Yesterday, I wrote about looking at my life in weeks, based on this excellent post over at Wait, But Why. In looking at my life in weeks, I began to wonder about how much of it was documented. Here is the chart I produced yesterday, for reference. Each square represents one week of my life since birth.
I decided to take a slightly different cut at this. I looked at when I started keeping a paper diary; when the paper diary was replaced by blogging; and when I started using Evernote to “remember everything.” Here is what the same chart looks like with those three areas of self-documentation highlighted.
As of this week, my life has been 2,197 weeks long. Looking at this data, a fair chunk of it is documented in one form or another. If you take all three methods listed above, it totals 950 weeks, or 43% of my life. What this means is that I can go back to any of those weeks and find, to a pretty good degree of accuracy, what I was doing. I have the documentation in one form or another.
The blog continues as well (obviously) and that has been going steady now for 444 weeks, or 20% of my life. The blog doesn’t contain as much detail as Evernote does, but it is still a better overall source of documentation than my paper diaries ever were.
However, the documentation doesn’t get really accurate until I started using Evernote and attempted to “remember everything,” in part by going paperless. I started using Evernote in December 2010, which means I’ve been using it for 178 weeks. That amounts to just 8% of my life. That said, that 8% of my life is well more documented by far than the previous 92%. I can go back to almost any day in the last 178 weeks and tell you virtually everything about the day, from the weather, to what purchases I made, to what words I wrote on a specific story, to what new things my kids were doing.
I think that this is pretty cool, and I think that it will make for something special for my kids to be able to look through when they are older and I am much older. The details of life are often lost in memory, but when you can capture those details as discretely as I’ve been able to do with Evernote, very little is lost and it paints a vivid picture of “what life what like when Dad was a (relative) youngster.”