4 Things to Consider While Creating Timeline Templates

If you want a quick view of your ongoing project, no tools other than a timeline will be able to show it. Timeline templates are one of the most used visual representations that display all the pieces of your plan briefly. This article will cover what you must remember while creating timeline templates. No matter your industry, job title, or department, you can use the step-by-step guide for creating a project timeline. 

What is a timeline 

Generally, timelines are a popular method of charting a project’s start to end, including milestones, objectives, goals, and important events that happen over a specific period. Timelines represent events in a chronology by highlighting the history as well as the future project milestones. Project managers need a timeline to show project deadlines, accountability, annual progress, and expectations.  

You can download timelines online or create one for a particular purpose by following these steps. Let’s start… 

1. Briefing  

When creating a project timeline, first, you must start with a brief to align every stakeholder on the plan. Then, it acts as a roadmap to explain the overall project’s goals, purposes, milestones, and vision. In this section, you must include answers to some questions like: 

  • What are the goals of the project? 
  • Who will be part of the project? What are their roles?  
  • How much time to get for the project’s completion? 
  • What are the key milestones of the project?  
  • What are the roles of external stakeholders?  

2. List your to-dos 

You must list everything you need to do before, during, and after your project. Any tasks likely to help you finish the project on time and within budget should be included in the list. Make a rapport with your team members and gather all possible things from them before making a timeline. 

3. Plan a work breakdown structure 

Break big tasks into small pieces. No longer could you stand with a complex structure. Making a whole into small entities helps you do your project successfully and orderly. For example, be specific on the title, and avoid unrelated points. Further, to focus on the outcome of the action. 

4. Define the time frame 

It would help if you had a solid timeframe to keep everything in order. For example, if your project lasts over one year, break it down into months; if it takes three or five months, divide it into days. If it is very specific, cut the task into hours. Besides, you can include a weekly update template to visualize the project status to the stakeholders.

Create a timeline template with Google Document 

1. Define your purpose and goal 

When you begin to create a timeline in Google Documents, consider the purpose of your project before you start. Then, gather all the information you need to create a timeline. 

2. Set the page’s orientation to landscape 

Change the vertical orientation of the Google page set up to a horizontal orientation to get as much space for your timeline as possible. Next, click on the File menu, then select “Page setup.” 

3. Start with the drawing tool 

Use Google’s chart maker to create a timeline, which is also used for many drawing purposes. This tool helps users manipulate text and shapes, draw lines, and add color. To start, use the insert menu, select the Drawing option, and click +New to open a blank page, which you can see on the top of your Google document. 

4. Create your timeline 

Click the drop-down button next to the Line tool placed on the top of your drawing canvas. Then pick the arrow option from the drop-down. Ready to start at one end of your canvas, click and drag the line parallel to build the primary timeline. To place arrows on the ends of your line, click on the Line start icon on the toolbar and then select an arrow type from the drop-down menu. 

5. Insert project task or timeline events 

Click the T text box tool, and then click on an area below or above the parallel line, the type in an event, or a time. If you need to resize and reposition the text box, drag a side of the box. Copy and paste the text box to duplicate the format and styling. Then you can edit the text according to your content. To link events or tasks to their time points with straight-up lines, go back to the Line tool in the toolbar, then select “Line” from the options. 

6. Save your timeline 

You can click the “Save and Close” button in blue on the top right to add a timeline to your Google document. Then, if you want to make changes, double-click, and return to the drawing canvas. 

Last word 

Creating a timeline may consume your time and effort. However, you can suggest a precise idea if you know what to put to make a timeline coping with your project task and complexity. 

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