Timeline flowchart is a useful chart that illustrates a series of events, which play an important role in education as well as business, especially in project management.

This article includes everything you need to know about this chart type. Scroll down now!

What Is A Timeline Flowchart?

A timeline flowchart is a chart displaying a sequence of events that happen over a period of time. It is widely used to visualize historical events, for example, major events in the 19 century.

Timeline charts visualize a series of events.

People also use these flowcharts in business to depict project progress, product development, etc.

These charts are useful in helping you conceptualize a process and keep track of everything effectively. They make a complicated project easy to understand and remember for everyone.

A timeframe chart even offers more benefits for organizations. For example, they reduce bottlenecks and resource overload as everyone in your team can spot potential delays.

Timeline Flowchart Examples

There is a wide variety of chronological charts, but the most common are standard charts, Gantt charts, and time-series graphs.

Let’s discover each type below.

Standard Timeline Chart

This is the most basic type out of the three. It often consists of a line illustrating the time flow and dots as pinpointed events. There are also texts and images to add more details about the events.

This type of chart is really common, especially in history classrooms and museums. People often use it to visualize the timeline of historical events.

Gantt Chart

Gantt chart is a special chart that almost all organizations use to manage projects. It uses many bars of different sizes and colors to illustrate the start date, end date, and duration of a task.

In addition, the Gantt chart gives us information regarding the total time and the number of tasks needed to complete the project. You can also add notes and recommendations to each bar.

Gantt charts are more complicated than standard charts.

It is obvious that Gantt charts are more complicated than a typical timeline. It describes not only a series of events but also team responsibilities and dependencies between tasks.

Time-series Graph

Unlike these above charts, the time-series graph consists of the X and Y axis to depict fluctuations during a period of time. 

Generally, the horizontal axis pinpoints increments in time, while the vertical axis shows the values of the measured variable. The values will then be connected to create a series of ups and downs, which illustrate the pattern of changes.

Time-series graphs are often used to create forecasts and reports.

How To Create A Timeline Chart

This section guides you on how to create a timeframe flowchart using three popular software.

In Excel

Excel comes with the SmartArt feature that allows you to create a timeline quickly. Here we will take a look at the latest version of Office.

Step 1: Click SmartArt on the Insert tab.

Step 2: The SmartArt graphic gallery will pop up on your screen. Click Process.

Step 3: Find a suitable layout and double-click on it.

Step 4: Click [Text] and enter your text in the graphic. Alternatively, open the Text Pane to type your text.

Step 5: Modify the chart using the Design and Format tabs in the SmartArt tools. For example, you can add dates, move dates sooner or later than a selected date, change colors, and apply a SmartArt style.

In Visio

Step 1: Open Visio. Select File, then click New.

Step 2: Search for Timeline in the search box.

Step 3: Select the template, then click Create.

Step 4: Choose a suitable shape. There are three styles for you to consider, Line, Block, and Cylindrical. Drag the desired shape onto the page.

Step 5: You will see a Configure Timeline window opening on the screen. Enter the start date and end date in the Time Period tab. Choose a Time scale unit and Language.

Step 6: Format the date using the Date format list.

Step 7: Click OK to save changes.

Step 8: Add markers to illustrate milestones, intervals, and events. Just drag the corresponding shape from the Timeline Shapes stencil and drop it on top of the graph to add any marker.

Step 9: Select File > Export to export your Visio drawing as an image.

Step 10: Select Change File Type and save it as PNG or SVG.

Step 11: Click Save As, choose a location and click Save.

Bottom Line

A timeline flowchart is an intuitive tool for both individuals and businesses. It is simple yet gives us a quick overview of a process or events to manage tasks more effectively.

Thanks for reading, and stay tuned for more useful posts!