Days Since

If you’re like me, perhaps you

  • Forget how long it’s been since you actually bathed your little ones?
  • Forget to water those poor, thirsty plants?
  • Would like to track how long you’ve stayed away from something bad (like caffeine)?

If you’re an iGoogle user, here’s a widget to help you.

screenshot

Add to Google Add this gadget to your Google Personalized Homepage or see it on Google’s directory page (with ratings).

The basic idea and usage model behind Days Since has affinity with Getting Things Done and other time management techniques — get the noise of remembering your recurring todos out of your head, and onto your iGoogle dashboard!

Oct 11, 2007 NEW sorting/highlighting features and other fixes
June 1, 2007 NEW sister widget Days Until for countdown-style reminders of upcoming events.

Notes on the “Days Since” widget

  • Hit the reset button to set your days counter back to zero
  • Hit the delete button to remove a reminder
  • Hover over the reminder description to see how many times you’ve reset the item, and the average number of days between resets (your typical “days since”). Reminders are sorted by how close to the average they are, and reminders which are “overdue” (beyond the average) are highlighted red.
  • The code for Days Since is hosted at Google. The code is available under the permissive MIT license.
  • It stores your reminders in the preferences for the widget itself (using JSON serialization). So there’s no accounts to sign up for, no servers which can get overloaded or go down (other than Google’s), and no way for other people to see your reminders. The code is all Javascript running in your own browser. The only downside is if you delete the widget from your page, you’ll also lose your reminders.
  • Want similar functionality in the real world? Days Ago timers are a great way to physically tag plants, food in the fridge, etc. with a days counter.
  • Uses the simple, ever-useful, and free two-tone icon library
  • Curious about how this kind of widget gets developed? Subscribe to blog posts here, or look in comments below for follow-up postings on news related to the Days Since widget.
  • Feedback and feature requests are welcome. And if you have new, interesting uses for this, please let others know.

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Comments (86) to “Days Since”

  1. [...] Interested? See more at Days Since [...]

  2. [...] Vía | Lifehacker Enlace | Sitio oficial de Days Since [...]

  3. Unfortunately, it also loses all data if you move the widget.

  4. Hi Paul,

    I tested moving the widget around on a page, and between tabs — and couldn’t repro the data (the widget settings) getting lost. The only way I could was by removing the gadget and re-adding it.

    Can you repro again, and post more on how you got it to loose the data?

    Thanks!
    Bernie

  5. Two bits of feedback:

    I’d like a smaller mode – it takes up too much space on my page. Some people would like big, I want info density on my dashboard. Suggestions: reset button & number the same size as the delete button (which is about the same size as the line height).

    Wishlist feature: to be able to set a threshold for each – if the count goes over the threshold, it gets noisy (turns red or something). Like clutter around the house, I get really good at not seeing things that are there all the time – but things that change grab my attention. (e.g. I sometimes drop a piece of paper I need to deal with in the middle of the floor to remind me – this only works for about 12 hours – after that, I just unconscously step over it).

  6. Rob – Thanks for the comments!

    Do others others think the widget should be more dense, too? If there’s some consensus, we’ll just do that.

    There’s another comment to this effect over at the lifehacker thread: http://lifehacker.com/software/timer/days-since-igoogle-widget-tracks-how-much-time-has-passed-262483.php

    Threshold — good wishlist item! Any suggestions where to put the UI for adding that additional per-reminder data item? If we can solve that, it’s quite doable.

  7. I agree about the widget’s size.

  8. i wish i could feed it a date in the past and have it tell me how many days it’s been (i.e. days i’ve been in my current job).

  9. I’ve been hoping to keep the simplicity of working in “days since”, rather than having a calendar UI. It does make you do the date math once, when you first enter and older date, like how many days in job. Any simple alternative?

    Paul — Someone else over on lifehacker reported moving the widget and loosing the data. Anyone else have a repro on that? Firefox (2.0.0.3) doesn’t appear to repro, but perhaps I’m not doing things in the right order to make it happen.

