December 29, 2008
by: jovial_cynic
A few weeks back, I read this interesting article linked from boingboing about this lady who decided to track items about her life - things like her calorie intake, hours of sleep, general mood... 40 things, and over time, she was able to see trends in her life that she wouldn't have noticed if she hadn't gone over the raw data that she was tracking.

Here's the article:

Really fascinating stuff -- like how when she didn't get enough sleep, her mood deteriorated, and when her mood deteriorated, she consumed more calories. It's one thing to say, "yeah - I understand how those relate," but it's another to see the data actually graphed out.

So, this got me to thinking about tracking my own life, and then about the idea of setting up a web application to let people track their own data.

So I made this:

It's a simple program with what I hope is a simple interface. There's a few more features I'm working on, and I'm open to feedback or feature requests. I want this to be useful for people who are interested in recording some data about their own lives. And no, I'm not doing anything with the data - not selling it, not advertising with it -- it's just a handy tool that I hope people find useful.

All that said, here's the breakdown:

1. Create an account.
2. Add some arbitrary items to track. Things like weight, calorie intake, minutes exercised, hours of sleep... whatever. After a few days of entering data, you can have a handy graph like this generated for you:

You can record normal data that fluxuates quite a bit, or you can also track things like binary data -- stuff like "did I have sex last night." However, you'll end up with a graph that looks like this:

Which is fine, but if you have a lot of binary data you're tracking, it's going to be a funny looking graph.

Once you start recording, keep in mind that a single day's collection of data isn't very useful. It won't get interesting until at least 2 days into it, which will allow the graphing code to draw a line between two points of data. If you want to jump start the process, you could back-fill some dates and see how that works for you.

Anyhow, try it out, let me know what you think. Tell me if you find any bugs in it. I'll do what I can to fix things, address feature requests, and hopefully make this into something cool.

One feature I'm already considering is to create a blog widget that'll allow you to post a graph of some of your data that'll show up on your blog, which, of course, will link to my app.


valdez said:
Wow Josh, your sex track is bigger than mine. LOL
January 01, 2009

jovial_cynic said:
Ed - that was just an example. I have WAY more sex than what's shown on that graph. haha... :)
January 02, 2009

valdez said:
Enjoy it! I wish I were that young again.
January 02, 2009

Kristen said:
That is very cool! Fantastic idea.
January 03, 2009

Cynthia Armistead said:
The site won't load for me. Is it still around?


February 20, 2009

jovial_cynic said:
Hey Cynthia -

Yes, it's still up. There must have been a minor network hiccup causing it to go down temporarily. It's up and running right now.

February 20, 2009

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