Timelines in Scrivener

Hi :slight_smile:

Brand new to Scrivener, and serious writing really. I went through the tutorial (and it was one of the better ones I’ve ever had the pleasure of experiencing so kudos there) and today I began planning my novel. By planning I simply mean taking the notes from my phone and putting them into a notes file on Scrivener and fleshing them out in a bit more detail… very helpful even still!

I want to create a timeline that marks the key points of the universe, and though it won’t necessarily be what I write about (will likely skip things that aren’t important to the story) it’s nice to have that canon there for slight referencing and the like.

Is there any way to do this in Scrivener? Not directly I gather, but in some sort of visual manner, perhaps using the corkboard in a way I’m not familiar with?


As long as the timeline is simple, and you don’t mind all events being evenly spaced, then you could just create a “Timeline” folder and just put in events as they occur. I’d suggest the outline view. Title everything briefly (ex: “Fire Destroys Sarah’s Apt.”), and if you have exact dates, start with the date. Format the date in a way that sorts well by a computer (ex: YYYY-MM-DD 24H:MM:SS). The outline in Scrivener doesn’t sort (yet), but eventually that will be a feature, letting you experiment with order while being able to view events chronologically.

The synopses can be used to expand on the title, and can be hidden for a more compact view.

If you feel that this isn’t meeting your timeline needs, Aeon Timeline integrates with individual Scrivener projects, letting you track events both ‘off screen’ and those that happen in your individual chapters/scenes. It takes a little time to get the hang of, but it’s very powerful.

Hello there robertdguthrie,

Thanks so much for your meticulous response, this is a great point and I might just go ahead and do something like this. The timeline is only there for my own reference, and unless it gets to a point where it’s too complex to comfortably handle it with Scrivener (or other office applications) then I’ll be fine with keeping it inside Scrivener in a method similar to the one you mentioned.

Thanks for the tip on Aeon Timeline however, will certainly keep it in mind should my needs ever reach those heights.

If some dedicated timeline software is in your future, you might take a look at Aeon Timeline (avail for Mac and Windows). The developer is a Scrivener user and designed the software with lots of input from the folks on this forum (so it must be good!).

I am not a sophisticated timeline user myself (which probably explains certain temporal snafus I am guilty of), but I know many people use 'em.


Indeed, my plan isn’t to become too enthralled by the approach of using timelines but we’ll see if that’s the case when I get really into it. I do plan to start something today, because yesterday I said tomorrow. :mrgreen:

You might like to look at



Mr X

Aeon Timeline does exactly what you are looking for. It’s a brilliant package and not too expensive. Just be sure that it will work with 2.7 before you invest. It provides that visual picture of what’s happening where and gets rid of illogicalities of having characters arrive somewhere where in a plot when they’re only ten years old and haven’t got feet that would even reach the peddles of a car!! Check the package out.

I’ll second that. I just started using Aeon Timeline, and it wasn’t hard to get it syncing with my existing project. I tried a lot of online timelines, but this one works great and is intuitive. Highly recommended.

Right click and choose View Image [could we fix this forum someday? :wink: ]

Using imgur as a host you can change your thumbnail size easily so that the forum will show more. Just add the appropriate letter below to the end of your filename (right before the .png)

s = Small Square (90×90)
b = Big Square (160×160)
t = Small Thumbnail (160×160)
m = Medium Thumbnail (320×320)
l = Large Thumbnail (640×640) as seen in the example below.
h = Huge Thumbnail (1024×1024)

Full sized Image

Or post using the Linked BBCode option to create a clickable thumbnail*. Imgur makes that harder to find than they should. Other hosts are better in that regard.

  • Might not work, depending on the board settings here. But if not, would be easy enough to just put a smaller thumbnail with a link to the full image, as shown above.

Right. I post on a number of different forums, and I have a macro that will allow me to add an image with a single keypress.

This is the only forum that doesn’t display the entire image with scroll bars, automatically reduce it in size, or have an indication that parts of it are missing.

So, yours is a good idea, but it would be better if the forum software were tweaked.