Create a timeline chart

Turn your tables into timeline charts for tracking, sharing, and summarizing projects.

Updated over a week ago

Coda tables transform effortlessly into a variety of views, empowering each user to interact with the table data in their preferred way. And timelines are one of these views!

In Coda, timelines and Gantt charts are the same. They allow you to visualize and track a series of events that take place over a specific timeframe, which is great for project tracking.

Within this article you’ll find...


Create a timeline chart

There are two ways to begin building your timeline chart. You can either type /timeline into the canvas and follow the instructions, or you can first build out a table that you convert to a timeline view.

To convert the table to a timeline view, hover over the table, select Options in the top right of the table. In the panel that appears on the right hand side of your doc, you will go the far right and click on the More option. This will drop down a menu from which you can select Timeline.

With views, you can portray your data as both a table and a timeline.

create new timeline chart.gif

For any timeline chart that you build, you must include a timeframe for each item. Take task tracking for example, you will either need to include a start date column and a duration column, or alternatively start date and end date columns. Some other typical data, and therefore columns, for timeline views include:

  • Task or Project

  • Owner

  • Phase

Customize a timeline chart

Since Coda’s timeline chart is a table at its core, we can use filter, sort, group, and conditional format features like we could on any table by clicking the respective options in the Options panel.

For one quick example, in a task tracker you may want to use grouping to display tasks by person so you can easily see each team member’s tasks together.

explore timeline table options.gif

In addition to these, there are some timeline specific features for further customizing your chart. In the Options panel, click on Timeline display and find:

  • Chart type - should always be Timeline

  • Start date - Select the date that starts tracking

  • End date - Select the date that ends tracking

  • Default time axis - Set your default timeframe (day, week, month, quarter, year, multi-year) for collaborators depending on the duration of your work

  • Default view date - Ability to choose if the default loading of the timeline shows first, current, or last date, we would suggest defaulting to first date

  • People display column - Easily see who is responsible for each task by leaving on the avatar display, make sure you have set up a People column to get this to work. Select None if prefer to remove this detail. And don’t worry, the column will still be in the table if you click into any tasks!

  • Time zone - Ability to choose to set the timezone for your collaborators based on a doc OR their individual timezone

  • Label overflow - clean up your timeline view by toggling overflow Off

  • New row button and search options - similar to any other table Coda

Navigate within your timeline

Coda has a handful of ways to navigate your timeline, all accessible in the top right hand of the timeline chart itself. Below we list these out in the order they appear from left to right.

First, you have the option to filter your own view as you are working in a timeline based on timeframes (day, week, month, quarter, year, and multi-year) in the top right of the timeline. This filter will be personal to your view, and won’t affect how others view the timeline.

Note that you can also set a default timeframe that all viewers see when they open their respective doc and timeline (see more on this in the previous section).

Next, click Today to easily move the timeline to today’s date. Coda will continue to keep whatever timeframe you have selected!

Next, there is the Fit option. Use this to adjust your timeline’s view to show all the items. This is especially helpful if you are having trouble deciding the best timeframe to choose.

navigate timeline view.gif

Lastly, you will see a calendar icon. By clicking this and selecting a date, you are able to jump to specific dates on the calendar for easier navigation.

FAQs

Why is my timeline producing an error message?

Timeline charts are all about time. So, in order for your timeline to work properly, you must either select Start and End columns, with date formats, or Start and Duration columns in your table options. If using duration, make sure you specify days with "days" in the text string.

How can I add color to my timeline?

You can use table conditional formatting to do so. Hover over your table or timeline view to select Options (in the upper right of the table). Select Conditional format, and then select Add Rule.

Choose the column for which the rule applies - each column in the table will appear as an option so you can fully customize. Note that in order for the color or formatting to display in your timeline view, you must include the display column in your Apply to columns.

Why can’t I show the person associated with each task?

Check that your table contains a people column type that is populated correctly. Then open your table options (see section above for info) and make sure that the correct people column is selected under the People display column field.

Can you set up dependencies in a timeline?

Yes you can! Check out this article to learn more.


Related resources

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