Life-tracking application for android

post by Alexei · 2010-12-11T01:48:11.676Z · score: 20 (21 votes) · LW · GW · Legacy · 17 comments

Hi, lesswrong.

I just finished my application for android devices, LifeTracking, which has been motivated by the discussions here; primarily discussions about akrasia and measuring/tracking your own actions. I don't want to make this sound like an advertisement (the application is completely free anyway), but I would really really like to get feedback from you and hear your comments, criticism, and suggestions. If there are enough LessWrong-specific feature requests, I will make a separate application just for that.

Here is a brief description of the app:


LifeTracking application allows you to track any value (like your weight or your lesswrong karma), as well as any time-consuming activities (like sleeping, working, reading Harry Potter fanfic, etc). You can see the data visually, edit it, and analyze it.

The goal of the application is to help you know yourself and your schedule better. Hopefully, when you graph various aspects of your life side-by-side you will come to a better understanding of yourself. Also, this way you will not have to rely on your faulty memory to remember all that data.

You can download the app from the Market (link only works from Android devices) or download .apk directly. Screenshots: [1], [2], [3], [4], [5], [6].


Edit: LifeTracking website

And while we are on topic of mobile apps, what other applications would you like to see made? (For example, another useful application would be "your personal prediction tracker", where you enter various short-term predictions, your confidence interval, and then enter the actual result. You can classify each prediction and then see if you are over- or under-confident in certain areas. (I remember seeing a website that does something similar, but can't find it now.))


Comments sorted by top scores.

comment by ata · 2010-12-11T02:55:11.041Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

For example, another useful application would be "your personal prediction tracker", where you enter various short-term predictions, your confidence interval, and then enter the actual result. You can classify each prediction and then see if you are over- or under-confident in certain areas. (I remember seeing a website that does something similar, but can't find it now.)

You're probably thinking of PredictionBook.

comment by Alexei · 2010-12-11T04:49:22.064Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

May be...The interface looks different, but, regardless, it's close enough to be used as an example. Thanks!

comment by jimmy · 2010-12-15T04:57:00.004Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Thanks! I've been wanting an app for this bad enough that I was thinking about writing it myself.

Other than data export, which I see that you're working on, it's pretty close to what I had in mind. :)

comment by Alexei · 2011-02-08T00:41:23.271Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Data export feature added.

comment by jimmy · 2011-02-11T20:26:12.998Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW


comment by mphair · 2011-04-28T17:01:44.083Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Just had this recommended to me (after just getting a smartphone) and it is awesome. One feature request would be the ability to set an alarm for certain logs.

An example would be if you want to track your pulse throughout the day but don't want to keep having to remember to do it. You might set an alarm to go off on an interval so that it just prompts you to enter a number every so often as a pop up.

I realize that I could just set an alarm on the phone as a reminder to update the log, but the difference between having to open the tracker, select the correct log, and then enter in the number vs just having a prompt pop up asking for a number might mean the difference between just ignoring the alarm and actually putting in a number.

comment by Metafire · 2011-01-07T00:05:45.617Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I've been using this app for a while now. While I really like the idea I haven't included it into the list of my favorite useful apps, because there are some points that I find confusing:

  1. The images of the diagrams on top suggest that clicking on them opens a corresponding diagram. That's not the case and thus counter-intuitive. It would be better to make four buttons: Intervals, Tracks, Invteral Diagram and Tracks Diagram.
  2. The Interval Diagram should be a global diagram that displays all interval tracks above each other in different color (which the user can select by long pressing on the specific activity). (I haven't used tracks, so I won't comment on them.)
  3. Pressing on the menu button on my Android phone leads to no response. At least a help file should be implemented.
  4. The pinch zoom function in the diagram screen is counter-intuitive. Usually you pinch to zoom out. There's a reason for that convention: When pinching on a map the distance of the points on the map on which your fingers are placed on remains constant while pinching. Those points on the map remain "glued" to your fingers, which is pretty intuitive.

Anyway, I really appreciate your efforts at creating this app! :)

If you ever decide to make a paid version, a price between 0.99$ and 1.99$ would be appropriate for such a simple app. You get superb Android apps (for which big teams of programmers worked for months) for as little prices as 4.99$.

