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Help Center

40+ Timeline Examples, Templates and Design Tips

Written by: Midori Nediger

May 30, 2022

Timelines are perfect for telling stories and visualizing projects and processes. You can use a timeline template to: 

  • Provide an overview of events. 
  • Break down an agenda or itinerary. 
  • Highlight important points in time. 
  • Distill important information that people might otherwise miss.

In this guide, we’ll share creative timeline ideas, outlines and templates to help you design timelines that will captivate your audience.

Here are our best timeline examples and tips on how you can use them. Click to jump ahead:

1. Project timeline templates

Project managers need to juggle multiple balls. A timeline presentation template is a perfect addition to your presentation, project plan, proposal, project management software or other documents where you need to share project details with stakeholders and keep the team on track.

Color-coding data in your timeline is one of the easiest and most effective ways to make your design readable, like in the project timeline example below.

Nonprofit Fundraising Timeline

The visual project timeline outline above uses shades of blue to differentiate different tasks. You can use color hues for each day, week, month, or even specific activities. This will help them stand out from each other on the timeline. This timeline was created for a nonprofit, but of course you can use it to visualize any timelines you have for your projects.

Pro Tip: Consultants and freelancers will especially benefit from using this project timeline template. They’re an easy way to show the client what steps are required to complete a project and how each step impacts the next. The client will love having a visual timeline to refer when they can’t remember what’s supposed to happen when. And this means fewer emails and phone calls to you—we hope!

Monthly project timeline template

For shorter project sprints, a monthly timeline example may be more useful. A timeline, like this example below, can be customized to make it weekly or even hourly:

Nonprofit Capital Campaign Timeline

To make this a weekly or hourly timeline, simply click “Jun 2021” and change it to “Monday” or “9 a.m.”, for example. Note how, unlike the above timeline which uses different shades of blue, this one uses multiple colors to differentiate between time periods.

If you feel like this one uses too many colors and doesn’t coordinate well with your branding, you can always add your brand colors to My Brand Kit and apply them to the timeline in one click:

my brand kit

Consultants for projects can also add this free timeline template to their marketing plan to improve their workflow. A more efficient workflow will help the team effectively carry out your recommendations.

Pro Tip: Timeline infographics are great for nonprofits looking to become thought leaders. Pick a topic that shows the development of an idea in your industry. Plot it into a timeline template and insert it into your blog posts or guest posts or share it on social media. You can also add it to a white paper.

Real estate project timeline template

The home-buying process can be confusing for first-time buyers. Real estate companies can ease their customers’ concerns by designing a project timeline template that uses numbers to emphasize each step:

real estate timeline template

2. Business timeline templates

Running a business is never easy, and the time crunches may be hard to manage.

Do you have too short a time duration to get things done? I thought you’d say that. Try experimenting with two-week project timelines instead to manage your business needs.

Here’s a project timeline example that can help you structure your monthly product releases:

project plan timeline example

Pro Tip: Use Gantt charts to outline due dates and break down projects into smaller activities that are either assigned to individuals or entire teams. Our guide on Gantt charts will teach you how to use Gantt charts to deliver projects on time, every time.

Vertical timeline template

Sometimes the key to creating business timelines that stick is the right orientation. Maybe in your case, a vertical timeline outline makes more sense than a horizontal project milestone template.

Client Project Timeline Infographic Template

Pro Tip: Learning how to complete projects by dividing up deliverables and underlying tasks is key to getting things done across a project’s entire life cycle. Our project life cycle guide will give you a handy framework to guide projects from inception to completion.

Simple business timeline format

The best business planning timelines are simple but communicate the core message clearly.

Don’t be fooled by their simplicity. Vertical timelines can look basic but they’ll help you communicate project timelines and deliverables to your potential clients. This technology timeline sample can be easily customized to reflect your business plan.

