Over the years I have created a number of spreadsheets in which various life data points are recorded. The most obviously QS one being aggregation of exercise time and number of steps involved. The duration is taken from a GPS tracking app on my iPhone and the steps are from the iOS Health app. I could easily pullout distance covered too but to date have not because I would have to extract terrain data but I do not have that for early years. A second one is my daily blood pressure readings which I transcribe into Apple Notes before processing/visualising the fluctuations with Apple Numbers. Oh how I wish that Apple would implement its patent for taking blood pressure readings with an Apple Watch thereby removing a source of error with transcription from the analogue machine I am using. Every few months I produce a graph of my blood pressures to discuss with my GP. Also have one for sex which has to be updated manually.
Other spreadsheets are a little obscure. For example, the weekly shopping list with all the items purchased from the local supermarkets. There is a sheet for each of the main supermarket, a second one that has a butchery counter, and a third that has a good range of gluten-free products. (Includes sheets for food manufactuers who I will not buy from for ethical reasons.) Looking to enhance it with links to the supermarkets web sites and their home delivery service. This is perhaps not an identifiable quantified self usage but it does mean that I neither forget anything nor over buy things. I am the worst shopper for supermarkets for not being swayed by offers on things that I have little if any need for. Only respond to offers if I was going to buy an item anyway or know, because I marked the spreadsheet thus, that I will need to purchase the item soon.
When doing my recent degree course I kept a spreadsheet of books I read or was reading. Included course texts and other genres fiction, other subject domains, etc. Again probably not a QS record but I did note that some one else in these forums was looking into tracking their quantity and quality of reading.
One recent quasi-success has been tracking why my Italian coffee machine has not been producing crema! I already had a sheet to predict when the next descale was required and the likely date for the next full service. (The machine has had two since purchase eight years ago.) Recorded my process from which brand and roast of coffee used, through when I drew the water, how I filled the filter head — whether each refill tamped and how hard, whether I flushed the filterhead or not after use. The desired result (of a Guinness style head of crema) was random. But it seems focusing my attention on this spreadsheet altered me to the general issue as a recent news report suggested that not tamping the refils but using a very loose amount of ground coffee produced better results (and for coffee shop reduced costs). Since reading that piece there has been 100% success in crema, Every measure of coffee is now aerated before being scooped up; shaking the storage jar! And of course a consequent lowering of my frustration.
But this all raises the question of what other variables I could record.
Hi! There is a radar-based method of measuring blood pressure but it’s far more costly than the tried and true 1880s method we are all familiar with.
I really like your interest in these questions and trend analysis over multiple variables. I helped build a mobile app that does that automatically for people and it integrates with Apple Health Kit, Google Fit, Fitbit. Working towards making those backend APIs open source when we have the bandwidth - any support or feedback is welcome.
I also had a hard time answering the “what do I track” question… well what is already being tracked, what already has potential to unlock new knowledge? We all carry these little data siphons but never see what’s collected or benefit from it.
So track everything. Take it out of what is already there, called a data lake, and start correlating it all. Trends will emerge and the technology to do it automatically is here, and being worked on.
Thanks. I’ll think about your comments.
The only one I’d be interested in. I have an Apple-only environment. Heck I don’t even use Google for searching; prefer DuckDuckGo instead. Keeps me free of ads. (Together with the various browser addons I use.)
One of the things I’ve noticed personally with tracking just random data is that barometric pressure upward spikes dont cause migraines, but downward spikes do for me at least.
Too bad fitbit oura and apple can’t just agree upon the individual having seamless control of their own data. The things a community can do with that information can be incredibly helpful.
Ah another fun thing to track – my cat gets gooey eyes during certain pollen amounts. I was weather focused for my own curiosity it seems haha
A while ago I saw a correlation between my amount of baking (less) and my viewing of cooking shows (more). I didn’t bake nearly an entire year and I watched a large amount of baking shows on netflix.
Its all just correlative though, someone who has a higher level of data intelligence needs to get in here
I don’t hay fever per se but certain plants make me snuffly. Several years ago I commuted to a customer site and between May and June I always arrived at their premises feeling stuffed up. Only in the final year of the contract did I realise that it was the fields of rape seed either side of the roads that was the cause.
