What are your favourite apps for tracking your data?

The Internet has made me a compulsive self-documenter. Obviously.

It occurs to me, though, that in the past few years I’ve added a lot of what we might call data streams to the usual bloggy, Twittery, Deliciously (soon to change hands, apparently) morass that is my web presence. I collect this data, automatically and manually, through my interactions in the real world.

Most of these data streams aren’t public, for reasons which will become obvious, but at one time or another I’ve depended on a handy app to capture them. I wanted to share some of the apps I’ve used, and ask others what they use for the same purpose. Some of the links below point to the iTunes app store:

Money – Occasionally I want to keep track of every penny I spend, just to see how it gets distributed over a couple of months. The results are usually shocking. Unlike most money management users, I don’t want an app that interacts with my bank accounts–I just want to track outgoing dollars. I use the simple, non-web-dependent Expense Tracker – Spending. It does what I need it to. You can export your data to a CSV file, which is handy for obsessively making charts in Excel.

Calories – Much like money, sometimes I want to track every single grape or Grape-Nut that goes in my mouth. Most recently, I’ve used a website and app called MyNetDiary. 1998 called and wants its name back, right? The app is great, though, with a reliable bar code scanner and has over 100,000 food items in their database to make use of. You can even track the number of glasses of water you drink every day.

Exercise – I’ve written (and talked) about RunKeeper before, and I still use it. Bonus tip for going running or cycling in foreign countries: your phone probably doesn’t rely on your data connection for collecting GPS data, so you can still use it while on holidays. Before RunKeeper, I relied on Couch to 5k to get me off the settee.

Time-tracking – We sometimes need to track the number of hours we spend on client work. For that we rely upon Harvest, which does the job with a clean interface in its desktop, web and mobile apps.

What are your favourite apps for documenting your offline experiences?


  1. Time – Cube http://www.cubeanywhere.com

    Calories – Culvers they have Butter Burgers

    Money – don’t have enough to worry about it

    Exercise – don’t do enough to get too complicated

    I refuse to be turned into a machine, that’s what technology and institutions want us to become. No worries though I will have to convert I suspect. In a matter of years, health insurers should create premiums on a market scale based on your daily activities. Tracking consistently calories and exercise along with common vitals and reaching established goals in conjunction with a physician I should receive a financial reward in a lower premium. right?

  2. Librarything for books, Jinni for movies, stopped using lastfm years ago when I noticed it influenced what I listened to.

  3. As you know, I’m a big fan of Runkeeper for my running.

    I was using wesabe for tracking my finances, but it shut down, so now I’m using Mint, though haven’t really had much time to play with it. (Both of those are the that interact with your bank accounts).

    Another interesting one is Daytum – it lets you track just about anything and it makes pretty graphs. And I’m down with just about anything that makes me a pretty graph!

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: