Activity Recording Spreadsheet


Every time you complete an activity, the idea is to record what the activity was and the time of completion in a spreadsheet, using special shorthands to allow fast data-entry. For example you might write something like this:


which would indicate sleeping (the code s) from 00:00 to 08:00, then getting ready (the code p) until 08:30, then breakfast (the code eb, which stands for "eating - breakfast") until 09:00 and so on. Generally I record only activities that take at least 5-10 minutes.

The spreadsheet is able to recognise the codes and use them to give you detailed information on how much time, either day by day or overall, has been spent on each activity. The activities are grouped into categories (for example there is also "eating - lunch" and "eating - dinner" which make it easy to get a broad overview of types of time-usage. Also available are graphs, which show how productivity varies from day to day. You can view an example spreadsheet that starts with the data above.

Alternatively you may wish to record just the codes in a notebook, and then periodically type them up in the spreadsheet to see the resulting summaries.

Technical information

The spreadsheet has five tabs: Cells in the spreadhsheets in which the top-right corner is shaded in contain comments - hover over them for more information.


This is a blank spreadsheet in which you can begin entering data. The cells shaded light yellow in the "Entries" and "Categories" sheets are the only ones in which you should need to type. Please send me an email if you have any suggestions or would like any assistance.

There is a more advanced version of this spreadsheet that also records the places activities occur and the people with whom they are performed. If you would like to move on to this then please let me know and I will send you a blank copy with instructions.

Email: re-order and punctuate appropriately cmu, edu and jd1. Office: Wean 7112, Carnegie Mellon University