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How to Make a Timeline in Google Docs? Step-by-step Guide & Quick Alternative

How to create a timeline using Google Docs? Follow the step-by-step guide in this blog, including tips on customizing the design for a visually appealing result.

How To Make A Timeline In Google Docs

A timeline organizes information in a logical way; conveys the relation of a sequence of events visually; breaks down complex projects or historical events into easy-to-understand small pieces. Whenever you need to present something chronologically, there is no better option than a timeline. 

How to make a timeline? With pen and paper, you can already create a quick sketch. However, manuscripts are much less convenient than online tools, which are customizable, precise, and revisable. If you’re looking for a free digital canvas to make a timeline without downloads, this blog is right for you. Stay tuned!

Table of Contents
What Is a Timeline?
How to Make a Timeline in Google Docs?  
The Pros & Cons of Creating a Timeline in Google Docs
How to Make a Timeline Quick? - Timeline Maker

What Is a Timeline?

A timeline is a visual representation of events or milestones that occurred over a specific period of time. It is a way of organizing information chronologically and is commonly used to display historical events, project schedules, or personal achievements.

A typical timeline consists of a horizontal axis that represents time and vertical lines or bars that indicate the occurrence of specific events or milestones. Each event or milestone is usually labeled with a description, date, and sometimes an image or icon.

How to Make a Timeline in Google Docs?  

It takes ten steps to make a timeline in Google docs. This may sound overwhelming but the processes are quite easy to follow. 

Step 1: Open a new Google Doc on your computer by clicking “Blank”

How To Make A Timeline On Google Docs Step 1

Step 2: Set the page orientation to “Landscape”

Click “File” on the left part of the toolbar > click “Page setup” > choose “Landscape” > click “Ok” to confirm.

How To Make A Timeline On Google Docs Step 2

You’re advised to do this because a timeline is usually very long but the page orientation in Google docs is portrait by default, which is too short to make a timeline. 

Step 3: Find “Insert” and open the “Drawing” tool

Click “Insert” on the left side of the toolbar > hover over “Drawing” > click “+New”. Then you’ll see a new window pop up. 

How To Make A Timeline On Google Docs Step 3

Step 4: Get ready for drawing your timeline

Click the downward arrow next to “Line” > click “Arrow” 

How To Make A Timeline On Google Docs Step 4

Step 5: Create a timeline on the Drawing pop-up

Click and drag the line horizontally on the pop-up (You can start from either end) > click “Line start” on the right part of the toolbar to make sure your line has arrows on both ends. 

How To Make A Timeline On Google Docs Step 5

Tip: Follow the white and gray grid to keep your timeline straight.  

Step 6: Customize your timeline (Optional)

According to your preferences, you can customize your timeline. You can use “Line color” to change its color, “Line weight” to adjust its size, and “Line dash” to transform your line into a dotted line.

Step 7: Add events, dates, or tasks to your timeline

Click “Text box”, the “T” symbol on the toolbar > click and drag on any spot above or below the horizontal line > enter the event, date, or task inside the box. 

How To Make A Timeline On Google Docs Step 7


  • You can copy the first text box and paste it to keep your text boxes uniform and aligned.
  • On the right part of the toolbar there are all sorts of tools to help you highlight your texts, such as “Bold”, “Font”, “Font size”, etc. “Bulleted list” and “Number list” are hidden in the “three dots” button, which is at the most right part.

How To Make A Timeline On Google Docs Step 7 Tip 1

When you’ve complimented your timeline with all the planned events or tasks, it should look similar to this. 

How To Make A Timeline On Google Docs Step 7(2)

Step 8: Use “Line” to connect your events or tasks to their dates respectively

Click the downward arrow next to the “Line” tool > choose “Line” > click and drag from drop-down to connect your events and dates.

How To Make A Timeline On Google Docs Step 8

Step 9: Add images if you want

Click “Image” on the right side of the toolbar, then a window will pop up > click “Choose an image to upload” > select and double click the image you want to upload > move the image to the proper spot on your timeline. 

How To Make A Timeline On Google Docs Step 9

Step 10: Save your timeline

Click “Save and Close” on the upper right corner of the Drawing pop-up, then your timeline will be added to your Google doc. 

How To Make A Timeline On Google Docs Step 10

How to make a timeline in Google docs is easy by following the 10 steps above, right? If you want to make any changes on your timeline, just double click your timeline on your Google Doc. 

The Pros & Cons of Creating a Timeline in Google Docs

Creating a timeline in Google docs has different pros and cons, check them out to decide whether you want to make one by yourself or use a template. 



Since Google Docs have no templates for making a timeline, you have to customize it by yourself. However, this will give you greater freedom. You can use various tools in Google docs, such as fonts, colors, and layout options, to customize the timeline you’re satisfied with. 

Easy to collaborate 

Google docs are made for real-time collaboration so you and your partners can work on the timeline simultaneously. Regardless of time and geographical boundaries, everyone in your team can contribute to the process of making a timeline. 

Free without downloads 

Google docs are free to use and there is no need to download anything. With a stable internet connection, you can start to make a timeline anytime and anywhere. What’s more, Google docs are also easy to import data from other sources and share the timeline with others. 


Inconvenient to work offline 

You must connect to the internet while using Google docs to create a timeline. Otherwise, your work won’t be stored and you can not even access your files if your internet is down or poor. 

Limited functionalities 

Google docs are not made for making a timeline. It is enough for sketching a basic timeline but you’ll find it hard to create an advanced one with sophisticated data visualization or interactivity


As aforementioned, Google docs have no templates for making a timeline, so you have to build it up from scratch. When it comes to creating a more complex timeline that includes a lot of data or requires more advanced graphics or customization, the process may be more time-consuming.

How to Make a Timeline Quick? - Timeline Maker

Making a timeline in Google docs is too laborious for you? Have a try on one of the best timeline makers MioCreate, which is an online whiteboard for real-time collaboration. With only a few clicks, you’ll get a final structure of your timeline. The rest you need to do is fill the text boxes with your planned content. 


Except for its efficiency, MioCreate has more advantages than Google Docs to make a timeline. 

Visual Collaboration

Although Google Docs offers collaboration features, it's primarily a text-based platform. In contrast, Miocreate is a visual collaboration tool that allows team members to brainstorm, plan, and work on timelines in a visual manner. This can help team members see the big picture and work together to create a cohesive timeline.

Customizable Templates

Miocreate offers a variety of customizable templates for different types of timelines while Google docs have none. So you’ll save a lot of time creating a timeline on MioCreate with a template that is already pre-designed. 

Drag-and-Drop Functionality

Miocreate offers drag-and-drop functionality, making it easy to add events, milestones, and other timeline elements. Google Docs, on the other hand, requires users to manually enter data into tables or lists.

Interactive Elements

Miocreate allows users to add interactive elements to their timelines, such as links, videos, and images. Those features can make the timeline more engaging and interactive for viewers.

Real-Time Collaboration

Both Google Docs and Miocreate offer real-time collaboration, but Miocreate offers more features for collaborating in real-time, such as an infinite canvas, sticky notes, and the ability to chat and comment within the platform.


How to make a timeline in Google docs is easy with the ten steps offered in this blog. Google docs also offer a great deal of flexibility to customize your ideal timeline. But if you are working on a timeline that requires collaboration, MioCreate is the best timeline maker for you.


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