How to Make a Multi-Tier Timeline

Timelines are useful aids to help learn about or remember the past, stay on track for a project or planning an event or just to document something going on in one's life such as a child's first few years. Mutli-tier timelines allow you to follow and track several different parallel events at once so you can see how one event relates to another over a span of time. These are easy to make and can be a fun project to complete for family and friends or even just for personal fulfillment.

Write out all your facts for each timeline in each "heading" or "event" on a notepad. Create a separate list for each event or heading that will be displayed on the one timeline. This will make data entry later much easier because you will have all your facts in front of you in a logical order.

Open your word processing program and open a new document. Set the page orientation to "landscape" (horizontal). Choose the new table selection to make a table on your document page. Count the number of different time eras or periods that will be required to list all the facts. Create that number of columns plus one. So if there are twenty different time periods you would like to cover, you would have twenty-one columns. The extra column is used for listing the categories on the left hand side.

Next choose the number of rows for your table. This will be determined by the number of tiers you are using. Since this is a multi-tier timeline you are showing the progress of several different subjects/categories and such over the same period of time. You might be comparing the lives of six different siblings or six different countries. Either way you would need six rows. Count the number of categories or subjects and enter that number of rows plus one for the top title line.

On the top line fill in the dates for the timeline. Put these in bold font. Along the left side list the categories in separate columns. Also put these in bold font. Input the data for the first category in the corresponding boxes. Continue and input the data for the next category and the next and so on. You can choose to put each category's information or facts in a different color font to make it easier to follow and read if you would like, but this is entirely up to you.

Print out all the pages with invisible table lines so the lines you have on the screen will not show when printed and the pages will look like seamless flows of information that just happen to be perfectly spaced and divided. Lay the pages out in sequential order. Staple or tape the pages together so they all connect. Hang or display your timeline as you please.


Organize your thoughts ahead of time to make the data input process simpler.

Don't use too many different fonts or sizes as the timeline will then look jumbled and confusing.

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