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Old 07-23-2012, 06:36 AM   #1
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Time Line Tool?

My time line in my notes for my books is currently in an out line, but it is hard t show overlap well, and it is spanning multiple pages making it a bit of a scrolling mess... can some one point me to a free, decent, mac friendly time line tool? The time line currently spans 5 books, so it is getting long and messy.

Thanks!
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Old 07-23-2012, 07:06 AM   #2
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I'm working on an experiment for time lining on my current book I'm writing. I broke my outline down to four scenes per chapter. As I write I note before each scene in red bold face for easy reference the day (day 1, day 10) and time of day (morning, noon, afternoon, evening, etc) when that scene is taking place. So far it has helped me keep my timeline straight as I go. I'll remove those notes when the ms is complete. It's fairly simple, easy to reference back and forth and keeps me on track. So far it seems to be working well.
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Old 07-23-2012, 08:26 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by VydorScope View Post
My time line in my notes for my books is currently in an out line, but it is hard t show overlap well, and it is spanning multiple pages making it a bit of a scrolling mess... can some one point me to a free, decent, mac friendly time line tool? The time line currently spans 5 books, so it is getting long and messy.

Thanks!
This sounds a lot like what I was looking for (but Windows friendly) in an earlier thread. I found nothing very good I'm afraid (to the point of making some tentative designs to write it myself). I especially can't help you with free and Mac friendly, but you may like to look at project management software (you know, the stuff they use for planning road works etc), that's where I was going to look when I next had time.
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Old 07-23-2012, 08:33 AM   #4
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Here is one that I use - it is FREE! Plus it is fun.

http://thetimelineproj.sourceforge.net/

Events are colour coded, such as birthdays, dates in history, etc. I find it is invaluable.
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Old 07-23-2012, 08:33 AM   #5
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This sounds a lot like what I was looking for (but Windows friendly) in an earlier thread. I found nothing very good I'm afraid (to the point of making some tentative designs to write it myself). I especially can't help you with free and Mac friendly, but you may like to look at project management software (you know, the stuff they use for planning road works etc), that's where I was going to look when I next had time.
Visio has a great time line tool in it. It's a chart with notations. You determine the beginning and ending points by dates (change as needed) and click and drag a box to the date on the line you want, then add notes inside the box. It's used quite a bit in construction litigation.
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Old 07-23-2012, 08:34 AM   #6
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Forgot to say - I use it with Windows. Not sure if it is MAC friendly.
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Old 07-23-2012, 08:42 AM   #7
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Forgot to say - I use it with Windows. Not sure if it is MAC friendly.
Looks interesting. Is it easy to install it?
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Old 07-23-2012, 08:44 AM   #8
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Yes very easy. Hang on I´ll try and get a screen print.
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Old 07-23-2012, 08:49 AM   #9
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http://algorfa.co.uk/images/timeline.jpg

Hope this works
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Old 07-23-2012, 10:50 AM   #10
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Visio has a great time line tool in it. It's a chart with notations. You determine the beginning and ending points by dates (change as needed) and click and drag a box to the date on the line you want, then add notes inside the box. It's used quite a bit in construction litigation.
Forgot about Visio, I use it all the time at work, but its in my "tools used at work box" and not thought about it elsewhere.
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Old 07-23-2012, 10:58 AM   #11
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Forgot about Visio, I use it all the time at work, but its in my "tools used at work box" and not thought about it elsewhere.
I haven read of any authors using it for a time line, but then again an attorney once told me that a trial is just two stories, and the best story wins. So maybe...
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Old 07-23-2012, 11:30 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by VydorScope View Post
My time line in my notes for my books is currently in an out line, but it is hard t show overlap well, and it is spanning multiple pages making it a bit of a scrolling mess... can some one point me to a free, decent, mac friendly time line tool? The time line currently spans 5 books, so it is getting long and messy.

Thanks!
For 5 books, I would recommend an actual "Project Manager."
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Old 07-23-2012, 01:06 PM   #13
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For 5 books, I would recommend an actual "Project Manager."
Not sure what you mean?
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Old 07-23-2012, 02:48 PM   #14
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Not sure what you mean?
In engineering we use Project Manager software for complicated tasks and projects. You can look in Wikipedia to get a quick look at the broad spectrum of programs out there.

You might look at Zoho which is used online and offers a free (limited) Plan.

I am sure there are other ones out that too that are free or cheap that you can try out and see what you think. CNET has a lot of stuff. I would get one that would let you try it out before you pay for it unless it is highly recommended by someone you trust.

All offer tools.

And of course there are the aforementioned diagramming tools that in some cases have been enhanced to do other things.
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Old 07-23-2012, 07:40 PM   #15
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Interesting suggestion. I can see where one might use Microsoft's Project or similar software -- create scenes as individual tasks (on one calendar) and then assign characters as resources for those tasks. Probably makes the most sense if you already own that software because of the expense and learning curve. Definitely tickles my sense of overkill.
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