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Week 45

Jakub

Topic:
I try not to disregard the meaning of words such as: I love you, I’m sorry, thank you, friend, I trust you, etc. I rarely say them and try to use them wisely. The word sorry, however, has its own characteristic and is often used in trivial situations. Such a trivial matter is, for example, asking someone to move if we cannot open a door or a refrigerator. Eight of the nine “I’m sorry” sentences I said this week were of this kind. I used the word sorry in a deeper sense only once this week.

Data gathering:
I kept the records in a notebook on my phone. It went smoothly. It’s my 45th postcard and I’m quite skilled at it. I was surprised by the fairly small number of “sorry” words addressed to me. I think I could have missed some of them.

Data drawing:
I had little time to draw my postcard and I was looking for a minimalistic creation. I decided to use the matrix and I think I overdid it. The combination of continuous and dashed lines impairs legibility. The same color of the axis labels is also a mistake.

Klaudia’s postcard:

The words sorry written in different languages disturb my reception of Klaudia’s postcard a bit. However, I know that it is difficult to draw a postcard with only a small amount of data. I also often choose to visually enrich my graphs. 

Klaudia… you were never late for our meeting 🙂

The process:



Klaudia

Topic:
I approached the topic without emotion. My philosophy is to have as few reasons to apologize as possible. Whenever I say something unpleasant, I try to fix the situation as soon as possible.

I am often late (especially for face-to-face meetings) and this is something I often apologize for…

Data gathering:
I did not collect much data. Due to remote work I probably avoided many small apologies that could have taken place in the office (e.g. taking one’s pen by mistake or pouring too little water into the kettle :-)). 

My apologies were mostly triggered by overlooking or forgetting about something at work and at home.

Data drawing:
As I thought about presenting my modest data, the word sorry came to my mind in the various foreign languages I know. I even looked for websites with translations of the word sorry into all the languages of the world. Apparently I was looking for non-obvious inspirations.

As usual I was thinking about how to categorize my data. This week I only got two categories: 1) minor errors / omissions and 2) late arrivals.

I decided to combine the stacked line chart with my linguistic hobby. I also hid a mini-riddle for Jakub in the postcard.

Jakub’s postcard:

It took me a while to decipher this unusual visualization 😉 It’s interesting that Jakub counted the apologies directed at him, I didn’t think about it…

The process:

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Week 44

Jakub

Topic:
I am often distracted. It is mainly due to the nature of my work. As a rule, the marketing industry has an exceptionally wide range of tasks. I even heard a saying „If you don’t know who is going to do something, let the marketing department do it.” As a result, each day is different and often unpredictable. At least I am never bored. However, it is also a disadvantage – my priorities have to change often.

Data gathering:
Data collection consisted in writing down each interruption at work and its source. I used Keep notebook. Pretty soon I noticed some patterns. Firstly, I am distracted by phone calls. At work I often contact my colleagues by phone. These conversations interrupt my flow and, worst of all, they are a source of new tasks. Secondly, I can’t help but read new emails as soon as they arrive in my mailbox. Those messages often require immediate action, which distracts me from the work I have already started. Thirdly, it happens to me that I am distracted by music heard on the radio, because I want to check some data about the artist.

Data drawing:
I wanted to show that the course of things is never perfect. There are always some obstacles or distractions. Some smaller, some bigger. The key is to accept that such interruptions will arise and treat them as challenges.

Klaudia’s postcard:

Klaudia’s postcard presents the daily distractions in an interesting way and how they impact the quality of work. I think that for me there would be much less deep work and more shallow work.

The process:



Klaudia

Topic:
Being focused as much as possible is my daily struggle. Sometimes I’m happy with what I achieve without being distracted too much. Sometimes there are days when a lot of time passes through my fingers.

For several years I have been testing various methods to focus more deeply. What helps me the most is weekly and quarterly planning, time-blocking my time, using Trello and apps blocking social media and websites. I also regularly listen to productivity podcasts to keep my motivation high.

I feel that my ability to focus gets better every week and every month, but this process is all about highs and lows. And I have the feeling that this battle will never end.

Data gathering:
For the whole week I had an open notebook in front of my monitor. I noted down moments of distraction, i.e. a ringing phone, a new message from colleagues or my thoughts wandering to somewhere else. 

In the end I decided to use only Monday data. This day was terrible in terms of distractions and I hope it will not repeat often. Even though I worked 12 hours, I ended the day in a bad mood.

