Time has a way of getting away from us. A visual timeline infographic can keep you on track.
Timelines are perfect for telling stories and visualizing processes. You can use a timeline to give an overview of events, to highlight important points in time, and reveal things that people might have missed.
They’re perfect for including in presentations, posting on blogs, and including in ebooks and white papers. Whether you’re looking for a way to help your audience remember important dates, or you want tell your audience a story about a topic they’re interested in that they might not have known, timeline infographics are an effective way to visualize the information.
While you could settle for creating a basic timeline in PowerPoint or Excel, the design wouldn’t exactly inspire anyone. But if you start with a creative and visually-engaging timeline template, you can create a timeline that people will want to stop and take the time to read.
Follow these steps to use a timeline template:
- Pick a timeline template that fits the story you want to tell.
- Add, remove, or rearrange points in time using the drag and drop canvas.
- Insert your own dates and events using the text boxes.
- Customize the colors, fonts and icons to make the design your own.
It’s that easy!
Here are 10 timeline templates and examples for how you can use them.
1. Engage your audience with a timeline presentation slide.
Text-only presentation slides are boring. Timeline infographics are perfect for making information visually engaging. Optimize your timeline for PowerPoint, Google Slides or SlideDeck by using a landscape orientation and big, bold text.
Use a gradient color scheme to create a flow from the beginning of your timeline to the end.
2. Show your weekly progress with a professional timeline template.
Keep track of your team’s progress week over week with a simple and organized timeline template. Use icons to categorize different types of tasks so that readers will be able to skim the timeline and find the information quickly.
Alternate between two neutral background colors to increase the readability of your design.
3. Show the history of a popular topic using a timeline with a thematic design.
People often like to learn about the history of people, places, and things that they’re interested in. For example, this timeline template highlights the major product announcement at each Google I/O event since the first year it was put on.
The timeline uses Google’s iconic color palette to reflect the story. Icons and logos make it easy for readers to skim the timeline and find their favorite products.
4. Visualize a process using a branded timeline template.
Sometime, processes can be confusing, especially if there are a lot of steps to follow. It’s easy for people to forget steps in a process. A process timeline visualizes a process, organizes the steps, and shows the connections between steps. Numbering each step on the timeline will make the information especially easy to follow.
Use your brand’s colors, fonts and logo to spread brand awareness and make your content recognizable across multiple channels.
5. Highlight important dates in history with an infographic timeline.
Educate and remind readers about important dates in history using a timeline. Emphasize certain dates by using big, colorful fonts. Offer brief, concise explanations for why the dates are important.
If you are pulling your information from other sources, be sure to cite your sources at the bottom of the infographic. If you publish your infographic on Venngage’s community page, you can even include an active link for readers to follow to get more information.
6. Enhance a calendar by using colorful icons.
Take a classic calendar and make it more effective by using icons. Pick icons to represent different types of events…and don’t be afraid to mix up the colors! Simple visuals make information easier to remember, so pick icons that will stick in your memory.
Choose icons to fit your events using Venngage’s library of over 40,000 icons.
7. Group years together in your timeline to shows periods throughout history.
While most timeline typically use one connecting line down the middle to show progress over time, you can group years together using horizontal lines. Group periods according to different technological breakthroughs, political movements, artistic and fashion trends, or any other broad theme.
Don’t be afraid to stray away from the classic branch timeline design. Get creative by moving events around the page and playing with different layouts.
8. Emphasize different points in your timeline by using non-uniform design elements.
If certain date or events are particularly important, emphasize them on your timeline by making them bigger than other dates. You can do this by using bigger icons, bigger font sizes, or using a contrasting color.
Not only will using non-uniform design elements make certain points stand out, they will also make your timeline more interesting to look at.
9. Rank facts using a numbered timeline template.
A timeline doesn’t necessarily have to chronicle years. It can also be used to count down information. Take this timeline template that counts down New Year’s Eve facts. The line down the middle of the infographic creates a flow from fact to fact.
You could use a template like this to rank products, websites, movies…anything!
10. Summarize complex histories with a simple timeline template.
While you can’t cover everything that has happened in history in one timeline, you can highlight the important, defining events. Summarize the history of a person, place or thing by showing key moments in history and offering concise explanations of why those moments are significant.
Use colorful icons to enforce and illustrate the information. If you have a resource where readers can go to get more information, cite it at the bottom of the infographic.