Looking for a rigorous quantified self app
September 9, 2013 9:13 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking for an app that allows you to enter any kind of data daily and map it against other data.

I feel like there must be a super simple answer to this that I'm just completely missing.

I'm interested in this new quantified self movement, where you meticulously document factual details of your life -- how much you slept, how much you exercised, ate, walked, smoked, drank, sat, how many people you talked, to, what the day of the week was, etc. But it seems useful only insofar as you can see patterns between different types of behaviors. All the sites & apps I could find just yield these useless trendy "infographics" -- pie charts of a single metric and giant numbers in Helvetica, but with no examples of charting relationships between data. The closest I could find was SleepCycle, which allows you to see the effect of various behaviors on sleep, but I'd like to find something that allows me to enter in my own categories and define the terms of each category (yes or no, numerical, scales of 1-5, multiple choice, etc), and then plot one piece of my data against another or several to see correlations. Am I using the right vocabulary to describe this?

Is there an app for this? Or do I just need to finally learn how to use Excel or a database language?
posted by MaddyRex to Technology (5 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
There are a lot of solutions in this field, that for me at least, all generally fulfill about 70% of what I'd like them to.

Firstly, it sounds like Daytum is closest to what you want: http://daytum.com/

I've found that combining different services is the best way to get all of the data I want. I use a FitBit, and http://www.myfitnesspal.com/ for tracking my food/water intake.

Really, to do things in a way that makes sense for my brain, and keeps track of what I want, I ended up using a google spreadsheet that looked something like this: http://cloud.ejfox.com/RHCo

Basically I would keep track of my mood, the meals I ate, and other factors that I suspected played into my happiness/productivity, and played around on adjusting them and seeing how they related. Depending on what your goals are you will want different tools.

Truly there is no real, great solution to this and if I knew more about iOS apps I'd look into making one.
posted by ejfox at 9:20 PM on September 9, 2013

So this is a hacky solution, but I just tried this. I saved the images of the individual graphs that my service of choice (Beeminder) produces and opened them as layers in gimp. set opacity of each to about 15%and I got something looking like a single graph with multiple lines. It took me about 30 seconds to do all this. The relationship between the different things tracked was then easy to see. It only works for things i started to track on the same date though: otherwise the x axes are different scales.
posted by lollusc at 9:51 PM on September 9, 2013 [1 favorite]

At some point I just rolled my own.

Go to your Google Drive, create a new form with the metrics you want to track, and put a shortcut to the form on your smartphone.

The metrics you capture are fed into a spreadsheet, allowing you to create graphs, pivot tables, etc.

Super-easy if you are already comfortable in Excel.
posted by jander03 at 10:36 PM on September 9, 2013

I believe the app you're looking for is called Excel.

(Not snarky; for real!)
posted by Kololo at 5:43 AM on September 10, 2013 [2 favorites]

You could try TicTrac. You can't create your own trackers, but the trackers they have are surprisingly thorough and you can request ones they don't have.

Agree that Excel is the easiest route, though.
posted by dorque at 5:58 AM on September 10, 2013

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