Dylan Smith

Life radar

My last post about my priorities going into 2024 reminded me of this radar chart template I made in 2019. Each spoke represents an area of focus and can be evaluated from 1–5, 5 being the highest and plotted on the outermost ring.

An empty radar chart with six spokes: fitness, fiancée, family, friends, career, and creativity

The system was pretty lofi. I just saved the above image on my phone and set a recurring reminder to duplicate it and add data points every week or so with the iOS drawing tool. The better I felt I did in that category that week, the higher the rating. If I dropped the ball, low rating.

The result would look something like this.

The same radar chart with data points for each category

I saved all of the images in the same folder which let me scrub through and see the changes over time. Perfect 5s was never the goal — that’s a path to burnout. It’s all about managing the balance. If a rating was low, I knew to pay it some mind and book a dinner date, text a friend, or call my mom. It helped visualise focus and make sure nothing I decided I cared about was slipping through the cracks.

The same radar chart with different values plotted

At one point I wrote a web app for this, because of course I did. I could add or remove categories and add sets of values. I used Chart.js to generate the chart. It’d probably make a better iOS app with push notification reminders.

Eventually I stopped doing it. It hit a sweet spot for me between goal setting and habit tracking, but after it trained me to be conscious of balance and progress, it became less useful.

Newer How should designers code? Older 2024