    On the size, consensus seems to be get each line smaller – closer normal line-height. Any dissenters?

    Cheers,
    Bernie

  10. I concur with shrinking the size.

    Additionally, I entered data yesterday afternoon, and the day counter hasn’t incremented yet. Does the widget stick to a strict 24-hour day, or should it roll over each midnight?

  11. Hi Alex. Right now, it’s a 24 hour day, based on the time the item was added. But a midnight rollover makes more sense, since the hrs/min are never otherwise visible. Thanks!

  12. [...] la siguiente utilidad: Days Since. Se trata de un widget para el iGoogle (por ejemplo) que nos servirá para calcular cuantos días [...]

  13. [...] Days Since was written over the weekend, and then had the good fortune to hit lifehacker’s front page on Tuesday (in one day, it went from near-zero to over 3000 pageviews, and 1000 unique visitors using the widget). But that means there’s some obvious opportunities for refinement. Thanks for all the comments and suggestions! [...]

  14. What are the possibilities of a stand alone web widget?
    Not tied to igoogle.

  15. Hi Derek — Google provides a place to persist data (your reminders) in the form of widget settings which the widget can update with javascript calls to their widget API. The nice thing about that is I invest my time to write the code, but then thousands (or millions) of people could use it for free without consuming any server resources other than Google’s.

    Other widget platforms have similar characteristics, and either myself or (I hope) others will port the code to those.

    For a standalone .js widget that could embed in any page, that question of “where do I store the data, and how do I edit it” is the one that would need answered.

  16. [...] Days Since widget just got its first update since Monday. Google caches your copy of the widget, so the [...]

  17. For some reason, the newReminderInput Textbox is stealing focus from the main Google search text box. I get halfway through typing a search when I load up the personalized google homepage, and half my query ends up in the newReminder box.

  18. Hi James — great catch, thanks for reporting this. Since v17 just went out, I did a quick v18 update to also take care of this problem.

  19. This looks like an awesome gadget. I’m hoping it can help me remember to use things like applesauce and mushrooms, which I have a habit of opening and then forgetting about. ;)

    I have two comments/suggestions about it:

    1. It would be nice if the data could be exported. I like the fact that I don’t have to sign up for an account to use it, but I would also like to be able to have a text version or a comma-separated version of my reminders.

    2. It would be REALLY nice if I could sort the entries by the days-since values. That way I could just glance at the top of the list to see things that presumably should be done again soon.

    3. Okay, I just thought of this while writing the last suggestion. It would be nice if I could add labels/tags to my reminders – e.g. a “household” label for things like cleaning the floors and bathroom, a “food” label for when certain foods were opened, etc.

    Sorry if this seems like too many suggestions all at once. This is really one of the most unique gadgets I have run across and I just love the concept of it. You seem to be very receptive to feedback, and indeed the gadget already looks much better than it did when I first started using it. If you have the time and resources to implement my suggestions, that would be great; if not, well hey, the gadget has still found a spot on my main iGoogle tab. :)

    Thank you.

  20. please do a netvibes module for Days Since. thanks

  21. Hi Earl – Netvibes in high on the list, because of their efforts at a API that spans the different widget systems.

    Hi Jeff – Thanks for the nice comments! If this can prevent moldy fungi consumption, it’ll have been all worth it.

    1. There is a secret way (of sorts) to export the data. It’s not in a very human-friendly format, but if you go to the settings for the widget, you’ll see all your reminders (as a JSON string). You can, in fact, save that string, and then re-set it in another instance of “Days Since” to restore your reminders. Perhaps that’ll fill your need in a pinch?

    2. Nice suggestion on sorting. I wonder if that would conflict with people wanting to glance at a certain spot for the same reminder?

    3. These widgets seem to work best (for people) when they’re simple, but then combined in interesting ways. How about adding multiple instances of the widget to your page, one per label/category?

    Thanks for all these suggestions!

