How to draw a diagram like this with colours? With label for time points as well as for the interval with limiting arrows. And with things in box like the ones on green.

Desired output

  • 3
    Have you try anything? If so, consider adding the code to your question Jan 28, 2016 at 6:26

1 Answer 1


Well, regardless this is question "do-it-for-me" ... a picture is attractive to me, so I try the following:

enter image description here


node distance = 2mm and 1mm,
  line/.style = {line width=0.8mm, blue!60},
    dl/.style = {dashed, blue!60,{Triangle[]}-{Triangle[]}},
    tl/.style = {dashed, blue!60, semithick, {Turned Square[]}-{Turned Square[]},
                 font=\large\bfseries\sffamily, text=blue!60},
 arrow/.style = {dashed, blue!60, {Triangle[]}-{Triangle[]}},
    it/.style = {font=\small\itshape, above=of #1},%
    gn/.style = {draw=none, fill=green!30,
                 minimum height=9mm, text width=15mm,
                 inner sep=1mm,
                 font=\scriptsize, align=center,
                 below right=of #1}
\foreach \i [count=\j form 1] in {0.3, 2.2,...,16.1}
    \draw[line] (\i,-0.5) coordinate (a\j) -- ++ (0,1) coordinate (b\j);
    \draw[dashed, blue!60] (a\j) -- ++ (0,-1.5) coordinate[above=2mm] (c\j);
\draw[line] (0,0) -- (16.5,0);
% nodes below
\node[gn=a1]            {Excites};
\node[gn=a2,fill=none]  {chat chat};
\node[gn=a3,fill=none]  {Being too enthusiastic};
\node[gn=a5]            {Crazy width journals};
\node[gn=a6]            {Nothing works};
\node[gn=a7]            {Madness};
\node[gn=a8]            {Writing is more tough};
\foreach \i [count=\j form 1] in {2,3,...,9}
    \draw[dl] (c\j) -- (c\i);
\node[gn=c4] (e)        {Risk};
\draw[dashed, blue!60] (c3) -- ++ (0,-1.3) coordinate[above=1mm] (d1);
\draw[dashed, blue!60] (c6) -- ++ (0,-1.3) coordinate[above=1mm] (d2);
    \draw[dl,draw=red] (d1) -- (d2);
%%%% note bellow
\node[gn=c1 |- e.south]  (f) {};
\draw[line,-{Triangle[]},shorten <=2mm]
    (f.east) -- + (1.2,0) node[right] {essential step};

% nodes above
\node[it=b1]            {PhD joining Date};
\node[it=b3]            {Looking into topics};
\node[it=b5]            {Narrowing down};
\node[it=b7,text=red]   {Proposal};
\node[it=b9]            {Defense};
% nodes far above
    \begin{scope}[node distance=9mm and 1mm]
\node[it=b2]            {Getting an idea};
\node[it=b4,text=red]   {Seeing prof's interest};
\node[it=b6]            {Literature rewiev};
\node[it=b8]            {Working};
% top
\coordinate[above=21mm of b2] (t1);
\draw[tl]  (t1) -- node[above] {Usual Ph.D. Process}   (t1 -| b8);
  • 1
    How did the bee get in there? And why is it too enthusiastic? :-)
    – Thruston
    Jan 28, 2016 at 10:13
  • @Thruston, picture reminds me on the old days, when I try to explain to my Ph.D. students how they study and research will evolve ... :-)
    – Zarko
    Jan 28, 2016 at 11:05

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