Not long ago I bought a new Fitbit Ionic to help me begin to track my steps, my sleep and to remind myself to just take a deep breath when things get stressful.
I know there's more to life than just the number of steps I take, the amount of water I drink or the hours I sleep at night. There's the time I spend on the computer. Time on my phone. Time used posting on social media. Tasks accomplished. There's a lot of micro behaviors that I can track. The challenge is not wasting so much time tracking your life that you don't actually have time to get things done.
That's where I found Exist.
Exist is like a dashboard for your entire life. It integrates with a lot of different apps and provides a one-stop shop for how your entire day went. For Android users (sorry Apple fans), it provides an app that offers a mobile dashboard and a prompt every evening to rate your day on a scale from 1-5. The prompt asks for your grade for the day, a short description on why and any tags that you want to track.
For example, there may not be an app that allows you to track things like "did I get up early? Did I have daycare duty? Did I read today? Did I journal?" Exist allows you to create custom tags to track what you want and find correlations between those tags and the other data inputs you connect.
Over time, it begins to discover trends about your life. A few examples could include:
- Every day that you get up earlier, you are more productive
- Your mood is happier when you read
- On days that are rainy, you have more focus hours
- You get more steps when you sleep later
I haven't been using Exist for much more than a week, so I don't have enough data to really tell a story yet. My plan is to give it at least 60 days or so and then share what I find.
So what do I have plugged into Exist?
Rescue Time: I have this tracking on my work computer and my phone. I have found that it could be easy to game Rescue Time and waste time on your phone doing something else. Since I'm now back to using Android (hooray Google Pixel...more on that in a later post), Rescue Time can track all of my digital activity and track my productivity in the background. Incredibly helpful. I also like the accountability of someone, even a machine, looking over my shoulder. It sounds silly but it does help keep me focused!
Fitbit: Everyone knows what a Fitbit is. I use it here to track my steps, workouts (via Strava's Fitbit integration) and my sleep patterns.
Todoist: Do I get more tasks done when I sleep longer? I think between checking boxes on Todoist and looking at a productivity score on Rescue Time, I may be able to see how my other life habits help my work focus over time.
Social media posts: How is my day if I spend time posting on social? I'm really curious to see how this plays out.
Weather: We all know weather can affect your mood whether we realize it or not. It could affect your productivity, how much activity you get in the day, etc. The Dark Sky integration here should prove to add a little extra color commentary on my day-to-day.
Exist isn't free but I think it'll be a great app to track it all. Do you have any ways to track progress? Journaling? Just tracking activity? Would love to hear some life hacks in the comments section!