Assignment 02: Track: My Self-track Methodology



Track: Data, Representation, and Access in Tracking

In this blog, I talk about the methodology for my self-track.


01 Google Forms + Google Sheets

My self-tracks that use these tools:

  • The moment when I feel inferior.

  • The time when I feel sleepy during the daytime.

  • Aha moments.

  • New things in my life.

In order to track my self-data for the topics above, I use Google forms and Google sheets to build my own mobile self-tracking application. I tried to follow the tutorial in this post, Make Your Own Mobile Self Tracker with Google Docs, but unfortunately, both Google forms and Google sheets have updated their version, which makes this post out of date. But I still learn the essence of that post.

I built form for each topic and added the links to my phone's home screen, which makes easy for me to add data manually.

In each form, I named the questions with the types of data I am tracking.

  • The moment when I feel inferior.

Date; Time; Trigger; Rate; Influences; How does it end?

  • The time when I feel sleepy during the daytime.

Date; Time; Doing; Todo; Rate; Take a nap or not; How to stay awake.

  • Aha moments.

Date; Idea; Tag;

  • New things in my life.

Date; Item; Short description; Is it hard to learn; Like or not;

The responses are sent to the Google sheet respectively.

02 Illustrator + Instagram

My self-track that use these tools:

  • Mood Palette

Mood Palette is where I track my everyday mood with colors. Previously, I tried to track my everyday mood with pen and paper. I used different colors to represent different moods and built a mood tracker in my bullet journal. Something likes what shows in the following image.

Source for graphic: Best 25+ Mood tracker ideas

Using pen and paper is quick and easy, but the color is limited. So this time I decide to use illustrator to select the most accurate color to represent my mood, and I use Instagram to collect them.

Current Pain-points

For the first tool mentioned above, it seems like it's ok for now. But the second tool is more time-consuming. I tried to find some applications that can create a pure color image with text (like a quote generator), but I haven't found any suitable one yet. To make this a daily mission, I follow the “After I ... , I will …” formula to cultivate a habit. I'm still looking for a better way. I think I might build my own application to track this later in this class.

Another problem I got now is that I still don't know whether the data that I'm tracking can help me discover myself or not. Take Mood Palette as an example, I can see that many months later I can get a colorful palette, but what those color can express is still quite abstract to me.

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