  22. v17 looks great! Now for another suggestion on space: I look at the counters far more often than I need to add a counter. I’d love for the add section to not be present in the default view – either by moving add to a menu item, or having a small add button that would grow a space for a new item. (it’s just a small matter of javascript, right??? {grin}).

    On the Jeff’s sorting suggestion: I can see different people having different preferences on this (I hear the footsteps of a user option coming). Personally, I like the idea of sorting if I can set a threshold for each item – items closer to their threshold (i.e. coming due) move up. Simply sorting by #days doesn’t work for me because it doesn’t reflect urgency – some items might have a large # of days and still be acceptable (e.g. washing the car), but others (taking out the trash) should be dealt with before it hits double digits.

  23. 1. Ah, I didn’t notice that before because I looked at the settings before putting any reminders in there. So now I just need to know what those “lastrest” values are. I have values like 1179837084359 and 1179664308500. I’m guessing (after playing around a bit) that they represent milliseconds since 1970 – is that about right?

    2. I think your response to 3. will also work nicely here. I didn’t realize that I could add multiple instances of the gadget. Very nice!

    Thank you very much for responding to my comments. This is indeed a very handy gadget – perhaps the only thing I can suggest at this point would be some better documentation, since these things weren’t so obvious to me before you pointed them out.

  24. Hi Jeff — you got it, those “last reset” numbers are milliseconds since 1970. (basically, what’s returned by Javascript’s Date object). Thanks!

    Hi Rob — good thoughts. As usual, it’s tricky balancing simplicity with functionality! Thanks!

  25. As Paul Holbrook (Comment #3) wrote, my data gets lost as well by simply moving the widget to another position on my iGoogle page

  26. My data was lost as well, simply from moving it from one position to the other in the same column. I hadn’t added much info yet, so I was ok.

    In case it helps – I’m running a full-patched, virus- and spyware-free Windows XP with Firefox 2.0.0.3. I can also tell you what other extensions I have running, if that’ll help.

    This is a great little extension. Thanks for creating it.

  27. Thanks for the reports on lost data! I’m exchanging messages with those who also leave their email, trying to figure out what unique set of circumstances causes newly added reminders (or, reminders that had been previously saved?) to be lost when the widget is moved. Thanks for your help in tracking this down!

  28. Thanks to the extra info from Jennifer, we’re close to understanding why newly added reminders are sometimes lost when you move the gadget around on your iGoogle page.

    From a user perspective: If you see data disappear when you move the gadget around on your iGoogle page, just reload the page. The data will come back.

    Developers: The same problem appears to affect Google’s sample code. See thread at http://groups.google.com/group/Google-Gadgets-API/browse_thread/thread/e1c76818912abe20?hl=en
    for more background on the bug, and hopefully a fix from Google or something that can be done in the gadget.

    Thanks!

  29. Great gadget! However the number of days seem to be limited to 254 days — would be great if you could fix this limitation. (why do I need this? keeping track of how many days I’ve been in my current company!)

  30. Bernie: Thank you for such a useful tool, *and* for being so quick to solve problems with it–I noticed the input box focus problem went away soon after I reported it.

    You’re a credit to the coding profession. I only wish I could be so quick with my bug fixes…

  31. I like this, but it doesn’t count days since — in other words, if I enter something at 5 days since, tomorrow, that 5 doesn’t increase to 6. Is that the default behavior?

  32. Disregard my last comment; the days appear to be counting by now.

  33. Hey Bernie! Thanks for the gadget; really dig it!! I wanted to chime in just for the sake.. add me to the list of those thankful, and to the list of those wanting a NetVibes version.
    cheers!

  34. James, Yuting, Lee, Reginald — Thank you for the kind comments!

    Yuting — the limit on days should be much higher than that (more than a human lifetime). Could some digits be hidden because they don’t fit? If you make the window bigger (or your reminder description smaller), do the digits show up?

    Reginald & Others — The NetVibes UWA API seems to have everything needed. Will be looking at this more soon. Thanks!

