All means of Self-Enquiry and/or Nutritional Journalling as advised within the parent manuscript, up to this point ~ simply boils down to just one methodology: word processing document/s. This I believe ~ is the most pragmatic and the least of all hand-holding paternalism. However overtime, it cumulates problems of its own which I unfortunately neglected amidst so many other priorities.
Stigmas, and suspicion on me being “lazy”, or that I am “not producing enough content”; such to name a few ~ remains wide open. Never mind the hundreds of hours that I am still in the process ~ of collating 5-years worth of sharing Expired Foods Guide, experiences and research (more Youtube® videos on that to come).
Hence, looking back over my own means of Nutritional Journalling – I believe it is time to give it all a fresh coat of form and functionality. I’ve begun developing and self-testing ~ an alpha version of Self-Enquiry Journaling Tool (GOOGLE® Sheet). Despite having no programming background, I remain hopeful this journalling tool helps initiate and assist ~ the long arduous journey of scientific self-enquiry.
Why I’m doing this.
Scientific self-enquiring is beyond just “dear journal…”. The one problem I have had looming for many years? The need for structure, convenience and order.
In many respect, this entire concept initiative shares many things in principle to the Quantified Self movement.
Of course, tracking too many “numbers” will soon or later ~ backfire. Especially if one gets easily (overtime) ~ overwhelmed even in the slightest change ~ of statistics. No matter how elegantly-designed, statistics remain simply as that ~ numbers. What we do and reconcile with these data: remains intuitively up to individual’s reactions.
What this concept initiative offers is pragmatic contemplation. Without Quantified Self’s much $$$ investments (into smart watches, wearables, gadgets, and the like). No doubt, they serve their purposes well. But useless if its user is involuntarily drowned in mortgage foreclosure, frugality and structural violence. Hence, the one of many thematics of this initiative ~ “Income governs outcome.” remains fervent throughout the parent manuscript.
What I propose / criteria
For many years hence I have been trying to offer a solution that “bridges” practicality and approachability. Here’s what I’m proposing:
- AS OF NOW IN TERMS OF COMPATIBILITY: EXCLUSIVELY WITHIN GOOGLE® SHEETS ONLY. I have experienced at times performance inconsistencies with Excel®, but by no means Excel is inferior spreadsheeting tool.
- Basic entry journalling (obviously), grouped under at least three (3) basic categories – mornings, afternoons, evenings.
- Just like the official Budgetting Spreadsheet / Tool ~ WEEKLY based journalling on one sheet at a time. Each sheet consists of seven days of journalling.
- What this means is that this entire SELF JOURNALLING TOOL is going to be split into two (2) overall files ~ in six month segment. Two reasons for this:
- Not to overly burden the user with hundreds of sheets. looking at 30 sheets in just one document is stressful enough as is.
- And for me to able to pause and to foresee any major changes needed.
- Separate sheet to include dynamic abbreviations. What this sheet provides are series of abbreviated words to describe long-branded supplements, names, and the like.
- For example in my own personal case ~ “BS” = bicarbonate soda / baking soda. ‘MGCH” = Magnesium Chloride. STEV+E = Stevia Errithritol based sweetener, etc. (Right now, unfortunately this sheet remains as “static” I have no knowledge on how to go about making this a dynamic sheet akin to dictionary in GOOGLE SHEETs)….
- An important highlighting feature: at the “end” of each Week’s journal ~ a summary entry inputs; which automatically gets collated and collected towards a separate Summary Sheet (see last dot).
- Basic fasting glucose (and/or ketones for those who can afford long term testing) ~ test results. With dynamic charts.
- IMPORTANT HIGHLIGHT: A separate “SUMMARY” Sheet summarising all of inputted End Of Week’s “SUMMARY” heading from each Week.
Sadly and unfortunately of course, this tool cannot do “everything” as “all-in-one”.
- This journalling tool does not do calorie counting. It does not at any stage imaginable ~ would ever replaces MYFINESSPAL, CHRONOMETER etc. You’d be looking at over 100+ sheets of development, production and then lines upon lines of code for these.
- This journalling tool only curates overall daily nutritional science thoughts and journalling.
- It does not track exercises or training metrics. Unfortunately, again, this involve lines upon lines of macros and programming were it to be expected to have dynamic features. Eg. multiple categories, more dynamic linked charts, formulas, functions, to name a few….
- Given the wide potential for functionality amendments ~ it is very difficult to tell over how much I am capable at foreseeing how much I can improve upon, without going too overwhelming as this concept proceeds through time. This is after all, meant and envisioned to be a digitised “journal” that is both pragmatic and accessible. Nothing more nothing less.
Right now still in live, real-time testing.
When it’s done. Then it’s done.Self-enquiring, yet alone MAKING its tool for everyone to ably use ~ is already on its own a lengthy task. Right now, I am only testing these primarily under my own N=1 circumstances and settings. This meanwhile; allows me to tinker assess its parameters overtime.
If I can achieve at least 75% of the above criteria ~ then I will release another feature blog article for the first ever public announcement.
Despite limitations; it is what it is.
So far, this tool provided me (despite much errors due for fixing) ~ useful enough such that the more things I journaled ~ the more potentially powerful as I am able to seamlessly reconcile anything I’ve written immediately. Duplicate entries / copy and paste into dedicated categories ~ made it all the more convincingly better ~ Self-Enquiry / Nutritional Journalling experience.
The more I stare at <“placeholder content”>, the more self-doubting yet self-disciplinary moments pausing me.
- “Imagine if these are all collated with ACTUAL information.”
- “Imagine, if someone actually take affirmative action, based on these information.”
- …And “maybe I should have entered in that info, after all.”
How powerful would this journal tool then, if such potentials were reconciled together simultaneously, through time?
Despite it being quite difficult to construct, it is nonetheless more practical than scrolling hundreds of pages of a Word® doc. Glaring mistakes aka missing / erroneous date and month entries, to name a few. Spreadsheets on the other hand ~ helps protect what I’ve written (and soon it will be your’s) as the Self-Enquiry journey moves onwards.
I foresee this is what every-reader and individual new to this concept initiative ~ both anticipate and yearn for. Because each of us will one day have to trust our own selves. To self-enquire as we challenge both our Abilities and Liabilities ~ Ecosystems.
It is already too late if one speculates “is it worth it?”.
But as Emily Dickinson assured ~ “Forever – is composed of nows”. Coming Soon.