Data drawing:
Distraction makes me think of a scratch, an obstacle. I knew exactly how I was going to draw this postcard. I knew there would be a series of cracks on my „Monday timeline”. 

I have additionally marked sections of deep work, relatively free from distractions (in deep green).

Jakub’s postcard:

Jakub’s postcard accurately shows how we have to deal with urgent distractions every day and that it is impossible to just avoid them without changing plans 😉 No day is as simple as we plan it.

The process:

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Week 43

Jakub

Topic:
I like trying new things. Even in my youth I experimented with controversial fashion or crazy hitchhiking trips. I approached this topic with curiosity, because recently my life has been very schematic, especially when looked at from a one week perspective..

Data gathering:
At the end of each day, I would write down one or two things that were new to me. This is how my short list was created.

Data drawing:
I thought that I would try something new while drawing this postcard (a brush pen) and this is how my pseudo-calligraphy was born 🙂

Klaudia’s postcard:

Klaudia’s postcard touches on much more serious topics than mine 🙂 I am very happy that this week was revealing for her and resulted in new resolutions regarding the comfort zone.

The process:



Klaudia

Topic:
The subject seems to have been created for me. I love novelties. New projects, new challenges, new discussions help me grow and allow me to move forward. It mainly applies to my work in NGO and data visualization. Whenever I am bored or become settled in a well-known situation, I look for new ways of doing things.

However, I have never before examined “new things” in a systematic way. I was looking forward to this week and… I was right. I have found that classifying new things happening in my life into those that I do effortlessly and those that scare me a little bit, is very refreshing and useful. Moreover, I want to introduce this division into my weekly and quarterly planning. I would like to do at least one or two things outside of my comfort zone each week

Data gathering:
I wrote down all the big and small novelties on an ongoing basis, starting with tasting a new type of coffee (flat white at McDrive), through morning walks around the city, and ending with sending a super-important email at work, for which I had been preparing for a long time with my colleagues.

Data drawing:
I looked at my data and at first glance I noticed that some records were trivial (tasting a new herring type :-)), and others were some kind of milestones for which I had to prepare, think intensively and have discussions with others.

As I thought about how to show the data, I remembered one of the well-known development diagrams. According to this graph, we learn when we leave the so-called comfort zone and push our limits. I agree with it and I used this concept.

Jakub’s postcard:

I really appreciate that Jakub treated the postcard as an opportunity to try something new.

By the way, one item on my list is similar to black turnip juice – I tried pickled beetroot juice (yummy!).

The process:

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Week 42

Jakub

Topic:
I think I have a lot of laughter in my life. Well… I’m addicted to it. I enjoy the human creativity in memes. I am a big fan of memes. 

I try to approach life with a healthy distance and optimism. My sense of humor in conversations with others often provokes bursts of laughter. This week’s data proves it.

Data gathering:
Throughout the week, I recorded the amount and sources of “laughs”. I only counted the ones after which I immediately remembered that I had to write them down. I think I could have missed at most 10% of “laughs”.

Data drawing:
Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to experiment this week, so I went for a simple bar chart.

Klaudia’s postcard:

It is interesting that we were both examining the sources of laughter. I must admit that Klaudia’s postcard presents the data more efficiently. I can maybe find one drawback: the categories are not sorted from largest to smallest.

The process:



Klaudia

Topic:
Laughter… In fact I have no idea how often I am laughing. I mean real laughter, honest and uninhibited. This week made me realize that I owe the vast majority of „laughter” to my three-year-old daughter, who is telling me more and more interesting stories each day, as she grows up. She discovers the Polish language, tests various word combinations, and I try not to laugh too loud 🙂

Data gathering:
I decided that I would only count the so-called bursts of laughter. In total, I counted quite a lot of them. The results surprised me. I didn’t really realize how empty my life would (probably) be without Nina.

Data drawing:
I didn’t have many ideas this week, so I chose a simple treemap. I enriched the chart with smiling faces to show exactly how many outbursts of laughter I had last week.

I noticed that I really like using a ruler and a calculator when creating postcards – I use these tools really often in Dear Data 🙂 I think I will never forget the size of an A6 sheet for the rest of my life.

Jakub’s postcard:

How many memes! Jakub, send me the funniest :-)! After seeing the postcard, I was a bit embarrassed that I was so monothematic, but it’s probably a matter of timing and the lack of live conversations with people (well, still the pandemic…).

