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Table of Contents

  1. Timeline Definition & Meaning
  2. What Is a Timeline?
  3. 10 Types Of Timeline
  4. Timeline Uses, Purpose, Importance
  5. What’s In A Timeline? Parts?
  6. How To Design A Timeline?
  7. Timeline Vs. Schedule
  8. What’s The Difference Between a Timeline, Gantt Chart, and Roadmap?
  9. Timeline Sizes
  10. Timeline Ideas & Examples
  11. FAQs
  12. More in Timeline


Timelines can help people plan out the future or understand and illustrate the past. A timeline is a useful illustrated tool that represents a linear and chronologically specific and arranged event that happened or will happen which can be used in a multitude of ways, businesses can leverage this tool to help plan out the year whilst academics can use this to help illustrate the events in the past.

Timeline Definition & Meaning

A timeline is defined as a linear table or illustration that visually indicates events in the order that they have occurred or should occur.

This means that timelines can be used to schedule future events and plans while being a great tool to understand history if used to illustrate the events of the past.

What Is a Timeline?

A timeline is a tool that acts as a visual list with a chronologically arranged line of events and happenings. This can have multiple uses depending on the intention of the one making said timeline. A systematic management team can use a modern timeline to help provide a great structure by providing milestones, deadlines, and things to achieve in the span of a whole year, phase, section, or cycle. Timelines can also be used as an infographic and can be shared and posted through Facebook and other social media sites.

10 Types Of Timeline

Project Timeline

Managing or starting a project can be a very tricky task to do if there are no proper structures set by the manager or the leader. A project timeline can help provide said structure by illustrating and indicating the various milestones to be accomplished at a certain date in the project. It is important to have the specific milestone in the timeline with a short description and the time said milestone should be finished.

project timeline

Wedding Timeline

Wedding planners can use a wedding timeline to help ensure that the wedding can go on without a hitch. The betrothed can also work on the wedding timeline with their wedding planner as a way to ensure no misunderstanding or mistakes during the wedding. The timeline should include the milestone and the specific time and place that milestone will occur at.

wedding timelines

Marketing Timeline

A marketing strategy can make or break a business depending on how it is applied by the marketing team. So it is important to understand which marketing strategies work or don’t work. A marketing timeline can be used by a marketing team to take a quick retrospective on the effects their implemented strategies had on the past years and use that data to empower the team to make a more efficient strategy. This timeline can also be used to keep the overall direction of the marketing strategy in check.

marketing timeline

History Timeline

It is important to understand the past of our world so that we may prevent bad things from happening again, like civil wars, revolutions, and current events like the current COVID pandemic, from happening in the near future. This is the reason why history is very important to learn about. A history timeline can provide a deeper understanding and an outlet for further processing of a specific historical event. The timeline should include the different turning points, places, and dates in history that lead up to that specific historical event. A history timeline can also be used to visually illustrate diseases and their progression of symptoms of a disease or sickness with or without a vaccine and may include the different stages of recovery.

history timelines

Event Timeline

An event timeline is a useful tool to have when planning and scheduling a successful event. This can also be used to provide an overview of the event to the attendees and what is to happen. The example below of a Go Green Eco Run for the betterment of Earth lists out the different scheduled occasions that the event will have and the associated times those occasions will happen.

event timeline

IT and Software Timeline

Programming software or a video game takes a lot of effort that will take months or years to make and maintain. The business or the project manager can make an IT and software timeline to help ensure that the team will be able to accomplish something within the specific phase or quarter. This timeline can help the team visualize what they should accomplish by the time they reach a specific quarter of the year.

it and software timelines

School Timeline

Planning for school programs or events is an additional stressor for teachers who are already working hard teaching their lessons. A school timeline can help ease the stress in planning out that event and can ensure the event will go off without a hitch. The timeline needs to have milestones, what should happen in that specific milestone and the time/date the milestone should be accomplished. A school timeline can also be used to visually illustrate the application process of the students applying to study at a school.

school timeline

Business Timeline

It is important to keep track of what significant things have happened in the business. This can be used as a great way to market the business to investors or consumers while attracting a workforce to work for said business. A business timeline can help map out the trajectory the business is heading which is achieved by making sure the timeline includes the specific date that a significant event occurred.

business timeline

Construction Timeline

Owning and building a house on your property is a very significant step in one’s life and will initially cost a lot of money. The concerned parties (architect, construction manager, and the owner) can opt for a construction timeline to ensure that the construction will be efficient without any problems. A construction timeline will span the entire construction development process, which will take many months or years, and the specific things that will be done during those months.

construction timelines

Personal Timeline

Moments, old and new, come and go when we live out our everyday lives, and we can’t choose which ones to keep. A personal timeline can be used to ensure that those moments and periods of our lives will not fade away. This timeline should include a picture of a moment you wish to memorialize and the age at which that moment happened. A personal timeline can also be a fun activity to make at home and can include interests like movies in the marvel cinematic universe, or an overall timeline in the creation of alcohol.

personal timeline

Timeline Uses, Purpose, Importance

A timeline is a visual tool that incorporates a list arranged and ordered in a particular sequence. Timelines are often utilized by academics, managers, and planners. That’s because there are plenty of ways to use a timeline as it can provide a quick way to provide structure and map out events.

