Daily Tracker & Pastebot

January 31st, 2010  |  Published in mac and iphone


I used to think about sleep this way: It was important to not get too much, or I’d have trouble flipping my sleep schedule around. I remember two weeks in 1999 when Al went off to Spain and I ended up completely turned around by the end of the first week. It’s a creepy, strange feeling.

Then we had Ben and I started to think about sleep this way: I’d never, ever be caught up again.

Things have gotten better since, but I still tended to be a night owl, and it was a pretty good night when I got more than six hours. It was just too easy to get wrapped up in a good book. Finally, last year I had a lot of luck setting my bedtime and sticking to it pretty religiously. I got knocked out of that routine, though, for some reason I can’t even remember and it’s been hard to get back into it.

So the Daily Tracker has come in handy. Using a list of generic tracking items, it allows you to set up a simple log for all sorts of activities. For things you want to track like time or recurrence, it offers the ability to keep a running total and average. It also allows you to create things like reusable checklists:

Daily Tracker checklist

A few other tracker types:

  • daily notes

  • to-do list

  • integer

  • number with one decimal place

  • number with two decimal places

  • rate (1-5 stars)

  • time (hours and minutes)

  • mood

  • check/x box

I started tracking my sleep earlier this month, which has helped me be more mindful of it, and this past week I added a daily journal, a list of books I’m reading, and a timer for the amount of time I spend reading. The journal has provisions for adding pictures from the camera or camera roll, location stamping and adding voice recording. It also includes an icon for adding a timestamp.

I wouldn’t ordinarily spend any time at all with an app like this for the iPhone because it’s not a platform where I’ve come to expect a lot of data portability, but Daily Tracker does really well in this regard: You can back up all your data to Google Docs in the form of a PDF file that appears blank but holds everything inside. It can also export some of the logs to CSV or a Google spreadsheet.

Working with Pastebot

Daily Tracker is also a nice use case for Pastebot, a clipboard app. With Pastebot, it’s possible to share your iPhone’s clipboard over a Wi-Fi network with a Mac or vice versa, so it’s possible to prepare some text on a Mac, copy it, then paste it into the iPhone for use there. That’s a good way to use a full keyboard for keeping a journal or log when you’re in front of a computer, then copy it into Daily Tracker to keep everything in one place.


Pastebot can do a lot more than that, too. It’s possible to copy images from the iPhone to the Mac over the air. Just copy an image into the clipboard, open Pastebot, pick the image, then select “Paste to Mac,” which will drop it on the open and selected Finder window.

For text clippings, Pastebot includes a few other actions, like “Search via Google” and a bunch of text filters:

  • convert to lowercase/uppercase

  • encode/decode HTML entities

  • find and replace

  • quote lines

  • smarten/straighten quotes

  • wrap in HTML tags

For images, it includes filters, too:

  • brightness

  • black and white

  • invert

  • saturation

  • sepia

It’s a really smooth way to copy stuff back and forth quickly and easily. My one fond wish is that the iPhone supported background tasks. Having Pastebot running in the background and keeping a history of my Mac and iPhone clipboards would be really nice.

Pro tip on clipboards: You can share clipboard histories between Macs over the air with PTH Pasteboard. It sounds pointless until you move from a desktop to a laptop in the middle of the day and the URL or snippet you copied to your clipboard on the iMac automagically appears in the clipboard history of your MacBook, sparing you a trip upstairs to mail it to yourself or something equally clunky.

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© Michael Hall, licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States license.