  35. *happydance*
    I’d be happy with the iGoogle version buuuuut…
    The Google homepage doesn’t seem to allow a “gmail” gadget for separate google accounts (netvibes can), and there seems to be no del.icio.us gadget which allows config for your login such that it can handle both private AND public links in your delicious account (netvibes can). So, until those toys appear, IF Days Since can be happy on both sides of the gadget/widget/(i like to call it a plange) fence, then I’m a happy dude.

  36. [...] while not in the same league as dayssince, has gotten good use with 45,000 page views and 25,000 visits from 12,000 or so users in the past [...]

  37. あれから何日

    Google の iGoogle をホームページにして、いろいろパーツを入れていますが、最近のお気に入りはDays Sinceです。 ある出来事から何日経過しているかを見せてくれるだけですが、いろいろな�…

  38. [...] Days Since was released last week, one of the first pieces of feedback was that it’d be great to have [...]

  39. I have been experiencing some strange behaviour with the gadget today. It seems that things are only saved properly if I click on the Add button; hitting the Enter key (which is my default behaviour when entering things in text boxes) causes the entire gadget to blank out, although all of my previously saved entries are still there and seem to show up again when the page is refreshed.

    For what it’s worth, I am using Opera 9.21. If you need any additional information, please let me know. This is only a minor annoyance that occurs when I forget to click the Add button, but it would still be nice if it were possible to fix it. :)

  40. Hi Jeff,

    On Firefox and IE, enter key has no effect. Was the enter key working on Opera before? In any case, I’ll get Opera installed and fix the bad bahavior, thanks!

    By the way, the rule both Firefox and IE use is — if there is just a single text field in a form, hitting enter in that field submits the form. Because Days Since has two (name and days), enter has no effect on those browsers. But the enter-submit can be rigged up via some extra Javascript, will I’ll look at so the behavior is the same across all browsers.

    Thanks,
    Bernie

  41. [...] Here’s a link: http://leancode.com/dayssince/ [...]

  42. I’d like to say that the Enter key was working before, but it could just be that today was the first time I tried to use it (though as I said before, hitting Enter is so natural to me that I can’t imagine myself NOT doing it before now).

    Thanks for getting onto this so quickly. If only Google could have some people like you working for them, using their products in Opera wouldn’t be as frustrating as it usually is. ;)

  43. Hi, Bernie,

    If you were the one who tried to use Google to translate your message into Japanese and put it on my site, good try, but it didn’t make any sense.

    Though I have no skill to put your tool into Japanese, I strongly hope that someone would do it.
    (It already works with Japanese character anyway though.)

    Thank you for your good tool. I’m using it to keep track of how many days have passed since I phoned my parents who live far way.
    I am not a good son….

  44. Yak Shaving Razor #96

    Yak Shaving — [MIT AI Lab, after 2000: orig. probably from a Ren & Stimpy episode.] Any seemingly pointless activity which is actually necessary to solve a problem which solves a problem which, several levels of recursion later, solves the…

  45. [...] of the early feature requests for the Days Since widget (which is getting over 400K page views/month now — more on that later) was the ability [...]

  46. [...] about cleaning (days since cleaned toilet). Whatever your choice, if you use a computer daily, add this module to your Google iGoogle [...]

  47. I feel stupid. I must be doing something wrong. The widget doesn’t seem to work at all, and yet nobody else here is reporting that problem. I install it on the main tab of my Google homepage, the type in a topic and hit “Add” and nothing happens (the widgets all refresh, though). I edited the setup to changte number of reminders from “0″ to “10″ or “7″ and that doesn’t help. I have removed it, come to this page, and added it again, and that doesn’t help.I am on a Windows XP SP-2 machine, using the latest Firefox. I have multiple tabs on my Google homepage and a bazillion extensions, so it’s possible one of these things is interfrering somehow. Or is there some simple step to adding reminders that I haven’t noticed or figured out? Thanks.

  48. Any way you can make this available for Google Desktop? I’d love to have this on my sidebar.

  49. Thanks for this very useful plugin!

    My suggestion is adding a way to adjust the current counter. Sometimes you can’t get to your page (or forget) to reset the counter, so when you get around doing it a number of days might already have passed.

