Make Personal Data Work for You, Personally

While personal data is trendy, it's more than just a trend. When used intentionally, the data that comes from our Fitbits and Bullet Journals can teach us a lot about our bodies and our behaviors.

We'll break it down so you can try it out.

Step 1: Pick the right tools for you

It’s different strokes for different folks when it comes to recording your personal data. 

1. Wearables


Wearables like FitBit and Garmin are great for people on the move, who just want to go about their daily lives and not think about personal data. These gadgets monitor things like movement, heart rate, and even sleep quality.

2. Habit Trackers


Habit trackers are available as apps, downloadable templates, and paper notebooks. Whether you track your habits digitally or manually, it’s an effective tool to start and maintain good habits because of the way it monitors your progress. Compare your progress to how you feel physically and emotionally to see trends, which can be used to modify your efforts as needed.

3. Bullet Journals


Bullet journaling is, in essence, a bulleted, more efficient form of writing in a journal. Using an organized layout and short sentences, you can track habits, build your to-do list, add notes, and monitor your progress all in one place. Because it can serve so many purposes it holds a lot of data that you can turn to when you need it.

Step 2: Look at what the data is trying to tell you

The addition of personal data shouldn’t slow you down or be another thing you’ve added to your busy life. To get the most out it, figure out how to best use it to your advantage.

1. Pay attention to trends

This is one of the biggest advantages of having personal data. Look at the big picture that the data is painting and see if it brings attention to any patterns or blindspots you may have not seen otherwise. It’s especially helpful when you’ve started a new habit, like getting eight hours of sleep every night, and want to see how it affects your physical and mental wellbeing over a fixed period of time.

2. Dig in when you need to

Turn to the data when you notice something in your body feels off. Maybe you haven’t been sleeping well lately or you’ve been stressed out at work. Personal data can work a lot like security camera footage but for your body. You can use it problem-solve as issues arise or things feel out of the ordinary.


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