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Canvas Timeline Charts

What Is This Feature?

Canvas timeline charts give you a high-level view of the initiatives and content your teams are working on. These Gantt-style charts show you your planned, in-progress, and completed initiatives and the content within them.

How It Helps

Canvas enables content planners and strategists to build a powerful content strategy and provide awareness into marketing initiatives across your organization. Share your timeline charts with leadership so they know about your planned initiatives and content that support your company objectives.

Use timeline charts to plan your content with full visibility into the current content that makes up your initiatives, with the most important dates exposed to plan against before you even begin executing content. Spot bottlenecks and evaluate resources so your plans aren’t disrupted.

Best Practices

  • Initiatives are the foundation for Canvas: Canvas is most powerful when your initiatives represent your strategy and contain the content to execute it. Group the initiatives in your timeline charts by their metadata, such as initiative type, owner, or region, to plan with these details front and center.
  • Manage access in Canvas at the plan level to ensure that only the correct team members and stakeholders see the plan, and the charts within it.
  • As your campaigns are executed, reference your timeline charts to track a dynamic view of your initiatives and their content and ensure they’re on track to meet deadlines.
  • Expose custom field dates, event dates, and task dates on your timelines to see important dates that let you orchestrate the timing marketing activities, anticipate resource requirements, and understand dependencies.
  • Leverage shared tasks for the most powerful use of task dates. These are the tasks that are set up in your settings and included with the same task name in workflows across content types. This unlocks full functionality for tasks in Canvas as well as Insights, the calendar, and your catalogs.

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How It Works

Navigate to Canvas from the top navigation bar in Kapost. Create a new timeline chart by clicking on the green + button from within the plan you’re working on.

You can create a custom timeline chart and choose the initiatives that you’d like to see in the chart, or select the template option which will generate a timeline chart that includes all your active initiatives for the year.

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When you’re looking at a timeline chart, you can either view or edit the chart.

When you click into a chart from a plan, you’ll enter the view mode. Here, you can:

  • Click on the initiatives listed at the left (y-axis) of the chart to expand the initiative’s details in a panel on the right side of the chart. This panel will show you the initiative’s description, owner(s), stage, and the status of content in the initiative.
    • Click on content titles in this panel to open a new browser tab for that content in Studio.
  • Scroll your view of your timeline chart manually or by using the arrows at the top left of your chart.
  • Click on Important dates at the top of your listed initiatives on the left to see details about these dates in the right panel of your screen. Toggle on and off important dates and status by clicking the respective buttons on the top toolbar.

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When you’re viewing a timeline chart, clicking on an initiative will expand a list of the content in the initiative as well as the right-side panel with the high-level initiative details.

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  • You can click on the button next to the initiative title in the right-side panel to open the initiative in a new tab.
  • You can edit the information in the right-side panel when you’re in editing mode if you’d like to update the title, description, owners, initiative stage, and initiative start and end dates; these updates will be reflected in the initiative in Studio.
  • An initiative’s timeframe can also be adjusted by dragging the time-span within the chart.

Expand your chart’s left-side column when you need to see a longer initiative or content title.

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You’ll enter the editing mode first when you create a new timeline chart, or you'll enter editing mode in an existing timeline chart by clicking on the Edit button at the top right of your screen.

  • Kapost Admins and Editors can edit charts by default. Admins can choose whether or not Editors in their instance can edit charts.
  • When you’ve made your chart edits, don’t forget to click Save before leaving editing mode. To undo any edits, click Discard before saving your chart.

Expand the settings panel by clicking on the Settings button.

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Here, you can:

  • Toggle the Date scale to see a view of a week, month, or quarter on your chart within its timeline range.
  • Define the Custom timeline range to select the timeframe for your chart.
  • Enable additional layers to add status and important dates.
  • Enable content dates to add custom field dates, task dates, and event dates to your timeline chart.
  • See all the initiatives that are populating your timeline chart and remove them from the chart by clicking the X next to their title. For more advanced options, click Manage, which’ll keep you in your timeline chart and expand an area to search for other initiatives to add to your chart.
  • If you’re not using custom field dates in your instance—meaning if your content doesn’t have a custom field for date entry—then this option won’t appear in the drop-down menu for content dates to add to your timeline.

