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Quantified-Self: The Power of Day One & Launch Center Pro

Mickael Le Gal

If you like to keep track of the things you do during the day like your workout, your meals, your sleep but haven't found a solution to make it effortless and keep it all in one place, here is an easy way to do it using Day One and Launch Center Pro. I found out about this workflow last week while reading Josiah Wiebe's blog and this has changed the way I journal and log the different activities I want to track. In this post, I'll you show you how to set up a Day One action with Launch Center Pro and how to personalize it.  

How does it work?  

Day One uses Markdown syntax which allows you to create rich text entries using plain text. The Markdown syntax is quite powerful but it can be a pain to use, especially if you want to generate more complex outputs like a table. This is where Launch Center Pro comes in handy and helps you automate this process. This demo video will give you an idea of what the final workflow looks like and how fast it is. 

How to set up a Launch Center Pro action?

What you need: 

  • An iPhone or an iPad. Day One is not available (for now) on Android devices unfortunately. 
  • Day One (Link to the app on iTunes)
  • Launch Center Pro (Link to the app on iTunes)

Below is a list of Launch Center Pro actions that I have customised for my personal needs. If you like one them and want to try it out, all you have to do is open the internet browser on your phone or tablet, follow the link of the action you want and click on the install button. This will open Launch Center Pro and install it on the spot of your choice. I've added more details on each of these actions a little further down this post. 

  1. Daily Summary
  2. Sleep Log (This one was created by Josiah)
  3. Workout Log
  4. Meals and Drinks Log
  5. Franklin's 13 virtues (For the fun)

Josiah Wiebe has also some great ones including Movie Reviews, Cocktail Log, Beer Log... You can find them here

If you don't want to remember to use the workflow everyday, you can easily set up a reminder in Launch Center Pro. Click on the little pen on the upper right corner in Launch Center Pro, select the action you want to set an alert for, then scroll down a little and you'll find Schedule under Option.  

How to personalize them?

You will certainly want to make some modifications and adapt these actions to your own needs so here is what you can do. Below is the markdown code I used for my Daily Summary action: 

Modify it the way you like. Use the command prompt whenever you want to enter free text and the command list if you only want to pick from a set of options. Another nice trick is if you use the Flesky keyboard instead of the default one in iOS, you can replace the prompt command by prompt-flesky.

Once you're done polishing your action, the next step is to encode it into a URL format. This can be tedious but fortunately Jeff Mueller has created a simple app that will do the conversion for you in an instant. You can access the app on this page.

Finally, go to launchcenterpro.com and copy paste your URL encoded code under the URL text area. Give your action a name, a short description, click on create and you're done!

Details of each action

1. Daily Summary

  • Today's one word summary (Free text)
  • Did I work today? (Yes | No)
  • Did I relax today? (Yes | No)
  • Did I workout today? (Yes | No) 
  • Am I happy with what I did today? (Yes | No)
  • Have I made any progress toward my goals? (Yes | No)
  • What did I learn? (Free text) 
  • What am I grateful for? (Free text)
  • Mood (😂|😄|😐|😞|😭|😠)
  • Notes (Free text)

2. Sleep Log

  • How did I sleep? (Great | Good | Okay | Poorly | Not at all)
  • How long did I sleep? (Free text hours)
  • Did I dream? (Yes | No) 
  • Extra thoughts? (Free text)

3. Workout Log

This one is still experimental and I will certainly refine it over time. If you have any suggestion to make it better and/or simpler, please leave me a comment.  

  • Did you train your back today? (Yes | No) + Number of sets + Number of reps
  • Did you train your chest today? (Yes | No) + Number of sets + Number of reps
  • Did you train your abs today? (Yes | No) + Number of sets + Number of reps
  • Did you train your shoulders today? (Yes | No) + Number of sets + Number of reps
  • Did you train your legs today? (Yes | No) + Number of sets + Number of reps 
  • Did you do some cardio today? (Yes | No) + How long in minutes?
  • Notes (Free text)

4. Meals & Drinks Log

  • What did I have for Breakfast? (Free text)

  • What did I have for Lunch? (Free text)

  • What did I have for Dinner? (Free text)

  • Did I have any snacks? (Free text)

  • How many cups of coffee did I drink? (0 | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | More than 5)

  • How many cups of tea did I drink? (0 | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | More than 5)

  • Did I drink anything else? (Free text)

  • Did I take some vitamins? (Yes | No)

  • Notes (Free text)

6. Franklin's 13 Virtues

I have always been inspired by Franklin's passion for self-improvement and just for the fun I've decided to create one action that helps you track his famous 13 virtues. 

  • Virtue of the week: (Temperance | Order | Resolution | Frugality | Moderation | Industry | Cleanliness | Tranquility | Justice | Silence | Sincerity | Justice | Chastity)

  • How well did I do today? (★☆☆☆☆|★★☆☆☆|★★★☆☆|★★★★☆|★★★★★)

  • Notes (Free text)

Quick recap on each virtue's definition: 

  • Temperance: "Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation."
  • Order: "Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have its time."
  • Resolution: "Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve."
  • Frugality: "Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself; i.e., waste nothing."
  • Moderation: "Avoid extremes; forbear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve."
  • Industry: "Lose no time; be always employed in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions."
  • Cleanliness: "Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, clothes, or habitation."
  • Tranquility: "Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable." 
  • Silence: "Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation."
  • Sincerity: "Use no hurtful deceit; think innocently and justly, and, if you speak, speak accordingly."
  • Justice: "Wrong none by doing injuries, or omitting the benefits that are your duty."
  • Chastity: "Rarely use venery but for health or offspring, never to dullness, weakness, or the injury of your own or another's peace or reputation."
  • Humility: "Imitate Jesus and Socrates." 


I have been using these workflows for a week now and so far I haven't missed a day. As you've seen in the video it's super fast, simple and once you set them up you can easily forget about them. Now, I can't wait to analyze the results at the end of the year.

If you build some cool workflows, please share them in the comment section, I'd love to see them.