How to share and collaborate on a timeline



Collaborating on a timeline is a breeze with Office Timeline Online. The web app allows you to easily share your timeline with others so they can see your plan and change, edit or update it – it all depends on what permissions you give them. This guide will explain how collaboration works in the online timeline maker. You'll learn how to:


A) Invite collaborators to view and/or edit your timeline
B) Manage collaborators - permissions, removals, ownership transfers
C) Create a shareable view-only link to your timeline
D) Manage timelines that others have shared with you


Read the full guide or use the links above to jump to the section you're interested in. At the end of the post, you'll also find an FAQ section with answers to questions you may have. If you wish to learn how to assign tasks to people, please see our detailed guide here.


A) How to invite collaborators on a timeline

Inviting a colleague to collaborate on a timeline is fast and easy – just 3 steps and you're done:

  1. From your timeline, whether in the Data View or the Timeline View, click on the Share button in the top-right corner of the screen.share-button.png

    Note: You can open the sharing options from your timeline gallery as well - just right-click the desired timeline thumbnail and then select Share.share-from-gallery.png

  2. In the Share window that pops up, on the Invite by email tab, type in the email address of the person you wish to invite to your timeline and then set their permissions from the small dropdown menu on the right. You can choose whether they'll be Editors or Viewers and whether they can share the timeline further or not.enter-collaborator-name-set-permissions.png

    Quick tip: If you want to add a colleague who already collaborates with you on another timeline, you can search by their name (if available) or email address – while you're typing inside the text box, the system will provide a list of collaborators that match what you've

  3. When ready, click on the Send invite button.send-invite.png

    Quick tip: You can also invite people to your timeline directly when assigning them to a task or milestone from the Data View.

    The colleagues you've shared your timeline with will be notified by email and also inside the app. They will need to open the link in the email to accept the invitation and access your visual.



NOTE: Timelines owned by free users can have a maximum of 3 collaborators (owner excluded). If you have a free account and want to add more collaborators to your timeline, consider upgrading to a premium license. 


This is it! You'll now be able to collaborate with others on the same timeline. When any of the collaborators makes changes to the visual, you will be notified inside the app. If you wish to mute all notifications or just specific types, you can do so by toggling them off from the Notification settings.


B) How to manage collaborators

Managing collaborators can be done at any time from the same Share window used for inviting them. When you open the Share popup for a timeline, you can see a list of all colleagues invited to that timeline, as well as its owner.existing-collaborators-on-a-timeline.png

Here's what you can do:

  1. Resend email notifications to people who haven't yet accepted your first invitation to collaborate. You will see a timestamp next to them and a Resend Invite button.


  2. Change any collaborator's permissions. Simply click on their role on the right side of the Share window to set new permissions.


    Note: Only timeline owners can change collaborators' roles or permissions. 

  3. Remove collaborators. If, for any reason, you wish to remove a collaborator, you can do so by hovering over their Initials Avatar and clicking on the X that replaces their initials:


    Note: As a timeline owner, you can remove absolutely any collaborator, even if he or she was invited by someone else. If you are not the timeline owner, you can only remove yourself or people you've invited yourself.

  4. Transfer timeline ownership to someone else. If you are the timeline owner and wish to transfer your ownership rights to another collaborator, you can do it from the permissions menu. Click on the collaborator's role on the right to open the menu and then select Transfer ownership.transfer-timeline-ownership.png

    Please note that you can transfer your timeline only to active collaborators (who have accepted your invitation to collaborate). Once the timeline is transferred, it will be removed from your gallery and you will lose all access to it. The new owner will receive an in-app notification letting them know about the transfer. If you still want to collaborate on the timeline you've transferred, you will need to ask the new owner to give you access to it.


C) Create a shareable view-only link of your timeline

If you only want to show a quick snapshot of your timeline to others, without requiring them to log in or register a free Office Timeline Online account, you can create a view-only link to your visual and share it with anyone you wish.

