A Timeline is Necessary: How to Create Effective Timelines


Are you struggling to see the bigger picture when it comes to your work? Do you find yourself drowning in details and unable to identify the greater strategy? If yes, for you, a timeline is necessary.

Organizing your project or work is as much about structure as it is about clarity. A timeline provides a visual representation of all tasks, putting things in context.

Still wondering why is a timeline necessary? We’ll share why you need a timeline for your projects and other work, how to create one, and give examples of different types of timelines that could be beneficial for you. Let’s get started!

What Is A Timeline?

A timeline is a visual depiction of planned events, intended to help you understand the order of occurrence. A timeline could be as wide or narrow in scope as you need it to be. It could be a few hours long aimed to help you meet missed deadlines or a due date, a few months long to help you with your annual planning, or it could be a few years long to help you with your strategic planning.

Statistically, only 2.5% of businesses manage to finish 100% of their operations on time. This shows why it’s so vital to establish deadlines. But what makes a timeline necessary in all of this?

Timelines are beneficial because they help you see your goal as a whole rather than as a list of disconnected activities. They bring clarity to what might otherwise be a very messy plan. Timelines are particularly beneficial for visual learners who generally respond better to a visual representation of information. They also come in handy in facilitating effective collaboration.

A clear and concise timeline answers all questions of team members, helping everyone stay on the same page and identify, manage, and resolve potential issues early on in an efficient way.

How to Create Timelines?

A timeline is most useful if it is created collaboratively, so you need to get your team involved. You can do this by holding an initial planning meeting or by using a collaborative management tool and filling in accomplished tasks.

During the meeting or while creating your plan, assign each activity a start and end date, along with a description of what the activity is and how long it should take.

Add all of this information to your timeline while completing it to meet the end goal. Now that you have all of the activities listed in your timeline, you can identify where dependencies exist, along with any milestones and critical path activities (CPA). A CPA is an activity that must be followed by another activity to succeed and meet a deadline in the future.

However, there are other ways to keep track of time at work! Working times are automatically converted into a timesheet by TimeTrack. After setting up the working hours model, TimeTrack handles the remaining tasks. The Terminal App, the PC, or the mobile app may all be used by employees to sign in. The TimeTrack timesheet can also be saved as a PDF, CSV, or Excel file, making it simpler for the accountant to transfer the information.


TimeTrack: Timesheet and a terminal clock





All good timelines start with a plan. The ingredients of a recipe are necessary to produce a tasty dish, but the recipe itself is what guides you through the process of cooking. Your plan is the recipe for your tasks, guiding you through the process and helping you avoid potential mistakes.

What Does It Mean to Plan?

A plan is a living document that is subject to change. As you learn more about your tasks, the people involved, and the environment in which you are working, your plan should be adjusted accordingly.

When creating your plan, start with the end goal in mind. Try to have answers to the following questions:

  • What does the final product or service look like?
  • What are your goals?
  • What are the required resources?
  • What are the steps necessary to complete every task in question?

Once you have a clear idea of what you are trying to achieve, you can determine how to get there.


A schedule is a table that shows the planned activities and their durations, along with any milestones, resources, and dates. You need to work, prioritize and organize according to your schedule.


If you have ever written a paper for school, you know that writing a rough draft is an essential part of the planning process.

The key to successful time management is to allow plenty of time for you to go through the different work stages: research, ideation, planning, and execution.

What Is a Draft?

A draft is essentially a paper-based plan. If you prefer to work on paper, a draft can help you iron out and explore different ideas and directions.

This also helps you avoid the risk of being sidetracked by unnecessary details that could slow you down during the execution phase and then later leave you working on tight deadlines.

For each activity in your plan, write a short summary of what the activity is and why it is necessary. Write down all information related to the activity on a separate sheet of paper, including resources, dependencies, milestones, and any other relevant details.

You can organize your draft sheets in any way you like, whether by activity, date, or category.


Manage your team with timelines

Is A Timeline Necessary For Every Goal?

Timelines are not necessary for every goal, but they can be helpful if you feel that you need more structure or are struggling with making progress.

You can create timelines for different areas of your life, including your health and fitness goals, work-related goals, family goals, and financial goals.

If you’ve never used a timeline before, start with a shorter-term goal and work your way up to longer-term goals. Breaking new habits takes time, and timelines can help you stay motivated and focused throughout.

According to Cortex research, team member communication issues account for 57% of project failures. This demonstrates how important it is to incorporate a communication strategy into strategic planning, which is simply established with timelines.

If you find yourself struggling to make progress, consider creating a timeline that includes all of your goals.

This could help you identify areas where you are falling behind and allow you to make adjustments where necessary to help get on track.

Will Timelines Restrict Your Creativity?

The most common complaint we hear about timelines is that they restrict creativity. While that is certainly a possibility, when used appropriately and with the right intention, timelines can actually encourage creativity.


Benefits of using a timeline

  • When you create a timeline, it serves as a common language for everyone involved. It’s a way for you and your team to clearly communicate what needs to get done, when it needs to get done, and by whom.
  • It’s a way for you to plan strategically, stay on track, and get the results you want. At the same time, timelines can help you create a vision for your goal and focus on what you are trying to achieve.
  • A well-organized timeline can help you avoid getting caught up in the nitty-gritty details and instead focus on the bigger picture.

Summing Up

Timelines can help you stay focused on your goals and see connections between activities that may have been unclear before.

They also help you avoid unnecessary stress by showing the bigger picture and ensuring understanding among co-workers.

You don’t need to go overboard with timelines — use them for projects and goals where they will be most helpful. And when you do use a timeline, make sure to include everyone involved so you have a clear picture of what everyone needs to do and by when.

When you use timelines in your time management workflow, you can ensure that everyone on your team is on the same page and is working towards the same goals.

Overall, a timeline is necessary for many tasks as it can help to reduce confusion, increase accountability, and maintain your focus on the tasks according to their order and priority.

Time Clock from TimeTrack is a useful software for those who need to estimate how much time they require for tasks and projects, contributing to existing timelines. It is an excellent time management application that allows customization based on your needs and aids in more accurate and effective time tracking.