Timelines are an important tool used to help you stay on task and meet your objectives and goals on time. Timelines can be simple or complex. Create a timeline that works for YOU. Here are some formats you can use to create your timeline:
- Google Docs
- Google Spreadsheets
- Office Project
- com – offers free templates for you to download and make your own
Though you can choose what format to create your timeline, you must include these essentials:
- Person Responsible for Task
- Due Dates
How to create a timeline:
- Brainstorm a list of ALL tasks that need to be completed for your activity
- You can edit later – just get everything down at first!
- To determine due dates for each task: start at END DATE and work backwards to figure out what you need and when you need it (e.g. if activity is 12 months from now, start from that date and go backwards)
- Determine who will complete each task
- Include any hard and fast deadlines (e.g. progress report due dates)
- UPDATE as needed as soon as possible if anything changes
TIP: BE REALISTIC when planning your intervention activity and timeline.
- It’s easy to carried away and think too big
- Take into account your resources (staff, money, time), deadlines and funding timeline when creating your timeline
- Communicate with others involved to ensure they are able to do their part!
Here is an example of a preliminary, simple timeline created in Word for a Child Car Seat Information session to be held in May 2017.
|Purchase Tabletop, Canopy etc
|Create curriculum for lesson
|Set up dates for information sessions at local Head Starts and schools
|February – March 2017
|Create/Assemble distribution materials for families who visit
|Confirm time/place/date of activity with locations
|Hold information sessions at selected schools
|May 2017 (once/week for whole month)
|Recap Meeting with team to discuss the event
|Evaluation of Event
|Feb 2017 – Sept 2017
* Notes will be taken from planning stages to Event
|Send Follow Up Materials, e.g. Thank You notes to collaborators, session leaders etc.