Story Timeline

Table of Contents

Introduction to Timeline SB_Diamond_Digital_NB-01.svg

The Timeline is a collaborative tool that allows you to categorize and sort the documents within your Story. In the Timeline view, you can add dates, Story labels, and annotations to your documents and testimony. You can sort your documents and testimony by Story date or Bates number. You can create Events representing real events in your case story, and label your documents and testimony according to which events they relate to. Finally, you can use the “Events” view to see a timeline of all the events in your case Story, with the documents attached to each event.

Each Timeline is associated with a particular Story, and multiple users in that Story can work on that Timeline simultaneously. You can think of a Timeline as a particular display of the documents within your Story. If you have questions about Stories, you can learn more by reading our "Introduction to Storybuilder" article.

[Return to table of contents]

Accessing the Timeline

To access the Timeline, first click on the Storybuilder icon in the navigation bar to be taken to the Story dashboard. Then, click on the Timeline tab.


[Return to table of contents]

Timeline Interface SB_Diamond_Digital_NB-01.svg

Once you’re in the Timeline, you’ll see a view of all your Story items (documents and testimony), sorted by Date (new to old). 

Each document entry also includes its name, the document’s type, such as Text or PDF, and Story date. To see a quick preview of your document, click the eye icon on the right-hand side.

Each testimony entry includes the citation name, the source deponent label, the testimony text, and date.

If no date is selected for a Story item, or you’d like to change the metadata date association, click the date under the title and select a metadata field or enter a custom date.


 To select multiple items at once, click the checkboxes next to the Bates or Control numbers, or click the “Select All” checkbox above. You can perform batch actions on selected items in your Story by clicking on the Batch icon, by bringing up the Batch Actions panel from below, or by hitting the spacebar on your keyboard. For example, you can batch add documents and testimony to a Deposition, as well as batch add labels.


To toggle display of description, relevance, and various metadata fields for each document, click Settings. Then check or uncheck to show and hide. If you click Customize metadata, then you can select which fields are visible when you show metadata.


[Return to table of contents]

Sorting and Filtering the Timeline SB_Diamond_Digital_NB-01.svg

By default, the Timeline is sorted by Story date, from oldest to newest. You can sort by Date, Date Added to the Story, or Bates number. Your sorting option will remain selected even after you leave the Timeline. 


You can also filter your Timeline by Story item type (documents or testimony), keywords, or date range. Click the filter icon to the right of the sorting menu. Here, you can enter words or phrases that will search across Bates numbers, titles, testimony text, document content, description, relevance, and metadata values. The search syntax follows the same rules and restrictions as content searching in Everlaw’s query builder. To search by date, simply click on “Filter by date” and enter a date range in the popup. All filtered documents will be selected, and any previously selected documents that were filtered out will be unselected.



To rename an item in the Timeline, click on the current name, type in the new name, and press enter. This new title will propagate throughout the Story wherever the document is represented. To add a description or relevance to a document, click the respective green text. If your document already has one of these fields populated, simply click the text to edit it. 


[Return to table of contents]

Creating Labels SB_Diamond_Digital_NB-01.svg

Using labels will help you quickly classify and identify documents and testimony related to particular events, issues, and people, or documents that have been added to particular Drafts or Depositions.  For instance, you might want to look at documents labeled by the issue Fake Bank Accounts, and related to the person John Smith. Or you might want to look at documents that are included in the Draft “Possible case strategies” and that are not related to Fake Bank Accounts.

You can also use Story labels within a transcript to categorize highlighted testimony. For example, you could view all testimony labeled with "Johnny Depo" to see all testimony associated with Johnny, regardless of which deposition the testimony came from. 

Note that you create labels in the Timeline view, but these labels will apply to documents across your entire Story. You’ll be able to see these labels on the documents you’ve added to a Draft or Deposition. You will also see these labels when highlighting transcript text, which you can apply to text even if you don’t add it to the Story as testimony. Learn more about highlighting transcripts in this article

To the left in the Timeline page is the label panel. Five default label categories are provided: events, issues, people, Depositions, and Drafts.  


Although categories and labels can be added at any time, we recommend creating all relevant categories and labels at the outset of a case to avoid having to retroactively apply newly-created labels to documents in the Story. Some things to consider when creating labels are which occurrences, interactions, communications, or entities best reflect the narrative you want to tell about your project.

To add a new label within a category, click the associated plus sign and start typing the label name. Press enter to add the label to the panel.  Note that clicking the plus sign under Depositions or Drafts will create an entirely new Draft or Deposition in your Story.


If you want to add a new category, click on the gear icon in the upper left of the label panel to enter Edit Mode. Then click “New Category,” and start typing. Press enter to add the new category. 

To delete a category, or specific labels, enter Edit Mode again, then click on the X associated with the category or label you wish to delete. Confirm deletion, then press done to exit Edit Mode.  Note that because the People, Depositions, and Drafts categories are tied to other functionality in your Story, they cannot be deleted.


[Return to table of contents]

Using Labels SB_Diamond_Digital_NB-01.svg

To add a label to documents or testimony, click the green plus sign in the Timeline entry and select the label. 

