Time use diary design for our times - An overview, presenting a click-and-drag diary instrument (caddi) for online application

Oriel Sullivan, Jonathan Gershuny, Almudena Sevilla, Pierre Walthery, Marga Vega-Rapun

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


The recent global pandemic, involving restrictions on movement, social distancing and the displacement of many work activities to the home, has created an upsurge of interest in changes in the distribution and sequencing of our daily activities. Time use diary data is recognised as the leading source of evidence on this topic. The purpose of this paper is to provide a timely overview of the current state-of-the-art in respect of the designs of time use surveys with a view to online/smartphone deployment. It has three parts: Firstly, we briefly summarise the main reasons for using diaries to collect time use information (as opposed to survey questions), and we sketch out the long tradition of time-use research from which these designs emerged. We then outline the main methods currently deployed to collect time use data, with the focus on online and smartphone app instruments. Finally, we present a detailed example of a specific kind of online diary design, the Click-and-Drag Diary Instrument (CaDDI), that may be of particular interest in respect of the sudden demand for new data on time use as it is both user-friendly to complete and capable of timely adaptation and deployment.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberA4
JournalJournal of Time Use Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Online time-use diary
  • Time-use diaries
  • Time-use diary design

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance (miscellaneous)


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