Eddie Hinkle

Passive Tracking > Active Tracking

In the most recent episode of Two Dads Talking, Jonathan and I talk about tracking our information and whether we are using active or passive applications. Jonathan is using mostly passive applications that collect his behavior and translate that into posts on his website. I, on the other hand, spend way too much time tracking all sorts of information: what I watch, what I listen to, where I go, not to mention what I eat and drink. Essentially everything I log is manual, so in 2019 I have a goal to move as much as I can to automated and that which can't be automated to defer to a time when I have free time.

Step one is my listen posts. Currently after every podcast I listen to, I have to remember to activate the share sheet in my Podcast app (Castro) and share it with my app, Indigenous, which will share the url to my website and I will process it for the episode's information. Jonathan shared in the episode that he came up with a script that can pull in his play history from his Overcast account and publish it to his website. It hasn't been approved by Overcast's owner yet and he ran into some issues so he's waiting on those to be resolved but it's do-able. Because of this I switched from Castro back to Overcast yesterday and am looking forward to setting up a similar system so that I can have listen posts be passively tracked just by being played in my podcast player of choice.

Step two are my watch posts. Currently, every time I watch something and want to track it, I have to run a command line script which require me connecting to my server, running a snippet from an app on my iPhone and entering the episode number that I just watched. It's fairly low maintenance but it still requires more thought than I would like. I initially thought I wouldn't be able to use Trakt like Jonathan because I track who I watched it with. I realized, I already use an app to track what I want to watch that is compatible with Trakt, so I can set my site up to automatically import watch posts from Trakt, and then after the fact I can update who I watched it with, thus combining my two goals of 2019: automate and defer. This takes me from opening an app, connecting to my server, selecting the right snippet and entering the episode number into opening an app, tapping on the checkmark for the right show in my watch list. Then, later, I can sit down and add who I watched each show or movie with since I'm not likely to forget that.

I don't have a plan for the rest of my items: ate, drank, checkins, trips, etc. but I'm going to be thinking through them. Right now I have an app that automatically tracks my location everywhere and it logs when I've been in one location for more than 10 minutes and my speed, so I'm thinking I can build something that can analyze that information and present suggestions as to where I might need to checkin and how I might have traveled (walking, driving, biking, etc.) and then just provide the ability for me to modify that information if anything is incorrect and publish it to my site.

Additionally, there is no easy way to automatically track my food, but I can either work on making sure the app I use is as seamless and quick as possible to enter it and finish it, or I can try to defer it by creating an interface that makes it really easy for me to enter a entire day's worth of meals at one time at the end of the day and then submit that.

Any thoughts? Do you track information? Which do you track actively and which do you track passively?

27.57 ℉🌒tech
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