Where do you keep your version of MyLifeBits?

For those who have decided to implement their own version of Gordon Bell’s MyLifeBits, would you please share what you’re using for your personal database?


It would be nice if you explain MyLifeBits for those who are not in the know.

Until now I’ve never found anyone on a quantified self-related forum that hasn’t heard of it. Googled for you:

Instead of saying MyLifeBits, you should say lifelogging. Everyone knows what lifelogging is, and MyLifeBits is just a specific application for lifelogging.

Kiba, lifelogging in general is not the same thing as what Gordon Bell did with MyLifeBits. Please educate yourself by reading Gordon Bell’s “Your Life, Uploaded” or “Total Recall.” The hardcover is currently $1.82 on Amazon. I do not wish to continue this exchange.

I realized what I said was dumb. I will read the book later.

[s]Wikipedia said it’s lifelogging.

Anyway, I think it’s rude to tell someone to read a whole book just to understand what you’re saying.[/s]

Please be nice to each other. When communicating online it’s useful to remember that you are communicating with a real person. If you wouldn’t say something offline, saying it online probably a bad idea.

Found this thread on Twitter. Really interested in in how ppl lifelog/ implement MyLifeBits? Currently readinh Total Recall and think were still years away from what Gordon has done.

Personally I’ve scanned every document, cert, kids picture, payslip etc. Unlike Gordon I save everything in one folder with the creation date and tags e.g. (2013-10-24 - Rob GP Hosp Appointment.pdf) I’ve over 2,000 files saved this way. Any article I read on the web that interestes me I save to Google Drive by printing to pdf using Chrome. I track my sleep (SleepBot), my weight (Libra) and all my exercise using Runkeeper (slow to start and crashes alot) now Endomondo, which I backup to excel, I also track what books and movies I watch. All my books are now ebooks, so I can hoard them and search them without taking up shelf space :slight_smile:

How do you do Total Recall?

Without thinking of it as a total digitization project, I nonetheless face some of the same problems that Gordon was investigating with his project: I would like the voluminous data I generate to be accessible and searchable (and, more importantly, useful for thinking about using analysis and visualization techniques). I also hate having some much paper documentation; paperless is trivial conceptually and still seems quite difficult in reality. I still use a folder structure to organize my digital files; search is just not good enough for me to be able to find my way conveniently through 20+years of digital material. The Google way is to substitute tags (or “labels”) for folders, but this is much more ambiguous. The forced decision making associated with choosing a folder is actual mental labor that adds structure to the archive, I’ve found. But I may just be not there yet, my own mental model is still evolving.

A friend recently represented this scanner for my push into paperless: Fujitsu ScanSnap iX500 Scanner

But my discomfort with where I am on file structure/tagging/labeling is making me hesitate.


I guess the near future solution might be to simply add additional information to the raw data of a document… or otherwise known as ‘tags’. The advantage is clear - it’s an operating system built-in feature that stores tag(s) within it’s own file-data and does not require a separate database.

I’ve recently looked into OSX Mavericks and it’s TAGS system and I think the most difficult task is to come up with a default set of useful tags that fits ones needs. After that, most parts can be automated with the help of additional tools:

TAGGING FILES --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Hazel monitors folders and automatically processes files by moving, renaming, tagging… them according to user-defined rules.
NameMangler is a powerful tool to rename file-names and file-metadata in an easy, fast, and very flexible way.
Keyboard Shortcut: ‘System Preferences’ → ‘Keyboard’ → ‘Shortcuts’ → ‘App Shortcuts’ → add ‘Finder.app’ and create ‘Tags…’ with your preferred key combination.

FINDING FILES --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
SpotLight and Finder support the [font=Courier]tag:[/font] element in combination with standard keywords and boolean operators.
HoudahSpot gives you the ability to search for files whilst looking for names, content, tags, dates… based on your criteria.
MDLS and MDFIND are command-line tool that lists the metadata attributes for a specified file.