Jump to content

Life Logging

Recommended Posts

Draft Version 0.2 Updated 2014-10-21 


I'd like to start this forum for all hard core life loggers, that have chosen Evernote as their platform.

Over the years I've found ways to automatically or semi-automatically record:

  • Phone calls
  • Location (instant and full travel path)
  • Conversations
  • Handwritten notes
  • Web Search History
  • Music Listened to
  • Continuous 30 second interval pictures condensed into a 10 MB video file (per day)

any many other thing - which I will share in detail on this forum and invite others to share their methods as well.


But first, I'd like to point out a few things:


It has never been as easy as it is today to action life logging.

Life logging has been around for a very, very long time.


Apologies: This post is limited to Windows Desktop and Android Mobile devices, as this is what I use, but please contribute any information about Mac / iPhone alternatives.



First stop: Writenote app for Evernote

[screenshots] [App details]


Life logging should be something automatic and integrated into your daily life.

If you get to a stage where you are recording your day without being aware of it, because it is an automatic habit, I would say you are in the right place.

This is why I like Writenote (I purchased the app, got the Pro version) - it allows you to record events on-the-fly and is very configurable.


It creates one note per day.


You can add as many entries as you like in a single day, each entry is timed stamped.


It can automatically add a Google Maps link to you location (if you want)

It can automatically resize any pictures you add to EverNote, while leaving the original photo unchanged

It will write the dates and times in the format you prefer.


In my case, the format is




with time stamps as





Because of the location storing function, I no longer use foursquare (or similar) apps for life logging purposes (although I still use them for other things) 

I prefer to leave GPS permanently set to "on" because I don't want to have to fiddle with GPS settings each time I make a journal entry.

For me the goal is to make small quick "twitter-like" entries throughout the day, and each entry shouldn't take more than 10 seconds to perform.


I also prefer to have a phone on my belt so that I can "quick draw" my phone (like a cowboy quick drawing his gun)

I don't want to scratch through my bag or jacket pocket to jot something down.

There is a certain "flow" that is aimed for, that makes the process instantaneous and effortless - but it requires some planning.


BTW, Apparently Leonardo Da Vinci would keep two small book strapped to his belt to make quick notes when ideas struck him.

If it's good enough for LDV, it's good enough for me.  :)





Next Stop: Recording phone calls.


Install RecordMyCall <= Click link to app install


Configure it to upload recorded conversations to Google Drive or DropBox.


Use IFTTT to automatically forward a link to Evernote each time a new file appears.




Install DropBox or Google Drive onto your desktop.

Then use Evernote [import Folders] to automatically upload the directory where the recorded phone calls appear.


ToDo: Add screen shots and detailed explanation how to do these things.


RecordMyCall gives you a lot of options, such as


* How to rename the files | I prefer the format ccyy-mm-dd Incoming phone number - persons name

*Choose format of recording amr/mp4/mp3 | I prefer amr, because it has the smallest file size, but mp4 is a good alternative too.

A typical phone call is about 50 - 300 kbs in amr format.


Recording entire travel path


For this I installed Google My Tracks <=Click Link for app

I start this each morning and stop it each night before I go sleep.

My Tracks allows you to automatically upload each track to Google Drive.


You can manually export this file and then share it to Evernote.


I prefer to have this happen automatically, so I do this.


On my Windows Desktop, I have Google Drive Installed.

I've configured Evernote's folder import to upload any new track files.


Note: Each track files is only a few kilo-bits in size (Essentially it's just a text files with a rows of GPS coordinates)

Google Earth should be installed on you computer, that will launch when you click the file from inside Evernote.


You can also install Google Earth on your android phone, but for some reason, the kml file will not launch Google Earth on the android phone, it will have to be downloaded to a temporary location first.




Looking at one file recorded on New Years day 2 years ago, reminded me that I visited some friends on that day, that I stopped off at a DVD store and went to the beach, I then entered that into my journal rretrospectively and called up those same friends because I hadn't spoken to them in a while.
The permanent track file is a useful backup for when you've forgotten to make a record journal record and you want to track your steps, or if you've lost/forgotten something and want to track your movements.
Recording Your entire days in a 30 second interval photo video
Coming soon ... 


















Link to comment
  • Level 5

Are all of those bullet points stored in a single Evernote account?

How many Evernote notes do you have?


A word of caution - be careful with Evernote - be sure to maintain a set of multiple backups over a recent period of time - don't trust in the cloud 


Also, if you review some of the forum posts you will find power users who have encountered a variety of problems when they reached 25K to 50K individual notes. Some of the solutions involve minimizing individual notes and storing larger notes in other programs, or creating multiple Evernote accounts. Other solutions involving uninstalling & reinstalling the program, then resyncing. Or re-indexing the data. 


I have not see any indication from Evernote that their quality control department maintains a few large databases for testing purposes when the upgrades are rolled out. All of these issues give me some concern about putting too many eggs into an Evernote basket.

Link to comment

Good points raised there.

In fact I agonized over this exact thing for almost a year before I decided to go with Evernote.

I'm now at 13K notes.


I've made a decision that eventually, I will use Evernote daily via the cloud exclusively, but keep one desktop running with the sole purpose of keeping an "offline backup" of my notes.


That enex file (currently 6 GB in size) is backed up to an external portable hard drive which I keep in my safe.

I perform these backups on Sundays.


It might seem excessive, but it is part of my ritual. (I also backup other things outside of Evenote, such as videos of loved ones.

I keep dual copies of everything in the cloud and as offline data.

At the end of the day, it is *my* responsibility to ensure my data is backed up.


I believe that, as you say, eventually when you hit the 50K number, the database will become sluggish - as a limitation of the end user's hardware.

By searching via the web interface, the hard work of crunching through those files is done by the Evernote servers, rather than my poor old desktop. :)


This is my chosen approach, I don't know if it's the best method, but I've spent a lot of time thinking about this, and seem like the best of both worlds.

Link to comment

I am very interested in life logging. Looking forward to see your posts! 


I looked at your tutorials - you have said many things that I want to say already.

And in a more detailed and better way!


I used google translate to convert them to English. I was very impressed with your work and your novel. :)

Link to comment


I am very interested in life logging. Looking forward to see your posts! 


I looked at your tutorials - you have said many things that I want to say already.

And in a more detailed and better way!


I used google translate to convert them to English. I was very impressed with your work and your novel. :)



That's very kind of you! Many thanks.

Link to comment


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...