My Device Log

The core purpose of Retrospective Timelines is to help you keep track of the most important dates in life. I use it to keep track of my sobriety, places I have lived, and my professional life. I’ve also found it helpful as a tool to track less emotional data such as the computers and devices I’ve used over the years.

Over the last week or so I’ve build a Timeline in my copy of the app that can hold a list of all of my computers and devices. For the most recent devices all I had to do was look around my apartment to see what I’m using. For older devices I found that my email accounts help a treasure trove of data that I could use. I have receipts for the original orders of almost everything I own and I had a lot of emails containing info about when I sold or donated old devices. Another good source of data was my photos library, as I’m the kind of dork who takes photos of new computers when I get them.

Initially I started with a single Timeline called “Computers & Devices”. I started adding event records to this timeline for each device. I used date ranges to keep track of the date I received and got rid of each device. For things I still own, I used the Ongoing toggle on the End Date section. After working with the data for a couple of days I decided that I didn’t want to mix gaming/personal devices in with the list of computers. I ended up making three Timelines: Computers, Gaming Devices, and Virtual Reality Devices.

Timelines and my Computer Timeline

A couple of weeks ago I built a filtering feature for Timelines and the special report lists, but I had to remove the Timeline version of filters before shipping version 1.0 because a weird bug. As I was working with this data I realized that I wanted to add those filters back to the Timeline view. After working out the issues I released version 1.0.2 this week.

There are two new filter options that help me view my device history in different way. By default, the Computers timeline has a list of all dates for all events. This includes the start date for each item and the end date where applicable.

Filter: Hide End Date

The filtered called “Hide End Date” is a quick way to hide the end date rows for events with date ranges. In this case, it leaves me with a list of start dates/events for each computer on the list.

The other new filter is called “Only Show Ongoing Events” this does just that. It filters out all of the events except those that are marked with an Ongoing date range. This is a great way to show just the devices that I currently own and use.

Here is a short video describing how I use these lists and these new filters.