Technology Timeline Infographic

Related: 30+ Project Plan Templates & Examples to Visualize Your Strategy

PowerPoint timeline template

Text-only presentation slides are boring. Timeline slide templates are perfect for making information visually engaging. Optimize your timeline outline for PowerPoint, Google Slides or SlideDeck by using landscape orientation and big, bold text.

Use a gradient color scheme to create a flow from the beginning of your timeline slide to the end:

End of Year Fundraising Campaign Planning Timeline Infographic Template

For more creative timeline ideas and outlines you can use for PowerPoint and Google Slides, check out our collection of PowerPoint timeline templates and examples here.

3. Nonprofit timeline templates

Nonprofits often rely solely on fundraising to keep their projects running. To make things easier for your team, and yourself, a nonprofit timeline template helps to organize your processes. It is a great way to sum up the events and tasks for an important day.

Your tasks may consist of planning content, promotion, social media, etc. Using a horizontal timeline template allows you to be much more organized and summarize your successes:

Nonprofit Education Thermometer Fundraiser Timeline Template

This horizontal timeline format is perfect for social channels. The colors and images will hold people’s attention and stop them from scrolling past your post.

Social impact timeline templates

Nonprofits need to show that they are making an impact on the world. This is a great marketing tool to attract more investors.

But marketers are busy people. It isn’t possible to design an impactful document from a blank timeline template. This attractive editable timeline uses images to create a connection between the audience and the company.

Environmental Nonprofit Social Impact Timeline Template

If you want to use a horizontal timeline format instead, check out the example below:

Nonprofit Monthly Social Impact Timeline Template

4. Event timeline templates

A lot of event planning is virtual these days. As a marketer, you may feel overwhelmed by the changes. Using an event timeline template will help you block your hours, days, and weeks out so that you can visualize each step of the way.

Horizontal event timeline templates

Use color hues for each day, week, month, or even specific activities. This will help them stand out from each other on the timeline. This project management timeline template for a nonprofit uses red and blue to differentiate different activities:

Horizontal event timeline

Here’s an example of a horizontal event timeline template — this case of the cannabis legalization history in the US:

history of cannabis legalization timeline template

If you don’t have too many events, you can use this template instead:

elon musk twitter timeline template

This event timeline template portrays the nine-month period of Elon Musk taking over Twitter in 2022. Not a lot of timeline milestones are added — the designer decides to use the given space to add more notes about each milestone instead.

On the other hand, this Adobe acquisition timeline infographic is perfect if you don’t need to add lots of background info to your timeline events…

adobe acquisition timeline infographic

Vertical event timeline templates

Scheduling your days in time blocks can be an effective way to organize and prioritize your tasks. Try using different color blocks for different types of tasks or appointments.

This is an opportunity where icons can help you code information and make your timeline scannable.

This vertical timeline template, for example, can make sharing an event planning schedule a breeze:

Hospital Weekly Sponsored Activities Timeline Infographic Template

Or this vertical timeline template which depicts the major data breaches in September 2022:

major data breaches timeline template

If you need to add lots of background info to your event timeline, this iPhone evolution infographic is a great choice:

iphone infographic timeline template

Fundraising event timeline template

You want to show what your event or fundraiser has achieved. Instead of starting off with a blank timeline, use a creative timeline format to showcase goals reached.

This timeline example shows how the foundation has reached its goals every month. Notice how the timeline is cleverly designed based on a blood donation symbol (which makes it perfect if you’re looking for a visual timeline for your blood donation project!):

Nonprofit Health Thermometer Fundraiser Timeline Template

Event timeline examples

If you’re a busy small business that needs to budget its time, it’s important that you can indicate how much time should be spent on each activity in your timeline. One way to do this is to use bars of different lengths to visualize lengths of time.

