This evening, I planned to work on my outline, so, of course, as procrastination, I explored options of visualizing timelines. There’s software to do just that for writers, such as, for example, Aeon Timeline (not just plotting events but drawing causal links and character participation). I was hoping there were horizontal bar graphs in the Google Docs spreadsheets or something as simple (and free). There is an Excel template out there, but I don’t use it.
Then I found MIT’s open source Timeline project (among other Simile widgets) that plots event points and durations as bars, but, more incredibly, allows scrolling forward and back in time. Above, I show merely a screen shot of my timeline, so you can’t see the full functionality and miss the simultaneous scrolling of two time panes (but you can on the MIT site).
Admittedly, there’s a small learning curve. If I procrastinate long enough on this project, I may code a (local) html interface, or, even better, find someone who’s already done so.