Tracking apps: who is using them and are they any good?

I recently downloaded an app to track my cycles. I used to do this on a small paper calendar but I like the convenience of the app in my phone.

Here’s the part I enjoy the most:

Logging my moods.

But me being me I have complaints about this. πŸ˜›

First of all, the app doesn’t accurately describe my moods in its limited choices. I have only four options: happy, sad, sensitive, PMS

(I go through ALL of the above plus about 17 more (except PMS) in any given hour. Sheesh.)

I also have a problem accepting that PMS is categorized under emotions.

PMS is not an emotion. It includes a variety of emotions (moods), as well as other symptoms (like spotting, digestive issues, mental health issues such as anxiety, sleep problems like too much or too little (insomnia), cravings, crashes, and a whole range of other elements.)

Let’s look at emotions a little bit closer, shall we?

For the purpose of this topic in this post, I am focusing on women since we are talking about a menstrual tracking app.

But men have moods too. πŸ˜‰ Since most of you men live with women, you are cordially invited to keep reading. πŸ™‚

We go through an assortment of moods all day which can change at the flick of a switch without notice or seemingly viable explanations. Right?

Some of those are due to hormonal fluctuations, and others are caused by… oh, I don’t know…just name everyone in your life. πŸ™„

Case in point: most people have the capacity to annoy me at some point. πŸ˜› Trick is to not let them, which is where I fail. But I digress…

The point here is, the app doesn’t take this little issue of having multiple, and equally manifested, moods in one day into consideration. It just wants to know if I had a happy day. Or a sad one.

How…inconclusive.

On a typical day I may have had interspersed moments of happiness. Like at 6:55 – 7:10 while sipping my first coffee in a silent house. Mood = happy 😊

I was also happy at 11:45 am when my dog greeted me as I appeared at his house for our daily walk. That happiness lasted at least 45 minutes. Mood = happy 😘

I was happy again at various points throughout the day, say for example if I saw evidence someplace on the internet a friend left behind telling me he’s not dead and buried. Or when an email pops up from another friend in which she shares some entertaining fiasco in her current family life that makes me smile. Or when I take a bite of a delicious lunch, or create a little vase of flowers to put on my table, or when a kid empties the dishwasher without me having to harp on him…

But the rest of the day I jump around my emotions like some lunatic. I feel frustration (laundry, chores), exasperation (teenagers, family), worry (money, house, kids), anxiety (illness in family or pets), sadness (I miss you)Β  or any other garden variety of moods one tends to experience throughout the day.

I can’t accurately depict how my emotional state was at the end of the day when I log my answers into the app. Even though I know they can’t possibly include an all-encompassing range, for practical purposes, I find their choices too limiting.

Maybe I need to check out other apps. I use Clue. Maybe others have a better focus on the emotional state related to a menstrual cycle than this particular app does.

Aside note: The primary purpose of these cycle tracking apps seems to be ovulation timing (for people who want to, or don’t want to, get pregnant). I am not really in that bracket. Can you imagine a baby in my house with my teens? OMG don’t even…😡

πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

My purpose is to track my cycle for practicality (when is the period coming, am I going to crash during PMS or not, is the blood loss going to be minimal or murder scene volume, etc).

I think the app I’m using is ok for that but not accurate enough on the emotional side of things.

I may have to do some more research, and see if there is an app that tracks the needs of peri-menopausal women.

Tell me, are you using apps to track things? Doesn’t have to be about the female menstrual cycles.

24 thoughts on “Tracking apps: who is using them and are they any good?

  1. “is the blood loss going to be minimal or murder scene volume” – LMAO

    I use the Cycles app to track my period, and I like how it offers multiple options for moods and body signals.

    I also have a shopping app (for groceries and household items) called AnyList.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I use an app called Flo and I looooove it. I love that I can access all my past cycles and there are TONS of mood options – you should check it out – as well as dozens of other “symptoms” you can track. It also has a sort-of blog feed attached to it with “suggested” articles and mine are all about perimenopause, which I have found helpful. Recommended!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. My daughter has been using one since she started and she is a hyper level note taker and schedule person. I’m pretty sure the one she is using offers a lot of different things and doesn’t seem nearly as tied to ovulation. I cannot for the life of me remember the name, though. I can check if you’d like. I just stick with adding mine to my Google calendar as it does all the math for me while I sit back and keep my fingers crossed I’m closer to being truly done with the whole nasty mess than I probably am.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. About every other month or so I ask Hubby if he has gotten his doctorate so he can just take it all out for me. He keeps disappointing me when he says no. Being a software test engineer apparently doesn’t qualify him to fix it for me. *sigh*

        Liked by 2 people

  4. I use an app called Clue for this. Sounds the same as the one you’re using in the emotions dept. I’m like L. Rorschach though in that I don’t bother tracking emotions or anything else. I just use it to remind me when I’m due so I know when I’m likely to have PMS.

    Other than that I use an app called Countdown+ to keep track of all my family’s birthdays etc so I don’t forget anyone. That’s about all I track I think.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. As I am thankfully past all things menstrual at this point I have no idea or suggestions. Other than keeping track of a start date each month on the calendar I have to wonder how useful something like this would have been to me as I had at least one- week long- hormonal migraine each month, sometimes more. Pregnancy for me was wonderful because all the hormones associated with monthly cycles were suppressed. After my third child I was diagnosed with cervical cancer and had a hysterectomy. While the outcome of all that may have been different it was an almost 90% complete solution to the migraine issues. I remind myself of that positive all the time πŸ™‚
    Back to the app thing- I know most people do a lot on their phones but being the old-fashioned person that I am, I would likely just keep a journal. That way even small details can be recorded for better insight- if that’s what you’re going for.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. I should have included an image of a month on my paper calendar when I had a lot of notes. πŸ™‚ Chaos!

      I guess the apps are attractive in the sense that they can give predictions, analyzing things like mood, PMS and all the rest of it. Like I said, I just started doing this the app way so we’ll see how I like it, and if I stay with it.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I’ll only say this about that – I listen to a podcast called This Week in Google and they discussed on a couple of episodes how some of these apps that track cycles were uploading the information to servers and doing something with it – other than just letting you track your cycle. So read up on the security side of them as well. (https://www.vox.com/the-goods/2018/11/13/18079458/menstrual-tracking-surveillance-glow-clue-apple-health) The only tracker I use is FitBit to make sure I’m actually moving around during the day.

    Like

  7. Yes, I use a menstrual tracker, have been for years. Mine is called My Calendar. It’s handy for those times when my doctor asks me when my last menstrual period was.

    And I like knowing when to expect my period and when I’m ovulating (for extra precautions).

    The only other thing I track is spotting. I don’t track my moods so I don’t have any helpful tips for that, sorry!

    Liked by 1 person

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