To add one or more labels, select the Story items you’d like to apply changes to using the checkboxes. Then, bring up batch actions by clicking the icon in the toolbar, clicking on the up arrow at the bottom of the page, or hitting the spacebar on your keyboard. Click on a label once to add, or twice to remove. Labels will turn green to indicate they will be added to the selected items and red to indicate they will be removed. You can both add and remove labels within a single batch action. Once you’re done selecting the combination of labels to either add or remove, click apply and a task will begin.


One benefit to labeling documents and testimony by various relevant topics to your case is that you can filter them by label. Going back to a previous example, let’s say you want to find documents and testimony labeled by the issue Fake Bank Accounts, and related to the deponent John Smith. To filter by label, you would click the Fake Bank Accounts label and the John Smith label. To filter by just documents, you can select Documents only in the filter dropdown on the right side of the page. Screen_Shot_2020-10-16_at_4.55.57_PM.png

You might also want to filter by documents that do not have the issue label Fake Bank Accounts. You can negate a label-based filter by clicking the checkbox again. Note that if you add multiple labels to your filter, the documents you see must meet all of the filter criteria.

[Return to table of contents]

People Profiles SB_Diamond_Digital_NB-01.svg

There are two special label categories: Events and People.

People is a special type of label category because creating a People label also creates a corresponding People profile. With People profiles, you can record details such as a person’s contact information, work history, work relationships with other people, and more. You can also create a person’s profile when creating a Deposition, which you can learn more about in this article. 


To enter a new profile, click the People icon in the toolbar, and select New Person. You can access the profile for any People labels that you have previously made in the left side panel of the People dialog.


When adding a single person, enter the person’s name, or select the name of one of the custodians in your matter. You can add multiple people at once through a CSV import. When doing a CSV import, the columns must have the correct corresponding titles of Name, Notes, Other Email Address, Role, Organization, Begin, End, Work Email Addresses, Reports To, Works Alongside, and Manages. A CSV template is available for you to download to ensure proper formatting of cells. In addition, each row must also have a name included; as such, the “Name” first column cannot be blank. Duplicate names in the CSV file will be treated as the same person, and upon import the information will be consolidated under a single Person profile. However, you cannot import a profile with a name that already exists in your Storybuilder People. Please also note that any dates must be formatted as month/day/year or year/month/day. 

When you are finished, click “Add.”For each profile, you can specify a profile image, social media links, emails, notes, and Drafts or Depositions associated with the person.


You can add a Job to a profile by clicking “New Job” in the left hand panel. Enter the person’s job role at the top and their organization. You can also select a date range of employment and enter email addresses associated with their employment. Then, select various work relationships by clicking the blue plus signs. You can enter a new name or select existing people from your Story.


To export People profiles, navigate to the bottom left corner of the People dialog. You can rename your export, as well as choose which people to be included. By default, all people are selected. Please note that Deposition and Draft tags are not exported. 


To remove a profile, click the trash can icon in the top right and confirm deletion. This will also remove the label from the People category and any document it was applied to. If you created the profile by selecting a custodian, this does NOT delete the custodian from any documents.

Just like the other labels, the People labels associated with any particular document won’t just show up in your Timeline view.  You will be able to see and apply People labels wherever your documents come up throughout your Story, including in Depositions or Drafts.

[Return to table of contents]

Events SB_Diamond_Digital_NB-01.svg

Events is a special type of label category because you can view each event date range alongside items in your Timeline chronologically. Events labels can help you contextualize how documents and testimony are related to particular events, and how those events are related to each other. 

In order to use the events view, you must have already created at least one event and you must have already sorted the Timeline by date. Creating event labels is the same as creating any other kind of label, except that you must specify a date range. Once you’ve done this, click the Events button in the toolbar. A light green event marker will appear in the timeline, which represents the event date range. 


The horizontal component of the event marker represents the start of the event, as if it’s another row in your timeline. In the screenshot below "Sales Kick-off" represents the start of the event. If you have an event whose date range falls outside of any Story item, you will only see the horizontal bar. In this case, the Sales Kick-off date range does not overlap with any documents.


The vertical component of the event, represented as a bar alongside the left of the page, encapsulates any items that fall within the time range of the event. If we change the date of this document, Sales Kick-off Agenda, so that it falls within the event date range, this document is now included in the Sales Kick-off Event. 


Using this view, you can contextualize the Story items in relation to the occurrence and timeframe of major events in your case.

If you have a document that is related to an event but does not fall within the event’s date range, you can use the event label to apply to a document or testimony. For instance, let’s say you have an email that references the Sales Kick-off but was created two weeks later. You can add the Sales Kick-off Event label directly to that document.


To add a description or relevance to an event, navigate to the start of the event and click the green text to edit it. Then click Save. 

To remove an event, hover over the start of the event and click the trash can icon. This will remove the label from the category and from any document it’s applied to.


[Return to table of contents]

Timeline Export SB_Diamond_Digital_NB-01.svg

You can export your timeline data in CSV or PDF format using the Export button in the toolbar.

For CSV exports, you can configure which fields you'd like to include in your export.


PDF exports can be configured either as a single PDF or as a ZIP of individual PDFs. As with PDF exports elsewhere on the platform, you can choose to stamp Bates numbers on the exported documents, as well as configure slipsheets. For more information, see Exporting Documents.

[Return to table of contents]

Have more questions? Submit a request


Article is closed for comments.