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Time is of the essence. And when you have multiple ongoing projects at once, it can seem scarce and hard to find just when you need it most. By including a timeline to your projects, it helps you to:

  • Build trust by managing expectations on the speed of work

  • Being transparent and keeping citizens informed on the progress you've made

  • Improve focus and efficiency by clearly marking what needs to be done by when

How to include a timeline

  1. Go to your Project page > Timeline > Click on "Add Phase".

  2. Choose the type of engagement method you would like to use for that single phase.

  3. Provide short and actionable titles and descriptions that are clear, concise and detailed to ensure participants know what to do and expect in each phase.

Once you've added all the phases, they will then appear all in one place for you to easily edit or delete the different phases.

Note: The timeline that is shown in the project is proportionately divided to represent the length of a project phase. So a project phase that takes place over a few weeks will have a lesser width than a project phase that lasts a few months. (Therefore, if there are too many phases and the width is too small, it can lead to weird spacing of some text that may be too long)

Making the most of a project timeline

  • Include at least 3 phases for the timeline phases to ensure that you are comprehensive and detailed about the steps in your project.

    • We highly recommend including one at the earlier phases for ideation to gather as many ideas from users to both ensure users are included but also to improve the quality of the project by choosing the best ideas.

    • And also one at the end to either inform citizens on progress, gather feedback and comments to evaluate the project.

  • In the spirit of transparency and avoiding potential conflicts, you should inform users of any changes to the timeline by adding a note to either the project or timeline phase description (e.g "Updated: Deadline extended to XX December").

  • Provide adequate time for each phase for users to digest information, form ideas and proposals, and/or make an informed decision.


  • At the moment, you can not include multiple engagement methods in one timeline phase.

    • However, you can create multiple timeline steps or combine participation methods (like a survey and an ideation project) into a project folder.

  • Projects can not have overlapping phases.

  • Once you create a project with/without timeline, you cannot change that anymore.

Do you have any questions or need help? Don't hesitate to send a message to support@citizenlab.co!

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