A couple of weeks ago I started tracking how I felt after a night of sleep using a calendar. I’ve since graduated to maintaining an Excel spreadsheet that logs this information using a scale of zero to five (zero = severe fatigue, five = well rested). A couple of days ago I started checking the morning’s effectiveness stats and recording that in the same spreadsheet.
In an effort to maintain awareness of my sleep patterns I decided to keep a very simple sleep journal. I don’t know how useful this will prove to be though it may help identify trends or problems caused by specific changes in my sleeping habits. My sleep doctor may find the data interesting at my next visit, when he checks up on my CPAP treatment. Rather than sign up for another third-party service, I decided to use a resource I already I had.
I’ve been using MobileMe for a while. I’ll transition to the new iCloud service once it becomes available. In MobileMe I created a new “Sleep Journal” calendar in which I enter information about how well I slept and how I felt the day after. Specifically, each day I add an all-day event with a title that describes how I feel that morning. For example, I’ll enter “Extreme Fatigue”, “Slightly Fatigued”, “Moderately Rested”, or “Well Rested” along with some other descriptions or combinations of those (some days I’m a little bit tired but somewhat rested).
I also add short notes to each entry that may include information about new equipment that I used, when I went to bed, how often I remember waking up, or even if I woke up before or after my alarm clock went off. Eventually, I may create a spreadsheet, database, or chart based on the information.
I don’t enter very many details. My goal was to make it simple and easy to access in order to help ensure that I continue to maintain the log.
I’ve use a Mac as my primary desktop computer for several years. During that time I’ve stuck with using Apple’s Mail.app. Overall it’s been a good e-mail client. However, it hasn’t changed much since I started using it in OS X 10.4 (Tiger) up through 10.5 (Snow Leopard).
It worked well for my needs but I was using Entourage and, more recently, Outlook 2011 (for Mac) at work and as a result I’ve become accustomed to features that I don’t have at home in Mail.app. Specifically, I find the search features in Mail.app lacking.
For example, every now and then I like to go through old e-mails and reduce the storage used by the archives. In Outlook I can refine searches for e-mails with attachments based on attachment sizes. In Mail.app all I can do is identify e-mails with attachments.
This weekend I imported my account settings and e-mails into Outlook. The process was simple.
Mail.app is an OK e-mail client. I’ve rarely had any problems with it but it just hasn’t evolved enough to still make it suitable for my needs.
I’m not planning to use the contacts and calendar functions of Outlook – I’m still satisfied with OS X’s Address Book and iCal programs.