Tom Gardiner

Quantified-Self - But what next?

For the past two years now, I've been consistently collecting a record of everything I listen to, my precise location, every video game I play, every film or TV show episode I've watched, and every YouTube video I've liked (in addition, I also used to manually track food, drink, sleep, and weight, but it became too much of a burden and would like to make it easier going forwards).

That's all well and good, and actually pretty impressive. But why? What's the point? What am I going to do with all the data? Good question.

I recently came across an article by Julian Lehr about multi-layered calendars, which I thought was incredibly interesting in a way to visualise all this data. It would be so cool to present all the data in a calendar format, where you can see what you did, what you were listening to, how you felt in that moment (eg. via heart rate or manual mood tracking).

I have been quite worried about my physical and mental health over the several months which, in simplest terms, is probably down to lack of exercise and fresh air. But is it? Really? I would genuinely like to figure out what makes my body feel better or worse, and it's about time I used all this data to aid in my discovery.

Call me a lunatic, but in the coming months I'd also like to track what applications I use the most (including whether my computer is even on), my heart rate, and get back into tracking food and sleep. This way I have actual health data - as opposed to just media consumption - that I can use to at least to try form some correlations with actual health. All the while keeping this data private from external companies/corporations. This is also an important part! 🤓