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A year living social trends: Automating your life – what we found

After a month of letting algorithms and notifications run my life, what have I found? Would I recommend it? Did I hit my goals?

Well, I’m going to break this into different areas, as it’s a mixed picture.

Work productivity is through the roof. And I’m not just saying that because it’s on our company blog and my boss is reading this over my shoulder. Honest.

IFTTT was a big part of this. Specific elements within what has become a full-blown obsession include:

  1. 300 notifications and 9 applets

  2. Probably the one app which helped my productivity most was the one that saves Gmail attachments automatically – minimum 5 mins p/w time saving.

  3. Statsbot – it’s a Slack integration that a friend told me about towards the end of the month. It let’s you connect Google Analytics with Slack and auto-generated a report or for me. Wasn’t a massive time saver as I only needed 4 stats, but still saves you the time to login and click around (change the date etc.). The disadvantage is that it takes away the additional benefits of GA (historics e.g.)…

  4. Another one I found quite useful (it unfortunately doesn’t complete the tasks for you but it’s useful to understand when you are more productive) was putting all my completed tasks into a google spreadsheet – there were some errors with the app, compounded by the user bias of how I choose to tick off tasks, but it nonetheless helped me chart and understand my personal productivity patterns

Swiftkey likewise improved by speed AND accuracy of typing. 10% quicker, 40% less typos. Can’t argue with that.

Did I become more productive? In some areas it works really well: work productivity. For food I wouldn’t say more productive, but interesting to know. For music or movies it doesn’t really work for as I prefer to just click through and go by friend’s recommendations or trendy stuff.

Good to know, but not really that practical in your daily routine

Eat This much – interesting, but I’m not really sure what to do with this information. You can see the days where i have been to the gym or one of the hundred brunch places where they have avo with toast in London and my proteins go up… but what do I do differently with said info?!

Spotify Weekly – the weekly part was the limiting factor here… by Wednesday I’d heard everything and wanted more recommendations. Great as part of your listening habits, Spotify isn’t yet ready to take away all personal choice in the process…

So, what are the things I’ll continue with, and commend to you?

Well, first and foremost we can all benefit from being more productive in the workplace, and I only scratched the surface of the ways I can optimise my workflows. We have the benefit of being a data-savvy, cloud-based start up, but much (if not all) could be applied in large enterprise environments. Removing the fun of personal choice, even where it’s not the most rationally optimised choice from our personal lives, however, doesn’t bring the same sense of reward. Eat based on your eyes and heart, listen based on your mood, and don’t (yet) outsource these to the robots.

Right, I’m off to do whatever my task spreadsheet says to do next!


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