    So besides a reset button, it would be nice to have a plus and a minus as well. Of course this would be too many buttons on the UI, so perhaps a small drop-down action menu (keeping the reset as the default) would allow for the extra functionality without too much clutter. You could even move the delete button to the menu to eliminate one extra button.

    Regarding data storage for a stand-alone version: how about using a cookie to store the data? Would be a trade-off for removing the dependency on the iGoogle page, but with laptops most people always access the web from the same machine anyway.

  50. [...] litter box itself, but this is free and always in sight on your iGoogle page. —Gina Trapani Days Since [...]

  51. Hi Nascif — you’re right we all hit reset late sometimes. Right now, to keep the UI simple, the way to do that is reenter a reminder with the correct number of days and delete the old one. The widget will probably keep this simple solution for some time. Eventually, I’d like to detect a click on the number, and turn it into a text form to provide an updated value.

    I’ve wondered whether people would be confused by the cookie solution to running DaysSince outside of iGoogle (since reminders would be different on every PC/browser you logged in from). Any thoughts from others whether this is worthwhile, or too confusing?

    Tom — yep, would love to have Google Desktop support. Right now, Google does not support SetPrefs for desktop widgets, but I expect this will come some time in the future. Or we could do Nascif’s suggestion of cookies. If anyone wants to do any of this, I’d be happy to consider patches (or just link to another copy of the widget).

    Thanks for the feedback!

  52. [...] Days Since, which tells you how many days have elapsed since a particular event. I find myself using this to keep tabs on invoices I’ve sent out and even personal stuff (like rebate forms I’ve submitted). You may also want to pair this with Days Until, which tallies the days leading up to an event. [...]

  53. [...] Days Since, which tells you how many days have elapsed since a particular event. I find myself using this to keep tabs on invoices I’ve sent out and even personal stuff (like rebate forms I’ve submitted). You may also want to pair this with Days Until, which tallies the days leading up to an event. [...]

  54. [...] DaysSince and DaysUntil were both having a problem where very long words in the reminder description could push the “delete item” icon and other content off the right of the widget, make the text unreadable — and unreachable, so you can no longer delete the offending item. [...]

  55. Today I can’t view any of my reminders. They show up when I edit the settings, but the widget itself shows nothing but the entry form.

    This is in Days Since Plus, by the way. I couldn’t find anywhere to comment about that particular widget, so I hope this page is okay for that. Thanks!

  56. Nitpicky feature request: sizing the gadget for the number of items I have. I only have 2 items, yet the gadget takes up enough space for 6 or so == wasting space.

  57. Hi Rob – that’s a Google problem that just recently cropped up. They say they’ll fix it soon. For updates, see http://groups.google.com/group/Google-Gadgets-API/browse_thread/thread/4fe3b1319ed4ea7c/

  58. Hello. Nice gadget. What could make is really helpful to me is if you add the option to set the number of days for each item when it needs attention, and when that number is reached the item will turn red or something.

  59. [...] Microsoft Outlook. If you use Outlook, put your inbox and calendar on iGoogle with this gadget. 12. Days since. This gadget tells you how many days since any event you enter. While this can have many, many [...]

  60. [...] Here’s a link: http://leancode.com/dayssince/ [...]

  61. [...] Days Since カンタンに作業して何日たったか表示するもの。プラベートなことを書いてますが、仕事にも使えそうです。 [...]

  62. [...] One iGoogle widget that tells you how many days have passed since you cleaned the litter box or put those leftovers in the fridge by developer Bernie Thompson. [...]

  63. great widget, thanks :)

    one problem is: I want to show days since my birthday, so over 10,000days, but it seems overflow.

  64. [...] Days Since has gotten a bunch of refinements — fixes and features — that are based on feedback from the 1700 or so people who use it regularly. If you use the main version (added from the link to the left), you’ll get these updates automatically. Thanks especially to Ping Zou, who took the time to prototype some of the ideas in his “days since plus” gadget. [...]

