Quantified Self 101: Keep It Simple

Here at QS Labs we’re here to help everyone, from the experienced researcher to the person who hasn’t done an experiment since they built that model volcano in sixth grade. We also try to listen to our community and we’ve heard many requests from individuals just starting their journey of self-experimentation. Well, I’m happy to announce a brand new bi-monthly section called Quantified Self 101. We’re going to be covering things like how to decide what to track, experiment design, bias, how to interpret your data, and other fun stuff. We also want to here from you. If there is something your struggling with or want to learn more about please leave a comment below or get in touch with us via twitter (@quantifiedself)

For our first post, we’re going to highlight some lessons from our friend Seth Roberts and his great talk on self-experimentation at Show & Tell #5:

Lesson #1: Something is better than nothing. Engaging yourself in some experiment, no matter how flawed it may be, is better than never starting. The best way to learn is to do. So go out and do something!

Lesson #2: When you decide to start something try and do the simplest thing that you think might give you some insight. It’s great to have ambitious ideas, but keeping it simple ensures your experiment is manageable.

Lesson #3: Mistakes are worthwhile. Some of our best knowledge comes from learning from our failures so don’t be afraid of failing. By keeping it simple you also keep the mistakes small and manageable.

Lesson #4: Seek help from others. We have a great network of individuals around the world who are ready and willing to help you on your tracking journey. Find a meetup in your area and don’t be afraid to solicit help!

This entry was posted in QS 101 and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Quantified Self 101: Keep It Simple

  1. Jay Wohlken says:

    Ernesto, thanks for your blog I see loads of good ideas here! I’m trying to figure out a simple tool to help people know when they say yes or no to a new work request by quantifying current commitments (tasks) and checking for available time remaing by X date. My hypothesis is that most people make an intuitive estimate and commitment when they never really know how many hours they have free to take on new work. Have you seen anything that aids this decision making? ( wanted to ask since you site several cool tools and processes). Thanks again! Cool blog!

  2. Ernesto Ramirez says:

    Hi Jay! Thanks for the kind words about the post, it is a real team effort here. We couldn’t bring you this great content without out amazing community.

    Your idea sounds really interesting. Kind of a like a referential Gant chart or something. I haven’t seen what you’re describing, but take a look at the Productivity Tools in the QS Guide for good list of possible tools to look at.

  3. Sgtpeppers says:

    Thank you ernesto. guess this is another good article to add in the list. This is a good start.

  4. Pingback: Quantified Self 101: Make it SMART | Quantified Self

  5. Pingback: QS 101: Make It Visual | Quantified Self

Leave a Reply to Jay Wohlken Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.