April 24, 2009

Xtimeline – Explore and Create Free Timelines


There are other timeline apps that seem better suited for promoting a personal project by creating a timeline of all internet activity, including videos, blog entries, and the like. Xtimeline is more of a traditional timeline program and isn’t really breaking any new ground in terms of timeline usability. If Xtimeline had a comparison, it would be to a site like Wikipedia – a place for people to find factual information about a certain topic.

For instance, on the main page is a link to Scarlett Johannson’s timeline. Reading her traditional biography, you might have no idea just how much she worked as a child, but reading her timeline in sequence shows you just how many movies she’s been in throughout her life. This is the advantage of the timeline over your basic encyclopedia entry.

OK, but what can you do if you’re not ultra-famous? Well, as mentioned, it’s a good place to find information but it’s also easy to create timelines as well. You can then embed the timeline other places online, such as your website or blog. There are also groups to join and interesting timelines to view on site, like a traditional social network. The tools are easy to use, if a bit basic, so novices can easily create a timeline of their own in a matter of minutes.

Practical Uses:

  • Find out the life story of a famous figure in an easier to read format than dry, encyclopedic writing
  • Create a timeline of your own life and output as a way of promoting your work (books, paintings, music, etc.)
  • Show how your business has evolved over time and place on your company’s website
  • Outline your Grandmother’s life story
  • Showcase your expertise by creating a timeline about a subject

Insider Tips:

  • Add pictures and links to the timeline. The way to have this rival Wikipedia is by being as authoritative as Wikipedia’s offering, which are loaded with links and rich media
  • Be sure to proofread heavily. Unlike Wikipedia, this is not publicly editable content, so make sure your content is professional and informative
  • Customize your timeline so it resembles your blog, Myspace page, etc.
  • Participate on other people’s timelines to get them to check out yours

What we liked:

  • It’s easy to use – if you know how to use Blogger, you can use Xtimeline
  • Plenty of interesting timelines on the site

What we didn’t like:

  • It can be slow to load
  • The timelines look good but not great. It would be nice if the timelines were slightly more modern
  • There aren’t a lot of users so interaction is minimal and the front page doesn’t update frequently


Company Info:

  • Launched: 2007
  • Privately Held
  • Headquarters: San Francisco, CA
  • Founded by: Lauren Kwan and Kevin Chen
  • Web site:


  • Free


  1. There is also which has a much better user interface. Also the timelines are based on HTML

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