Tag Archives: diary

Cliff Atkinson: Storyboarding the Psyche

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Cliff Atkinson is a consultant who helps people tell their stories and showcase their data in clear and understandable ways. It’s no surprise that when he became interested in understanding himself he turned to his experiences with visual storytelling. In 2012, at a New York QS meetup, Cliff spoke about how he’s embarked on a project to “quantify the “unconscious.”

What Did He Do?
Cliff began this project because he was noticed that there were “recurring patterns of procrastination and motivation” going on in his life. He began trying to understand them by turning to the large body of literature on human psychology. Then he asked himself, “Would it be possible to use some quantitative methods to track what was happening.” Using what he’d learned in his research and his experiences he decided to track his body, emotions, and mind.

How Did He Do It?
Cliff used his expertise and knowledge around visual storytelling to create an interesting system of visual diaries with which he could record information in his three areas of interest: the body, emotions, and the mind. Using Penultimate, and iPad app for sketching and notation, along with some clip art, he tracked physical, emotional, and cognitive events.

What Did He Learn?
The process of creating a space to reflect and record how he’s feeling across these three chosen domains has created a space for Cliff to better understand himself and how his mind works. This is still a work in progress and it sounds like Cliff is still exploring how to better understand the data he’s capturing over a longer period of time and even correlating it with other information such as his work and speaking engagements.

“One of the models for therapy is that somebody else helps you. I think with the quantified self and the things we’re doing we can take some of that power into our own hand and start to come to some personal understanding of what’s going on in our own lives.”

Tools
Penultimate

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Morris Villarroel: A Four-Year Journal

Four years ago Morris Villarroel was inspired to start writing things down. He started with a simple Muji notebook and begun adding some structure such as daily logs, life events, and review of books and articles he had read. In the process of filling out over 130 journals his process has evolved to include journaling about other important aspects of his life. In this talk, presented at the 2014 Quantified Self Europe Conference, Morris explains his journaling in detail, gives a few examples of how he’s able to analyze the data he’s tracking in his journals, and explains how this process has improved his reflection and preparation for future events.


You can also view the slides here.

What did you do?
Kept a log book of daily events over the past four years in muji notebooks, including work, personal life and readings.

How did you do it?
The writing evolved into different sections, including an agenda, food page, idea page, book index and readings written from back to front. I titled each page with the main events and included all pages and events in an excel spreadsheet for easy access and analysis.

What did you learn?
That most events in my life can be classified as work (57%), personal (32%) and writings (11%) and were not very correlated with steps (Fitbit data), and a little more with floors. The whole process also inculcated more reflection on the preparation of events, their intensity and reviewing and reusing results, to then improve preparation in the future.

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Kitty Ireland: Grandma was a Lifelogger

Decades before apps, GPS, and even personal computing, people kept track of their lives by writing things down. Kitty Ireland’s grandmother was one of these people. When Kitty stumbled upon her grandmother’s diaries and started to explore the daily entries, she was struck by similarities with her own life and habits. Kitty is a modern-day lifelogger. She tracks places, events, mood – a variety of different personal data streams. Reading the diaries, Kitty saw that her grandmother used her daily entries as logs – tracking the details of where she went, what she ate, even the boys she kissed. Watch this great talk, filmed at the 2013 Quantified Self Global Conference, to see what Kitty discovered, and the lessons she learned.

We’ll be posting videos from our 2013 Global Conference during the next few months. If you’d like see talks like this in person we invite you to join us in Amsterdam for our 2014 Quantified Self Europe Conference on May 10 and 11th.

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Open Source Electronic Diary

Calling all beta testers!

Kresten Bjerg, at the Institut for Psykologi at the University of Copenhagen, is working on an open source electronic diary app that uses pictograms or “syntactic glyphs” as part of the thought-recording process. He is looking for people to help test the diary and possibly build on it. Please write directly to Kresten if you are interested in checking it out.

Here are some of the pictograms he has built into the diary:

Continue reading

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The Future of Self-Knowledge

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Jessica Charlesworth’s blog has a fantastic title: The Future of Self-Knowledge. Jessica is a designer and researcher based in London, England. She has developed several interesting tools for taking a somewhat quantified, analog peek into your future.

Crowdsourcing Your Future is a postcard that you send to your friends to have them predict your preferable and probable future timelines, so you can take action to follow or avoid certain futures that your friends see for you.

Personal Microtrends is a daily diary that asks provocative questions and suggests behavior changes for the next day to continue or alter trends depending on your goals. Jessica says,

What if you could create a self-reflective diary that made use of
our everyday thoughts to provoke us in such a way that you were able to
change your future actions?

The Microtrend Diary
is a mirror of your daily actions and emotions that reveals provocative
ways to alter your future actions.

This personalised diary is printed to order based on a set
of preliminary personality questions. As the owner makes a daily record
of their actions, a unique set of provocative aide memoirs are revealed
under a perforated flap that suggest changing your behaviour in certain
ways for the following day.

Right now Jessica’s diary is just at the concept stage, but the idea of looking at microtrends in your daily life, based on whatever data you collect, could allow self-quantifiers to spot patterns and make any needed changes on a more granular basis. It’s like rapid prototyping for self-experimentation.

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