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:

  • Excel
  • Word
  • Google Docs
  • Google Spreadsheets
  • Outlook
  • 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:

  • Tasks
  • 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!


Example Timeline

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.


Task Person Responsible Due Dates
Purchase Tabletop, Canopy etc Anita February 2017
Create curriculum for lesson Tam February-March 2017
Set up dates for information sessions at local Head Starts and schools Michael February – March 2017
Create/Assemble distribution materials for families who visit Martin March-April 2017
Confirm time/place/date of activity with locations Anita April 2017
Hold information sessions at selected schools Tam May 2017 (once/week for whole month)
Recap Meeting with team to discuss the event Team June 2017
Evaluation of Event Grazia/Tam 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. Anita June 2017



For more on creating a budget, go to the next section.