Timelines are a method of organizing information visually and chronologically. They’re tremendously popular with teachers and other educators and can also be very useful for writers working on biographies and history books. Fiction writers can use timelines as a worldbuilding tool to help develop backstory, outline major plot events, and more. Timelines are often hand drawn or created in the form of a wall chart, but there are a number of software programs that can help you build an attractive timeline.
If you have a Mac, I recommend Aeon Timeline, which was created specifically to meet the needs of writers. A Windows version is in the works, but is not available at this time.
Here is a selection of great timeline software programs:
- Aeon Timeline, Mac, commercial
- Capzules, web, free
- Dipity, web, free and subscription options
- Preceden, web, commercial
- Tiki-Toki, web, free and subscription options
- TimeGlider, web, free
- Timeline 3D, Mac, commercial
- Timeline, Win/Debian, free
- Timeline, web, free
- Timeline JS, web, free
- Timeline Maker, Win, commercial
- Timeline Studio, Win, commercial
- TimeRime, web, free and subscription options
- Time Toast, web, free
- xTimeline, web, free
A few writing project management programs have timeline or timeline-like tools built in.