If you have not previously used Google Docs, these four steps will get you started.
The first thing you need is a Google Account. This includes a Gmail account. If you don't have a Google Account already, click here to get one now.
Go to Google Docs and create a new spreadsheet.
You'll notice that your new spreadsheet is currently "unsaved."
To make sure you don't lose any data as you're working, start by saving the spreadsheet. Do this by clicking on "Save" in Google Doc's upper right corner.
You will be given a pop-up box for titling your spreadsheet. While it doesn't matter for your timeline what you name your spreadsheet, you will probably want to name it something descriptive, like "William Gibson Timeline." If you change your mind, you can always rename the spreadsheet later. Now that you've saved your spreadsheet once, it will automatically save your data as you enter it from here on out.
One of the best reasons for using Google Docs to host your timeline's data is that you can invite others to contribute to the timeline. To do this, you must share your spreadsheet with others. Click on the "Share" tab in the upper right corner of your spreadsheet (see previous image). A new menu will open.
In the text box, simply add the email addresses of those you would like to edit the spreadsheet. Make sure they are invited "as collaborators," so they will be able to add and edit information on the spreadsheet. Then click the "Invite" button. You will be given an email which you can edit to have the text you want, and it will then be sent to the email addresses you have designated.
Under the advanced options, you may want to uncheck the first box. Leaving it checked (which is the default) will mean that those you invite to collaborate will be able to invite others to edit your spreadsheet. The second check box should be kept checked if you plan on emailing your invitation to a listserv.
And that's all there is to it! Now you can start building your spreadsheet for timeline functionality.
Timeline Tutorial by Brian Croxall