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The Personal Analytics of My Life

One day I’m sure everyone will routinely collect all sorts of data about themselves. But because I’ve been interested in data for a very long time, I started doing this long ago. I actually assumed lots of other people were doing it too, but apparently they were not. And so now I have what is probably one of the world’s largest collections of personal data.

Every day — in an effort at “self awareness” — I have automated systems send me a few e-mails about the day before. I’ve been accumulating data for years and though I always meant to analyze it I never actually did. But with Mathematica and the automated data analysis capabilities we just released in Wolfram|Alpha Pro, I thought now would be a good time to finally try taking a look — and to use myself as an experimental subject for studying what one might call “personal analytics.”

Let’s start off talking about e-mail. I have a complete archive of all my e-mail going back to 1989 — a year after Mathematica was released, and two years after I founded Wolfram Research. Here’s a plot with a dot showing the time of each of the third of a million e-mails I’ve sent since 1989:


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