  65. Hi jyzhang — Sorry, despite my other comment a few months ago, this is a limitation. This is a limitation of the Javascript Date object, which Days Since uses (Dates must be Jan 1, 1970 or later). So all us old people can’t track the number of days we’ve been on this earth. ;)

  66. [...] kids a sense of time (on the days scale) — my 6 year old has an igoogle page with this and days since on it, and has been surprisingly excited to track things — “uh oh, dad. It’s been [...]

  67. A nice refinement would be to be able to rearrange the items. For instance, I would like to group all of the numbers I want to keep high, and separate them from the numbers I want to keep low.

  68. Hi Allison — A very easy way to do this, is to add more than one instance of the Days Since gadget, and keep your different categories of items separate. It has the bonus of being able to put them in different tabs/positions according to how often you want to look at them. Thanks for the feedback! Bernie

  69. [...] 官方網站:http://leancode.com/dayssince/ [...]

  70. Disappearing data solved: Days Since does not work when using google over a secure connection. To test, changed the http:// to https:// and reset a counter.

    The counter will initially reset. If you change tabs or navigate away from the page, the data shows no change.

  71. great code! thanks. but I have a problem:

    i have been happily using “days since” and “days until” up until very recently when it stopped working because of my “noscript” add-on. is there any way around this aside from forcing the noscript an unsafe reload?

  72. Bernie, I’m working on a Disaster Housing project in New Orleans/Gulf Coast. Is there some way for me to permanently code in Days Since Katrina Aug 29 2005 (928 days and counting!)I’d like to embed widget in communications to certain folks who refuse to move any quicker! In a very nice way, mind you! Would you email me about it?

  73. [...] for users (or their API) to be clear about what gadgets can/can’t do. I’ll talk about Days Since, but this applies to any Google [...]

  74. [...] Use  Days Since. Days Since is a simple widget that can be added to your iGoogle Homepage. It tracks the number of days that [...]

  75. [...] People always used to give me strange looks when I would tell them that it has been 485 days since my first surgery. I’m no “rainman” or anything, I just use a bunch of different forms of technology to keep track of my health. I’d like to start sharing them with you. Starting with the first one, well, aside from graph paper the first one: “days since”. It’s a “module” for Google’s personalized homepage, igoogle. You can add the module by clicking ‘add stuff’ from igoogle’s page or by visiting the author’s site here. [...]

  76. I thought I could use it as a julian calendar to indicate the current julian date where 1Jan1972 = 1
    But there seems to be a limit on the value I can put in the days box and larger numbers result in a large -ve number.

  77. I moved Days Since to a new location, and though my data still appears to be intact, the buttons to reset and delete are now those “this thing is missing” X graphics. Love the tool; hate to have to start all over again and lose the data history. Any ideas?

  78. I love this gadget on my iGoogle home. I’ve started using Windows 7 recently and starting looking into the Desktop Gadgets. I was surprised to find that there were TONS of countdown timer tools, but not a single one that does exactly this. Any chance of a port to a Win 7 Desktop Gadget? By yourself or maybe by someone else? Thank you!

  79. How about making one to use on the Blackberry? either as a small app or on a website that you can bookmark. OR does this already exist???

  80. I also lose all entries when I move widget. Would also like option to put a date in (e.g. Date of Birth) to see how many days have passed.

  81. yavvee@gmail.com

    Its a lovely gadget. I was just wondering if you could make a similar gadget for windows. That way people can use it even when theres no internet. Thanx a lot!

  82. [...] la siguiente utilidad: Days Since. Se trata de un widget para el iGoogle (por ejemplo) que nos servirá para calcular cuantos días [...]

  83. As igoogle is closing I would love this gadget for protopage

  84. Ditto with Emma. Would love a desktop type version of this gadget for when igoogle closes.

  85. I agree with Emma!!

  86. Would the code work on my drupal 7 site? This is the ONLY module I use iGoogle for and I have not found a replacement that can easily track multiple events on a countdown format on a site I want to hit often.

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