In Search of a Universal Self-Tracking App

I’m a data geek and a personal improvement fanatic.

I want to improve my personal habits, skills and behaviors. I strive to be healthy, happy and productive.

And, for the most part, I am.

One way I achieve this is by tracking my life. Self-tracking for me has two benefits:

  1. Increased Awareness
    The simple act of tracking makes me self-aware and helps me to change my behaviors. Tracking calories helps me lose weight, even when I don’t consciously change my diet. Wearing my FitBit causes me to exercise more, even though I rarely look at the data afterwards.
  2. Actionable Data 
    Memory can be unreliable. Not only do we forget details, we alter them as new experiences change our perception of old ones. Confirmation bias can make us conveniently forget details that don’t support the conclusion we want. Tracking information gives me a more objective view, helping me to make better decisions.

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Reigniting Habits

I don’t retain habits well. My habits wax and wane. They need constant renewal.

I derive pleasure from seeking out new things. Too often that squeezes out the old, even when the old helps me live my life more effectively.

Luckily, I’ve discovered it’s easier to re-ignite old habits than to start new ones. Each time I fail to maintain a habit, I don’t beat myself up. I let it go until I’m in a place to rekindle. Until I have the energy to fan the flames and build my habit anew.

I am in that place again.

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Resources to Learn About Lean Startup

Yesterday I did a quick introduction to the Lean Startup methodology at the Asheville Lean Startup Circle. I focused on three key concepts: validated learning, minimum viable products and the build-measure-learn cycle. You can view my slides here.

If you’ve read Why Economic Developers Need Lean Startups or Lean Startup Conference Notes, you already know some  resources for learning about Lean Startup. Below I update this list to include resources I missed in those posts. Please add other resources I missed in the comments.
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Lean Startup Conference Notes

The Lean Startup Conference happened today in San Francisco. Here in Asheville, we livestreamed the conference at Mojo Coworking. Below are my notes from some of the talks, links to other people’s notes and links to other Lean Startup resources. I’ll be expanding this post throughout the week, so check back later in the week or follow me on Twitter for updates.

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Help Give a Family in Rwanda Clean Water

Did you know that 30,000 people die each week from unsafe water and unhygienic living conditions? That’s 1,560,000 people a year.

90% of those deaths come from children under 5 years of age.

But you can help.

Take 5 minutes today to make a donation.

In July I attended the World Domination Summit and saw Scott Harrison speak about being an greedy nightclub promoter. Then he joined Mercy Ships, helping to provide free medical care to the people of the world’s poorest nations. The experience transformed him.

He returned to the U.S. to found charity:water, a charity dedicated to providing clean water to everyone in the world. But he did more than form another charity. He transformed the charity model. Continue reading >

Create a Startup Scene: Leverage Template Events

The theme of this year’s North Carolina Entrepreneur Summit is “Creating a Scene”. During today’s opening session, I asked myself how attendees could effectively create a scene.

One answer: template events.

Attendees for the summit include entrepreneurs, economic developers and government employees ranging from large, urban cities like Raleigh and Charlotte to small, rural communities like Cherokee and Chatham counties.

While larger cities may have the resources to plan, organize and host their own custom events, smaller cities can benefit from the trail blazed by others with template events. Even larger cities can find it valuable to tap into the network and resources of the communities that have grown up around these events. Continue reading >

Notes from Less Is More: Simple Productivity Hacks

This past weekend I attended the World Domination Summit in Portland, Oregon. One of the sessions I attended on Sunday was Less Is More: Simple Productivity Hacks presented by Julia Roy (@juliaroy). For those who missed the session, my notes are below. For more productivity hacks, check out Julia’s web site. Continue reading >

Notes from Book Concepts That Sell

This past weekend I attended the World Domination Summit in Portland, Oregon. One of the sessions I attended on Saturday was Book Concepts That Sell  presented by David Fugate (@LaunchBooks) of Launch BooksFor those who missed the session, my notes are below. 

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Notes from Indie Publishing Demystified

This weekend I’m attending the World Domination Summit in Portland, Oregon. One of the sessions I attended today was Indie Publishing Demystified presented by Matt Gartland (@MattGartland) of Winning Edits. For those who missed the session, my notes are below. You can also read the Winning Edits web site or follow @WinningEdits on Twitter. Continue reading >

How To Write a (Useful) Blog Post in 30 Minutes

This week I launched a new blog called Lean Decisions to help people make better decisions. In preparing for the launch, I wrote a month’s backlog of articles by writing one post a day. Since I have limited time, I had to learn how to write fast. Keep reading to see what I learned.

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