Discover more from Wonder Tools
The best timeline tools 🕰️
Create visuals to showcase the past
Timelines are useful for summing up the past. Create one to document the life of someone you love or to visualize the development of a project. Read on for an update on the simplest, most efficient online services I’ve found for making timelines.
The Northwestern University Knight Lab’s TimelineJS makes it easy to create a compelling, interactive timeline you can share online. You can include text, photos, and embedded YouTube videos. Within 30 minutes, draft a professional-looking project. Examples: The history of wine and The life of Whitney Houston. The service isn’t new, but still works well.
Here’s a quick 5-step guide to get started.
For more technical details, check out the newest version on Github.
TimelineJS is free, but help is limited and the service isn’t regularly updated.
You have few options for customizing your design.
Starting with a blank canvas or a template like the ones below, you can use Genially to easily make an interactive page. Unlike TimelineJS, Genially lets you add hotspots to your timeline. Visitors can click these digital marks to open a link or text box, or to play a video or audio clip. [More: Why Genially is so useful]
Timeline3D is terrific for creating and presenting free 3D timelines. All you need is a series of event titles, dates and any images you want to include. You can also add videos or PDFs. A $15 upgrade lets you print or export your project as a PDF, slideshow or video.
The iOS app is also great. It’s free to create and present a timeline from your phone or tablet. Or present on a big screen with AirPlay. A $10 in-app purchase lets you print or export a PDF, video or slideshow.
Works only for Mac and iOS devices.
The free version has limited features; the software is updated sporadically.
Other useful timeline tools
Preceden has an AI timeline maker that’s free and fast. It lets you share a link to your creation, though the free version limits you to 10 events. Not visually stunning, but functional. Plenty of export options: share your timeline as a link, PDF, image, HTML embed, spreadsheet, or PowerPoint presentation. AI-generated example: the early history of ice cream.
Venngage has a well-designed interface for creating and customizing a timeline. It’s free to try out for a few designs, then $10-$24/month.
Visme is another source of slick templates, though the free version is limited.
Adobe Express lets you edit any template’s title, dates and background. When you’re done customizing you can share a link, download an image or PDF, or post to a social platform.
Morning Dough Digital Marketing Newsletter (Free)
Get the most up-to-date online marketing news and information. The Morning Dough team collects and curates the best online marketing news, knowledge, trends, articles, and tools.
It’s for anyone interested in online marketing — from marketers, small business owners, digital marketing experts, and executives, to entrepreneurs, online advertisers, SEO experts, social media experts, content marketers and more. Get it now free.