2014/01/06 2 Comments
You’ve probably heard about Quantified Self – the activity of measuring a lot of metrics about your daylife to obtain a better understanding of your body and mind. The purpose of this activity could be related to health, fitness, life logging, etc. For more details you can check my previous blog post about it.
How did I get interested into it? Since I started working on the Cozy Cloud project, I’m closely related to this movement. Cozy is a personal cloud that allows, among other things, to store all your personal data in a single data store. Plus, with Cozy you can build web apps that reuse this data. So, QS is an obvious use case for this platform that helps to put all your data together and allows you to get insights from them. Last year I wanted to quantify me, but because I’m not a hardcore QS and too lazy to maintain a daily recording, I needed tools that require little efforts to track my personal habits. For that, I found only proprietary platform with poor customization capabilities. So I decided to put this idea aside until Cozy becomes good enough to do it. That day finally arrives: the quantifying can start!
In 2014, I will use 5 tools:
It’s a bracelet you wear constantly to count the number of steps you do everyday. It also tracks the number of hours of sleep that you had. I’m quite satisfied with it because I can easily fetch my data from their servers. I won’t go in a in-depth review since you can find tons on the web.
Withings Smart Body Analyzer
It’s a scale that records your weight and your heartbeat rate. It looks harder to download my data from my online account on their website. Besides that, everything works pretty well. The product is very easy to use and looks robust.
It’s an app that you install on your laptop and/or your desktop machine. It records the time you spent on each window or website. It categorizes each “activity” by labelling them with productivity flags. It works quite well, but since I find it to be super intrusive, I use it only to track my productivity when working.
I use every apps of Cozy. They produce personal data directly to my datastore. No need to import them from an external service. I will build metrics from the Calendar, the Todos Manager and the Personal Finance Manager application.
Kyou and Konnector
In my spare time, I built two QS applications for the Cozy platform. The first one is “KYou” an app that allows you to build and show metrics from data stored in your Cozy. Once it was done, I was a little bit frustrated because it didn’t allow me to monitor other datas. So I built “Konnector” an application that will allow you to import data from external services to your Cozy. Konnector will download my data from above devices and softwares (Jawbone Up, Withings SBA and RescueTime) as well as Twitter. With KYou, you can easily use custom trackers too. It enables me to track clarinet playing, hour worked, push ups and the number of times I eat outside of lunch. These devices and softwares enables me to track a significant amount of information. There are probably better analytics to build, but I’m still in an exploration phase.
Here are the metrics I will follow:
- Mood (good, neutral or bad)
- Number of events in my agenda
- Number of done tasks
- Money expense
- Productive Time on computer
- Hours of sleep
- Number of steps
- Heartbeat rate
- Number of Tweets I published
- clarinet playing or no
- Hour spent working
- How much time I eat something outside of lunch time
That’s all for this 2014 setup.
To conclude I will give you my my goals for that QS experiments:
1. Share what I learned from practising Quantified Self.
2. Match variations between different metrics.
3. Improve my understanding of the QS practice.
4. Get a lot of data about me to try finding what machine learning technics could be applied to.
I can already give you my first impression about it. It feels strange to monitor myself like I would for a server. On the other hand, having control on my data and having a global vision of what is happening made me think that it could quickly become very powerful too. I expect to write a full report in three months. See you then !
PS: If you have any suggestions about this setup, feel free to discuss them in the comments!