This will not be new to you real web pros, but I just discovered Google’s Timeline search. Search for anything in Google, then on the left column of the results page you can choose to see your results in standard view, “wonder wheel,” or timeline. Here’s an example of what you get with a timeline of chicago drinking laws, one for Gideon v. Wainwright. and one for public defender. You can even get a timeline of timelines. The timelines are far from complete, but they are a fascinating way to display information.
In the past couple of years I had the opportunity to work on more and more complex cases as a public defender and as the cases got more complex I found timelines to be the absolute best way to organize the most crucial information in a case. I searched quite a bit for a good (affordable) program to help me create those timelines and to display them in useful and visually appealing ways. I never found anything worthwhile for Windows, but if you have access to Mac OS X, you can’t go wrong with Beedocs Timeline, which is completely awesome.
Timelines are simple but powerful. Look, for example, of how simply this personal timeline conveys a great deal of information about one person’s life. It kind of makes you think, doesn’t it? What would a timeline of your life look like?