A personal inventory of time recording

A 6 week project for Information Design at ArtCenter College of Design.

Fall 2020

The Topic

I find that the one thing I do very regularly is check the time, almost obsessively. It's the one thing I do more than anything else.

What would I uncover if I recorded every time I looked at the... time?

Data Collection

Whenever I checked the time I made a note:

  • What was the time I checked?

  • What device did I check it on?

  • What was going on (if applicable)?

  • Was I in class or not?

I collected data for fourteen straight days.

Recording Method

I used the Notability app on my iPad to record each entry.


Devices recorded:

  • Watch

  • Phone

  • Desktop

  • Microwave (I always look here in the kitchen)

I ended up with 21 full pages.

An excerpt from my Notability pages.

Data Organization

I had already developed a solid system for logging the data manually and it translated well to a Google Sheet. I assigned each device a number (watch = 1, phone = 2, etc.) for testing the data on charts.

In total there were 834 data points.

I plotted the data on the Google Sheet to get ideas for visualization.

An excerpt from my Google Sheet.

Visual Exploration

I was inspired by Stefanie Posavec and Giogia Lupi's "Dear Data" series and set out to visualize my data in ways I wouldn't normally approach it.

I began assigning colors to the datasets to give them distinguishing visual treatment.



Creating my visualizations digitally allowed for greater fidelity as well as more meticulous plotting of each data point. It was very satisfying to see each day's recording come together.

The legend

The template I created

One day plotted out

I plotted all 834 points in a linear progression. It's a very long scatter plot!

With all fourteen days plotted, I was able to visualize different aspects of the data.

One day split into its separate devices.

All fourteen days split by device.

Poster Presentation

The final deliverable would be a poster to exhibit the data gathered and how I visualized it. In my first round I presented two: a landscape poster 48"x24" and a 36" diameter round.

After some instructor and class feedback, I went through another few rounds of iteration, bringing the two ideas together and exploring other visual treat-ments.

My final presentation was a whopping 72"x24", but presented the data in an engaging and easy to follow structure. I was very excited to share this.

Beyond the Brief

I was very pleased with the way the data came together and was intrigued with the application of motion to data. I experimented with Adobe Xd's 3D feature as well as the auto-animate to create some interesting visuals.

Seeing one day pulled from the fourteen and then split into its four devices made for a compelling sight.

Using Xd's new 3D effects allowed me to make this awesome rotation of the data.



Analyzing my own life and recording my own activity made for a unique approach to making data personal. I gained a huge respect for all of the data visualization and information design that we encounter on a daily basis. One day I might be able to create the animations above for real interactive web-based experiences!

To view the complete final presentation deck, please click here: Punctual Final Presentation (made in Adobe Xd)

Copyright © 2021 Anthony Palileo | All Rights Reserved