Suggestions welcomed for software for building chronologies

Hello all,

For work, I have to read large quanties of documents and asemble chronologies based around the documents.

I have historically done this in a spreadsheet (first Excel, then I have moved over to Numbers). This is ok, but it strikes me that there must be a better way to achieve this, and I’d be grateful for any suggestions from the hive mind of MPU.

What I’m looking for:

  1. Presents as a table, as opposed to a visual timeline.
  2. Something that allows “approximate” dates to be included, e.g. “March 2020”.
  3. Allows for data entry using a form, which later presents in a table.
  4. Ideally, the cross-pollination of records to other parts of the database. For example, I enter a fact in the chronology such as “Dr Smith speaks to patient on the ward”, I can then tag Dr Smith, and a list of all references to him populates elsewhere in the database.

I would be grateful for any suggestions you might have!

Thanks very much indeed for reading.

Have you had a look at Aeon Timeline?

From its website, one of its uses is for visualising the chronology of events in legal cases, which sounds as though it has similarities for your requirements:

How Aeon Timeline is on the case

If you are looking for a simple, intuitive and flexible way to visualise events in a legal case, Aeon Timeline is the tool for you.

Aeon Timeline has been used for a range of tasks, including mapping key witness statements and testimony, creating a visual display of key components of architecture.

With Aeon Timeline, you can:

  • Create a visual representation of your cases that is easy to understand and present in a courtroom setting
  • Map out key client and witness testimony to identify holes and inconsistencies in the evidence they have presented
  • Create a visual chronological display of client emails and communications to make it clear who knew what, and when.
  • Add your own images, external links, notes and research to your events so that you have everything you need linked from a single chronological location
  • Filter events by almost anything, so that you can narrow your focus when trying to identify or present key issues

It’s some time since I used it myself, but from memory it has most of the features you mention (including the ability to see events in a table as well as a timeline). It also links with Scrivener and Ulysses, which may or may not be necessary for you.


+1 for Aeon Timeline. AT version 3 is in beta phase and reworks much of the interface. The “spreadsheet” view is probably what you’re looking for.


Thanks. I will check it out.