StoryBuilder Chronology


Table of Contents



Chronology terms and definitions

  • Chronology entries: Each document added to the chronology is given an 'entry'. The entry comprises the underlying document, and any labels and annotations applied to the entry within a chronology.
  • Label: Labels refer to the tags that can be created and applied to entries within a chronology. Labels are distinct from the ratings and codes that are applied to documents during review.
  • Annotations: In the context of a chronology, annotations refer to the descriptions and explanations of relevance that can be added to entries. Annotations are distinct from the notes that are applied to documents during review, though it is very easy to copy the content of an existing note to create an annotation.

Return to table of contents

What is the Chronology and why is it useful?

Chronology and Outline comprises the StoryBuilder suite of tools. StoryBuilder is designed to help facilitate case-building: the creation of narratives, strategies, and other work product that can be used during the course of a case or investigation.

Teams can use Chronology to collaboratively curate the most important documents discovered during review. Other documents, like depositions and court orders, can also be uploaded into the Everlaw database for use in StoryBuilder.

In short, Chronology provides an easy and accessible way to store, categorize, and find relevant documents.

Return to table of contents

Relationship to Outline

Documents in a chronology can be used in outlines. Outlines allow you to create work product (ex. case strategies, review protocols, case narratives, etc.) using the documents discovered during review. The chronology entries provide a 'master sheet' of information for a document that is used in either StoryBuilder Chronology or StoryBuilder Outline. For more information, please see our outline help article, or review some suggested use cases for outlines.

Return to table of contents

Accessing Chronology and the Chronology interface

By default, each case on Everlaw has one chronology, which is named the Master Chronology. You can add additional chronologies under the 'General > Chronologies' section of the case settings page.

You can access existing chronologies from the StoryBuilder column on the homepage. Each chronology will be represented by a card with lavender accents.

This is the Chronology interface:

1. The Label Panel: Shows available labels. Also allows you to add new label categories and labels. The number by each label reflects the number of entries in the chronology that have the label applied. 

2. The Toolbar: Contains various tools that can be used in a chronology.

3. Document Entries Table: Shows all the entries in the current chronology. If event view is toggled on, you can also see event heads and markers.


Creating labels

Labels are used to categorize entries in a chronology. They are also useful for filtering the entries. New chronologies have four default label categories:

  • Events
  • Issues
  • People
  • Outlines

To create new labels under one of these categories, click the green '+' icon for the desired category.

'Events' is a special category. Event labels must be associated with a date range when they are created. When 'event view' is turned on in a chronology, you can see events markers along with the chronologically arranged entries in the central table. 

If you want to add a new category, click on the gear icon in the upper left of the label panel. This will put the panel in edit mode. You can add or delete categories and labels in edit mode. Note that 'events' and 'outlines' are special categories that cannot be deleted. Once you are done making your modifications, click the green checkmark in the upper left to leave edit mode.


Viewing and editing chronology document entries

Each document in the chronology is represented by an entry. The entry comprises the underlying document, and any labels and annotations applied to the entry. 

  1. The name and Bates/Control number of the underlying document, along with an icon to open and view the document.
  2. The date of the underlying document. This date is from a date metadata field of the document. This date is used when you sort chronologically and when event view is turned on.
  3. Annotations that are applied to the entry. The annotation on the left is a description. The annotation on the right is why the document is relevant.
  4. The labels that have been applied to the entry, along with a way to add additional labels.
  5. The outlines that the document is part of.

To edit the name, description, and relevance fields, simply click on the existing text and input the desired text.

To add labels, click on the green '+' icon at the bottom of the entry, and select the desired labels from the drop-down. Click on any applied label to remove it.

To make a document available for use in an outline, click on the green '+' icon in the upper left, and choose from the list of outlines in the drop-down. This icon will not appear if there are no outlines associated with the chronology. You can create outlines from the homepage, or through the outlines icon in the toolbar.


Return to table of contents

Adding documents to a chronology

Documents can be batch added to a chronology from the results table view or individually added from the review window.

To batch add documents to a chronology:

  • Call up a results table of documents. By default, all documents are selected, but you can choose a smaller set using the checkboxes.
  • Click on the batch coding icon in the toolbar (or press the spacebar on your keyboard) to expand the batch coding panel.
  • Scroll down until you see the 'StoryBuilder' category. Select the chronology(ies) that you want to add the document to.
  • Once you are done making your selections, click 'apply'.
  • A dialogue will appear asking you to specify which metadata date field you want to use for the associated entry(ies) in the chronology. In the drop-down, you can see a list of available options. The 'no date' option will leave the date field empty in the entry(ies). The 'new date...' option will let you specify a uniform date value for all the entries. Following that are all the available date metadata fields that you can choose from. Selecting one of these fields will give each document entry the associated date value for the chosen field. If one of the selected document does not have a value for the chosen field, the chronology entry for that document will not have a date value.
  • Click 'apply' when you are done.

To individually add documents to a chronology:

  • Click on the Chronology icon in the review window toolbar
  • Select the desired chronology from the list of available chronologies and outlines
  • In the dialogue that appears, you can optionally fill in the name, date, description, and relevance fields for the document's entry in the chronology. If there are existing notes applied to the document, you are given the option to copy the content into the description or relevance fields. At the bottom, you can apply chronology labels to the entry. 
  • When you are done, click 'add'.

