When you think of measuring time, the first thing that comes to mind is linearity which is a Western concept. We have always thought of plotting timelines in the traditional way, that is, horizontally. But there’s another popular way to represent the linear concept of time and that is through the vertical timeline. To facilitate an application of a vertical timeline, you need a template which will demonstrate that the vertical timeline template is a more convenient method to convey information.


Vertical Timeline Templates

Types of vertical timeline layouts 

The vertical timeline layout is now a very popular layout when it comes to displaying different types of information. Here are the different types of vertical timeline templates you can create:


Most users have a preference for this form. As the name implies, the timeline runs down the very center of the page, with lines or branches coming out on alternate sides of the main line. Having a centered layout gives the template simplicity and symmetry to give an appealing look.

Moreover, the setup makes it extremely easy to follow. People would, at first glance, already identify what the message it conveys without having to study it any further. The centered timeline is also very flexible. It has enough space where you can write long descriptions.

Should you need more space, you can extend the page’s length. Using a vertical timeline is ideal when you have several points which require a combination of images and text.



This is the other form of a vertical timeline which many consider as effective and as popular as the centered timeline. This time, rather than having branches coming off on either side of the main line, you place it on the left side of the page.

This means that you place all the contents on the right side of the main line. This form is ideal for timelines which are text-heavy, have a lot of sections, and few visuals.

Vertical Timeline Makers

Why do you need a vertical timeline? 

We have all encountered timelines at some point in our lives. Many of us have used them during our school days like when we got assigned to represent the life cycle of a butterfly, a tree or some other living thing. We will still use timelines in various projects and in a variety of settings.

Timelines are typically needed in project planning and management, whether it be personal or business-related. You can use a vertical timeline template to track the achievements and milestones of a person. You can also use one to record the progress of a certain project or goal. Here are the main reasons why you need to create a vertical timeline template Word:


It allows for flexibility when you need to represent priority

There are instances when you want to input the most important achievements as the first point in the timeline. You can visually imagine that this isn’t possible with a horizontal timeline for the simple reason that it reads from left to right. But with the vertical timeline, you just have to flip the line and begin with the most significant event.


It’s easier to read

In both an ergonomic and aesthetic sense, a vertical timeline is easy to follow using your eyes as the horizontal one. But the greater benefit is that the vertical one is the best orientation for reading, either on the screen or on paper, because there’s no need to turn, reorient or scroll.

Vertical Timeline Samples

When to use a vertical timeline 

Using a vertical timeline template Word is perfect when there’s a need to present a story or a series of events chronologically. Aside from this, you can also use this type of timeline in other applications including:


This is one subject where you can perfectly apply a vertical timeline as it portrays historical facts chronologically. Whether you are a student with a history assignment, a history teacher or just somebody with an interest in the subject, you can use this timeline.


You can also use a vertical timeline template to depict chronological transformations. For instance, the evolution of a particular subject.


This application is more specific, like when you need to portray the order of events in a person’s life. If you’re researching or studying somebody else’s life, the best way for you to share the information with others is through this type of timeline.

Project management

Anybody who has tried their hand at project management will agree that this is a time-consuming and complex task. You may avail of countless tools on the internet to help you out but often, people missing out on an important concept which is that simplicity is the best path.

Organization or schedule

Every year, your company organizes a weekend-long activity for its employees so they can have fun, unwind, and release all their pent-up tensions. Try using a vertical timeline layout to present the itinerary for this break. You can also use it for other types of schedules too.

Vertical Timeline Examples

Tips for creating your vertical timeline 

Using a vertical timeline is one of the best methods to display information over a period of time. The simplicity in structure makes this timeline perfect for presenting complex information in a more interesting and easier-to-follow way. For whatever purpose you plan to use the timeline, there are a few basic steps to follow to create a vertical timeline template Word that’s both engaging and attractive.

Come up with an outline for your timeline

Generally, most plans always start with an outline which serves as a guide in achieving goals. This applies as well to timelines. Making an outline is crucial as the design of the timeline highly depends upon the amount of content you want to include. Without an outline, you have no guide and you won’t know how much content will fit in your timeline.

Subsequently, you might end up doing extra work. The concept behind a timeline is about providing a bit of information for key events in time. That means each event should have a specific date and a brief description. Keep in mind that the timeline is a visual summary of a series of events, so keep the descriptions succinct.

Aim for around 30 words per description, then try to spice it up with visuals or illustrations to make it more appealing. If you can, try to make each description have the same amount of text. This creates a pleasing, symmetrical design. As a final touch, look for a simple visual, usually an icon, that accompanies each point.

These visuals are what make the vertical timeline different from the usual old timelines. Visuals can draw the reader’s attention, add to the visual interest, and make graphics easier to scan with minimum effort.

Create the timeline’s framework

After the outline, comes the actual vertical timeline. We discussed earlier that you create each timeline around a basic framework. This refers to the main line with nodes or branches which are regularly-spaced. This may be too obvious but is essential. Here are the next steps to follow:

  • You start by drawing the vertical line. You should place it either at the center or the left side and make the adjustments so it runs the length of the whole page. Leave some room at the top for your title. This forms the timeline’s backbone.
  • Modify the styling using the available formatting tools in your word processing software.
  • Add decorative elements to the end of each line to add to the appeal of the overall layout. You can opt for circles but arrows or perpendicular shapes may also be suitable.
  • Add the horizontal lines for the points in your timeline. Utilize the grid so that the to create regular spacing and on alternate sides of the center line.

Add the information on your timeline

You have now set up the backbone of the timeline. It’s time to input the information or the timeline’s contents. Follow these steps:

  • Begin with relevant images as these will an important focal point of the timeline. Choose the appropriate photos or icons from different sources
  • Drag and align these images with the corresponding branches on the timeline.
  • Start adding the information using your outline as a reference. You can select body text, header, and subheader boxes from the toolbar menu to insert them into your timeline next to the branches.
  • Start filling the text boxes of the header with the required information, add the header text to the text boxes of the subheaders, then input the descriptions to the text boxes of the text body.


Use embellishments sparingly to make your timeline look more visually appealing

Now that you have all the important elements in place, you can start working on the design. Start with a color scheme as this will spice up things. Choose a color for the background of your page, the color of the main line, and another color for the branches.

Now choose the best font that suits the design of your vertical timeline template. You can use one font throughout the page or you may choose 2-3 fonts to differentiate the title, the headings, and the subheadings. Then add graphics and shapes as needed to add to the structure of your timeline.