I’ve been looking into some options for life logging software recently. Evernote is one option.

However, I still have several reservations about using third party software for this task, similar to the objections raised here. I worry about loss of data, I worry about future-proofing, and I worry about privacy.

I’d like a system that had some kind of intuitive support for importing and exporting blog entries. I’d like a system that could export the lifelog as a database structured similarly to a filesystem, for example containing only .txt files and .jpeg files. Until I find such a system I think I’m going to try and make my own. I’m thinking of basing it on html and running it something like a wiki. My own ‘LifeWiki’.

I’ve had bad experiences with LiveJournal in the past, for example without a premium member subscription you can’t do any advanced searching, sorting or filtering of the entries. So one of the first things I’ll have to do do is to pull all my old LJ entries and get them into a much simpler LifeWiki thing.

Another good reason for taking this approach is that (unless I wish it otherwise) the data will all be stored on my personal space and I am wholly responsible for backing up. The data format will (at least in some way) be futureproofed. Again it’s up to me to convert the data into new formats, but if the system is kept simple this should not be a problem, and if I am used to managing the system I will be expecting to have to do this. I don’t like the idea of the format of all my data being at the whim of a third party.

Obviously the down side of this endeavour is that LifeWiki won’t have any of the advanced options, it won’t have graphic text recognition searching, it won’t natively support tagging (I’ll have to sort out my own system for that), and it might just end up getting too big to handle in this primitive way.

RedNotebook seems to be the kind of thing I might be looking for, but I’ll have to read more about this and other options. But I’ve always been good at organising things, so it might just be worth a stab at doing my own version for now.


5 thoughts on “Lifelogging

  1. Hey 🙂 Remember, if you need web space, database space, DNS / Domain Name hosting and/or email accounts for a domain I’m happy to help 🙂 Since the significant re-vamp of far-blue, I now have a much more robust and flexible system (unless my vps supplier screws up – something I’m planning on mitigating when I have time!) and can quickly and easily support multiple domains for email and web (and already do for my brother).

  2. physicsandcake says:

    I might take you up on that offer, but again it’s the organisation of the system not the sheer storage capacity that’s the issue. Maybe we could come up with some kind of framework within far-blue to do something like this? It would be nice to have a web-front-end tbh, that way I can upload from anywhere in the world!

  3. I’m sure we can figure out something 🙂 And, as I say, with the costs of a domain being so low (~£6 for 2 years) you can have your own domain even though its hosted on the far-blue platform 🙂 I think maybe a lunch or evening over at mine might be in order – I’ve not seen either of you in ages 😀

  4. Wayne Patterson says:

    Organizing all the bits of one’s life requires a structured approach. It does need to remain simple because matching life’s complexities one-for-one would be daunting to develop or understand. If the scope is set at practical things like your auto or home maintenance, your residences, your jobs, your relationships, your health, your travels, your Christmas card list, etc, then I think you can create a structure that can make it easy to store & retrieve information over a long period of time. Evernote is a great note keeper that I use but it is a collection of grouped notes rather than a linked dataset. I’ve been thinking about this for 6 years and am working on a prototype but don’t have a guarantee of a useful tool yet.

  5. Jawn says:

    I always did want to make my own database, but I don’t have the time right now. Good luck

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