Timeline Software

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stuartnorfolk
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Sat Dec 30, 2017 8:31 pm Post

I know this question has been asked often. I'm a long time user of Scrivener and I'm well into writing a novel and find I need a Timeline software to aid my tracking of dates etc.. I've used Aeon Timeline before, but I'm put off by it's relative complexity and find it overkill for what I want. I'm not looking necessarily for software that has any kind of integration with Scrivener. It can stand quite separately.

I'm looking for a visual way of recording birth's and events. It would also be good if it could visually present the story lines.

I've worked with Aeon Timeline 1 & 2 as well as Story Mill. The market is desprately short of good Timeline software.
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br
brookter
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Sat Dec 30, 2017 9:02 pm Post

How simple?

Scrivener 3 now allows you to have custom metadata with a date format which you can customise (eg included the time) — and see in the Outliner and sort upon. You could then collate all the 'births' or 'events' into a collection to see them all together (you can sort such collections by date as well).

Something like this... In the screenshot, I'm searching for any document which has anything in the Event Date custom metadata field. Obviously you can have as many custom date fields as you want (separate Birth / Death / Begin / End?)

Screenshot 2017-12-30 20.59.13.png
Screenshot 2017-12-30 20.59.13.png (167.81 KiB) Viewed 1326 times


This may be too simple for your needs, of course.

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Jot
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Sat Dec 30, 2017 9:14 pm Post

If you have an iPad, I found Timeline Builder to be absolutely simple and no frills (although exporting the timelines is a bit tricky). It worked for me though, as I just basically wanted a "mud map" so that I made sure things were in order.

Having said that...I eventually returned to Aeon.
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sc
scshrugged
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Sat Dec 30, 2017 9:26 pm Post

In case you haven't seen these blog entries–

As a supplement to brookter's thinking, see the Scrivener 3: Metadata Plus blog post:
http://www.literatureandlatte.com/blog/metadata-plus

In addition, for a method to visualize story lines (and more) see the Structuring with Label View post:
http://www.literatureandlatte.com/blog/ ... label-view
Scrivener user not affiliated with L&L.

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stuartnorfolk
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Sun Dec 31, 2017 10:02 am Post

Thanks, for all of your helpful replies. I need time to investigate what they mean and how they will work for me.

If anybody has any further suggestions, or knows of any ready-made software out there preferably with the ability to sync via iCloud so I have it available on my Mac and iOS devices I'd be very keen to learn. In short, what I'm looking for is something which gives me a visual representation/ overview of the landscape of my book. Software where you can pinch/ zoom in/out. Something that doesn't tie you in, that's fully customisable where you can attribute coloured labels etc..

I don't care if you can't print it out or export/import it into Scrivener. I'd be quite happy with it as a stand-alone. Importing pics into the Timeline would be nice but not essential.

Jot, I will check out The Timeline Builder that could potentially be a solution (I will feed back to you), and Brookter I will study the scope that metadata offers, but my concerns are the lack of visual representations of a timeline, but I should give it a go because I need to explore the use of Metadata in context to, in my case, novel writing.
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Ah
Ahab
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Sun Dec 31, 2017 11:35 am Post

Some Visual sorts find Timeline happiness using L&L's Scapple. Other, more linearly literal types like me find a simple Timeline document in what used to be called Project Notes works fine. In Version 3 it works way finer, in that it's always available in the Inspector Pane and also in its own document, and you can gussy it up with colors and fonts to suit.

You still need to scroll through it to get from one date to another--I suppose you could search--but I've found it good enough for who it's for, as folks say in Maine, and with Internal Links it can provide a handy front end to all your time-related Research files.

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stuartnorfolk
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Sun Dec 31, 2017 4:51 pm Post

Jot, I went with your suggestion of Timeline Builder in the end. I’m not disappointed it provides a simple, visual overview of my work to date, thank you. BTW, you maybe interested to learn that you can now export the timelines in pdf format for print.

I investigated the Metadata component of Scrivener Brookter, and also the facility for representing the index cards in a more visual context, but they didn’t quite do it for me, but thanks for your time suggesting them.

Thanks everyone,

Stuart Norfolk
"Carpe Diem – Seize the day... Make your lives extraordinary.”
Dead Poets Society

MacBook Pro 13” mid 2014 | iPad 32Gb | iPhone 5s 16Gb