice.
- The timeline will appear on the slide.
- On the left side of the operating area, there will be a window, in which you can edit text. If you need more points on the timeline, press the “Enter” key on the keyboard.
- If you want to change the style of your timeline, you can choose “Layouts” in the “Design” section and try other possible options.
- As you finish choosing the style, do not forget to title your timeline. Enter the name of the slide at the top of the slide.
- Your timeline is ready!
Useful tips for timeline creation
- Use infographics, illustrations, and other graphic tools which will make your timeline vivid and appealing, add clarity, as well as simplify perception;
- Do not forget to name the timeline;
- Use brief and clear titles for points/ milestones;
- Think about the scale of your timeline in advance (although if you use a premade template, it is determined itself);
- Depending on the number of depicted events, choose the most appropriate type of timelines (vertical, horizontal, etc.);
- Choose the design that matches the rest of your presentation. All slides should have a single style.
As you see the process is not difficult. Still, it takes time. For those users who want to perform more effectively and create a presentation in a few minutes, premade templates are created. Below, we provide you some links to one of the high-quality professional web sites where you’ll find plenty of ready-made timeline templates.
Convenient and effective premade tools for creating professional timelines (Free Templates)
In order to simplify your work and learn how to make timelines in PowerPoint quickly and effectively, a great variety of premade timeline templates are offered on the Internet. Below, we provide some links to professional high-quality templates with creative designs and structures. They will help create vivid and attractive timelines for different purposes.
The site on which elements are offered is the whole library of premade slides and templates for different software where users will find a necessary tool for every type of presentations and digital projects. It is a useful resource for everyone who wants to know how to make a timeline on Google docs, Keynote, or PowerPoint quickly and effectively. Here’s the link to the section where all timelines are gathered.
This is a free timeline slide. Its design and structure draw attention and make presentations vivid and interesting. On the sample, you see a long bar with indicated dates, which is decorated with multicolored bubbles. Each point on the timeline is provided with a separate text block. The slide is suitable for different types of projects and spheres of application. It is a professional high-quality tool that will simplify your responsibilities.
This template looks rather structural; it has no vivid illustrations or images. A long bar with points is stretched across the whole slide. Its start and finish are indicated. Each labeled stop on the timeline is provided with a text block. It is a free slide; so, every site visitor can download the elements for free by clicking one button. It is an excellent opportunity to try a professional template for presentations, which simplifies work and successfully displays all sorts of data.
Have you ever asked yourself: what does a timeline look like? Then look at this free element! This slide does not look like a standard one. It has a creative structure and design. Such a timeline will definitely attract attention. It seems that a multicolored bar goes through gears and produces the timeline. Several points are labeled on it. Text blocks are also provided. The template is perfect either for educational presentations or business projects. Moreover, every user can download it for free.
Do you want to use a new timeline for every new presentation? Do you think it is expensive? A great pack of premade timeline slides is offered on the site. 50 unique elements are included in the pack. Each timeline has a unique style, design, and structure. All slides are of high quality, they are equipped with built-in tools. The pack serves as a useful tool for every employee who wants to perform effectively.
Here is another free template for PowerPoint presentations. The slide can be downloaded in two clicks. On the sample, you’ll see an unusual timeline with creative design. It reminds of a wind rose. It is made in a circular shape and divided into segments. The tool can be added to different projects. A free professional template will help perform effectively and create attractive presentations.
This is one more pack where 30 unique timeline slides are gathered. If you purchase it, you’ll get an opportunity to use a new slide for every new presentation. All timelines have unique and different structures and designs. They are vivid and clear. Professional elements do not have defects and are equipped with a number of built-in tools. It is a useful working tool for hundreds of users.
This is one more product timeline pack. It includes 33 unique timeline slides. Each element is unique, vivid, and creative. The only feature that combines all these slides is that timelines are made in the form of arrows. All slides are multicolored. Thus, it is guaranteed that they will diversify your presentations and draw listeners’ attention. High quality without visible defects and a pack of built-in tools make work more effective and convenient.
Although here, we provide links to only PowerPoint templates, on the site, there are elements for Google Slides and Keynote utilities.
We hope this article was useful for you and you have found out answers to all questions. Now, you know what timelines are. We believe that if someone asks you “what does timeline mean”, you’ll easily explain the essence of the technique, and describe where they can be used. In addition, provided tools can significantly help users and simplify their tasks.