Mind Map of Quanfied Self and Self-Tracking
QS Mind Map is a tool to help you conceptualize different tracking technologies as well as methods to engage with that data and also imagine what's to come. Ultimately it's my attempt to organize the quantified self space and can be thought of as a supplement to Awesome Quantified Self, a curated directory of QS resources, apps and more.
Below is the mind map in graphic form as well as an outline of the included areas. You can find an interactive and editable version here.
What is a Mind Map?
A mind map is a graphical, visualization technique that is intended to help with structuring, organizing and understanding information as well as facilitate creative thinking. It's is also one of the best ways to synthesize and understand information in general.
Quantified Self Mind Map
QS Mind Map was created using Coggle. Visit https://coggle.it/diagram/WzGmNxN_zxZw9MbF/t/quantified-self-tools to view an interactive version or to copy and augment as your own.
Outline of QS Mind Map
Core of Quantied Self and Self-Tracking
The quantified self technologies space can be divided into three core areas:
- Tracking Tech: Health Tracking, Digital Life Tracking, Wearables and Sensors. These are ways to track a life and include everything from tracking your body to monitoring your time and usage.
- Data Collection and Data Analysis: These are ways to aggregate and engage with your data. It includes dedicated QS dashboards and code as well as generic data visualization and machine learning platforms.
- FutureTech: This is the cutting edge of self-tracking tech. Various terms get used like biohacking, cyborgs, biosensing and beyond. This is where data gets infused with new human ways of being and becoming.
Health and Fitness Tracking
These are basically ways to monitor your body. Health tracking can often be separated between ways you track your health status, like medical tests, and methods to measure your health activity and fitness, like activity and sports tracking.
- DNA, Genetics, Microbiome
- Blood Testing and Biomarkers
- Body composition and weight
- Heart: Heart Rate, Heart Rate Variability and Blood Pressure
- Diet, Food and Fasting (as well as glucose and metabolism)
- Fitness and Activity, including running, cycling, sports, etc.
- Meditation and Mindfulness
- Mind and cognition
Digital Life Tracking
For me, basically everything that doesn't include quantifying your body is covered under the rubic of life tracking.
- Time: Manual (Toggl, Harvest), Passive (RescueTime, Screentime, Digital Wellness)
- Productive Activity, including tasks (Toggle), goals, projects, calendar, habits (Habitica, Productive, Streaks)
- Digital Logs, i.e. Email, Twitter, Facebook and Google usage logs, etc.
- Media Consumption, i.e. books (GoodReads), TV (Trakt.tv), articles (Pocket, Instapaper), music (Last.fm), podcasts (PodcastTracker.com), YouTube, photos, etc.
- Money and finances (Mint, Personal Capital)
- Location, movement and places, i.e. GPS
- Tally and life logger tools
- Files, including texts, journals, documents, photos (PhotoStats.io)
Wearables and Sensors
- Wearables: Fitbit, Miband, Apple Watch, Garmin, Oura Ring
- Environmental Sensors (ex. weather, temperature, air quality, etc.)
2. Data Collection and Data Analysis
Beyond just tracking, these are different ways to collect, visualize and engage with your data.
- Automation (i.e. data connectors and integrations): Tools like IFTTT and Zapier can make it easy to aggregate data. For example, your use it to put data from Fitbit, Todoist Tasks and Strava activities into Google Sheets.
- Aggregators & Dashboards: Several apps and websites exist to help you see all of your data into one place, like Gyroscope, BetterSelf or Exist.io. There are also open source tools and DIY code, like QS Ledger, can facilitating data collection and data visualization.
These are typically data science and spreadsheet tools.
- Data exploration
- Data visualization
- Data Processing
- Data Convergence
Data-Driven / Data Usage
There are a few tools today that take tracking data and apply it to actual advice and engagement.
- Data-Driven Feedback
- AI Coaching and Bots: For example, Lark is an activity chatbot and TrainAsOne is an AI running plan coach.
- Personalized Media Recommendations
- Personalized Health
This is where science fiction meets reality. I separate this from existing data tracking tech and data analysis tools. Some examples might include:
Biotech / Infotech
New Data Usage
Shared and Collaborative Data
- Awesome Quantified Self - a curated directory of QS resources, apps and more.
- Markwk.com - an on-going blogging project on self-tracking and the data-driven life.
Feedback? Thoughts? Contributions?
While the term "quantified self" might not be the most popular or even the most descriptive, I find it's the most accessible and used today. Personally, I prefer a more neutral expression like "data-driven" that encompasses the facets of using data to drive decision making and relationship with our reality, world and bodies.
For now, this is my way of conceptualizing the quantified self space. Got an idea, feedback, thought or contribution? Post something in the issue queue or fork this project and come up with your own mind map of QS!
To the extent possible under law, Mark Koester has waived all copyright and related or neighboring rights to this work.