Tools & Techniques

As will quickly become clear, I'm an Android user. Below I provide my perspective on specific apps but the key concepts should transfer to whatever methods/devices you are looking to use. I provide iOS tools in cases where I'm aware of a good alternative.

Submit a message at the bottom if you have anything to share!


Aggregation (Keep Track)

I use KeepTrack as my primary tool for keeping a simplified view of my data. KeepTrack is probably best categorized as a "Life Logging" application. It's essentially a glorified spreadsheet (which is perfect!) for capturing data in variety of forms - drop down list, duration, point in time marker, etc.

I push a notification every morning to remind myself to manually log my sleep, steps, and phone usage from the day before. Each evening I push a notification to log some daily goals - reading, writing, and meditation for example.

KeepTrack's flexibility makes it super easy to track lots of other metrics as well: weight, drinking, smoking, flossing, and vital signs to name a few.

iOS: Honestly doesn't look like there is a much out there with the flexibility of KeepTrack. Logsit may be a viable option but appears to be more of a to-do list app.


phone monitoring (Instant)

In my opinion, phone usage is one of the most important things to quantify in our modern world. It's easy to get sucked into your phone and neglect the world around you. There are several apps available to monitor overall screen time and usage of specific apps. Instant is my tools of choice. The in-app data visualization isn't the greatest but the data can be exported out in CSV format for deeper analysis or data correlation.

iOS: Moment seems to be the best fit for iOS users.


Sleep Tracking (Sleep as Android)

Sleep is another essential metric to track. Sleep As Android is the de facto standard for Android users. When you go to bed, simply start the sleep tracking and end it when you wake in the morning. The app will sync with Wear OS if you have a wearable though it operates perfectly fine without. Sleep As Android tracks metrics such as length of sleep, sleep quality, and sleep deficit over time.

iOS: There are a ton of sleep apps out there and I won't venture to make a guess about what the best option is.


Wearable (Fossil Q Venture)

I recently switched to the Fossil Q Venture Wear OS watch. The main driver was to have something that looked more professional. It handles all the basics: steps, sleep tracking, app notifications, alarms, etc. but doesn't have a ton of bells and whistles. I try to keep the notifications to a minimum and configured it to only display when I click the button on the side. I quickly found myself drawn into the touchscreen so I curbed that habit right out of the gate.

iOS: Technically the Fossil watches will work with iOS but the Apple Watch is probably the best bet for functionality and seamless integration. I've seen reports of Wear OS watches being buggy on iOS.


Finances (Mint)

Financial planning is a natural fit for a quantified self mindset and Mint is a one-stop shop for tracking and monitoring financial data. Mint gives you a single pane of glass for viewing essentially any aspect of you financial well being - savings accounts, credit cards, investments, property, and even cryptocurrencies. There's tons of great functionality for viewing trends and seeing where your money is going. I find that a bit of up keep is necessary to ensure that your transactions are properly categorized - 15 minutes a week or so should do the trick.

iOS: Mint it available on all major platforms (mobile and desktop).


Have a tip, trick, tool, or technique to share? Let me know what you think.