Could a Forum User Help with some Advice

having tried to find something that does what I am hoping for via Google and asking some IT specialists at work I thought I would try this forum. I apologise in advance for what may seem a silly or uninformed post to some.
I am not an author but work in the legal profession. In big cases I spend a lot of time analysing the evidence/ witness statements and putting them into chronological order. One witness statement might detail events on 1st January, 1st February etc. and at different times. In big cases I might spend a week on a word processor setting the contents of witness statements out in tabular form in colums headed :

Name of witness Date and Time Evidence in Statement Notes on Evidence

It is time consuming enough to scan statements (they are invariably in unsearchable pdf) and OCR them into Word to be put in a Word doc but every time I need to enter a section I need to find the particualr place within the table to put the text. Some cases span events over years so I find 1st January 2011 and create a box for that entry and mark up the witness’ name, date and time that they saw what they saw, cut and paste the text into the evidence section and then can do notes in the final column when the chronlogy is complete.

I was wondering if there was a tool that could take some of the work out of this by allowing me type in date and time and automatically allocating that within the document, so that at the end I could print out something similar. However on looking at programs online I find a lot of ‘timeline’ programs that produce gant charts or very simple timeline documnets, but nothing that will allow me to insert large sections of text and order it in the manner I would do, laboriously, in a word document.

Does Scrivener or any other progamme that forum users have come across allow me to do that?

Any help genuinely appreciated.

Moved to a more appropriate forum.

Scrivener will let you assign keywords and custom metadata, which you can then use as the basis for a sort or search. It will also let you split text documents into pieces, with each piece carrying the same metadata as its parent. Would that help?

You also might want to look at Aeon Timeline, which was designed for use with Scrivener and connects timeline entries to Scrivener documents.


First, kudos to Katherine for mentioning Aeon Timeline. It’s very impressive the way these two companies work toger.

I think the combination of Scrivener and Aeon Timeline would be very useful for legal work. I would caution that the learning curve of each program is intimidating, but the benefits could far outweigh the time investment. I’m an avid user of both programs, and I would encourage you to look into the functionality of the two programs. My daughter is in her first year of law school, after many years of working in her field - during which time she became a master of spreadsheets - but even so, she agrees that Scrivener and Aeon Timeline might be useful tools in her legal career. It’s just a matter of fitting the learning curve into your work schedule.

I use Scrivener and Aeon Timeline daily in my writing and in running my small publishing company. If you would like some advice, you can email me at steve at maatpublishing dot net.

I was going to suggest also investigating Tinderbox or DEVONthink Pro until I saw you were on Windows, but it might also be worth looking at Connected Text for data storage and retrieval. Never used it myself, but have always thought it looked interesting, and those who use the Zettelkasten method of keeping track of research material seem to speak well of it. (See if you are not familiar.)