Last month I attended a workshop for Grant Managers. It covered a wide range of topics ranging from writing a sponsorship proposal and grant administration to how to effectively manage funded projects with grant application software. One observation I came away with is that grant management professionals are being required to provide increasingly more documentation concerning the distribution of project funds and tracking progress against the initial sponsorship proposal or charter. I heard that the administrative tasks involved with gathering data, creating reports, holding status meetings, plus all other tasks has been increasing along with the ever higher need to communicate with colleagues, contractors, staff, funding agencies, and facilities managers.
My take-away was that more people needed clearly communicated information about status and the progress of funded projects. I noticed in the workshop that the grant management process, including project reviews, are very often managed with Excel worksheets and similarly communicated as Excel tables in PowerPoint. In discussing this at one of the break-out sessions, I learned that, although PowerPoint was frequently used, creating a grant management timeline slide for a project presentation is tough to do, even for those who had strong PowerPoint skills.
This is an area in which Office Timeline could help. It is a free timeline maker embedded into Microsoft PowerPoint (2007, 2010, and 2013), so using it is intuitive and easy. If you need to prepare the grant, compose a sponsorship proposal, or manage research projects, you can leverage Office Timeline to create visual, project timelines that will drive the narrative.
Any grant management professional needing to effectively communicate plans or funding status can use Office Timeline to quickly create and share slides that are easy for funding agencies and project teams to understand. It starts with a simple wizard, where a user chooses a template and Office Timeline guides them through the entire process, making the design and creation of project slides a quick and intuitive process. I have captured the process in a series of screenshots below and would be interested in your experience with it.
Download Office Timeline Free Edition
Steps for making a timeline
Exceptional PowerPoint Add-Ons
Simplifying Gantts for important presentations
Cutting and pasting your grant schedule into 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.
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.
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.Download Office Timeline Free Edition
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
You have a lot to say when presenting your project timeline. The adage of too much information rings true as your slide is populated with titles and dates. (To change the timescale of your project’s timeband, see this blog on timeband scales.)
Follow these few steps to improve the clarity of the information on the slide.
1.Prepare your milestone and task data to create a project timeline that looks something like this for example.
2.Next, select Date Format on the Office Timeline ribbon to choose a more compact date style for your tasks (and milestones).
3.Finish adding clarity to the presentation slide by using the Task tools to split the dates and position the text above or below the task arrows.
Are you running the latest version? Check our Release Update site here .
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.
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).
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.
Steps for making a travel timeline
Free timeline maker for PowerPoint
Free images for travel documents
Office Timeline produces timelines as native PowerPoint objects, which means you can easily share them and collaborate on a timeline with your project team just as you would any other PowerPoint slide.
If you would like your project team to edit a timeline, add data, enhance it’s style or design new elements they can easily open it with Office Timeline Free Edition an begin collaborating right away.
- Your colleagues, managers or customers can download the free edition of Office Timeline. They can download here.
- Quickly share your timeline slide with your project team using the Email button on the Office Timeline ribbon and selecting Email PowerPoint slide as Attachment.
If your project team is using Excel or MS Project to track and manage project schedules, see this blog tip on how you can easily import data from Excel: Importing Data
Are you running the latest version? Check our Release Update site here.