Here's how shareable links work:

  1. From your timeline, whether in the Data View or the Timeline View, click on the Share button in the top-right corner of the screen.


  2. From the Share window that pops up, go to the Shareable Link tab and click Generate Link.


  3. Done! Copy the link generated and share it with whomever you want.


If you ever wish to stop sharing your timeline, simply delete the shareable link by clicking on the Trash icon right next to it. All people who had the URL will lose access to your visual. Remember, you can always create a new link and send it to others if you wish to share your timeline again. delete-shareble-link.png

Note: Keep in mind that absolutely anyone who has access to the Share link will be able to see your timeline, so if you have sensitive information on it, make sure you only share with people you trust, or opt for collaboration invites instead, which allow you to limit collaborators' ability to share a timeline further.


D) Manage timelines that others have shared with you

Once someone has shared a link to a timeline with you, there's not much to manage really, as it's just a view-only snapshot – you cannot save, download or edit that timeline. However, as long as the link is still shared, you can come back to it at any time and see the latest updates.

On the other hand, if you've been invited to collaborate on a timeline, there are a few things you should know:

  1. When someone invites you to collaborate on a timeline, you will receive a notification about it in your inbox. You'll need to click the Open Timeline button in the email to accept the invitation and gain access to the timeline. If, for any reason, clicking the button doesn’t work, try copying the URL behind the button and pasting it into your browser.

  2. After opening the invitation link (and registering or logging in), you will be directed to the shared timeline, which will be saved in your Shared with me folder, so you can access it later at any time.


  3. Depending on the permissions you've been granted, you will be able to either only View the timeline or Edit it, or Share it further. If uncertain about what permissions you have or who the timeline owner is, you can find these details in the Share window (click the Share button from the timeline to open it):

    NOTE: As a collaborator on someone else’s timeline, your permissions and access to the timeline’s functionalities can also vary depending on the type of license you have (free or paid), as well as on the timeline owner’s license. Find out more here.

  4. If you ever wish to leave a shared timeline, you can do so either by removing yourself from the Existing Collaborators list in the Share window, or by right-clicking the timeline's thumbnail in the Shared with me folder and then selecting Leave Share.



If you need help or encounter any issues sharing or collaborating on a timeline, don't hesitate to contact us. Also, please take a quick look at the FAQ section below for useful answers to questions you may have.



Collaboration FAQ


Why can't I change a collaborator's permissions on a timeline I want to share?

This happens if you are not the timeline owner. For security reasons, if you aren't the owner of the timeline you are trying to share (it's a timeline someone else has shared with you), you can invite new people to it only as Viewers without Share rights - you are not authorized to set higher-level permissions for them.

What happens if a colleague and I are working on the same timeline simultaneously?

If someone else updates a timeline you are already working on, you will not be able to see their changes in real time. However, as soon as a change is made, you will be notified within the app that your colleague has updated the visual, and you can click on the notification to refresh the timeline and see the newest version.

I have a paid license and Editor rights on a timeline shared with me. Why can’t I edit it?

If a timeline that was shared with you is owned by a Free user and it has more than 10 records, even if you are a premium user, you will not be able to edit it because timelines owned by Free users aren’t editable if they exceed 10 milestones and tasks. The timeline owner can remove these limitations by purchasing an Office Timeline Online subscription.

How does collaboration work between free and premium accounts?

Free and premium accounts have different levels of access to some of the Office Timeline Online functionalities, including collaboration. Find out more here about the differences between free an premium licenses and how they can impact collaboration.

Why do I get a "Link no longer valid" message when clicking the button in the collaboration invite?

There can be multiple reasons why you may get this message:

  • you've already accepted the invitation and your timeline is in your account already
  • the invitation link has expired (it is valid for 96 hours only)
  • you've been removed from the list of collaborators
  • the owner has deleted the shared timeline

If you know you haven't already accepted the invite, please contact the person who shared the timeline with you and ask them to resend the invitation to collaborate.