The timeline aspect comes with experience. If you use the same recipe, or even the same OG and yeast, you will get a good idea of timeline. I know that, in my system, a 1060-1070 beer with WLP001 will ferment for 7 days and then I will keep it in primary for 7 more days. But with a 1030-140 beer with WLP001, fermentation takes about 4 days and yeast definitely flocculates by about day 7, so I can rack it. But this came after looking at the carboys every day for several batches.
I have heard more experienced brewers recommend that new brewers should make the same recipe over and over again until it is great beer, then try different recipes. I think there is some merit to that notion. If that sounds too boring to you, maybe stick to the same OG (and somewhat similar grain bills) and yeast. You will still learn a lot about fermentation that way.