MyTimeUse: An Online Implementation of the Day-Reconstruction Method

R. Gordon Rinderknecht, Long Doan, Liana C. Sayer

online time diaries , online samples, day-reconstruction method, time use measurement innovations, original data collection

Time diaries can record precise measures of daily activities but few such diaries have been developed for use via the internet, which limits our knowledge of how social, economic, and demographic factors affect daily life and our ability to investigate trends over time. We have developed, refined, and deployed an original online time diary,, to study daily life in a longitudinal sample of graduate students and a longitudinal sample of U.S. residents recruited online. This article overviews the features we implemented to increase data quality and response rates. The diary is based on the day-reconstruction method, which has participants report on each primary activity in a selected day, then records further contextual information about the activity, such as social engagement, multitasking, and emotions. We recruited online participants to complete three time diaries and report their evaluations of our platform. Feedback indicates most participants found the diary to be intuitive and easy to use, and most who made an account with the diary platform fully participated in our study.