Tag Archives: journaling

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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Kay Stoner on Tracking Headaches on Paper

Kay Stoner has a long history of battling chronic health issues, but what bothers her the most is her experience with frequent headaches. Kay has been tracking her headaches since 2007 after she had a hard time communicating with her healthcare providers. What followed were years of attempting different types of methods of tracking, including creating her own web application. After a fair bit of trial and error she’s began to move back from more technical methods and is using her own paper-based tracking system. Watch her talk, presented at the Boston QS meetup group, to learn about her experiences and what she’s learned from tracking her headaches on paper.

I’ve found that keeping a special journal to track my headaches really helps – both me, and my doctors. After several years of trial and error, I designed a system specifically for recording details of my headaches — when and where in my head they happen, how severe they are, and the details about my life at the time. It’s quick, it’s simple, and my doctors can see at a glance where I’m having issues, without wading through a lot of medical terminology.

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Stefan Heeke on Using Analytics for Personal Improvement

Stefean Heeke wondered why only large companies were using “big data” and analytics, and then he decided to do something similar. In this talk Stefan describes a few different self-tracking and personal analytics projects that gave him unique insights into his own life. Not satisfied with only understanding and improving himself, he also applied his analytical skills to his soccer team. In the video below Stefan explains his experiments, his takeaways, and what happens when you apply data to help improve a soccer team. (Filmed at the NY QS Meetup group.)

Stefan Heeke – How analytics improved my personal life and helped a losing soccer team from Steven Dean on Vimeo.

Stefan will also be presenting at our QS Conference. Make sure to register soon!

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Joe and Lisa Betts-LaCroix on Meta-QS

Long-time Quantified Self regulars Joe & Lisa Betts-LaCroix co-present their comparison of QS to the better-studied practice of journaling, and their vision for meta-QS research: finding out whether self quantification can actually bring about desired changes in the people doing it.  In their engaging video below, they also suggest how a new age of personal enlightment could result from widespread adoption of QS. (Filmed at the Bay Area QS Show&Tell meetup on 3/24/11 at TechShop.)

Joe & Lisa Betts-LaCroix – The Quantifying Mirror from Gary Wolf on Vimeo.

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Taz Delaney on Dreams and Odd Events Journaling

At the most recent New York City Show&Tell meetup, Taz Delaney talked about the dream journal he has kept since 1968. He digitized it in 1986 and can now search for every dream he’s had about his mother, or David Bowie, or flying on Saturn. Watch his video below to hear the interesting connections he has found between what he sees in his dreams and what he experiences in his real life.

Taz Delaney on dreams and odd events journaling from Steve Dean on Vimeo.

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