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I am looking for a desktop application I can use for drawing a project timeline. It exists in SmartDraw but I'm guessing a open source alternative exists. I have open project as an alternative to ms project and it does the job, but I need something I can use for drawing a timeline - any suggestions?

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I'm pretty sure the Draw app in open office has stencils for doing timelines. Can't check now as I don't have it installed at work.

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I use Tom's Planner all the time for instant, easy Gantt charts. You can figure out how it works in seconds. It comes with a bunch of neat features such as inviting read-only users, or exporting the data as Project / Excel readable too.

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Did you consider using pen and paper as an alternative. You can draw the timeline really quickly and scan it in as a hard copy. Yet better, I would suggest to keep it up on a whiteboard or as a drawing on a wall to it provides useful point of reference for the team working on the project.

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Here's a link on how to make timelines and gantt charts w/ excel templates: http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/excel-project-management-tracking-templates/

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I know of inkscape: It's GNU Release open source vector drawing program. I've never used it but it looks good.

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  • Yes, inkscape is very good for vector drawing but might require considerable effort to draw a timeline compared to purpose-build apps. – mfloryan Jul 4 '11 at 9:20
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There are a number of free timeline drawing apps available. I've used Timelinemaker (comes with a 7 day free trial).

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