Look at how this fundraising timeline template segments lengths of time for each activity:

Nonprofit Fundraising Campaign Planning Timeline Infographic Template

Or this timeline infographic which depicts Parler’s business story before being acquired by Kanye:

kanye parler timeline template

Wedding timeline template

Another timeline example for an event that you may be planning as a small business is a wedding. You can include specific times and any important details people should know, just like in this wedding day timeline template:

timeline template

Conference planning timeline template

Want your event to go off without a hitch? Give your attendees a timeline of what the day will look like. That way, they’ll know what to expect ahead of time.

Don’t forget to include information about where each part of the day will take place. Including photos or illustrations of what to expect can also help get your attendees excited about the day’s events.

For example, check out this sleek and minimalist event timeline template:

Nonprofit Conference Events Timeline Infographic Template

Pro Tip: During timeline formatting, special event consultants and event planners of all stripes can add their branding to any templates of their liking. Then, save it as a template to use again and again. Meaning: less administrative work for you.

Calendar timeline example

Take a classic calendar and make it more effective by using icons. Pick icons to represent different types of events. 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 event timeline templates using Venngage’s library of over 40,000 icons.

Pandemic Refugee Crisis Timeline Infographic Template

For another example of a calendar timeline outline, check out this template which is in a vertical format:

vertical calendar timeline example

5. Marketing timeline templates

Social media timeline example

If you need to report on how your company’s social media channels grow followers over a period of time, it’s best to do that in a creative visual format.

Adopt this timeline template that presents Instagram’s user growth over time and edit it for your own user growth timeline:

user growth marketing timeline template

Creative visual timeline for marketing

Understanding your customers’ journey is a core component of a solid customer experience. Create an infographic that visualizes your various customer profiles.

Use icons to emphasize key steps in their journey. Take a look at how this timeline example uses icons to make each customer journey easy to understand:

timeline template

Click the template above to enter our online customer journey map maker. Customize the template to your liking—no design experience needed.

Iconic editable timeline

Icons visualize information in one small graphic. That’s why they’re perfect for including in a visual timeline for your events.

Pick an icon with a widely recognizable meaning (such as social media platform logos) so people can scan your timeline for information about a specific topic.

This historical timeline example shows the history of social media platforms. It uses icons to identify which point is about each individual platform. You can always customize templates to fit your needs:

timeline template

6. Simple timeline template

A simple timeline template allows you to make project planning easier for everyone involved. Your team will be grateful for the visualization of a difficult project or process. Here is a simple timeline example that shows how your audience can easily understand what you’re presenting:

Linear Timeline Infographic

7. Historical timeline template

People often like to learn about the history of people, places, and things that they’re interested in. The historical timeline example below highlights the evolution of the internet and technology.

Retro Historical Timeline Infographic Template

Real estate history timeline example

Showing the history of an industry that has existed for almost a century can be difficult. You don’t want to include too much information. That can be overwhelming for your audience.

Breaking up the decades like in this printable timeline template is the better option. It will make the timeline easier for customers to read and understand.

Real Estate Industry Evolution Timeline Infographic Template

Brand historical timeline slide

This historical timeline template uses Google’s iconic color palette to reflect the story. Icons and logos make it easy for readers to skim this timeline example and find their favorite products.

Use it to present about a company or an organization that has a rich history as it’s a really long and comprehensive timeline template (click to see the full infographic):

timeline template

Related: COVID-19 Timeline: Critical Moments in the First Year

Periodical history timeline

While most timelines 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.

Check out this history timeline example for some inspiration:

Modern Timeline Infographic Template

Historical infographic timeline

Educate and remind readers about important dates in history using a history timeline template. 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.

Important Dates in The World's History Infographic Template

Arrow timeline example

This timeline example uses text bubbles and cute arrow graphics to create a natural flow of information:

arrow timeline template

Comparison timeline format

It’s fun to see how things have changed over the years—tech, fashion, event foods. Create a visual timeline that shows photos of a thing, to highlight how it has changed over the years. You can use a comparison infographic template to do this.

