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How to Make a Timeline: Discover how to quickly and easily create any kind of timeline

Updated on December 2, 2012

Try the following tools to make a timeline

The internet is filled with useful web sites, and among them are timeline generators that can help you easily create a timeline. 

While poking around on the internet I have come up with a list of timeline generators that may help you out in creating a timeline.

Web-based timeline generators

Whether you are making one of your own life, a historical timeline, for a class, for a meeting, or even for a presentation, the timeline generators listed below should help make quick work of it.

These are web-based so you may have to sign up and create an account before you can begin building. Each one may work better for different purposes. Some are more dynamic and flashy, while others quicker and easier to use. Just input the dates and events and these tools will build one for you. Pretty cool huh?

Printable timeline sheets

If you need a pre-made timeline sheet check out these sites below.

With these sites below, you can print out a timeline sheet and write in the important dates yourself. These are well suited for teachers and classes where these can be handed out to students for homework or projects.

The basic steps to creating a timeline

Timelines help us understand the relationship between dates and events. They can be made to document the major events in a person's life, a company, location such as a city or a country, social movement, a product's evolution, and more.

Getting started is easy. Below are a few simple steps to follow.

  1. Select a topic - From electric cars to the rise and fall of Rome, there's plenty of interesting topics to choose from.
  2. Gather a list of significant events and their corresponding dates - For example, if you are making a timeline of your life, you will create a list of events and their dates that you feel had a major impact on your life.
  3. Select the timeline format you want to use - It can be laid out in a vertical or horizontal format, or it can be put on paper or created on a computer.
  4. Begin adding the dates and events - Starting from the beginning and add the earliest date and the corresponding event that took place. Then add the next, and the next, until you are finished! I told you it's simple!

Need inspiration? Check out these examples

Below are some examples covering popular subjects such as influential people, major innovations, social issues, and advancements in science.

Historical timeline videos

Of course, if the above web tools or printable sheets don't interest you, you can always get creative and make video timelines like the ones below. You will need to have video editing software and video or pictures.

Timeline books

Here are a few books that document the history of popular subjects.

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    • katiecolette profile image

      katiecolette 4 years ago

      You sent me in the right direction, thank you!

    • RoadMonkey profile image

      RoadMonkey 4 years ago

      Didn't even know there were programs for this. Thanks for providing this useful lens!

    • imagelist lm profile image

      imagelist lm 4 years ago

      Beautiful and informative lens. Thanks for sharing...