Creating Your Own Timeline
Your project management timeline can be as basic or as detailed as you like, but it is beneficial to complete the entire schedule prior to the beginning of the project. The timeline should definitely include a clear starting and stopping point as well as milestones along the way. Not only does this help you define clear, attainable goals, but it also encourages your team to prioritize tasks. You may also wish to incorporate resources required at specific points in the timeline.
They can consist of basic lines with boxes containing dates and details or they may involve graphics and shapes, but most project management timelines are horizontal, proceeding from left to right on a landscape oriented page.
If you prefer a basic timeline, you may opt to use Microsoft Excel or a similar spreadsheet program that provides grid lines to help you insert dates and items. Simply draw a long, horizontal line and type the start date at the left end and the projected completion date at the right end. Add significant dates in between with milestones you hope to reach by each date.
In Microsoft Office, you can use SmartArt graphics to make the timeline. Choose a Process option from the SmartArt gallery and add your start, end and milestone dates and details.
Alternatively, you can use one of the timeline templates provided here.