The Timeline chart in Canvas gives you the ability to get out of the weeds and details in Studio and see a higher level view of your initiative strategy. By leveraging this chart, you’ll be able to see how long initiatives are running by year, quarter, month or week, and drill into the different marketing activities that support them as well as important dates to be aware of. Timeline looks similar to a Gantt chart, but provides more transparency into your marketing strategy through its use of custom data. With Timeline, you can get ahead of potential resource constraints or misalignment, and feel more confident that the timing of your marketing efforts is optimal.
Creating a Timeline Chart
To Create a new Timeline chart complete the following steps:
- In your Kapost instance, navigate to Canvas in the top navigation bar.
- Create a plan or select an existing plan.
- Click the + icon to create a new chart and choose Timeline. You can create a new Timeline from the available template which will pull in all your active initiatives for the year, or create a custom Timeline from scratch.
Viewing and Editing Timeline Charts
Timeline charts have two modes - View and Edit. When viewing an existing chart you have the ability to:
- Click on initiatives to see details on the right side of your screen. From the details, click on the initiative or content titles to view in a new tab in Studio.
- Click on Important Dates to see details on the right side of your screen.
- Toggle on and off important dates and status by clicking the respective buttons on the top toolbar.
- Move along the time axis by using the arrows on the top toolbar or by using the horizontal scroll bar at the bottom of your Timeline chart.
To enter edit mode, click Edit. When creating a new chart you will be taken immediately to edit mode. Always remember to Save your chart after making edits before you navigate away. If you would like to undo any edits, click Discard before saving. From edit mode there are various ways to design and edit your Timeline chart.
Note: Only Admins and Editors are able to edit charts and Admins may choose to disallow Editors from editing as well.
Navigating the Toolbar
This following options are available in the top toolbar on a Timeline chart:
- Pagination arrows: These arrows allow you to move along the date range to see more of the chart.
- Today: Click today to return to the current placeholder.
- Manage Initiatives: This button allows you to add or remove initiatives from the chart.
- Create: This dropdown gives you the option to either add an Important Date to your chart, or Create a New Initiative. Once created, this new initiative will also exist in Studio.
Note: Important Dates are only visible in Canvas
- More: This dropdown allows you to Start Tour which takes you back through the quick four step guide to navigating a Timeline chart which you see the very first time you access a Timeline. There is also an option to delete the current Timeline you’re viewing.
To see anything in your Timeline, you will need to add the initiatives you’re interested in seeing. To add one or more initiatives complete the following steps:
- Click the Manage Initiatives button located on the top toolbar. A window will appear with all of the existing, active initiatives in your instance.
- You can scroll through the list of initiatives which are ordered by last updated date, or search for specific initiatives by name, type, description, owner, or custom field.
- Click the the + icon next to any initiative you want to include in your Timeline.
- The initiatives you have selected for your Timeline chart will appear on the right side of your screen. To remove an initiative from your view, click the x next to that respective initiative or uncheck it. Please note, removing an initiative from your Timeline will not affect that initiative anywhere else in your instance.
- To return to the Timeline chart, either click the large x on the top-right hand side of the window or deselect Manage Initiatives from the top toolbar.
Creating New Initiatives
As you review your Timeline, you may wish to create a new initiative to add to the chart. You can do this directly within Timeline by following these steps. Note, this initiative and the details you provide for it will also exist in Studio once created.
- Select Create from the top toolbar, then New Initiative from the dropdown.
- Select a Title, Type, Start date, and End Date for the initiative. Start and End date are not mandatory at this time and can be edited within Timeline or Studio later on.
- Click Create.
Adding Important Dates
Important dates allow you to denote a specific date on your Timeline that might impact your content plan. Important dates could be a product launch, all hands meeting, or event for example. Once created, the date will appear as a flag on your Timeline. To add an important date complete the following steps:
- Click Create from the top toolbar, then select Important Date from the dropdown.
- You can also click anywhere on the top row of your Timeline while in edit mode to create an important date.
- Select a date and add a description.
Please note that important dates which fall within a close time-frame will be grouped together. All important dates and their detail can be viewed by clicking Important Dates on the left-hand side of the chart and then clicking a specific date.
Editing Chart Settings
Chart settings allow you to adjust certain aspects of your Timeline. Click on Settings to edit the following:
- Date scale: This option allows you to view your Timeline on either a weekly, monthly, or quarterly basis.
- Custom timeline range: Design your chart to show only what falls within a specific date range.
- Enable additional layers: This section allows you to display important dates and/or the initiative status.
- Initiatives: This section lists all the initiatives currently displayed on your Timeline. You can quickly remove initiatives from your chart by clicking the x next to those initiatives. For more advanced initiative options, select Manage.
You can Group Initiatives by criteria that is most useful to you. Select the dropdown menu from the left hand side of the chart and select one of the following grouping options:
- Initiative type
- Initiative owner
- Custom field from your initiatives
You can reset this format at any time by clicking Remove. This will reset your initiatives to a default alphabetical ordering.
Viewing and Editing Initiative Details
By clicking on any initiative in the chart, you can view the details of that initiative, including any content that supports it. The following details about the initiative can be viewed or updated which will be reflected in Studio:
- Option to view initiative in studio: To view the initiative in a new tab, click on the title of the initiative or the icon next to the title.
- Description: The initiative description will appear as well as options to edit or add a description.
- Owners: The assigned initiative owner will appear here. Click the blue icon to add or remove owners.
- Initiative Stage: This section shows you whether this initiative is planned, in progress, or complete and this can also be adjusted.
- Initiative Range: View the start and end date selected for the initiative or make any needed adjustments.
- Initiative Type: This section denotes the initiative type.
- Content: This section shows all content associated with the initiative along with the progress of the content. Click on the content title to open that content in a new tab within Studio.
Note: Initiative range can also be adjusted by dragging the time-span within the chart.