When Casey and I had Kael late last year, I quickly realized the power in keeping track of when he slept, ate, and needed diaper changes. That data isn’t very useful in isolation, but when you look at their trends over time, you can start to see patterns that otherwise might not be so obvious.
We made a really simple spreadsheet for this purpose and used it for several weeks as we tried to “troubleshoot” our newborn’s eating and sleeping. In the middle of one sleep deprived night, I had a thought: “Maybe I could make a web app to make tracking and charting this stuff easier.”
I never did anything with my idea, and forgot about it until this morning when I came across a link to a site called Trixie Tracker on Steve Rubel’s Micro Persuasion blog. Trixie Tracker is pretty much the same idea I had, except someone went out and actually did it. You can keep track of all sorts of information relating to sleep, diapers, nursing, bottles, solid food, pumping, and medicine. Over time, you can easily see trends and patterns in each of these areas, helping you figure out why your baby keeps waking up every night or if he’s a certain food is causing him trouble. I haven’t tried Trixie Tracker, but it looks pretty good after a quick look.
My personal take away on this: Ideas don’t mean anything unless you actually do something with them.