Screenshot: Manic Time, time tracking app
Possible resources of interest in connection with the upcoming Self-Ethnography and Data Visualization module at AHO, focusing on tools and inspiration. Please also refer to the lecture note and the articles I put on Dropbox.
Articles / videos
- The Data-Driven Life, Gary Wolf, New York Times, April 2010.
- Wired: Know Thyself: Tracking Every Facet of Life, from Sleep to Mood to Pain, 24/7/365
- Gary Wolf, Quantified Self TED talk
- Jan Willem Tulp: The Process of Creating Data Visualizations
- The Eyeo Festival has a Vimeo channel full of great talks that deal with infoviz topics, including speakers like Jer Thorp, Ben Fry, Moritz Stefaner, Stefanie Posavec and too many others to mention here.
Tools and software
- Two options for auto-tracking everything you do on your computer: Rescue Time and Manic Time.
- QuantifiedSelf.com has a decent overview of available self-tracking tools: Guide / iPhone products
- More obscure but Open Source and quite powerful if the documentation can be trusted: Selfspy, Python-based and runs on MacOS, outputting to a local database.
- Popular social services: FourSquare, Last.fm
- Self-tracking goes well with an Open Source, information-wants-to-be-free attitude: See Open You or search GitHub for quantified self for all kinds of related projects.
- Fitness enthusiasts, runners and bikers are avid data trackers. They drive the personal data tracking market while often remaining blissfully unaware of the Quantified Self utopia: MapMyRide, Nike Fuelband, Fitbit, Snore Lab
- For periodic on-the-run logging of any type of information: your.flowingdata and Daytum offer convenient logging with charts and data export, clearly aimed at data heads. Compare Daily Tracker, which is more aligned with the narrative of self-improvement.
- Evernote is not strictly about data tracking, but it is a very convenient tool for it. Focused on cloud-based note-taking that bridges across mobile devices, your web-based services and even normal office software, it’s a blank slate for any number of uses.
- Services built around calendars and to-do lists: Clocked In, Wunderlist, Basecamp. Not obviously related to data logging, but often relying the same mentality of self-discipline.
- Life Hacker is a respected blog discussing strategies to help you stay productive and in charge of your own life / career / inbox. Data tracking is one such strategy, popular since it promises to provide quantifiable analysis.
- Somewhat related: Getting Things Done (or GTD) is a bestseller book about time-managing, but it also has a large online following that is pretty much a subculture in its own right.
- On a more personal and emotional note, mood tracking was an early hit. It is now increasingly being presented as a possible self-help tool against mood disorders: Emoo.me, Moodpanda.
- Also: Mydrinkaware, Recovery etc. focus on battling addiction issues.
Projects / inspiration: So much to pick from, so little time. Google is your friend.
- Nick Felton’s Feltron Report is a masterpiece of well-designed subjective, quirky self-tracking.
- We feel fine by Jonathan Harris and Sep Kamvar is a classic.
- Visual Complexity is the motherlode of visualizations.
- Moritz Stefaner: Map Your Moves
- Jer Thorp about how to access the NY Times API for fun and profit. Also, the classic Just Landed Twitter viz.
- Brian Staats, data-driven home page
- Onformative: Visualization of Skype networking
- Linkedin Network Map tool
- Career advice? Enrico Bertini interviews Moritz Stefaner about How to Become a Data Visualization Freelancer