Work tracking software

I’ve set up an Excel document to track my work, a week at a time, but it’s not really working. I can enter what I’ve done - emailed this archive, read through that series, booked an appointment to see files x, y and z in a particular library, written x section - but then I can’t see what I’ve entered.
Can anyone suggest a more workable method? I could set up a table in Word, I suppose, but… meh…

First, why can’t you see what you’ve entered?

Second, besides making a list of described activities over the course of a week what do you require? Are you, for example tracking hours and expecting a report of totals, etc. Without knowing somewhat more it is hard to suggest alternative things you might do. For all we know so far, you might just keep a sheet of paper at your desk and make a list and start a fresh sheet each week. Is there more to what you are looking for than that?


I can see the first few words. The rest disappear under the next cell.

If there is not a plausible cell width that would always accommodate the amount of text you’d be typing in that descriptions column, format that column of cells to wrap text.

(On my mac that would be: select cell area, then cmd-1 > alignment tab > Wrap Text.)

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What @gr said. What do you ultimately want to do with this information? That will determine whether you want a spreadsheet, journal software, a Word document, a physical notebook, or any of the other potential options.

Ah, that works, thanks!
I want to keep a record of what I’m looking up and what I’m writing. Easier then to look back for a particular piece of information. Though at the moment I usually do this with HoudahSpot - but it’s easier if I have a record and can see what I’m doing.

When you look something up, where do you put the information? A database? A note in Scrivener? A browser bookmark?

This sounds like a journaling-type task to me, so I’d be inclined to use some sort of freeform notetaking tool rather than a spreadsheet.

Mostly in Scrivener working documents, but sometimes I then go cracked trying to connect a document or picture with where I’ve got it from using Scrivener, Word and email, helped by HoudahSpot searching. It might be simpler if I also kept notes of what I’m doing day by day.

I’m also hoping that doing this stops me going down endless rabbit-holes of research where I find the story of three boys who saved someone from drowning and were awarded a medal by someone else who appears early on as a passing poet and later as a miserable jailbird but are essentially completely peripheral to my account… if I see that I’m doing that I can mutter a mental “Wrap it up, kid” and get back to the chapter I’m actually supposed to be writing.

Have you tried Airtable? It’s a cloud-based spreadsheet/database that is super friendly and easy to use. You can use it for free, and there are a lot of premade templates available.

Because it’s a database under the hood, you can set it up to do filters and sorts, so you can look up things very quickly and easily.


A recent thread in the DevonTechnologies forum considered how to accomplish something like this in DevonThink. Grouping items by date opened or like a daily journal - #12 by pete31 - Scenarios - DEVONtechnologies Community

Oh God. I feel a bit faint after reading that.

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Is there any way to make Wrap Text the default in an individual Excel document?

Select the entire column/set of columns (click on the “A” “B”, etc…) and then format the selection.

Thanks very much! I’m sorted for now!