Screencasts: mySelfQuantifier

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Here are a few screencasts demonstrating the use of mySelfQuantifier workbooks for time tracking.

Improved versions of these screencasts (that will zoom in where helpful) will be part of the book, Cognitive Productivity with MacOS®, which itself is based on Cognitive Productivity.

Overview of Workbooks and the Log Sheet

Tracking Time Spent Work Deeply

In his book, Deep Work, Cal Newport argued that the amount of time you spend in deep work determines the quality and quantity of your cognitive output. “Deep work” is focused, distraction-free, goal-directed cognitive activity. Like other leading metrics, it’s a good idea to measure it if you want to increase it. Whereas Newport suggested using paper and pencil, we feel it is better to use an electronic workbook such as mySelfQuantifier so that you can systematically measure other parameters too. This automates the review process as well.

The next screencast shows you how to measure the time you spend in “deep work”.

Tracking Time Spent on Particular Projects

If you use personal project management software like OmniGroup’s OmniFocus or Cultured Code’s Things, you are used to organizing your life by projects. The next step is to measure the time spent on projects (or issues in your time tracking system). The problem is that those apps don’t have time tracking features. Here’s how you can use a mySelfQuantifier workbook to do it.

Tracking Time Spent Engaged in Particular Activities

Personal project management software like OmniGroup’s OmniFocus and Cultured Code’s Things lack the notion of activity types. Following the Getting Things Done book, OmniFocus has “contexts”. Contexts are very 1990s. Smartphones, laptops and cellular Internet access provide most of us virtually context-free existence. If you are a knowledge worker, you need to think in terms of activities, because not all activities produce the same amount of value. This takes the idea of deep work further. (Compare Cognitive Productivity).


Luc P. Beaudoin