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Today, I will do the following things:

  • I will start the QoLT poster for the Stage-Based Model of Personal Informatics Systems. This poster will have the following components:
    • A graphic of the model.
    • Descriptions of the stages.
    • For each stage, a table describing the different problems that can occur within that stage.
    • Descriptions of the properties of the stages.
    • Design recommendations for a project.
  • The following is the structure of the poster.
    • The poster is horizontal divided in six parts. Five of these parts represent each of the stages.
    • There will be a title, a graphics of the stages, description of the stages, problems with the stages. There will be a second section with rows describing the four properties and describing design guidelines.
    • Altogether, there will 7 rows.
  • I will also work on my proposal presentation.
    • I will start out with a short story of what I want to say in the proposal.
    • Elevator speech: There are now many personal informatics systems to track many types of behaviors. Existing systems focus on just the behavioral information. Information about factors that affect behavior is also important. Contextual information can represent those factors. My thesis will prove that a system with contextual information can reveal factors that affect behavior better than a system that doesn’t.
226 words in 10 minutes at 10:23 PM on Mar 21, 2010 | comments

It’s 10AM. I am writing to plan my Friday. This is the first of many posts whereby I will plan my day. So that the plans are easily visible, I will use a bulleted format.

  • I will get to school at 11pm. I will organize my desk in preparation to the work I need to do today.
  • At noon, I will have FWF (Forget Work Friday) lunch with other PhD students. We will recap our spring break activities. I stayed in Pittsburgh during the break because of a paper deadline, but I would like to hear what people did out of town. I expect this to last until 1:30pm.
  • At 6:30pm, I will go to Sharp Edge with my karate club to say farewell to one of our members. He’s going to Japan to work for a research institution and we will miss him. I expect this to last until 9pm.
  • Between FWF and Sharp Edge, which is 4 to 4.5 hours, I will work on my proposal presentation. I will start the introduction section, while thinking about the overall structure of the talk. What are the themes? How are the themes reflected throughout the presentation?
    • Part of this work session, I will address the comments that John gave about my document. I think as I address his comments, it will help me think of what I need to put in my presentation for regarding visualizations.
  • At 9:30pm, I will go home. I need to start laundry. I also need to start my taxes.
  • I plan to go to bed by midnight, so that I can have an early day tomorrow. Before I go to bed, I will make sure to provide a summary of my day.
294 words in 9 minutes at 02:08 PM on Mar 19, 2010 | comments

I just took a sip of cold coffee. The coffee is from Dunkin’ Donuts; it has kept me company throughout the day. Tiny doses of caffeine every hour to maintain alertness.


I just finished creating my proposal flyer and web site. I just sent the URL to my advisors. Next, I will send it to my committee and the HCII department. Tomorrow, I will print the flyers and post them around campus.


I think I will start using Write for Ten as a way to plan my day. For ten minutes at the beginning of the day. I will write what I plan to do during the day. At the end of the day, I will write again to reflect on whether I accomplished what I set out to do. Ha! This is a cool idea.


The last time I wrote was March 11. I dropped the ball of writing again. But I have an excuse, though it is similar to my last one; this time I was writing my Ubicomp paper.

175 words in 9 minutes at 02:11 AM on Mar 19, 2010 | comments

Okay, I dropped the ball the past couple of weeks. I have been very busy working on my thesis proposal and writing a conference paper that I have not written here. I promise I have written at least for 10 minutes each day, just not on Write for Ten :(

I have to finish my conference paper by 4pm today. There is plenty to write, to restructure, and to rephrase. I have about 6 hours. To accomplish this, I will write in 10 minute chunks. There are several sections where I have to put ideas in. I can write these ideas in 10-minute non-stop writing sessions. If I wish, I can spend the following 20 minutes editing what I wrote. Otherwise, I can continue writing another idea for 10 minutes.

To help with these 10-minute writing sessions, I will write a checklist of what I need to write. I recently read part of The Checklist Manifesto by Anul Gawande. He talked about the benefits of checklists and how it can help people (even experts) accomplish tasks. I just bought some mini-notebooks yesterday to start making checklists. The few hours I spent yesterday with a checklist were very productive. The funny thing is I knew about the benefits of checklists long time ago. I guess I just forgot and now discovering them again.

222 words in 9 minutes at 02:40 PM on Mar 11, 2010 | comments

(continued from last post)

Night time arrived. The moon was full. Mr. Squirrel was warm in his humble hole in the ground near the statue in the middle of campus. He was reading a textbook he grabbed from the campus library. Now that humans were not around, he was free to read all the books he wanted.

Before heading to bed, he sat outside to look at the full moon for a few minutes. He contemplated the peacefulness of the evening. He reminisced about the years when humans were around; quiet evenings were rare. Living in the middle of campus was often loud because of college student parties.

He heard some rustling from far a distance, but ignored the sound. He remembered the time when a few freshmen stumbling through the campus running over bushes and falling asleep on the grass.

He heard the sound again, but at a closer distance. “Just dandy,” he sighed. His peace was broken.

The sound came again, sooner this time and closer. Mr. Squirrel squinted his eyes at the distance. He could not make out the figure, but it was bigger than he was.

He stood still curious at what is about to arrive. He did not know the danger that was coming. When he finally saw the figure standing above him, it was too late to run to his hole. His spine tingled and he feels large teeth rupture his neck. The humans have left, but the wolves have returned.

The end.

249 words in 12 minutes at 04:53 PM on Feb 23, 2010 | comments

Name Ian Li
Location Pittsburgh, PA
Web http://ianli.com/
Bio Creator of Write for Ten.
Posts 75

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