What's the best free way to track and analyze data about mood, sleep, exercise, and other potentially related variables?
June 18, 2007 10:17 PM   Subscribe

What's the best free way to track and analyze data about mood, sleep, exercise, and other potentially related variables in my daily life?

In an effort to better understand my mental health, I would like to keep a daily log of variables like those listed, and then analyze the log for significant correlations over time. Here are the features I am looking for:
  • free
  • list of variables monitored can be changed flexibly
  • tool will fluidly handle any periods of missed data
  • any two variables can be analyzed for correlation
  • other variables can be automatically calculated (say, aggregate or average of variable X over period P) and analyzed for correlation
My hope is that someone can direct me to a freeware or open source program that meets these requirements. But, if none exists (and I did try looking), I'm willing to make this thing myself.

I have a fair amount of experience programming, but very little with spreadsheets. Is spreadsheet software (Excel, OpenOffice Calc) robust enough to do this? If it can do this, can a spreadsheet be designed so that both the data entry and the analysis (at least for predefined analyses) can be accomplished quickly and easily? Or would I be better off coding something from scratch, rather than designing a spreadsheet?

Thanks for any advice!
posted by gorillawarfare to Computers & Internet (6 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
Mood Stats is the first that comes to mind.
posted by tumble at 11:05 PM on June 18, 2007

I'd be happy to use Excel if I were doing this project. You can do correlations between variables without too much trouble. Creating scatter plots works just fine with dates missing.

You may want to plan out carefully how you want the formulas to be laid out in the spreadsheet though, since you won't want to spend hours copying your data into a usable arrangement when it comes to analyzing it.
posted by lostburner at 11:12 PM on June 18, 2007

None of these meet your requirements, but they are along the lines of what you describe.

Joe's Goals
Scrial Consistency
Mood Stats

So yeah a spreadsheet would probably be better for you. Or maybe a hack of Joe's Goals.
posted by bigmusic at 11:33 PM on June 18, 2007

Spreadsheet is the best choice. Because it will be the most flexible and you'll have all the data. There is no perfect online tool for this (that I've seen, and I've seen a lot).

I have been a member of moodjam for a while. It's an academic project (and it appears down this AM, but I used it yesterday). It's got tags for moods as well as color bars. I like it. But you can't get at your own data (they don't even have an RSS feed -- though I'm hoping to change that for 'em in the next few weeks). Plus, it would require discipline on your part to "code" all of your tag / comment entries so that you could extract the variables out later.
posted by zpousman at 6:01 AM on June 19, 2007

I've had success with similar projects using good old graph paper in paper notebooks or 3-ring binders.
posted by ccoryell at 9:04 AM on June 19, 2007

Please let us know if you find any better solutions!
posted by adamwolf at 6:34 PM on June 21, 2007

« Older Which cell phone will work..?   |   Redirecting nowhere... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.