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Old 06-17-2015, 10:20 AM   #1
Dr. Drib
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Anyone using Aeon Timeline?

I'm evaluating their trial version right now.

It seems very useful, but I'm still experimenting with it.

It's priced at $40 (or $30 with a coupon), and it syncs with Scrivener.

Here's their website: http://www.scribblecode.com/

It would appear to be extremely beneficial for someone working on a novel or with complex writing that involves keeping track of dates and events.

Software like this would be invaluable for someone trying to keep track of multiple POVs, or different historically dated storylines, or complex storyline elements in a science fiction novel, for example.

I'm not certain if my writing conveniently fits into those areas for me to justify spending $30 (which I think is a bargain, by the way). Unfortunately, I only have 18 days left to evaluate it.

So: Is anyone using this software? If so, please let us know what your experience has been with its use.
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Old 06-17-2015, 12:33 PM   #2
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Could you not achieve the same result with a spreadsheet?
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Old 06-17-2015, 12:57 PM   #3
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I use it. It's invaluable for keeping multiple story arcs aligned and complex timelines in control. I could never do it with a spreadsheet. It's worth every penny in my book.
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Old 06-17-2015, 01:49 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by HarryT View Post
Could you not achieve the same result with a spreadsheet?

I would think so, but this program is very elegant and is specifically geared toward writing.

An analogy would be something on the line that Word (or Pages) are fine word processors, and one can certainly write in either of these two programs. Neither one of those programs, however, is geared toward writing that breaks up chapters into scenes and also has a place for characters, etc.

Writing anything of any length in one of those word processors means that you have one long file or a whole series of files that one must deal with just for one book. With Scrivener, only one file is open - the work that one is engaged in.

Last edited by Dr. Drib; 06-17-2015 at 04:12 PM. Reason: Rewrote for clarity
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Old 06-19-2015, 12:04 PM   #5
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Thanks for the link, I'll check it out when I get a chance.

I find spreadsheets very cumbersome for this sort of thing. I've been using tables inside LibreOffice Writer documents, that's also far from ideal but I've managed to make it work so far.

My current big project (which has spent far too much time on hold while I try to keep up with work ), has a back story reaching over thousands of years. I've been trying to work with a Wiki ... but that is proving to be less than ideal too (I spend too much time on the mechanics of keeping all the pieces in sync - it's distracting).

I've looked at other tools that are supposed to have timelines, but none of them worked well for what I wanted.

I need flexibility. In previous books I've been working at month scales for some parts of the book (actually over a century if you include the back story, which my timeline did) and down to minutes for others parts, trying to keep track of who was where exactly when. And even though the book never actual says when it happened, the timeline that grew as I wrote the story had everything down to specific dates so that I could keep track of moon phase, sunset and sunrise times and so on. For example, with the fire scene at the end of one book I wanted the timing synchronised right with sunset and city traffic to have the events and effects come out as I wanted. (Okay, so I also tend to be a bit obsessive, but that's my problem and I'm working on it ... obsessively ).

If the software is any good, I will consider the price to be very cheap.
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Old 06-19-2015, 12:45 PM   #6
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I believe this software does everything that you detail in your post.

There's a discount if you apply WINTERFEST that will bring the price down to $30 dollars.
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Old 06-24-2015, 12:00 AM   #7
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Despite the fact that I should be working, I couldn't help myself, I've taken a quick squiz at Aeon Timeline. (Note that I am speaking of Windows versions, I don't have a Mac.) My first impressions include:

It appears to be strongly influenced by Scrivener - which is a good thing, both are high quality products in software development and user interface terms.

I'd say it's still fairly early days. It does have a lot of functionality and is quite flexible, but has further to go before it is really smooth for its purpose and its integration features.

I'm used to working vertically in my timeline - after years of using tables where I have the date/time in the first column and my notes in the next I find that is a very flexible layout to do the actual work. Not being constrained to show the entire view at the same scale allows me to see how events flow. That is to say: I'd really like both views. (It is sort of possible to get the vertical view I want from Scrivener, so maybe between the two of them I can have it all.)

I'll play some more ... as I said above, I'm impressed with the quality.
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Old 06-25-2015, 09:35 AM   #8
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From reading about the history of this program, the developer - with the good graces of the developer of Scrivener - was allowed to create a forum for Aeon Timeline on Scrivener's site. Apparently, the interest and discussion for Aeon Timeline was so great this is the reason for that initial forum.

When the developer of Aeon Timeline decided to go commercial with the product, he created his own website and forum.

I really like the program. He's only a one-man operation (I think), although he is currently looking for (again, I think) an additional team-member.

So, the two gentlemen have a mutual respect for one another's product.

I wish it did have a left/right configuration, with the characters (for example) alligned to a different grid. The top would be 'INCIDENTS', and flush left would be 'CHARACTERS.'

I'm still assessing it, trying to use it for a short story I'm working on. The story itself is not complicated, so I'm trying to gauge when such a program would really be useful for me.

It could be that I don't fully appreciate the possibilities of the program.

Right now, I can't think of any MAC timeline program that offers the same functionality for writers. (I don't include the timeline in StoryMill, because I feel it doesn't do much. Too, StoryMill appears to be 'AbandonMill.' They haven't done much of anything serious in a number of years to advance that program - in my opinion.)
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Old 06-25-2015, 09:41 AM   #9
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Aeon Timeline runs on the Mac. You mean you can't think of any additional Mac timeline programs that do this? I looked hard before buying this one, and I found nothing that was anywhere near this one in capabilities for less than $100, and they were mostly about project timelines.
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Old 06-25-2015, 10:24 AM   #10
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I was wondering if one could use a project planning tool, such as Microsoft Project, for this purpose? Many people will have that as part of a Microsoft Office Professional installation.
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Old 06-25-2015, 10:26 AM   #11
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Aeon Timeline runs on the Mac. You mean you can't think of any additional Mac timeline programs that do this? I looked hard before buying this one, and I found nothing that was anywhere near this one in capabilities for less than $100, and they were mostly about project timelines.

Yes, that's what I mean: I can't think of any other timeline program that runs on the MAC that has this degree of functionality that is specifically geared for writers. It also syncs with Scrivener.
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Old 06-25-2015, 11:42 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HarryT View Post
I was wondering if one could use a project planning tool, such as Microsoft Project, for this purpose? Many people will have that as part of a Microsoft Office Professional installation.
It's been years since I played with Microsoft Project, but I imagine it would be possible to use it for this purpose with contemporary (or recent history/future) fiction. But I doubt if MS Project lets you define your own calendar (I don't remember but it seems unlikely), so that would exclude it from use for other fantasy and science-fiction work. What I've published so far was contemporary fantasy and so I probably could have tried it, but since I don't use MS Office I never even gave it a thought.
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