Analysing life trends

Posted on: 23 May 2023

One of the reasons I began journalling and tracking my “vitals” is for analysing trends in my mood and lifestyle. To help achieve this, I capture a summary alongside my journal entries in the form of tags.

I’ve talked about tags previously in my Notion journalling setup post. So far I’m not doing a lot with these tags, but recently I’ve been wondering if there’s an untapped treasure trove of data hidden there.

Currently my tags are aggregated across a week and output chronologically on my feed page in the form of emoji. This was a sort of “I’ll think of what to do with this later” approach when I was designing this page. It’s visually effective, looks nice, and serves as loose insight of my week. But in all honesty as time has gone on, it’s become meaningless visual clutter.

What I really care about is the frequency of these tags and how that changes over time. If I’m talking about work a lot in my journal, there’s gonna be a lot of “work” tags. Struggling with my mental health, there’s gonna be an abundance of “health” tags. You get the picture. This isn’t an exact science, but by aggregating these tags over a sizeable enough period (initially I’m thinking 4 weeks), I think it could reveal some insightful trends.

One could posit, for example, that as frequency of work tags go up, social may go down. An increase in fitness tags could lead to a decrease in side project tags. When are my most intense periods of blogging? Do these happen sporadically, on a regular basis, or in clusters?

How often am I mentioning my kids? Have I slacked off when it comes to recording their developments and my thoughts about them when daily journalling? Does an increase in one area of my life decrease time spent with my children?

I’m not sure yet on the direction I’ll take this, but I’m looking forward to pulling out some data and visualising it.

How do you identify trends in your life? Do you have any metrics you keep or systems in place to aid with this? Your gut can tell you a lot, but sometimes you can be going down a dark path for a while before you notice a need for a change.

Tags: notion habits