Return to table of contents

Sorting and filtering chronology entries

  • Sorting by date, date added, or Bates: To sort by date, date added, or Bates, click on 'date', 'date added', or 'Bates' in the upper left of the table of entries. In the drop-down, select your desired sorting method. 'Date' is the date values in the chronology entries whereas 'date added' is the date on which the document was added to the chronology.                       
  • Filtering by keyword: To filter entries by keyword, use the filter box right on top of the table of entries. If the icon on the immediate left of the filter box is deselected, the filter will only look at the text that appears in the entries themselves (excluding labels). If the icon is selected, the filter will broaden to look at the content, metadata, and notes of the underlying documents in addition to the text on the entries.
  • Filtering by labels: To filter by labels, select the checkboxes associated with labels you want to filter by. You can add multiple labels to your filter - this will be equivalent to an 'and' filter that will return entries only if they have all of the selected labels applied. Clicking on a selected label will change it to a 'not' filter (it will return entries that do not have the particular label applied). Clicking on a 'not' filter will clear the filter for a given label. The counts to the right of each label will adjust to reflect the total number of documents in the filtered table that have a particular label applied.
  • Filtering by a date range: To filter the document by a date range, click on the 'date filter' icon to the right of the keyword filter box. Select the date range in the resulting dialogue. Note that you do not need to use the calendar to select your dates; you can type them in.

Return to table of contents

The events view

Toggling on the events view allows you to see the document entries in chronological order (either ascending or descending), along with markers showing the events that you've created in your chronology. The events view can help you contextualize how documents are related to particular events, and how events are related to each other.

To toggle the events view on, first sort the table by descending or ascending date order (use 'date' not 'date added'). Then, click the 'event' icon in the toolbar so that it is selected.

Blue event heads and markers will appear in the central table of entries.

  1. The head of an event. Shows the event name, date range, description, and annotation of relevance. Click on any field to edit.
  2. The event marker which spans the total number of documents that fall within the date range of the event. This only shows up if there are documents that fall within the range of a particular event. Otherwise, only the head of an event will appear.

Entries that fall outside of a date range for an event can still be labeled with the event. For example, some documents might be related to an event, but were not generated during the time range of the actual event. However, only documents that fall within the time range of an event will appear within the event marker, including documents that are not labeled with the event.

Note that the length of event markers are proportional to the number of documents that fall within an event, and not the natural length of the event. For example, an event that lasts 2 days with 20 documents will have a longer event marker than an event that lasts 30 days with only 5 documents.

Return to table of contents

Adding non-review documents for use in a chronology

You might want to use non-review documents, like deposition transcripts, in a chronology or outline. You can upload these documents into Everlaw using the uploads feature. Once they are in the platform, you can add and use them within StoryBuilder.

Return to table of contents

Additional chronology functions

  • Viewing document metadata: Sometimes you might want to review the metadata of the underlying documents in addition to the information displayed in the entries. If you want to display metadata in the entries, click on the metadata icon in the toolbar. If you want to edit the displayed fields, click the caret icon on the metadata icon, and select the desired fields in the dialogue that appears.
  • Batch labeling documents: Instead of applying labels entry-by-entry, you can take a batch action. First, select the entries you want to affect using the checkboxes in the upper left of each entry (by default, all entries in the table are selected). Then, click the batch icon in the toolbar (or the spacebar on your keyboard) to pull up the batch panel. To batch add labels, click on them once so that they are in the 'add' category. To batch remove labels, click on them twice so that they are in the 'remove' category. You can add and remove labels in a single batch action. You can also batch modify the date of the selected entries, or batch remove the entries from the chronology. Click 'apply' when you are finished making your selections.
  • Exporting a chronology: You can create a report of the chronology entries using the 'export' option on the toolbar. On the export dialogue, you can select the fields you want to include in your report. The export will be generated as a CSV that can be opened using a text editor or spreadsheet application. You can download the finished export from the homepage, under the 'Batches and Exports' column.                               
  • Collaboration: Chronology is meant to be used collaboratively, and multiple users can simultaneously view and edit the chronology. If there are other users in the chronology, corresponding user badges will appear in the upper right. You can hover over a badge to see the full user name or message the user.                                 If a user is editing an entry, the entry will have a color border that corresponds to the color of their user badge. You can also see the user's name in the lower left of the entry. You can still edit any entry that is being modified by another user, but you might want to wait until the other user has finished.
  • Sharing: In order for users to access and modify a chronology, they must have the proper permissions. The initial 'Master Chronology' is shared with all admins in the case. Any additional chronologies will be private to the creator by default. To share a chronology, click on the share icon in the upper right. A dialogue will appear where you can choose who you want to share the chronology with, and what permission level the recipient(s) should have ('read', 'edit', or 'share and delete').
  • Removing documents: To remove individual documents from the chronology, hover over the document's entry. A trash can will appear in the lower right of the entry. Clicking on the icon will remove the entry and the underlying document from the chronology. A white overlay will appear over the removed entry with the option to undo the deletion. Once you exit or refresh the chronology, the entry will disappear completely. You can batch remove documents using the batch tool. First, select the entries of the documents you want to delete using the checkboxes. Then, click the batch icon in the toolbar (or spacebar on your keyboard), and select 'remove documents' on the panel.

Return to table of contents

Have more questions? Submit a request


Article is closed for comments.