How to make an event plan in PowerPoint.

If you have ever organized an event or had to make an event proposal you know it is important to build the event plan in Excel, so you can manage all the details.  However, when it comes time to view or present your event plan or event proposal Excel is not suitable because it lacks the ability to make a graphical timeline.  PowerPoint is a more suitable tool for building graphical timelines of your event plan, however doing so has been time-consuming and slow.  That’s changed with the free Office Timeline plug-in for PowerPoint.

Office Timeline is a free plug-in for Microsoft PowerPoint 2007, 2010, and 2013 that quickly makes your event timelines.  Using it to create, manage and present an event plan or event proposal is intuitive and simple.  It starts with a simple wizard for entering the key tasks and milestones of your event plan or you can paste those directly from Excel(requires Plus edition). Then with a mouse click your plan is turned into a beautifully laid out PowerPoint timeline slide.  Once created, it is easy to edit and share the slide so planners can keep their team and vendors updated on progress and changes.

Here’s how to make an event plan or event proposal in PowerPoint.  First download and install free Office Timeline from http://officetimeline.com.  Once installed it will add a tab to your PowerPoint ribbon for creating and editing timelines. To create a new event plan slide, follow the 4 steps below.

1 – Click New to launch the Office Timeline wizards which will guide you through a couple easy set-up and design steps.

2 – Select the type of event timeline you want from pre-designed templates, then click the Next arrow to begin entering your event plan.

3 – Add the key milestones of your event plan or event proposal, choose the color and style for each milestone marker and then hit the Next arrow.Evetn Plan Milestones

4 – Add the key tasks of your event plan or event proposal, choose the color and shape you would like for each of your task bands.Event Plan Tasks

Finished.  Click the green Check Box and Office Timeline will build your event plan or event proposal as a timeline on a PowerPoint slide which you easily update, change and share with others.Event PlanDownload Office Timeline Free Edition

Suggested Reading
Steps for making an event timeline
Exceptional PowerPoint Add-Ons

How to paste event schedules into PowerPoint

Suggested Video Tutorial
Cut and paste Excel tables into PowerPoint

www.officetimeline.com

 


Quickly turn project data into professional timelines

Build stunning, uncomplicated timelines and Gantt charts that are easy to make and simple to communicate. Get the advanced features of Office Timeline Plus free for 14 days.

GET FREE TRIAL

Make a graphical itinerary template for travel documents

Whenever I meet folks in business segments I am unfamiliar with, I try to learn about their work and whether there are places our timeline maker could add value.  This was the case with a travel agent who was in business of putting high-end tours together.  I asked if she used some type of itinerary planner or itinerary template with her clients, and if I could see the travel itinerary for one of her tours.

It was a nicely assembled document with a lot of pretty pictures and blurbs about fantastic destinations.  Cleary a lot of work goes into preparing something that looked good, however I noticed it lacked a high level overview of the trip.  I thought about capturing her itinerary as a timeline and mentioned that Office Timeline could do that for her.  Specifically it would provide an itinerary planner an easy tool to make a graphical itinerary template for their client’s travel documents.

Itinerary planner

Office Timeline is a timeline maker that is embedded into PowerPoint, so using it to create, manage and present itinerary templates is intuitive and quick.  It starts with a simple wizard for entering travel dates and destinations or importing those events directly from Excel. Then with a push of a button this itinerary is turned into a graphical image which can be pasted into other documents  (see blog post pasting your timeline image into other documents).

Itinerary template

Although my friend did not use PowerPoint much I suggested it would be valuable in making itinerary templates that could be re-used.  She graciously volunteered to Office Timeline and give me feedback.

When we reconnected, I learned she did end up using it to make visual itineraries which she pasted as images into her customer’s travel documents.  Now here is the interesting thing I did not anticipate, she also found several other clever uses for Office Timeline.

She had this notion was that visual images of travel itineraries would be very easy to reference in the future.  Her idea was a portfolio of itinerary templates that would become a knowledge base of her work…very cool.

What excited her most was that it was simple to do and that accessing them graphically was considerably better than sorting through Word or Excel documents (see blog post on pasting itineraries from Excel into Office Timeline).  The other benefit of these itinerary templates was in selling and presenting new proposals.  She thought that presenting her work as visual images would be more engaging for her prospective clients.

Additional Resources

Steps for making a travel timeline
Free timeline maker for PowerPoint
Free images for travel documents


Quickly turn project data into professional timelines

Build stunning, uncomplicated timelines and Gantt charts that are easy to make and simple to communicate. Get the advanced features of Office Timeline Plus free for 14 days.

GET FREE TRIAL

Change the timescale of your project’s timeband.

If the duration of your project spans multiple years or just a few days, you can change the date intervals on your timeband to match by setting it to Days, Weeks, Months, Quarters or Years. (To make a dateless timeline that presents a project without defining a specific start or finish date, please see this blog on dateless timelines.)