It’s the opposite for me. The baking shows I watch the more I bake. In between my previous post and this reply I baked a salmon and asparagus quiche. And tomorrow it’s pitta breads.
Sorry to read that. I’m fortunate not to have migraines either but I know people who do. They might have a correlation too.
Personal motivation for participation in QS.
Clarification of a complex of motives in dynamics. Measurement 1 or 0.
1. The biological basis is the instinct of self-preservation:
- monitoring body weight (1);
- tracking of power (1);
- tracking physical activity;
- monitoring of blood pressure (1);
- tracking the pulse;
- tracking stress;
- monitoring mood;
- tracking sleep;
- tracking chronic fatigue;
- tracking glucose in the blood;
- tracking bad habits (1);
- tracking caffeine;
- monitoring the use of alcohol;
- control of other chronic diseases;
- genetic studies to identify a predisposition to diseases;
- monitoring the condition during the epidemic;
- monitoring body temperature;
- tracking neuroenergetics analyzer of the activity of the brain of Amea (1);
- environmental control (dustiness, room temperature, humidity, concentration of carbon dioxide and more) (1);
Periodically as problems occur 2012, 2021, 2022.
Now I have experience in reducing body weight.
2. The biological basis is the instinct of cognition (1):
- studying your habits;
- the study of their behavior and analysis of the results;
- writing programs for analysis of behavior;
- study of the environment of activity and the impact on behavior;
- a general understanding of the nature of man and himself;
- the study of human instincts and evolutionary psychology;
- knowledge in the field of “civil science” without hierarchical status;
- free exchange of knowledge and experience QS;
- analysis of behavior at the computer;
Continuously for a long time. Increases stress resistance.
3. The biological basis is the hierarchical instinct and the increase in social status (0):
- increased fame using QS (public publications, performances, …);
- acquaintance with people of high status;
- career in the scientific field associated with QS (medicine, psychology, finance, information technology, philosophy, …);
- career in the commercial sphere associated with QS (medicine, psychology, finance, information technology, philosophy, …);
- career in the field of NGO associated with QS (medicine, psychology, finance, information technology, philosophy, …);
Not relevant since 2000. Unfavorable forecast.
4. The biological basis is the instinct of altruism (help others) (0):
- donations QS;
- participation of a volunteer in QS;
- Practical help to friends.
Not relevant. A lot of effort was spent on volunteer activities.
5. The biological basis - the extraction of life resources and/or optimization of their expenditure (1):
preparation and sale of articles about QS;
preparation and sale of books about QS;
maintaining a commercial site or blog;
commercial development of programs;
commercial development of devices;
Search for customers and partners among QS participants:
search for sponsors;
paid consultations on QS related to the main activity;
employment work in the field of QS;
investment in QS projects;
coaching in QS;
There is no demand for QS in the country and there are no QS organizations.
The experience of distance work in other countries is completely absent.
The motive is very weak.
tracking the performance of their activities;
tracking and optimization of expenses of your time;
tracking and optimization of their finances (1);
tracking their movements and expenses;
tracking the effectiveness of social networks (1);
The result is a great saving of time from the cessation of activity on social networks, blogs, deleting the site and reducing viewing TV shows.
Significant savings in case of rejection of overeating.
6. The artificial basis - harmful “information viruses” idealism and utopism (1):
- The desire to improve people’s lives in the absence of such a need.
The motive was the main one many years ago, now it has become minimal.
I will periodically read information about the QS and personal science.
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I talk to a lot of people about my self-tracking App Druck and one of the first things they ask me is “what should I track?” I wrote up a short post here to help people get started - Ok what should I track? - Druck
I did not understand everything here, and am missing some of the context. But I do think I get the gist of it, and find it very interesting.
I wrote in more detail in the topic
What Next For Quantified Self?
Each study on the forum is a micro-project and requires design.
Even a micro -study of weight loss me was pre -designed in accordance with the Rules for Project Management.
Formulation of the problem