Tools for journaling, thoughts and note taking

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Journaling or note taking is an approach that can be used in cases where you are interested in collecting qualitative data rather than quantitative data. It is a frequently used approach for Lifelogging and relies on manual input rather than automatic data collection. The research method is called Diary Studies.

How to quantify written text[edit | edit source]

Journaling can be useful to put data into context, but due to the nature of the data collected, it is hard to quantify[1]. There are a few options to nevertheless convert this data into quantitative data: One option is to summarize each entry with a few keywords, which could become "tags" that can be counted and viewed over time. Such keywords could be automatically determined algorithmically by building an index of all words used and removing the ones too common in language,.

An even more complex approach that tries to automate this process would be to determine the "Mood" of the entries using sentiment analysis.

Tools[edit | edit source]

There are different approaches to engage in journaling or note taking:

  • Pen and paper: This very traditional approach is used by many presenters of show and tell talks. Where wanted, the paper text can be converted to electronic using OCR.
  • Digital handwriting:
    • Dedicated handwriting tablets such as the reMarkable are designed to convert hand-writing into digital notes.
    • Similarly, the Notes application for iPads also tries to perform handwriting recognition
    • Third-party tablet apps such as Nebo are designed for digital handwriting notetaking
  • Regular Word processing apps, allowing typing using a full keyboard.
    • Notepad++. Easily handles hundreds of thousands of lines. Time stamps require some setup.
  • Smartphone apps for typing notes:
    • Mysymptoms has built in notes field instead of a proper notepad. DG (talk)
    • logg
    • structured journaling to reduce need for natural language processing
    • TLC bot Hashtags to cross journal entries, and journaling prompts.
    • "algorithm analyses your thoughts and emotions automatically based on your text & speech input. No need to press smileys to track how you feel."
    • is mostly for travel

References[edit | edit source]

Linked content on this wiki[edit source]

(The content in the table below is automatically created. See Template:Tool Queries for details. If newly linked pages do not appear here, click on "More" and "Refresh".)

Projects that use this tool  
A Decade Of Tracking Headaches, A Diabetic's Experiment with Self Quantification, A Four-Year Journal, A Life Of Fractals, An “Unknown and Incurable Illness”, Breaking the TV Habit, Crying, Data From My Year As A Nomad, Elimination Diet + Functional Medicine, Estrogen And Invention, How I Lost 200 Lbs., Leaning into Grief, Learning about Biases and Gaps in my Self-Collected Data, My Father, a Quantified Diabetic, My Health Scars, My Phone Use Data, N=1 Personal Informatics, Optimizing Productivity, Over-Instrumented Running: What I Learned From Doing Too Much, Overthinking Everything I Own, QS Tools for Military Style Training, Quantified Curiosity, Quantified Self and the London Olympics, Reverse Mood Tracking, Self Experimentation, Sophia (w/ Richard Sachs), Sub-Perceptual Psilocybin Dosing, The Coffee Experiment, Tracking Happiness, Tracking INR, Tracking Oral Anticoagulation Therapy With INR Journal, Using Self-Tracking to Hack Musculoskeletal Pain, Weight Loss Through Embodied Learning
Self researchers who used this tool  
Stephen Maher, Brooks Kincaid, Morris Villarroel, Justin Timmer, Damien Blenkinsopp, Valerie Lanard, Robin Weis, Mark Moschel, Eric Green, Shara Raqs, Richard Harrison, Dana Greenfield, Shannon Conners, Stefan Hoevenaar, Ellis Bartholomeus, Joost Plattel, Shaun Wallace, Brian Crain, Thomas Blomseth Christiansen, Matt Manhattan, Troy Angrignon, Amy Robinson, Sky Christopherson, Dr. Alan Greene, Mariusz Nowostawski, Karen Herzog, Janet Chang, Robin Barooah, Ashish Mukharji, Robert Rothfarb, Robert Rothfarb, Bryan Ausinheiler, Robin Barooah
We talked about this tool in the following meetings  
2022-02-03 Self-Research Chat