1. Open your timeline slide in PowerPoint and select your graphic's timeband.

Timeband Scale in Months

2. With the timeband selected, go to the Timeline Scale section in the Office Timeline Style Pane on the right (pictured below). Here, pick a new timescale from the options available (Hours/Minutes, Days, Weeks, Weeks (ISO), Quarters or Years). The add-in will automatically update your timeline. You will also find the language control for the timeband here. Use it to change the language of your timeband’s scale if you have an international audience.

Change Timeband Scale

In the example below, we have switched the timescale from months to weeks.

Timescale in Weeks

Are you running the latest version? Check our Updates page here.


Make dateless timelines in PowerPoint

We get a lot of requests for guidance on creating dateless timelines in PowerPoint. These are usually project charts or event timelines that do not yet have specific dates determined (e.g. start date, milestone dates), and they are most often used to illustrate a project in concept phase or to provide a project template. For example pitching an idea to sponsors where the start date will be determined once the project charter has been funded, or – as shown in the illustration below - modeling a possible itinerary out. To build a dateless timeline in PowerPoint, open the Office Timeline Plus add-in and:

1.  Set up a project schedule entering fictitious but relative dates for your project. For example, I used 9/1/2018 – 9/5/2018 for the 5-day task called Ezulwini. I did this schedule in Excel and then pasted it into Office Timeline. You can also do this without Excel, right from the Data Entry Wizard in Office Timeline.

Project schedule sample

2.  Once the add-in has generated your graphic, select your timeband and then go to the Timeline Scale section of the Style Pane on the right. Here you need to change the timeline’s interval to Days or Weeks, which are dateless.

Make Timeband dateless

3.  Now select any milestone date on your timeline and, from the Style Pane, click on the green toggle button visible on the right to make that date invisible. Then, to apply this change to all milestones, click on the down arrow next to Apply to All and select Visibility from the menu.

Hide Milestone Date

Repeat these same steps for your task dates to make them invisible too. Finally, you can also use the Style Pane to turn on Task Duration, which will display a count (days or weeks) for each of your project's tasks. The timeline ends up looking like this:

Final Timeline Sample



Quickly turn project data into professional timelines

Build stunning, uncomplicated timelines and Gantt charts that are easy to make and simple to communicate. Get the advanced features of Office Timeline Plus free for 14 days.

GET FREE TRIAL

Project Timelines Communicate for Instructional Designers

A friend of mine is an instructional designer at an international financial institution. When new or updated courses for their 50,000 employees are conceived, the rollout date becomes one of the most important items to be managed.  Due to financial legislation, each course must be scrutinized and signed-off by each department’s project manager. I often heard tales of trying to coordinate the various sign-offs using an analogy involving kittens.

A delayed roll-out date would have an impact on employee training schedules worldwide. A delay of one day on receiving expected reviews and validations can cause havoc with the schedule.  Beyond emails, instant messages, and frantic phone calls, there has been no easy or effective way to effectively communicate the need to meet expectations to the department project managers.  All-hands-on-deck fire drills were not infrequent. Their project management system will not interface with PowerPoint and so there has not been a good way to illustrate the project timeline during status meetings.

PowerPoint is the standard for creating powerful, effective, and memorable presentations. The challenge for instructional designers is that PowerPoint is a blank slate and there is no simple way to create insightful timeline or Gantt chart presentations. I recently mentioned Office Timeline to my friend and it has solved the problem.

Office Timeline is a plug-in embedded into the PowerPoint ribbon, so using it to create, manage and present compelling project timelines or Gantt charts is intuitive and quick.  It starts with a simple wizard for entering importing tasks and milestones directly from an Excel spreadsheet. At a touch, these tables are turned into a beautifully laid out timeline slide in PowerPoint. PowerPoint Templates and Themes provide the powerful tools to control and format the timeline or Gantt chart so presenters can test various ways to emphasize key events.  With Office Timeline, instructional designers who are managing projects can develop presentations on project proposals or status reports in just minutes – making updates a minor task – not a major interruption.

As an Instructional Designer for over 20 years, she mentioned that it is always difficult to communicate the critical need for prompt validation responses to ensure an on-time roll-out. Further, it used to be difficult just to create a single timeline slide or Gantt chart illustrating these few vital steps in the months-long development cycle.

“There’s no better way than a picture to show the project managers how important this is. They’re the ones who need to ensure the deadlines are met.”  After trying Office Timeline, I asked what she thought; “It took just a minute to look it over. I watched the tutorial. Then I used the spreadsheets from our last project. Copy, paste, and voila’ – I had an effective management-level slide. What’s better is that I didn’t have to take up valuable Instructional Designer time to get this great slide. That particular timeline was really effective for displaying the critical project steps. I think our project managers understand this timing issue now. Office Timeline has helped remove a major tension point. ”

Download Office Timeline Free Edition

Suggested Reading

Steps for making a timeline
Tutorial for making a Gantt chart with Excel
Exceptional PowerPoint Add-ons


Quickly turn project data into professional timelines

Build stunning, uncomplicated timelines and Gantt charts that are easy to make and simple to communicate. Get the advanced features of Office Timeline Plus free for 14 days.

GET FREE TRIAL