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Tuesday Tech Tip: Make a multimedia timeline with Google Sheets

June 09 | BY Michael Sauers, Director of Technology

In my past life as a presenter I sometimes needed to create a timeline in order to show the development of a topic over time. While not everyone need to create timelines on a regular basis, they can be a welcome change from the standard PowerPoint presentation. Enter TimelineJS from Knight Lab. While the tool will take a little getting used to, the key idea is that you enter your information into a Google Sheet in columns for Start Date, End Date, Headline,Text, and Media (along with a few other optional fields), publish your spreadsheet to the Web, then provide the sheet's URL to the TimelineJS service. In return you'll receive back a URL that you can use to give your presentation.

For example, here's the timeline I created to illustrate the history of eBooks. (Sadly, I have not updated it in a few years, but you'll get the idea.) If you're interested in looking at the spreadsheet behind the timeline you can find it here