Can I Make a Project Timeline With Google Docs?

Can I Make a Project Timeline With Google Docs?
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If you want to create a timeline for a project you're working on, you can do it with a word processing program such as Google Docs. Find a timeline template for Google Docs online if you wish, or choose and design your own style. In some cases, it might make more sense to build the timeline with another Google tool, such as the spreadsheet program Google Sheets or Google Calendar.

Understanding Google Docs and Drive

Google Docs is a word processing program that's one of several productivity tools available for free from Google as part of its Google Drive line of online software. It's also available with additional features for collaboration as part of the G Suite line of business programs. You can use Google Docs and associated programs like the Google Sheets spreadsheet tool for free on any modern device with an internet connection as long as you create a free Google account or use an existing one, such as one tied to a Gmail email address.

Google Docs has similar features to other word processing programs, such as Microsoft Word, Corel WordPerfect, Apple Pages and LibreOffice Writer. You can use it to create, format, save, share and print text documents from business correspondence to more stylized forms like timelines.

Similarly, Google Sheets is very similar to other common spreadsheet programs like Microsoft Excel, Apple Numbers and LibreOffice Calc. You can use it for accounting work or simply to organize lists of data for personal use.

Some people use Google Docs to refer to the entire suite of productivity software, although, strictly speaking, it refers only to Google's word processing program.

Making a Timeline Chart

If you want to make a timeline in Google Docs, you should first think about what your timeline is going to include. Will it simply be a list of dates and tasks that have been or are expected to be finished by those dates? Or, will it need to include more complex data and descriptions? Would a text list be sufficient? Or, will it be helpful to the timeline's users to have something a bit more graphical?

Once you've answered these questions, you can start thinking about the right tool for the job. For a timeline that principally consists of a list of dates and simple descriptions, you might use a bulleted or numbered list in Google Docs or another word processing program. If you want to include a great deal of structured data for each entry, the rows and columns of a spreadsheet program like Google Sheets could come in handy. If the timeline is principally going to be used to remind people when various tasks need to be completed, it might make sense to use a calendar program like Google Calendar or Microsoft Outlook.

Whether you choose a calendar, Google Docs or a spreadsheet program, you'll want to decide whether you want to design the layout for the timeline yourself or use an existing template.

Using a Template

You can find Google Docs and Google Sheets templates online for building a timeline. Many of these will take entries you put into a spreadsheet and use them to construct a graphical timeline that you can view and share with colleagues. Look at example timelines created with various tools to see which could meet your needs.

Make sure to clarify whether any other software or web hosting space is required to use the timeline tool that you choose and, if you're using it for work, whether you can use such a tool on your office's network. Use a timeline tool made by someone you trust if you're planning to give the program access to any confidential data.

Follow the instructions that come with the template and any accompanying software to build out your timeline.