A Visual Way To Map Out a Historical Period or Event

A timeline can be used by academics to help present and map out a visual presentation of how a specific period or event happened in the past. This could include big periods or events like the black plague, an ancient and historical movement that made an impact on the world, the American civil war, the evolution of humans, the rise and fall of empires or kings, and even the stories in the bible.

Provides Structure To a Planned Event

Events require a lot of planning for it to be both successful and efficient. A timeline can help provide a structure to an event as it can create an easy-to-view list or chart containing the different programs in the event and things the program might require.

An Effective Way To Memorialize Someone’s Life

A memento is an object that can act as a reminder of a person. This means a timeline can be used to memorialize the life of a loved one, the timeline can include, the birth or pregnancy of their mother and other significant moments of their life. An author can also use this for their book or biography that they might write about.

Acts as a Good Guide for Projects

A good timeline will provide structure to the project that it is used. This allows the timeline to present salient and visible milestones to those working on the project.

Can Be Used To Overhaul a Marketing Strategy

A timeline can be used by a marketing team or a business as a way to provide useful statistics for future marketing strategies. This is because a timeline can give a perspective of the ups and downs of a business and its marketing strategy.

What’s In A Timeline? Parts?


An optional part of a timeline, headers act as the titles and/or identifiers of a specific milestone or event in a timeline.


These are the specific numbers denoting either time, day, month, and/or year a specific milestone or event will happen or have happened.


The description is a short and precise statement that explains or details the milestone or event, this will be in a form of 30 words or less.


These are the icons, symbols, drawings, or designs in a timeline that will serve as the framework of the said timeline.

what’s in a timeline parts

How To Design A Timeline?

1. Select a timeline size.

2. Decide on the theme or the style of the bookmark.

3. Choose a timeline template.

4. Replace the photos, images, headers, and descriptions.

5. Add any photos, images, headers, and descriptions as needed.

6. Finalize and download.

There are other ways how to make timelines in different programs, below are helpful articles that will aid you in making a timeline with a different format:

how to design a timeline

Timeline Vs. Schedule

A timeline is a visual tool that arranges events and milestones in chronological order. This may be designed as a list, graph, or chart with details of events and their specific times and descriptions.

A schedule is a list or a plan for activities and events at a certain time. Some schedules act as a cyclical plan whilst others are a one-time occurrence for a specific program or event, schedules often include the time, place, and activity a person will do.

What’s The Difference Between a Timeline, Gantt Chart, and Roadmap?

A timeline is a chronologically arranged list of milestones and incidents in a particular timeframe.

A Gantt chart is a management tool that acts as a list of activities and tasks displayed at odds with time, often with bars indicating the total duration of the activity.

A roadmap is a plan that includes steps, milestones, and breakthroughs to achieve a defined result, often used in long-term planning.

Timeline Sizes

Timelines can come in different sizes and shapes depending on the length of the timeline one is making. Below are standard timeline sizes that will be used in making an effective timeline.

timeline sizes

Timeline Ideas & Examples

Some timelines are very tricky to make and think about, because of their varying uses. If you are in need of different ideas or examples then you can take a peek at our collection of timeline ideas.


Why is it important to have a timeline?

A timeline is important because it can provide a solid structure and foundation for a project, alternatively, it can also be used as a tool to collate past information in a neat and collated way.

What to include in your event timeline?

An event timeline should have the specific dates, venues used, descriptions, and headers associated with the event, all arranged chronologically.

How do I customize the timeline?

A timeline can be customized by adding various images, drawings, and designs that fit the header or description it is depicting.

What is personal timeline?

A personal timeline is a list or a chart of someone’s personal experiences or hobbies collated by themselves or other parties, like a widow making a timeline for their deceased loved one.

How do I add a timeline to a PowerPoint presentation?

You can add a timeline to a PowerPoint Presentation by either uploading a saved image of a timeline or making a timeline in the PowerPoint editor.

How do you write a professional timeline?

A professional timeline should be both efficient and sleek, the timeline must have short but straight-to-the-point descriptions while the images and headers are not distracting or obstructing.

Why is creating a timeline significant?

A timeline can provide a salient checklist with milestones to workers, developers, and the like when a timeline is used for business or for planning, while a historical timeline can help the reader understand on what led up to a specific event to happen in history.

What is a business timeline

A business timeline is a chronological list of all the significant things that happened in a business, both its ups and downs and presents them with the month or date these events have occurred.

How do you start a research timeline?

You start a research timeline by compiling all the data related to the timeline you are constructing and then creating an outline of the timeline with the compiled data.

What is a typical wedding timeline?

A typical wedding timeline includes a rundown of the whole program and events happening during the wedding with their associated times and venues.

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