Hello. I’m looking for an app to keep track of a fictional timeline.
So far, I’ve basically done so as a Note within Scrivener with a list of complementary Days/Dates (Day 1: March 12, etc.) Bit of a kludge job.
So I’ve been looking at several apps:
Timeline 3D for Mac
Aeon Timeline, which seems to have the most Scrivener-awareness
I actually had a license for this without even realizing it–apparently I either bought it back in 2007 with similar thoughts and never used it, or it was part of a software bundle purchase and was one of the apps I never used. I don’t know which. Looking it over, however, it seems to be used more for making presentations that for tracking a storyline, so I’m guessing it was the second reason.
I don’t only need to track “real world” dates; that is, while I might want to note an event on May 12, it may not be May 12 of a particular year. It’s the passage of time I’m tracking, not real-world accuracy. That’s one limit of Temporis: it seems that the dates must apply to real-world dates.
… since asking the question, I’ve watched a video on integrating Aeon Timeline and Scrivener:
scribblecode.com/videos/Aeon … encast.mov
So far, it’s looking pretty compelling to choose AT.
I have Aeon, though I don’t use it much — I was using it to build a timeline of the history of Britain from Stonehenge to Queen Victoria, with detailed sub-timelines for the various dynasties and reigns, Plantagenets, Tudors, Elizabeth I and so on. I think its strengths are:
its Scrivener awareness, as you point out (it was developed by a Scrivener user following a discussion in these forums);
that you can develop fantasy and custom calendars, and restrict the dates of events to just years or years and months or days or whatever, I understand, without having to tie events to specific dates.
Version 2 is due out sometime soon, with a promised simplification/rationalisation of the interface as well as other enhancements.
That said, there are things it can’t do, which users have asked for, like having more than one fantasy world, e.g. two planets in different orbits round a single star, in which the calendar structure — length of days, or ‘days’ in a ‘week’/‘month’ etc. are different — represented in the same timeline.
NB I am merely an occasional user, and nothing to do with Matt or Scribblecode.
Aeon Timeline is pretty good for analysing plot problems, and excels at defining calendars in historic times or in calendars for fantasy worlds. You can use it for other things too like planning real world events. Some of its more critical reviews on the app store are from lawyers using it to construct timelines for legal cases.
You can create events, allocate them to story arcs and then create characters and assign them to events as participant or observer. I’d say one of the keys to using Aeon is, don’t try to use the area where the lines cross to visualise the problem you are analysing. Instead use the tags and filters to hide unwanted detail and select the answers to the questions you are asking the timeline.