March 10, 2013

Using Drafts app on iOS for Quantified Self

Surely others have thought of this but Drafts Dropbox actions could prove useful for Quantified Self adherents with it being a central first entry point for all text on iOS. I searched around on Google some but could not find this mentioned anywhere so far.

I set up a Daily Log file in Dropbox and created a Drafts Dropbox action to append to it. Using TextExpander, I made several snippets that could be used to add a category to a single entry (physical, ate, sleep, activity). Here is the format:

Date, time, category, detail

For example, an entry could be:

2013-03-06, 1:15 PM, physical, tired

Or

2013-03-03, 04:09 PM, feel, stress Since this is basically CSV format, the file is importable into Numbers and other spreadsheets for analysis. Numerical values could be entered for graphing.

The act of data entry is quick and easy - certainly quicker than entering data into apps such as Numbers or HandBase on iOS (or many other apps).

I was able to easily create 50 or so data points in a day across several subject areas such as energy, mood, sleep, nutrition.

I did this as a workflow experiment. In the end I decided I did not want to be aggressive with data collection right now. I might use this intermittently in very targeted ways rather than across multiple categories at once.

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