Further idea: A feature for computing correlations between the different activities would be great. What might make most sense is to take the seconds, minutes or hours per day or week an activity is happening as discrete random variable. For example: X: {days from the beginning of any activity until now} -> {0,...,1440} X(d) = minutes of reading fiction on that day

Having separate graphs for those variables would be pretty useful, too.

comment by Alexei · 2011-02-08T00:41:04.481Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Hey, just saw your comment. Thanks a lot for all the valuable feedback.

  1. Yup you are right, the icons are misleading. I should change them.

  2. That's a great idea, since Y axis isn't used, I can just stack them vertically!

  3. Yeah, I need a help file, I'll get to that eventually.

  4. Yup, you are right yet again. I'll change that in the next version.

Yeah, $0.99 seems about right. However, I don't have enough users for me to even attempt to charge for the app. Plus, I have lots of other things on my mind and if I start charging for the app I'll need to pay more attention to it.

comment by [deleted] · 2012-09-30T17:26:46.854Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

the list of my favorite useful apps

Would be neat if you updated this link :)

comment by ideclarecrockerrules · 2010-12-11T13:51:34.495Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Thanks! I was looking for something like this after reading the luminosity sequence again. Haven't found any on the android market.

Feature requests:

  • You could make it respond to specific intents to create (and let others create) separately-installed plugins (e.g. a plugin with location permission to automatically track where you are, one with internet permission to track various karma etc.).
  • Tracking ordinal values (e.g. happy, anxious, happy+anxious...)
  • A widget
  • Data export
  • More analytical tools, perhaps something to compare tracks/events.

You could possibly even monetize this by keeping the app free and offering an awesome analytic service online (I'd pay $10 for 10 instances of auto-generated full analysis report).

comment by Alexei · 2010-12-11T17:59:39.354Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Thank you for the thoughtful comment.

  • Plugin feature would be really nice, but not the easiest feature to implement. I like your idea of using intents though, so I will look into it.

  • Yes, adding mood tracker and, more generically, ordinal values tracker is on my TODO list.

  • Widget sounds like a good idea, I'll add it to my TODO list. (I assume you'll want to just create a widget for one track/interval type.)

  • Yes, I am planning to add CSV import/export option.

  • I would love to add more analytical tools, but I can't think of any that would be really useful. I would be interested to know what people are tracking and what exactly they are trying to see/measure.

I am thinking about adding a paid version with more features, but I doubt I'll make enough money to really justify that. I was planning to have ads in the version I published, but I just couldn't bring myself to do that to the users. I hate ads.

comment by ideclarecrockerrules · 2010-12-12T02:08:42.093Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Just some thoughts before I start my sleep interval :)

Plugins are great, especially because each can request individual permissions. That way, users don't get scared away by permission requests. Some example code here.

Widget: yes, 1x1 [start|end|track|new_event|happy] button would probably be best. One can arrange those as they see fit.

Ordinal values: perhaps just an autocomplete option for event labels.

As for analytics, perhaps draw selected intervals above each other with selected tracks plotted over them (each with own scale) and vertically write labels of (selected?) events. This may be messy, but can be done later and elsewhere (e.g. Google charts, if they can be combined). Also, setting up icons for events/ordinals would be nice.

comment by Alexei · 2011-02-08T00:42:06.088Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Added CSV export option.

comment by Vladimir_Golovin · 2010-12-11T09:16:49.523Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

And while we are on topic of mobile apps, what other applications would you like to see made?

What I'd really like is a mobile-friendly version of LW website (, or perhaps a dedicated mobile LessWrong app (though I'd prefer the former.) The current layout of LW doesn't work well on mobile devices.

A good example of mobile redesign is Engadget: regular site vs mobile site.

comment by Alexei · 2010-12-11T18:00:35.498Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I would really like that too, however I am not familiar with web-design, so this task falls out of my expertise zone.

comment by [deleted] · 2011-01-11T23:54:23.005Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Just gave it a try. It looks pretty good, but it needs a way to edit and delete events and track values easily, like a table display.

Also, you might want to add your app to AppsLib; otherwise, a lot of people without access to the Market might miss it.

comment by Alexei · 2011-02-08T00:32:00.137Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Thanks for your comment. I've added the application to AppsLib (might take a bit to appear). I like the idea of a table display, it would be easy to add as well.