With their unique combination of high per-pulse X-ray flux and femtosecond pulse durations, hard x-ray free electron lasers are an almost ideal source for time-resolved structural experiments. Experimental Station A (ESA) of the SwissFEL will focus on probing the ultrafast dynamics of molecular and biological systems in the condensed phase using a combination of X-ray spectroscopy and scattering. In light of this goal we have invited four experts to give us an overview of various time-resolved X-ray techniques, what physical information they can provide, and their experiences in using these techniques at various FEL facilities around the world. The techniques covered include X-ray absorption spectroscopy, X-ray emission spectroscopy, and X-ray scattering on liquids and molecular crystals. We hope that by the end of the workshop everyone in the audience will have a firm grasp of the physical principles behind the techniques and have an idea as to how they could be appropriately applied to their own research at SwissFEL in the future.