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The toolbar along the top of your timeline chart in editing mode also provides chart management options.

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From left to right:

  • Use the arrows to scroll your view of your timeline chart
  • Select Today to return to today’s date on the timeline
  • Zoom in or out of your current view
  • Click Manage Initiatives to add or remove initiatives from your chart
  • Use the Create drop-down menu to add an important date to your timeline or create a new initiative from within your chart
    • An initiative created in Canvas will appear in Studio along with your other existing initiatives
  • The More drop-down menu allows you to view which users in your instance have access to—and can delete—the chart.

To enable your content and campaign planning, you’ll choose the initiatives you want to see in your timeline chart when you’re in editing mode.

To add one or multiple initiatives to a chart, click the Manage Initiatives button in the top toolbar or in your settings panel when you’re in editing mode.

  • Search for and select the initiatives to add to your timeline here.
  • Remove any initiatives you don’t want to see on your timeline. Removing an initiative from a chart doesn’t affect the initiative anywhere else in Kapost.
  • Use advanced search options to find initiatives to add to your timeline chart:
    • Initiatives I own to see the initiatives you’re working on
    • In-progress initiatives to see initiatives that are active
    • Customize your search with more criteria such as owners, types, and custom field values

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Adding important dates: Important dates on timelines allow you to mark key dates on your chart. These are dates you want to ensure stay top of mind as your initiatives progress, such as a product launch or a stakeholder meeting. Important dates appears as flags on your timeline charts.

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To add an important date, enter the chart’s editing mode and click on Create from the chart’s toolbar. Choose Important date, and fill out its details in the modal. Click Create to add the date to your chart.

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  • Important dates that fall within a close time-frame will be grouped together. All important dates and their details can be viewed by clicking on the Important dates button at the top of the left-hand column of the chart, and then clicking a specific date for more details.

Grouping initiatives: By default, the initiatives in your chart are listed to the left of your timeline alphabetically. When editing a timeline chart, you can choose how the chart’s initiatives are grouped.

Use the Group by drop-down menu above your initiatives list to organize the initiatives by their type, owner, or a custom field value on your initiatives.

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Content dates may be surfaced on your timeline charts. You can choose to add custom field dates, task dates, and event dates on content to your timelines to see key upcoming dates to plan against.

When they’re added to your chart, you’ll see these dates when you click on and expand an initiative in your chart.

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You’ll see active content dates listed in the chart’s settings panel when you’re in editing mode. You can remove any date by clicking the X next to it.

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Add content dates when you’re editing a chart from the settings panel from the Enable Content dates menu.

  • If you’d like to add all task and custom field dates to your chart, check the checkbox next to Task dates and Custom field dates in the main drop-down menu.

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  • To select specific dates to surface on your chart, you can select dates individually by expanding the menus for task dates and custom field dates.

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Event dates are the start and end dates on an event content type within an initiative.

  • These dates appear as grey diamonds on your timeline charts.

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Task dates are the workflow deadlines on content. In your chart’s settings panel you’ll select which workflow tasks on which content you want your chart to display. This lets you control which dates appear, and when some should be removed to declutter a busy timeline.

  • These dates appear as grey (incomplete), green (completed), and red (incomplete and overdue) circles on your timeline charts.

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If there are dates that are close together in your timeline chart, their icon will have a plus on it to indicate that several key content dates are reflected by the icon. Click on the icon to open a list of the clustered dates.

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Task dates will only appear on timeline charts on content with workflows that have task deadlines assigned. If a piece of content doesn’t have a filled-out workflow with task deadlines, task dates won’t appear on your chart.

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Add custom field dates when you’re managing dates within a custom field (not in a workflow task) on content.

  • These dates appear as grey squares on your timeline charts

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  • If you’re not using custom field dates in your instance—meaning if your content doesn’t have a custom field for date entry—then this option won’t appear in the drop-down menu for content dates to add to your timeline.

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Hover over any content date on a timeline chart to expose details about that particular date:

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