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Episode 220: Dabbling in Documentation

Amy Podcast , , ,
Episode 220

Squeaking this show in just under the wire for February 1… I like to meet those little milestones and deadlines… and this is a project I am starting today, with the “Day 1” for this month. But you can start whenever you want!

I am going to dabble in a “documentation” project for February, just a toe in the water to do some more deliberate tracking of personal data — a few baseline themes and other creative things to see how and where my creative energies are trending, how the minutes and hours are being divvied up, and, admittedly, how much coffee I actually drink day to day and whether that all lines up in terms of timing or not.

This informal project is, of course, inspired by the awesome Dear Data project. Find out more (and reacquaint yourself with their touchstone project) by following myriad links below.

Pick any day and say “today is the day” and then track for seven days or a month. Pick a single theme or question you want to investigate about your personal life, and start tracking! Be consistent. Be diligent. And then, after the time span has past, turn your data into a visual document.

For additional research into both analog approaches and digital apps/tools, search on lifelogging, quantified self, and data visualization.

Note: links provided to books, tools, and other resources on the Creativity Matters Podcast website may be affiliate links for which the podcast would make a (very) small amount of money if the item was purchased. The Creativity Matters Podcast is an affiliate. Links are provided for convenience to help you find/see/explore the books, tools, and resources I talk about. Using the library, when possible, is always my first recommendation for reviewing books firsthand.

9 thoughts on “Episode 220: Dabbling in Documentation

  1. Great episode Amy! I love personal data and what I usually call personal statistics, it’s so much fun! I think this episode was great, and hope you’ll share more on this subject. I don’t think the Dear Data girls would mind if you got inspiration from their project, as long as you credit them? Or even be bold and ask if you could set up something similar? I bet you’d create a great data project!

    By the way, have you heard about Quantified Self? They are extremely into this, and write some interesting stuff. I’m not that hard core, but find it very intersting! :-)

    I’ve also been following the writings of Belle Cooper who developed an app called Exist, that is like all the apps you mentioned above in one, I think it looks worth checking out some day (but not using it myself (yet)):

    Just thought I’d share. Be well,

    1. Thank you so much for the comment, iHanna! I love knowing that personal data (or personal statistics or quantified self or life tracking or however we view it) has resonance for so many of us… and that for many of us there are creative angles to explore as well. I do know about Quantified Self… and I’m very interested in the layers of meaning and difference all of these approaches bring up. Thank you for posting both of the links. I am taking a look at the Belle Cooper app now… Thanks for pointing it out… it looks very interesting (though subscription models are tough).

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