FIMS Publications

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Journal of Documentation

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Purpose: This article explores the varied ways that individuals create and use calendars, planners, and other cognitive artifacts to document the multiple temporalities that make up their everyday lives. It reveals the hidden documentary time work required to synchronize, coordinate, or entrain their activities to those of others.

Design/methodology/approach: We interviewed 47 Canadian participants in their homes, workplaces, or other locations, and photographed their documents. We analyzed qualitatively; first thematically to identify mentions of times, and then relationally to reveal how documentary time work was situated within participants’ broader contexts.

Findings: Participants’ documents revealed a wide variety of temporalities, some embedded in the templates they used, and others added by document creators and users. Participants’ documentary time work involved creating and using a variety of tools and strategies to reconcile and manage multiple temporalities and indexical time concepts that held multiple meanings. Their work employed both standard “off the shelf” and individualized “do-it-yourself” approaches.

Originality: This article combines several concepts of invisible work (document work, time work, articulation work) to show both how individuals engage in documentary time work and how that work is situated within broader social and temporal contexts and standards.


At the time of posting, this work has been published on the journal's website as an Early Cite article without volume, issue, or page numbers.

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