I want to, instead of showing "X minutes ago", show "Xm". The problem is, how would I differentiate if it were "X months ago"? I can't do "Xm" because that's used for minutes.

What should I do if I want to keep it as simple as possible?

2 Answers 2


Use "X min." for minutes and "X mon." for months.

Alternatively if you want something to specify with exact months you can go with "Last Jan." ... "Last Dec." or "2013 Mar." to include things from previous years


I have three ideas for you:

  1. First, choose which of the two occurs the most frequently and to make that one the short version, if it's not obvious from the context. Most people won't find it obvious to compare minutes with months directly anyway.
  2. Second, if your users are scientifically inclined consider using the ' and " symbols for minutes and seconds. This could give you:


  3. Third, use the generally accepted abbreviation of "Months" as MOS or "Month" as MO.

Further information:

  • Mishax's idea about using shorter version for common/most wanted option sounds good. What about combination of it with highlighting those items that are fresh to make it a step closer to be easily recognizable?
    – digsrafik
    May 19, 2014 at 12:07

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