Everything needs an organized process, especially when it comes to your business. It’s a rule of thumb to have a timeline from your workflow to your meetings, and this plan bounds productivity. However, not all entrepreneurs know how to create a timeline template.
The specific intervals, chronological order of importance, and either a bar or line graph representing time are only some of the elements you need to work on. Moreover, it’s not only the adults who can use a timeline but also the young ones. Here’s a quick guide to creating your design.
How To Make a Free Timeline Template
Getting your hands on a free timeline template is easy, but creating a practical design is not. Here are some tips to remember how to create an efficient, organized, and striking plan.
1. Write your scope and objective.
Never forget the reason why you’re making one in the first place. The scope will help you determine the deliverables by the end of the timeline, which gives a clear picture of what is expected of everyone.
An example is when you plan to write a book. The scope may look like this: “I will finish my book about health and medicinal herbs.”
Here are some questions you need to answer before proceeding:
- What are your internal and external goals for the project?
- Who among your team is part of the project, and what are their roles?
- How long will the project take?
- What are its key milestones?
2. Plan a work breakdown structure (WBS).
Some say that one of a millionaire’s habits is that they break a big task into small pieces, and that’s what you need to do with your WBS. Below are some rules when you create this tip:
- Put in the 100% necessary tasks to accomplish your project. Don’t include unrelated work, as that will hinder your progress.
- Only include a task once so you wouldn’t have any miscalculations. For example, when you include a specific chapter about herbs in the south in your book, you shouldn’t include plants found in the north as that can create chaos among readers. If you have a team of ghostwriters, then tell them to only stick with their task and topic.
- Remember to focus on the outcomes and not on actions taken. It is to simplify the progress and not overwhelm yourself or anyone on your team.
- Follow the 8/80 rule. Are you familiar with this rule? It said that a project should take about 8 hours of effort and not less than that. Also, it should not go beyond 80 hours. Others say that it shouldn’t be more than ten days or even a month to accomplish the things you need to do.
- It is always in three levels. It’s the right formula for any WBS, so make sure you keep it to three.
3. Determine the scale of your timeline.
To keep everything in order, you need to have a solid time frame for every project. If it takes a year, break it down to months, and if it is in months, divide it into days. More so, if you want to make it very specific, cut the tasks into hours.
4. List your to-dos.
You need to list everything you need to do before, during, and after your project. There is a certain period for all the things that need to be accomplished, so better stick to your list. Gather among your team and talk about this before making your timeline. It would be best if you had a clear picture before diving into the deep sea of progress.
5. Manage and adapt to changes.
An adage says, “Change is only the constant thing in this world,” and that includes your timeline. Things don’t always go as planned, so you need to be prepared. Furthermore, informing your team and measuring the impact must be done as a countermeasure if you encounter a problem.
The Best Timeline Maker
Timeline templates can be tricky if you do it alone. That’s why graphic design sites like Venngage can help you with it. And not only that, you can have other designs too because they have a wide range of pre-made plans ready. You can easily customize any template to your needs and liking. Nevertheless, you still need to choose the design that suits your needs:
Do you have multiple events coming up? If so, the horizontal timeline is a suitable choice for your team. It’s helpful to showcase more than one occasion that clamors for your team’s attention with a brief description fitting for a page-wide format.
This is the most commonly used design as it has more room for an explanation of each milestone. Lengthy descriptions and ample space for information are the features of a vertical timeline.
For some teams, this literally looks like a road of milestones. Anyway, this timeline catches a member’s attention because each stage is emphasized, similar to racing.
This type helps highlight per-day deadlines and tasks that need to be done. It’s ideal for a team that wants a detailed day-by-day operation and progress.
You can check out more timeline templates on Venngage’s website for free!