The Fibonacci Clock is getting quite some attention on the web lately. Check it out here and read about how it works.

Short summary: The clock consists of five squares with different magnitudes: 5 – 3 – 2 – 1 and 1 again.

Add up the magnitudes for the red and the blue squares to arrive at the number of hours.

Add up the magnitudes for the green and the blue squares, multiply the result by 5 to arrive at the number of minutes.

Ignore white squares.

Minutes are rounded to the nearest 5. AM and PM don’t exist.

So, the time 9:25 looks like this:

Red and blue squares are magnitudes 5 + 3 + 1 = 9. That’s the hour.

Green and blue squares are magnitudes 3 + 2 = 5. Multiply by 5 = 25. That’s the minute.

Not everybody may be willing to pay for the hardware version of the clock, but even if you will get one, you will need some practice to get comfortable reading what it says. So here is your free Fibonacci Clock created with Microsoft Excel.

This is really great and a major advancement. Instead of just glancing at the clock and knowing instantly what time it is, you now need to spend upwards of 5 seconds, maybe up to minutes, to work out what the time is by adding up colour-coded squares. Yep. It’s for nerds. Geeks welcome.

All you need is a working version of Excel on your device. It will work on Excel for your computer (PC or Mac), Excel for iOS, or Android, and with Excel on-line, because it only uses conditional formatting and a few formulas. There’s no VBA code involved. Here’s a screenshot of the file on my iPhone:

Many time stamps can be represented with various combinations of the squares. I’ve used formulas and conditional formatting to arrive at a combination that has the correct time and not too many blue squares.

Download the attached file and play with the settings. You can use the system time and edit any cell to refresh the clock, or enter a time manually and practice how to read it.

Download the Fibonacci Excel Clock

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This is the dumbest clock version I have ever seen. How about random math problems to calculate the time.

Even the LED BCD clock is easier to read (and it takes a while).

The Misfit activity tracker decided to use a circle of 12 leds instead of digital readouts and has the much more readable hour = solid on, minutes = flashing.

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what about 9:34? 🙂

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As described in the post, minutes are rounded to the nearest 5. Reading helps.

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Hi Teylyn,

I love your Fibonacci Excel Clock very much. Howerver, I got some questions as follows, could you please give me more explanations. Thanks.

1. What’s the purpose for the column “check de – dupe” even though the numbers could be different from those for the “check orig” whenever the minute number is greater than 37.

2. I changed the formula “SEARCH(“hide”,$Q$6)=1″ to $Q$6 = “TRUE” in correspondence to hide the magnitude number in clock then switched the option button to “FALSE” then the colours changed incorrectly. I could not help write one more formula with no filling colour to fix it. What’s wrong with me?

Julian Chen

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The de-dupe is a simple attempt to get a bit of variation into the clock. Some times can be expressed in a variety of ways. I have not explored all options, and with the de-dupe just attempt to avoid too much blue. Why did you change the formula for the conditional formatting? It checks if Q6 contains the text “hide” as the first word. Q6 contains text, not a boolean. There is no option button. Sorry, I don’t know what you mean. The file works as posted. If you change the fundamentals and it stops working, just undo your changes.

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Regarding point 2, I just wanted to practice by myself more than what learned from your blog. For example, I also tried to use formula RANDBETWEEN and a spin button to get the time value in stead of key-in. That’s it. Thanks again for your instructions.

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