This timeline example shows how cameras have changed over the years, uses images and brief descriptions to inform readers:

Evolution of Cameras Infographic Template

Simple historical 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.

historical timeline template holocaust

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.

These political infographic templates are a good place to start.

8. Construction timeline templates

The way the construction industry has advanced over the years is quite a feat. This printable timeline template clearly states what movements took place for the industry to reach the heights it has now.

Building Better Places Timeline Infographic Template

Construction progress timeline example

Sometimes, 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, especially in the construction industry.

A construction schedule timeline template visualizes the building process, organizes the steps, and shows the connections between steps.

This construction project timeline template uses color text boxes to neatly organize its milestones by month:

General Monthly Calendar Timeline Infographic Template

Pro Tip: Consultants can use project timeline templates to keep a project on track, especially if there are multiple people involved (subcontractors, multiple stakeholders etc.). Assign a task to a different person and color-code these people/companies i.e. green for you, red for the client.

PS: Looking for a scheduling app to help you book meetings without the back-and-forth? Check out HubSpot’s Meetings tool.

Home renovation timeline template

Alternatively, you can organize your timeline by steps and the number of days you need to complete them, like in this construction project timeline template:

Home Build Project Timeline Infographic Template

Pro Tip: Design newbie consultants and freelancers can use our “My Brand Kit” tool to import brand colors and logos from a website. Or enter them manually. Use your branding, or the client’s, as you like. It’s an easy way to impress the client, without any design work on your part!

9. Internal communications timeline templates

Visual timeline templates are an effective way to plan your business goals or detail a new process in your internal communications. You can lay it all out, summarize steps, and use visuals to emphasize points.

New hires at any company will understandably have a lot of information to process. This sprint timeline example details the first day on the job. It would be a welcome addition to the usual onboarding documents.

HR Timeline Template

Pro Tip: Timeline templates can help simplify the onboarding process. You don’t need to limit your timeline to a new hire’s first day at the company either! Consider providing a timeline for their first week, month, or even the entire probationary period. Chart important information, like the dates of their reviews, or when their benefits kick in. This will be much appreciated by your new hire, who likely has a lot to keep track of!

Annual printable timeline template

Zoom out even further and plan your entire year. Organize critical milestones by month using this vertical timeline template to share with your company:

Monthly Timeline Infographic Template

Colorful printable timeline format

This timeline example takes a similar approach, but it color-codes the months and text for improved readability and impact.

12-Months Timeline Infographic Design Template

Weekly timeline template

As mentioned earlier in this guide, you can keep track of your team’s progress week over week with a simple and organized timeline template.

Use symbols and 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. Here’s the two-week timeline from earlier that follows this scheme:

Product Development Release Infographic Template

Pro Tip: A project timeline template can be a fresh way for consultants to make progress reports for stakeholders. The client can see at a glance what you’ve been up and how the project’s progressing. No wading through walls of text—a timeline is easy to scan, understand and digest.

10. More timeline templates

Here are more timeline examples that you can customize.

Colorful text boxes use icons and punchy descriptions to keep the reader engaged in this history timeline template:

Information Age Technology Timeline Infographic Template

Process timeline example

Use your brand guidelines to spread brand awareness and make your content recognizable across multiple channels.

Content Promotions Infographic Template

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 timeline example like this to rank products, websites, movies…anything!

NY Countdown Infographic Template

Illustrative timeline example

The beauty of a timeline infographic is that you can create a design that really reflects the theme of your information.

Pick a flat icon that reflects the theme of your information and stretch it to fit the background of your page. Then, pick a color that stands out to create your timeline, text and smaller illustrations.

Look at how this timeline example uses an icon of a body as the background image:

Lost in Time Infographic Template

Iconic timeline sample

If certain dates 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.

timeline template

Pro Tip: Use a timeline template to show the history of your business. Put it on your website’s About page to grab the reader’s attention. You can also add it to consulting proposals or pitch decks. We have plenty of business proposal templates to help you get started.

