Development Update

It has been a while since we posted any development news (especially since, until now, I neglected to update the blog following our iOS release last year), but plenty has been worked on behind the scenes in that time.

In the second half of last year we gathered feedback from users on their writing tools and workflow, how Aeon Timeline integrates with that, and some of the pain points in that process.

Since that time, we have been hard at work adding new features and redesigning existing parts of the application to better assist with that workflow.

Some of the key areas we will address include:

Writing Projects

  • Addition of a Narrative View that lays out events in Parts, Chapters, and Scenes, with an order that is potentially independent of the chronological order shown in the Timeline View
  • Support for initial planning with flat, non-time-based event sequences: that is, an ordered series of plot points that is independent of both date/time and narrative structure (chapters and scenes), which may include events that never end up in either view
  • Non-linear, subway-style timeline view showing how arcs or characters intersect with key events
  • Improved automation when syncing with Scrivener and Ulysses to minimise the manual effort involved

Project Management

  • Improved dependency support (Blocks/Blocked By, Finish-to-Start, Finish-to-Finish, Start-to-Start, Start-to-Finish) that is not tied directly to date calculations (i.e. Blocks equates to “anytime after X”, rather than “exactly at the end of X”).
  • Notifications system to alert the user to issues such as violated constraints, over-allocated resources, etc.

Everyone

  • Spreadsheet-style outline view to enable faster data entry
  • Better integration of entities (people, locations, projects, story arcs) into the overall interface
  • Further flexibility in allowing multiple event “types” (e.g. Epic, Story, Task for Project Management, or Scene vs Flashback for Fiction), relationships between entities as well as events, and additional properties that can be applied to all entities
  • Mindmap View to visually show the relationships between events and entities
  • Calendar markers to mark specific dates in the timeline (e.g. birthdays, holidays) without impacting the layout of the timeline itself.
  • Split views to enable the user to see different views, or apply different filters, to different sets of data
  • Updated desktop user interface more in keeping with our newer iOS design.

Some of our ideas are still works-in-progress and will need further validation with early-user testing etc. so it is a little early to share designs and screenshots that are subject to change, but we will begin those alpha tests within the next few months and share the results soon after.

Aeon Timeline is now available on iOS

We are pleased to announce the launch of our new iOS app, bringing Aeon Timeline to your iPad or iPhone for the first time.

Redesigned to work with the smaller touch screen environment without compromising usability, the Aeon Timeline iOS app is packed with features for creative writers, project management, case management, historians and student projects:

  • Timeline View gives you a chronological, graphical view of events in your timeline
  • Relationship View let’s you capture and view the relationships between your timeline events, and the people, locations, story arcs or projects associated with them
  • Use groups and filters to quickly find information, or narrow your focus to the current task
  • Flesh out the complete details of your timeline with nested events, dependencies, images and attachments
  • Share timelines between Mac, Windows, and your iOS devices using iCloud or Dropbox*
  • Customize your experience with themes, colours, and icons

* Note: Dropbox support requires iOS 11 or higher.

Download on the App Store

To view and purchase Aeon Timeline on iOS, search for “Aeon Timeline” in the AppStore app on your device, or follow this link:
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/aeon-timeline/id1223452003?ls=1&mt=8

You can find further information on our iOS app, including links to our Getting Started pages and differences between our Desktop and iOS apps here:
https://www.aeontimeline.com/ios/

Upgrade to new Desktop version

To better facilitate sharing between our Desktop and iOS apps, we have updated our file format to include the option for embedded images and attachments directly within the timeline file, allowing you to take those attachments with you as you sync the timeline between devices.

We recommend you read the What’s New section of our help docs to get a complete understanding of the changes to the file format and how images, attachments, and external links are now handled:

https://help.aeontimeline.com/article/48-changes-in-version-2-3-to-support-ipad

In order to open your existing timelines on iOS, you will need to follow these steps:

  • Update your Desktop application (Mac or Windows) to version 2.3+. This is a free update for all existing users.
  • Open your timeline file with the new Desktop application, to update it to the new file format (note: a backup of the original file will be saved in case you want to go back).
  • Save your timeline to the “Aeon Timeline” folder on iCloud Drive, or to your Dropbox* folder.

Ulysses and Aeon Timeline

 

 

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As much as we hope you love planning a novel in Aeon Timeline, we know that planning only forms one part of your writing journey, and so we want to ensure your timeline stays relevant throughout the writing process. One of the best ways to achieve this is by syncing with your favourite writing software, and so today we want to introduce you to the latest member of our syncing family: Ulysses.

Continue reading “Ulysses and Aeon Timeline”

Desktop Version 2.2 and iOS Update

Last weekend we released Aeon Timeline 2.2, the next significant update for Aeon Timeline. As far as “minor” releases go, this one is pretty big, and includes the following:

  • Tighter integration and more control when syncing with Scrivener (see video below)
  • The ability to sync with Ulysses in a similar fashion
  • A much-requested “NOW” line marking the current day/time on the timeline
  • More control over date and time formatting
  • A new “list” property type
  • And dozens of other requests, additions and bug fixes

Continue reading “Desktop Version 2.2 and iOS Update”

User Survey Results

2016 has been a successful year for us with the launch of Aeon Timeline 2, so I want to thank every one of our users who have supported us and driven our development effort forward. As you can see below, there is plenty more to come in 2017!

In October, we surveyed our users to find out what you wanted from us next.

A few highlights that we took away from the survey include:

  • Fiction (71%) is still a key demographic, but increased flexibility has opened new use cases (60% use Aeon for something else at least some of the time).
  • An iOS application is very much in demand
  • The most in-demand new features include hierarchical timelines, calendar views, warnings and constraints systems, and more control over the vertical placement of events.

Continue reading “User Survey Results”

AppStore and Survey

It has been a busy year for us with the development and release of Aeon Timeline 2, but we are now refreshed and looking ahead to the next challenge.

Many of the additions to version 2 came from user suggestions, and we have since collected a further 150 feature ideas since our April launch. So we can work on the things you want the most, I would love it if you could vote on your favourites.

Continue reading “AppStore and Survey”

Relationship View is back

You asked, we listened. Relationship View is back in Aeon Timeline 2.1.

Well, sort of… we didn’t bring back the tangled mess of lines, the inefficient use of space, and the awkward conflicts of a view trying to be two things at once.

The new Relationship View has been redesigned around the single goal you demanded: showcasing relationships between events and a large cast of characters, story arcs, projects, or employees.

Continue reading “Relationship View is back”

Introducing Aeon Timeline 2

Aeon Timeline 2 has arrived, and is discounted for a limited time! Aeon Timeline 2 is the next generation of Visual Timeline Software, rewritten from the ground up to provide a fresh new User Experience.

It comes packed with new features for creative writers, project management and case management, including:

  • New editable Fiction, Project and Legal templates
  • Event Dependencies
  • Nested Events
  • Numeric timelines
  • Cleaner relationship and age display
  • Group events by Arc, Character and Location
  • Re-imagined Scrivener syncing that opens the binder right inside Aeon Timeline
  • And hundreds of other improvements to improve the interactive visual display and reduce on-screen clutter.

Continue reading “Introducing Aeon Timeline 2”

Countdown to Aeon Timeline 2

Well this post has been a long time coming, but we are finally on the verge of releasing Aeon Timeline 2: the intended release has been uploaded, the support material written, the website refreshed… all that is left is to send out the pre-order licenses to our customers and switch on the Buy button.

Thank You

To the many users who supported us with beta testing, and generally showed a lot of patience, thank you very much for your patience and encouragement.

Continue reading “Countdown to Aeon Timeline 2”