March 23, 2011

Too much tracking

Am I the only person who feels self-conscious about what the timestamps on my "track changes" balloons say about my work schedule? You know, those "Di Di, 3/23/11 10:10 p.m." stamps above your comments. When you edit a document at 3 in the morning, everyone can see that you were up late working. When the timestamps cover several hours, your collaborators can see that you either spent five hours fretting over their words, or that you kept getting distracted because you were playing with your cat or watching television or reading blogs (for example). When you are doing paid editing work, and you get paid by the hour, the timestamps can differ from your reported hours (in either direction) for totally innocent reasons.

You can turn off the timestamps on the balloons, but in my version of MS Word, that setting also turns off the author name, making it useless when multiple people have added comments or changes. Or you can wait until a normal hour and then go back and adjust the changes in tiny ways (delete the period, then re-type the period) to change the time stamps. There is also this clever method that I found.

Or, you know, you can stop overthinking fuck everything and get back to work...


  • LOL! I hated the time stamps in Word because it would indicate to my adviser that I really waited until the LAST MINUTE to work on the item. :(

    Now I'm concerned about sending emails late at night to students or coworkers. I don't want people to know that I'm working so late into the night!

    By Blogger caroline, at 3/24/11, 12:21 AM  

  • Yes! I have the same problem with e-mail. There must be a way to schedule e-mails so it looks like you have a normal schedule, but I have never taken the time to figure it out.

    But it would be great to write something at 2 a.m. and instruct your computer to send it out at 9 a.m. when you're actually sleeping.

    By Blogger Di Di, at 3/24/11, 12:36 AM  

  • I dislike those time stamps too in Word. Fortunately my advisor only accepted work that was printed. He didn't want any files that were electronic so I could do work whenever I liked. As for my colleagues knowing this..well, I try to schedule myself when I'm working on documents that are co-authored so I don't work on them in the wee hours.

    As for email...I write them and I either put them in draft once they're written so that I can manually send them in the morning or pick the 'send later' option. I have this option on Thunderbird so that when I open up the software in the morning all those emails are sent immediately when I open my email software.

    By Anonymous Anthea, at 3/24/11, 1:57 PM  

  • I actually didn't even notice the comments included time stamps until you said this. Unless of course that's because Dr. Smooth usually just types comments right into the text. Sigh.

    By Blogger Psycgirl, at 3/24/11, 5:30 PM  

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