Sunday, December 30, 2012


A goal is a dream with a timeline -- Weston Lyon

Welcome to Planner's Pointers!  Today I am going to talk about what is a timeline and why it is important  in meeting and event planning (and lots of other places).  According to one dictionary I read a timeline is .. a sequence of related events arranged in chronological order and displayed along a line (usually drawn left to right or top to bottom).  Another described as a management tool that described when items are to be completed and by whom.  Both of these entries are really good explanations of what a timeline is. 

Here are six ideas  why a timeline is important

  1. A timeline is one of the best ways to keep track of what needs to happen when.  That is what organization is all about. Never think that just because you have done something many times you can keep things in your head.  You will absolutely miss something if you don't have a written timeline.
  1. A timeline gives you peace of mind.  You have an action plan and you know when tasks need to happen.
  1.  A timeline is one way to help keep you within budget.  You can order items well in advance so you are not paying for things as 24 hour shipping, or on site printing.
  1. How do you eat an elephant?  One bite at a time.  A good timeline is the one bite at a time because it  carries the event forward.
  1.  I believe  committees work best with clear direction.  Timelines are one form of clear direction.  When you have multiple committees doing 50 or so items a piece, a timeline is the only way you will keep moving and everyone on track.
  2. Timelines also keep you accountable to your clients by keeping them informed about your progress.

New to using a timeline?  Develop one by making a list of all tasks that need to be done in an Excel spread sheet.  A good idea would be to do it with  your team that way you won't forget anything.  Add dates when you will start the task and complete the task.  An example of this is:

 It gets easier after you have created one a few times.   One idea is to develop a generic timeline and customize it as needed.

How did the word "toast" become an expression?  As many sites on the Internet describes it:   A toast is a ritual in which a drink is taken as an expression of honor or goodwill.   In the 17th century, the custom was to put small piece of spiced toast in the bottom of the glass.  Since you drink to a person or to an occasion, you drain the glass so you drink the bit of toast.    Let's toast to 2013!  

Planners Pointers is a blog and talk cast to help beginning event planners with their event planning share ideas on planning better events, books to read and websites to discover.

Planner's Pointers is written by  Mary Pam Kilgore, CMP,  of Kilgore Events and Meetings.  You may reach me through my website or you may call me at 412-260-4178 You can find podcasts of Planner's Pointers at