Time (without date) field option

#1

Hello All,

Personally I use airtable to track things throughout the day, and I’ve found it quite annoying to not have a time field option that is separate from the date. Of course I can enter the time manually in a single line text entry, but I think since we can enter the date without the time it only makes sense that we be able to enter the time without the date. What do you all think? Is this something you would find useful or something you have wished for?

Claire

#2

I think the issue is knowing what assumption to make about the date. For instance, a date entered without a time field defaults to midnight — but if I enter a time, what date should I assume? If I assume the current date, that potentially raises issues if I’m logging times after-the-fact (for instance, at the end of a call), but if I assume the most recent occurrence of that time (e.g., at 2 am I enter 11 pm, so I assume 11 pm the previous day), it screws me up if I’m trying to schedule an appointment. I’m not saying it’s a bad or unworkable idea; I’m just saying I’m not sure how I’d handle assignment of the date portion of the datetime value…

#3

Hi W_Vann_Hall,

I’m not sure you understood my post, sorry - I am asking for a time field WITHOUT any date. Because I find I often need to enter multiple times for one date or want to enter times without dates at all, and would like to be able to do so without having to figure out what to do with a pointless date value that, as you said, could be confusing.

Totally agree though that it can get rather screwwy if you enter datetime fields later - I often log things later that I did earlier and if it’s past midnight it definitely screws me up

#4

As you suggest, there isn’t such a thing as a time field without an assumed date. :wink:

Wait: I take that back. Say, for instance, you wanted to track the time-of-day at which something takes place. In that instance, you might want to store a date-less time. In that case, though, storing it as a single-line text field makes as much sense as anything, as it’s ceased to have any relative meaning. If you’re using the value to track how long you spent on a task, though, then there is an assumed date value. Agreed, Airtable doesn’t currently make it as easy as it could be to enter such a value,¹ but I suspect a disembodied time sans date would be more confusing than helpful…

— but that was why I was asking how you would like to see it work, as you evidently have a use case calling for such a feature


  1. My suggestion would be to treat any two numbers separated by a colon or three numbers separated by two colons as a time, with an optional ‘a’ or ‘p’ for 12-hour clocks, and an assumed date of TODAY() — but that seemingly might be problematic for some regional uses.
#5

Without a timecode field, you have to go through an extraordinary rigamarole to combine a separate time field with a date field and to get it into the right timezone and/or suitable for an iCal subscription. I can see the value of such a field type for that reason.