Try The Windows 10’s Timeline

Windows 10 ProfessionalThe Windows 10’s Timeline feature is part of the Windows 10 April 2018 Update. You probably know where this new feature resides as it sits next to the Cortana search box. It’s as small icon called Task View. A slightly different icon identifies Timeline if you already have the latest Fall Creators Update installed.

The Timeline feature can track what documents and Web pages you have been working on over the past weeks and months, organizing them into a collection of documents you can quickly open to pick up where you left off.

Part of the reason Timeline was added within the Task View was because few users were using the Task View option. But Task View has not disappeared. If you open Timeline, you will see the gigantic icons representing the windows that you currently have open on your screen. But beneath these, you’ll likely see a new subheading: Earlier Today, which marks the beginning of your Timeline.

How to enable and disable Timeline

The Timeline is automatically turned on. So if you wish to disable this option go to the Settings menu at Settings > Privacy > Activity History. There, you will see two options to check or uncheck: Let Windows collect my activities from this PC, and Let Windows sync my activities from this PC to the cloud.

If the first checkbox isn’t checked, Windows will essentially disable Timeline. Checking the first check-box lets Timeline collect your activities from only the current PC you are using. If you check both the first and the second check-boxes Timeline will sync across multiple devices. Therefore if you use another PC and sign in with the same user account you will be able to pick up exactly where you left off.

How to use Timeline

If you have ever checked your browser history, you willl have a good idea of how Timeline works. But instead of just tracking which websites you visit, Timeline tracks most of the applications you use, and the documents that you opened and edited. Timeline will also collect those documents you used at a given time into what Microsoft calls Activities. The assumption is that an Activity represents all of the documents you were working on at any one time, such as: a report authored in Word, a cash flow spreadsheet and perhaps a few supplementary web pages.

The problem with Timeline is that Activities cover the standard Office apps (Word, PowerPoint, Excel, SharePoint and more) as well as the Edge browser. So if you open a PDF and hope to see it as part of your Activities you will see nothing, unless you first open it and display it using the Edge browser.

If you work on multiple projects at once, Timeline could be a valuable tool, allowing you to go back and forth between them. Microsoft sees Timeline as a fundamental way to boost your productivity, as well as keep you within its app ecosystem. It’s the best new feature of the Windows 10 April 2018 Update and it’s worth a tryout to discover whether it works well for you.