Excel Timecode Engine

by Ethnio. Average Reading Time: about a minute.

When recording remote sessions, it can sometimes be tricky to keep track of all those juicy findings, synch them up to your video, and keep everything in context. There’s nothing worse than not being able to locate that one great thing you remember your user saying! So to help you along with that, we’re sharing a wonderful tool: this “Timecode Engine,” which, when synched up with your recording, will automatically associate a timecode with a particular note you type! Though it looks meek at first, it’s really great to see all of your insightful, verbatim quotes and notes all organized by time sequence.


 Download Timecode Engine Excel File (xls – 291kb)

Here’s how it works: As soon as you hit “record” on your recording software, you’ll want to type “start” in the first cell in the column under “Notes” (and actually, you can write anything here, but we tend to use “start”). Magically, you’ll see 0:00:00 appear in the “Time Stamp” column! You’ll want to make sure not to edit any of the formula in this column, though. Next, hit the “Down” key on your keyboard, and write your first note. The time elapsed between ‘Start’ and that note will appear in the “Time Stamp” column now. So easy!

Use the “Codes” column as you see fit to label each section of the study, or jot down additional notes.

There are sheets for multiple users, which you can navigate through at the bottom of the spreadsheet. Hope you enjoy!

excel sheet


There is also a handy small tool developed by William Sansbury called “Usablog” but it’s not meant to be a prime time tool. Nonetheless, it’s pretty cool and does time stamping as well. You can check that out at usablog.willsansbury.com


  • I’m thrilled to see UsabLog mentioned! Both my original prototype hack job and a much nicer version put together by my team at Daxko for one of our innovation weeks are available as open-source projects on github. I’d love to see people push them farther than we’ve had an opportunity to. 

    Original: https://github.com/willsansbury/Usablog
    New and improved: https://github.com/daxko/Usablog

  • boltronic

    Yo Will – so glad to see this getting on worked on still. Is there a demo version of the new and improved up and running somewhere?