This article discusses the use of autonomous, asynchronous, timelines to analyse personal and organizational experiences of COVID-19 using an online platform, LucidSpark. We evaluate the benefits and limitations of this approach and highlight findings in three areas: aesthetics, the balance of personal and organizational information, and the identification of key events. We argue that timelines generate fascinating data about participants’ personal and professional experiences of COVID-19. Then, we discuss the limitations of the data, and suggest how the method may be refined and used in combination with other approaches. By themselves, timelines provide limited data about how events relate to each other. Instead, timelines serve as useful pre-interview activities that should be combined with additional methods.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalSociological Research Online
Early online date16 May 2022
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 16 May 2022


  • health service evaluation
  • online research
  • qualitative research
  • timelines


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