I use my own text file format called Captain's Logs to keep track of what I do every day at work. Yes, it's named after the storytelling mechanic from Star Trek, because it's a damn good way of keeping track of your day. The following info is based on my captain's logs from June 1st, 2013 to May 31st, 2014.

How Much Logging?

For the 250 business days between June 1st of 2013 and May 31st of 2014, I kept 216 days of logs. I was either sick, on vacation, or super lazy for the 34 days I wasn't tracking. Or there are some holidays in there I didn't subtract from the total number of business days.

Individual Activities

In those 216 logs, I tracked 1,371 individual activities I did, whether the activity wasn't worth time-tracking or it took all 8 hours of my day. Each day, I managed to do an average of 6 activities.

Those individual activities range from the stupidly simple like "fixed a bug on median, took five minutes" to the more broad "built a new server cluster for drupal" to "went to the weekly change management meeting" to the ridiculous "spent 6 hours tracking down a fatal mysql bug".

The maximum number of activities I logged in a single day was 13 activities on August 21st, 2013. It was a big day: the Emerson College website went down, we had a big meeting with Comcast, and we had to deal with an annoying time-offset problem between servers.

In total, all of the tracked activities took 2,900,640 seconds to do. That's around 805 hours, or 33.5 days, of activities.

On average, an activity usually took me around 35 minutes. I tracked the time it took me to do most things, but here and there a few things took so little time that I didn't include any time-tracking, so that number is weighted higher than it should be.

My logged activities took up an average of 3.7 hours per day. That doesn't mean I only worked around 4 hours per day, it just means I tracked the time for around 4 hours of stuff per day. I didn't track the time for answering emails, shooting nerf guns in the office, or going to lunch.


Of those 1,371 tracked things, 199 of them were meetings. (This is tracked just by adding "meeting" to the activity list item.)

I had just about 1 meeting per day. Those meetings took up 499,440 seconds of my life. That's around 139 hours, or 5.8 days. I don't think that's too bad, and I think I have my famous six-minute meetings to thank for that. However, my meetings were 42 minutes long on average, so maybe not...

What I Worked On

In my logs, each activity is listed individually. Here are some of the common words used to describe those activities:

Neat way to look at what I worked on most often.

Notes About My Day

There's a space in my captain's log entries to leave miscellaneous notes about my day. I didn't use this space very often, so there's not much to share. Most of the time, instead of writing in the notes section, I wrote out my thoughts in what would usually turn into a blog post on the IT blog. You can see all of my blog posts here.

Do This Yourself

Want to get your own neat stats like this after a year of hard work? Try using my Captain's Logs system for yourself. It helps me out, especially if I need to remember when I did a certain thing, or if I need to know the last time a certain problem or project occurred.