In this post I’ll show you how I logged my phone use with tasker, in a follow up post I’ll show you how I visualized that.
I had a great vacation last week but relaxing in Spain I thought about my use of technology and became a bit concerned with how many times I actually look at my phone.
But how many times a day do I actually look at my phone? I used the android app tasker I bought and have used the app before, but I never really bothered to figure the app out. I did now.
Tasker can be used to automate many things in your phone, for instance turn on wifi when you’re near a certain place, dim screen when it’s late, mute the phone when you’re in a meeting and many more things.
But in this case I wanted a simple way to track my phone use, as a proxy for phone use I have a counter that starts every day at 0 and increments with one everytime the screen is on.
How to do that:
- In Profiles, create a new profile, with state: ‘Display State On’, give it a useful name f.i.: ‘screen counter’
- Then add a task, give that a name too, f.i. : ‘update screen count’
That task has multiple actions, I set mine up to
- wait for 4 seconds (a quick on and off does not count)
- Variable add ‘%SCREEN_COUNT’ value 1, wrap around 0
- if you want to, you could flash a message
- write file, give it a name, f.i. ‘screenlog.csv’ and create some text to write to that file. I used “screenlog”;"%DATE";"%TIME";"%SCREEN_COUNT" and toggle append and add newline
This way the file gets appended with new screen counts everytime I open the phone, the resulting file is a ‘;’ - seperated file where tasker replaces the %DATE etc with the current values So today it would write
For some reason the app sometimes writes in USA style date and sometimes in normal day-month-year style, so that gives me head aches, but it works reasonably well.
How to reset the counter?
I set up a new profile for that reason. Every day in the final minutes of the day a new task is run that resets the $SCREEN_COUNT to 0.