Bubble chart timeline infographic

This timeline template combines the use of bubble charts and timelines to visualize the explosive growth of AI technology over the past five years:

AI's Explosive Growth: Notable AI language model parameter sizes from 2017-2022

Note, we welcome sharing! You have permission to use this infographic on your blog or website. Simply copy the HTML code below to add this infographic to your site. Or, if you’d like to reference a specific statistic or fact, please include a link to this blog post as a source.

<img src="https://venngage-wordpress.s3.amazonaws.com/uploads/2022/10/AI-Growth-Timeline-Infographic-1.png" alt="AI's Explosive Growth [Timeline Infographic]"/><a href="https://venngage.com/blog/ai-growth">AI's Explosive Growth: Will GPT-4 Achieve Superhuman Capabilities [Timeline Infographic] </a> created by <a href="https://venngage.com/">Venngage Infographic Maker</a>

FAQ about timeline templates

What is a timeline?

A timeline graphically represents the passing of time. It also showcases important events, activities, or tasks in a chronological manner.

What does a timeline include?

The timeline format generally includes the following components:

  • Dates or times
  • Headers
  • Short descriptions
  • Images or icons

How can you create a timeline?

Making a blank timeline and building on it will take time and energy. Instead, use a timeline template, like the ones Venngage offers, to design timelines.

As you can see from this guide, Venngage has over 40 editable timeline templates. Each can be customized to your brand’s needs.

Where can you make a timeline?

Use Venngage’s Timeline Maker to design timeline templates for free. You can choose a template that suits your needs and edit it according to your content.

With Venngage’s diverse icons and stock photo library, you can design timelines that appeal to wider audiences.

Is there a timeline template in Google Docs?

Google Docs doesn’t have a default timeline template, but you can create one yourself by manually inserting lines and shapes from Google Drawing:

timeline Google Docs

Of course, it takes lots of time to polish a timeline created manually this way, and even then you can’t guarantee that it will turn out “good”. This is because Google Docs by itself isn’t designed for creating timeline templates, unlike Venngage which is a simple solution for non-designers.

If you still would like to have a timeline in Google Docs, you can create one using Venngage instead and export it as a PNG—which then can be uploaded to Google Docs as an image.

Is there a timeline template in Word?

Similar to Google Docs, Word doesn’t have a default timeline template. Of course you can still manually create one using the lines and shapes, or by using the SmartArt function. Check out this guide on how to create a timeline in Word if you want to go that route.

But, also similar to Google Docs, timelines created in Word take too much time and don’t look as good as the ones created using a design solution like Venngage.

A simple fix would be to choose a timeline template from Venngage’s library, edit it and export it as a PNG so you can upload it to your Word document.

How can you create a timeline with Venngage?

Watch this video to learn how to create a timeline template.

Follow these steps to customize your timeline templates on Venngage:

Step 1: Pick a timeline template with the layout that best fits the story you want to tell.

Just so you know, some of our templates are free, some exclusive templates are paid. But you can always create an account and test out our editor for free.

Step 2: Add, remove, or rearrange points with the smart templates in our timeline maker (screenshot below).

Step 3: Insert your own dates and events using the text boxes.

Step 4: Customize the colorsfonts and icons to make the final design your own.

Step 5: Share your timeline design with a share link, or upgrade to download in multiple formats.

How can you create a timeline with Venngage

Not a designer? No problem. Create an engaging timeline template with Venngage, the simple design solution for businesses.

PS: Looking for a different kind of infographic? Venngage can help you:

Need some timeline formatting tips? Read our guide on how to create a timeline in 6 easy steps.

About Midori Nediger

Midori spreads visual communication tricks and tips as an Information Designer at Venngage. She’s particularly interested in helping people communicate complex information. Connect with her on LinkedIn and on Twitter @MNediger.