The process:

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Week 41

Jakub

Topic:
I love music. It has always played an important role in my life since childhood. I remember listening to Michael Jackson, Depeche Mode or Perfect on the tape recorder. Later, this passion deepened. For a while, I even worked on reactivating a vinyl records factory in Poland. I remember exactly when I had iTunes installed on my computer, which showed the album covers. It worked the same in iPads and it was called Cover Flow. Thanks to this feature I remember quite well the covers of my favorite albums.

Data gathering:
I tried to recall the albums that were important to me for various reasons. I was looking for their titles in my head and remembered the covers (Internet helped me, of course). Then I tried to redraw them as faithfully as possible. I was prepared for 140 titles, but finally I managed to remember 79.

Data drawing:
It took a long time – half a day. It gave me fun and my girlfriend Agata helped me a bit.

Klaudia’s postcard:

Indeed, this chart reminds me of my family’s cassette collection. Does anyone else remember that sometimes a pen was used to rewind the cassettes? 🙂

I think I listen to music more frequently than Klaudia. At work, Newonce Radio is on almost all the time. However, I dance less for sure: / Which, to be clear, I regret very much 🙂

The process:



Klaudia

Topic:
I love listening to music, especially in the last, pandemic year (which also coincides with the start of my regular Spotify subscription). I love music, even though I do not know much about it and I do not follow the lives of artists or industry news.

Music accompanies me most often at work, where it helps me focus and relax. I love film and classical music. During the pandemic, I also started dancing more at home (mainly to my favorite hits from the 60-70-80-90) and I really appreciate those moments of detachment!

Data gathering:
I wrote down where and when I listened to music. I knew work would be the broadest category, but I wanted to see how it would compare with other areas of my life.

Data drawing:
Yes, I missed a good bar chart! Plus, I wanted the postcard to somehow reflect the topic: music. All in all, the postcard came out quite ordinary, but I’m happy with it. The arrangement of the “blocks” reminds me a bit of the cassettes I listened to at the beginning of elementary school.

Jakub’s postcard:

Wow. Is it really not printed? An unusual postcard. I like it very much. I didn’t think so many details would fit into a small piece of paper. And I also have a personal reflection: I don’t remember any album cover from my life. I don’t think I ever paid any attention to it.

The process:

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Week 40

Jakub

Topic:
I love meeting new people. I enjoy the process of learning about people and changing my ideas about them. For me, it is one of the most fascinating phenomena, in which there are both positive and negative surprises.

Data gathering:
I focused my attention and senses on people. Who am I talking with? Are they newly met people or well-known friends? The vast majority of my interpersonal relationships were related to people I know well (family, close and distant co-workers). Last week, three new people appeared in my surroundings: a new receptionist at work, a newly met employee from another department of the company, and a car salesman with whom I talked for quite a long time.

Data drawing:
I expected that there won’t be much data this week. Therefore, apart from newly met people I also counted my contacts in general. My chart shows both groups. Last week I met 23 people, 3 of which I saw for the first time.

Klaudia’s postcard:

Klaudia’s postcard and mine have a lot in common. Both present the same number of newly met people. Klaudia’s postcard is much more creative… Thank you very much for your wishes!

The process:



Klaudia

Topic:
Yet another topic in Dear Data that highlights the sad effects of pandemic. If I already meet new people, it’s either at online events (which I didn’t attend this week) or at a nearby park, store or playground. I regret that there are so few opportunities to establish relationships, even superficial ones. I value new acquaintances, because they are refreshing. I see great value in getting to know different points of view, experiences and opinions. Meetings and conversations with new people allow me to look at my own views from a distance, get interested in new fields and rethink some topics.

Data gathering:
This week I was actually “taking a break” from collecting data because there was so little of it… I didn’t have to write anything down, I remembered the small number of superficial acquaintances that I made.

Data drawing:
When I wrote down the number of people I met in the following days of the weeks, I saw only the numbers 0,1 and 2 on the piece of paper. I thought that these numbers could be used to write the year 2021. As Easter was approaching, I created a simple postcard wishing Jakub all the best, and at the same time smuggling information about the few new acquaintances I was able to make.

My only regret is that I did not keep the postcard green and did not draw the Easter bunny!

Jakub’s postcard:

I can see that Jakub also struggled to make friends this week. I am curious how much would this number differ if we did not have to spend so much time in isolation.

