The Ultimate Guide to Understanding Timeline Charts

From designing a new product to running a marketing campaign, everything a company does runs on a timeline with important milestones along the way. It can be hard to understand the sequence of events and the lag between major milestones. If you want to better understand the process or ensure that you've fine-tuned it, a timeline chart might be the answer. As a business owner or a member of management, you may have heard the term but never understood what it is or why it might make a difference to your company. Here's everything you need to know about timeline charts.

What Is a Timeline Chart?

A timeline chart is a visual rendition of a series of events. It can be created as a chart or a graph. Timeline charts can be created for anything that occurred over a period of time. You might see a timeline chart for World War II or major events of the 20th century. As a business owner, you might have a timeline chart of new product development or a sales campaign.

A timeline chart makes it easier to conceptualize a process or a sequence of events. It can make it easier for you to understand the intricacies of a project or why something seems to take so long to accomplish.

Timeline Chart Examples

There are three types of commonly used timeline charts. They include:

  • Standard timeline chart
  • Gantt chart
  • Time series graph

The type of timeline chart that you create needs to correspond with the information it covers and the purpose for making it. Here are some common uses of a simple timeline chart:

  • Helps to manage and keep complex tasks on time.
  • Allows you to visualize a process or events that took place over a period of time.
  • Works as an aid to decision-making about current and future projects.
  • Allocation of resources at the right time because easier.

A timeline chart offers a variety of uses. A standard timeline chart is easy to create for almost any event or process.

How to Make a Timeline Chart

Making a timeline chart isn't as difficult as you might think. There are a few steps involved, including:

  1. Choose an event or process you want to represent with your timeline.
  2. Use the date it began as the first point and the ending date as the final point.
  3. Determine the milestones or important dates within your timeline.
  4. In chronological order, create a space on the timeline for each essential date.

These are the steps to create a simple timeline, but you may end up with events bunched up together. The best way to create a timeline chart is to use software to do the work for you. Then, all you need to do is place the key information and times into the program.

Timeline Chart Software

A timeline chart software can provide you with a polished, professional finished product. There are many types of software available that are up to the job. You can even use simple document or spreadsheet software to accomplish the job, although you may need to select the right template.

MindManager offers the timeline chart software you want to make creating one easier. With a few clicks and some essential information, the software generates a timeline chart that you can use to assign tasks, define the parameters of a project, or better understand a process.

Get Started Fast with Templates!

MindManager comes pre-installed with many templates for you to choose from. To use these templates:

  1. Open MindManager
  2. Click NEW in the navigation menu
  3. Select the template you want to use
  4. A preview screen will appear. Check to if you want to use your selected template
  5. Select Create Map
  6. Customize the template for your specific project

Other Types of Maps and Charts


A timeline chart is a useful tool for a small business, college student, or organization to better help them visualize a process or essential event. These charts are relatively simple to create once you amass the information required for the timeline chart. MindManager can help you create the timeline chart you need along with other essential projects.