So this week we’re working on tracking and quantifying our digital selves and to help to accomplish that I turned to an application I had read about but hadn’t used much before this month called RescueTime. The program functions as a spy on your computer that monitors what websites you visit and how long you spent at those pages, as well as the applications outside of the web browser you use and how long you spend on those as well. After reporting the usage back to the central database on their site their software categorizes the applications and sites as productive or otherwise based on your input and then reports back to you how productive you are as well as the relavant how and when.
My productivity last week.
But this isn’t the whole story. Like many individuals, I’m a multiple device user. At work I have my own desktop, in between home and work/school I’m on my iPad and everywhere else I browse the web and check email on my phone. There’s no comprehensive way to track it all, but there is more data to be sifted through.
Using a Python script that was written and shared by ITP’s own Sean McIntyre, I’ve been downloading an archive of my emails from my Gmail account. Not an easy task since I have over 31,728 email messages archived on my Gmail account. Just reading that number was staggering. This does not include the tens of thousands of message I’ve deleted, just the ones I’ve decided to keep.
Facebook : 5,596
ITP : 1,254
Me to Me: 308
UIUC Friends: 1664
GMail/Trash: 6,461 (WTF?)
I’ve stripped the headers from all of my Sent Mail, trying to document and understand what it is I’ve created. I’ve yet to go through them all, but there’s some interesting material in there, including the fact that the earliest message in my Gmail account is a sent message from August 2004.