Producing vs Consuming: Recap of Design through Draft 03

POSTED Thu Jun.05.2014 by Dave Seah UNDER Productivity TAGGED ,

I’ve been continuing to work on the “producing versus consuming” tracking form, fixing various issues I’ve had with them. The underlying experiment I’m conducting is whether being mindful of when I’m creating/producing versus consuming makes any kind of difference in how I feel. I’ve made three form variations so far.


Draft 01: The Revised ETT Version

Draft 01

Draft 01 is an adaptation of the Emergent Task Timer, a form for time tracking.

This is a weekly version to track my trends over the week. The biggest weakness? I found filling in the bubbles a bit tedious, because I wasn’t using the 15-minute timer to accurately record what I was doing every 15 minutes. Also, I discovered I needed a bit more space to record my notes, and I really wanted a full 24 hours of tracking because my schedule has been wacky due to insomnia. You can download this version if you want to try it.

Draft 02: The Compressed 24-Hour Version

Draft 02

Draft 02 addresses the issues above. It’s got a compressed time tracking log that’s a little easier to fill out just by shading in rectangular chunks, and I’ve added a little more room between the sections. To demarque morning, noon, and afternoon, I use big black anchors to help me know what part of the form I need to fill in without scanning the actual 2400-style time markers.

There were four main issues I encountered:

  • When I was focusing on a particular day track, it was difficult to orient myself on the right column of time. Filling in these boxes requires closer attention, spanning maybe about an inch of space at a time. That means the hour markers are not visible, so there is a lot of hunting back and forth. Blargh.

  • Although I’ve been using 2400 time for years in my time tracking, for some reason I found the extra conversion step too much for quick recording of my time usage. Just that extra bit of math was enough to make the process feel cumbersome, especially combined with the previous issue.

  • I still didn’t have enough space to write. While I didn’t want to make this version of the form overly complicated, I found that I needed more space to record WHAT I was doing to make distinctions between what I was doing.

  • The landscape format made the form too wide to keep comfortably nearby. It was always in the way, so I had to put it to my left, which I found irritating.

In a way, this form was a step backwards, though I do like the new direction that this time tracking bar is moving in. You can download version 2 if you’d like to try it out yourself.

Draft 03: The Single Day Version

Draft 03

This is the newest version. It’s now one sheet per day, which gives me a lot more room to write down notes. In fact, I’m not quite sure what to do with all the room, which is why the form design is a bit scattered in its appearance. I put in a reminder to think of my long-term goals at the top, because this is something that’s on my mind. I still want to track where my time is going, and also note how I’m feeling at a given time.

This design attempt to solve the deficiencies I noted in Draft 02. Holding the printout in my hand, I think it’s probably still a bit cramped for writing, but we’ll see. I’m about to transcribe the data from MON and WED (TUE was a “lost day”, mentally) and see how that goes.

If you’d like to give this form a try, you can download version 3; let me know what you think!

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