Lifetracker

Take control of your life!

Congratulations on downloading this app! You may find that the overall layout and functionality is very easy to use at first glance, however this instruction page will ensure you are able to fully utilize the app to its maximum potential. Let’s get started!

Today

This is the default page when starting up the app. The two main elements of this page is the chart area and the list tiles. Each tile represents an hour block (24 in total). For each hour you can use the slider to set your mood for that hour, ranging from angry/sad to happy/ecstatic. The “average” for the day will be displayed next to the “Today” button and will change dynamically. The chart will also update dynamically in real time as you move the sliders.

Note you don’t have to micromanage each hour if you don’t want to. You can set the entire day to a default mood at any given time by clicking “Today”. The hour sliders are only utilized for the current day, once you click “Save” the day’s average will be stored in the historical database.

Appbar (3 dots): Choose between 12/24 time

Save: This button will save today’s average

Today: Override each hour to this mood. You can then adjust from here as needed.

Notes: Keep a note for today. This note will saved in the database for historical reference and shown in the History tab.

Now: Jumps to the current hour

History

The main strength and primary purpose of this app is showcased in this section. If you commit to journaling your days, over time this will give a powerful representation of your “lifeline”. You can track your daily moods over the course of several days to several months. If you’re committed enough, even years.

Choose timelines from 7 days, 30 days, 6 months, or 1 year. After 1 year, it is recommended to export the database and start fresh. In addition to the chart, each day is tiled in the lower section of the screen. You can view your notes for that day and also see a visual representation of your mood for that day as well. In addition, each day you have journaled will be tracked as well.

Note on the left side of the chart, the starting value is zero. This is simply the starting point of when you began journaling. It is important to note that the flow of your lifeline is much more significant, not how the current value relates to it.

Two options are available when clicking the database icon in the appbar:

Delete Database: This will delete the database so you can start fresh again. Once you have done this action, you must restart the application.

Export Database: This will save the current database as CSV, which you can download to your computer and open with Excel. Exporting and deleting is recommended after at least a year to keep the database size (and thus performance) optimum.

FAQ

Q: Can you save the notes hourly rather than daily?

A: As of now there is only a daily note. Hourly notes were part of the original design however it became apparent the database size over time would be significantly impacted.

Q: Why does the daily graph line sometimes disappear?

A: The graph has a pretty fast refresh rate but this can occasionally happen if you move the slider more quickly than the graph can update itself. To avoid this from happening you can try slowing the sliding action down a bit or tap directly to the mood you wish to set.

Q: Do I really have to set each hour?

Of course not. By default, the day is set to average (“meh”). You would then only really have to set each hour that was memorably pleasant (or worse), leaving the rest at their default states.

Q: So when should days be “overridden”?

A: Do this when your mood is being driven by a temporary short term or long term event. This can last anywhere from one day to many days or weeks. You will know for yourself what to set the day to. For example, you can set the entire day if you just found out you got a big raise or promotion. Or you finally got laid. That good mood may even last several days. On the other end, maybe there was a death in the family? You would set the entire day to a somber mood, maybe for the next several days as well. I can’t really tell you how to track your own personal lifeline, just trust yourself and let the program work for you.

Q: What about sleep hours?

Your sleep hours should be nothing more than an extension of your overall day mood, so you wouldn’t need to adjust these unless you had an intense nightmare or euphoric dream that woke you out of your sleep. In other words, if your day is average with no life changing event happening, then typically your day would be the default “meh” which includes the sleep hours. In contrast, if you have a planned vacation coming up that you’re very excited about, your day is likely to be overridden with a happier mood, and this does in fact carry over into your sleep so you wouldn’t need to adjust these hours as well.

Q: So then tracking each hour isn’t really important then, when I can just set the day?

Tracking the hour is still important if you want to get an accurate depiction of your daily “lifeline”, it’s just isn’t required. You’d be surprised just how an extreme mood (on either end) for just a few hours can do to affect your overall average mood for the day, even if those other hours were all the same.

Q: Why is “angry” set more negatively than “sad” or “cry” when tracking your lifeline?

Studies have shown anger is extremely detrimental both physiologically and mental. Even the slightest bit of anger will elevate your blood pressure and significantly increase your heart rate, release harmful cortisols in your body, and depending on the trigger may even activate your fight or flight response even if you sit behind a desk all day for work. That is not to say sadness cannot be damaging (it definitely is when it leads to, or is a symptom of depression). The damaging effects from depression and day to day sadness however are typically much more longer term than the damaging effects of anger, hence why anger is tracked as the extreme in the app.

Q: Why create this app?

A: I initially began tracking my “lifeline” back in High School. Back then, there were no such things as mobile phones or even laptops. I used simple old graph paper and a pencil. Each sheet of graph paper represented a month. Every day was either a flatline, or up or down. An especially bad or good day would be a “double” up or down line. Many of you already know how an emotional roller coaster high school can be, so I came up with this simple method to track my “lifeline” to see where it was going.

Recently however, I thought about bringing back this concept (not with graph paper and pencil of course). It needed to be simple and effective. Creating an app was a no brainer and it’s basically the same thing I did decades ago with graph paper. The only difference is that I’ve added additional “angles”to move from one day to the next to better differentiate good/bad days. Also, when I was keeping track with graph paper, my overall day had to be determined at night when the day was practically over. Sometimes waiting until the last minute made it difficult to determine what the day really was, as I may have forgotten something earlier during the day. With the app, you can keep track of every hour block. The app will do the average for you. Of course, you can ignore that altogether and set the day directly with the “Today” button. There will be more tweaks and changes as more and more people download the app and provide their feedback.

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