December 17, 2008

What Would You Track on your Personal Dashboard?


Nicolas Felton is a graphic designer who lives in New York and has taken on the sizable task of writing an annual report of his life. That really got me thinking, "What metrics would I measure if I were responsible for writing a report on my life at the end of the year?"

I know my dental hygienist would want me to track how often I floss; my coworkers, how quickly I return emails; my wife, the number of foot rubs I provide. But what would I track? How would I measure success?

I've been working on different options for a week or so (I haven't been tracking the time I've been spending on it, so I can't tell exactly how long). The process of determining my own person metrics has been eye opening and challenging. Some easy things like miles run or pages read jump to mind quickly, but that's not much of an annual report.

I'll have to keep working on what goes on my personal dashboard, but once I have a rough draft of what to measure, the next layer of complexity is to figure out how to track these events. Felton to the rescue with his new website Daytum. It's similar to Spark People, only you can count and measure whatever you want. Now instead of just counting pages read I can track which books I read faster and the number of pages on average per day. This could be additive. But maybe I should start by tracking the number of weird looks I get when I tell people what I'm doing.

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