How the Windows 10 Timeline Can Make Your Life Much Easier

How the Windows 10 Timeline Can Make Your Life Much Easier

Dennis Snider

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We can all lose track of what we are working on from time to time. However, that may become a thing of the past with the Windows 10 Timeline feature which helps you keep track of your work and browsing history.
Timeline was included in the Windows 10 April 2018 update (Redstone 4). You’ll find it next to the Cortana search box on the taskbar.

When you open Timeline, you’ll get the standard display showing you the different windows that are already open; however, below that, you will see “Earlier Today” section, which is where your Timeline starts.

You can enable or disable Timeline by going to Settings> Privacy> Activity History. This will give you the option to give Windows permission to save your activities and sync them with the cloud. The first option means only your activities on that particular computer will be stored; if you select the second option, your activities on all your devices will be stored, allowing you to return to the point you left your work on any device.

Timeline is a bit like a browser that keeps your history of website visits. However, it also keeps the history of the applications you’ve used and which documents you created or edited. Timeline looks at your documents and activities for a particular period and bundles them into an Activities section. Timeline assumes that if, say, you opened a Word document, spreadsheet, and some web pages around the same time, they are related, so it will store them together.

One drawback to this useful feature is that it is very centered around Microsoft products: It’s great for storing what you’ve done in Office and what you’ve browsed in Edge. However, if you choose to use a different browser, it may not pick up on your activity. This is particularly annoying in the case of PDFs: If you didn’t open a PDF in
Edge, you probably won’t find it in your Timeline.

Having said that, Timeline certainly has its uses. It allows you to swap smoothly and easily between projects. If you have to leave off your work for any reason, it’s reassuring to know you can pick up exactly where you left off without having to use those notes you scribbled on the back of an envelope. It could be greatly improved through 100% functionality with third-party applications and documents, but it is still a feature well worth checking out.

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