Personal Informatics Projects
I’m a huge fan of personal informatics (also known as “Quantified Self™”, “life hacking”, “self-tracking”, among many other descriptors). I suppose it goes right with my autistic tendencies to play around with data for fun as well as for a paycheck. It’s also a good way to keep track of myself and the changes that happen in my body, my mood, my diet, &c., in ways that I can see patterns that may need changing or take pride in the progress that I make.
Current Personal Informatics Projects
- Where I’ve Been
Using the Swarm and Google Maps
APIs to display the last 250 check-ins I’ve made in Swarm.
My Tracking Tools
Apple Watch Series 3 (originally used a Fitbit until the screen started dying).
My iPhone 11 Pro Max
Specifically, I’ve created workflows via the out-of-the-box Shortcuts app to maintain a “personal log” whenever I do something that I need to track or want to otherwise make a time-stamped entry. Each entry contains a timestamp, my location (as determined by the phone), and whatever text message I provide. In theory this could replace Swarm for place check-ins, but Swarm is more consistent on locations.
I use this extensively at work to track my hours on task, maintain a portable calendar I can easily load onto my other devices, make sortable tables and lists that I can later use as data for tracking, you name it. The
emacstext editor itself has been around since the 1970s (if it ain’t broke, why fix it?).
I used to have apps like Dash and Automatic that use an
OBDadapter device in my car to track where I drove and my car’s performance metrics, but both services have since shut down and the only suitable alternative that I have is for Windows 10 (none of my Windows devices have built-in GPS) and Windows Phone (defunct).