Answering questions about the Quantified Self

Posted: - Modified: | quantified

James Hennessey sent in these questions, and I decided to blog my answers instead of keeping them in e-mail. =)

What motivates you to quantify parts of your life? Curiosity. How much time do I actually spend sleeping? Do I use the things I buy? Which clothes can I donate to simplify my wardrobe, and which work well for me? It’s easy to collect data to answer questions instead of relying on faulty human memory. (See more reasons)

What have you done with your results? I often blog about what I’m learning, and I share them at Quantified Self Toronto meetups too.

What data do you measure and how? See my profile at

Do you have methodology for collecting data? I sometimes set up 1-month “experiments” where I try tracking something new.

What tools do you currently use? I track most things through a web-based system I built myself, and I track a few more things using a smartphone, spreadsheets, or paper.

How much do you pay for these tools? Nothing! (Well, Microsoft Office, but I use that for other things.)

Do you have any problems with these tools? Oh, there’s always more I want to track, and I’d love to consolidate more streams of information.

When was the last time you had this problem? Could you walk me through it? All the time, but it’s not urgent. =)

How do you take meaning from your data? I do a weekly review of my time data, an occasional review of my clothing data, and I set other times to review my data streams and answer questions.

Do you share your data? Most of it! and

What things do you think needs to happen for QS to be adopted by the wider public? Many people are already using QS tools, they just don’t know what it’s called. =)

What are your favourite stats to measure? Time – it’s surprising how much of it you have.

What is the favourite thing you have learnt about yourself? It’s actually pretty easy to ask questions and answer them with data. My next step: plan more experiments!

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