When I was younger I use to draw bar graphs and line graphs for fun. Even though I had no idea what they represented, I just liked the way they looked. I still love infographics, especially when they relate to personal information. I don’t know what it is, but having lots of boring auto generated data about myself is endlessly fascinating to me. Probably because I’m just a big nerd I think it has to do with trying to be more self-aware and really understand what’s going on in life and figure out how to fix it. Thus I present ( a super boring blog post):
My favorite ways to track/visualize/manage my life with minimal effort
When I was forced to leave Mint earlier this year after joining my credit union I was pretty pissed. There was really nothing out out there quite like it. I begrudgingly moved over to Quicken Online and was a hater for a while. But since then they’ve improved their design A LOT and I’ve grown to like it quite a bit. Everything is cleaner and simpler. The updated trends section is pretty much the most useful page, esp the bar graph and the bottom bit. Looking at Mint these days it actually feels a little over complicated, though it’s still nice. I’m curious what’s going to happen next year since Intuit just announced they’re going to buy Mint. Hopefully the best of both worlds.
Fitness/Diet - Daily Burn (formerly Gyminee)
I was using Gyminee to track diet/exercise for a while but haven’t really used it for that in a long time, although it was great when I did. It’s just too much of a pain to update it everyday. I wish I just had a robot that followed me around and took note of everything I ate for me. I do still use the weight tracker though cause it’s the easiest place to do it. It’s interesting to see over a year of data.
Freelance Gigs - On The Job
While this isn’t really a visualization it does a good job of logging time and generating invoices (the above image is just an example scree nshot from their site, not my client data). I love it. It makes managing all my random side projects much easier. I’ve looked for a similar web-app but haven’t found anything I like as much as this. Angelo likes Inovice Machine but I don’t think it’s nearly as good. Plus it has a cute chubby bee as the dock icon.
Productivity - Slife
I just discovered Slife today but I’m pretty fascinated by it already (not my screen shot). It sort of borders obsessive or creepy but it keeps track of how much time you spend on various applications and websites and gives you all sorts of bar graphs and things. Looks like they’re doing a paid web app version now, but the older desktop app version is open source and available for free. I’m kind of excited to see how much time I actually spend on things at work as I continue to collect data from it. But I also hope companies don’t start requirng it.
Monthly Special - My period tracker
My sister gave me a Slingshot Organizer a few years ago which had a little page up front for tracking your period, laid out as 28 day cycles, like the one above. It makes so much more sense than looking at it on a regular calendar. Once the year was over I was sad I didn’t have that special calendar any more and couldn’t find any good ones, so I made my own. The dark grey 1 indicates the first of the month. The boxes below are for putting in a little red dot on those special days. It makes it a lot easier to predict the next one. And to make sure everything is in order. You can click the pic for the full size and print your own. It’s almost the end of the year but you can easily make your own next year.
So that’s pretty much what I use to run my life. I have no idea why I was so compelled to write this long rambling thing. Maybe just because I’m putting off working on other, more important things. I love graphs (part 2-other people’s graphs) will have to be later this week. I’m sure you just can’t wait!