The process:

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Week 39

Jakub

Topic:
I appreciate beauty in objects, people, animals and plants. Beauty is soothing for me, but sometimes also embarrassing. At times I feel that I do not deserve to enjoy exceptionally beautiful things or people. Micro complexes 🙂

Data gathering:
I did not collect data on an ongoing basis. Before drawing the postcard, I tried to recall all my contacts with beauty. The fact that I remembered something was a proof that it made a great impression on me. All these memories were evaluated on a subjective scale from beautiful! (beauty worth noting) to wooooooow! (I have not seen anything more beautiful).

Data drawing:
I divided the chart into two categories. Animated beauty (people, animals) and inanimate beauty (objects, music, etc.). I used a bubble chart to present the scale of beauty.

Klaudia’s postcard:

Klaudia’s postcard is enigmatic, but it shows well that beauty can be found in many usual and unusual situations. Who would have guessed that this pie chart was a cheesecake;)

The process:



Klaudia

Topic:
In the everyday frenzy I often forget to observe the beauty that surrounds me. This sad reflection usually comes to me during holidays, when I break away from everyday life and start noticing (and appreciating!) the sun, flowers, animals, meals… This week was a great opportunity for me to pay more attention to what pleases the eye.

Data gathering:
I wrote down on a regular basis things that caught my eye: meals, book illustrations (especially in my daughter’s books), weather phenomena and paintings.

Data drawing:
From over 20 records I have chosen the most interesting 16 data points. This time I decided not to categorize my data, and instead devote some space to each beautiful thing that I have seen.

Jakub’s postcard:

A very interesting classification. I must admit that it took me quite long to realize who was Esmee. I thought it was some famous actress or singer but a Google search showed no results. In the end, it turned out to be… Jakub’s dog 🙂

The process:

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Week 38

Jakub

Topic:
It is said that depression is taking its toll alongside the coronavirus epidemic. Fortunately, this terrible disease has not affected me yet. I am an optimist in life and rarely fall into negative thoughts, but it does not mean that such thoughts do not happen.

Data gathering:
Every night before going to sleep, I was doing a so-called “examination of conscience”. I analyzed the past day and tried to write down negative thoughts and what they were about. I am glad that there were relatively few of them. Most often they concerned my health, e.g. “I have a fever, what if it’s covid” or work, e.g. “I think I have not performed well enough”.

Data drawing:
I wanted the postcard to turn out optimistic. After all, negative thoughts for me are an exception, not a rule. That is why I decided to depict them against the sunny background full of good energy.

Klaudia’s postcard:

Klaudia’s postcard is much more detailed than mine. It illustrates selected reasons for negative thoughts. It is a pity that the spiral does not show positive thoughts for comparison. But I know it would take a lot of work. After all, as Klaudia wrote on the reverse, positive moments happened much more frequently.

The process:



Klaudia

Topic:
Everyone has negative thoughts and bad moments – so do I. Fortunately, those bad times are much less frequent than the moments of joy, excitement and pleasure. Since I do not monitor bad emotions on a daily basis, I was curious about the results of this observation, which I will probably not repeat in the future.

Data gathering:
I observed negative thoughts on an ongoing basis and wrote them down in a notebook on my phone or in a book calendar. In addition, in the evening I checked if I had missed something.

Data drawing:
When I started cleaning and summarizing the data, it turned out that not all negative emotions were the same. Sometimes I felt sad, sometimes helpless, sometimes angry. I pictured it as different “smileys”. I also observed that last week I felt bad emotions in almost every aspect of my life: at work, in relationships with others, in my relationship with myself or because something happened or went wrong in the world.

Unfortunately, my postcard looks like a series of misfortunes. In fact, there were many, many more good emotions!

Jakub’s postcard:

I really liked that Jakub approached the topic of negative thoughts positively and showed them along with the multitude of good moments. I am glad that the sun is shining and warms the worst moments in life.

The process:

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Week 37

Jakub

Topic:
I treat swear words as a sign of not coping with emotions. When I was in university and later, they were practically non-existent in my vocabulary. Recently, I find myself using them more often. My approach has also changed. I treat swear words rather as a spice – I use them occasionally, but with full awareness.

Data gathering:
Data collection was simple. I used my proven method: hourly reminder to write down all swear words. I think there were relatively few of them. On average, I used 9 swear words per day, most often starting with K.

Data drawing:
I pictured the data as a balloon and the emotions escaping from it through swear words as outlets. I used the star symbols on purpose. The second place in the statistics of the swear words I use was ***** out of the iconic ***** ***.

Klaudia’s postcard:

I got to know Klaudia both through the analysis of her postcards, but also during several meetings and quite long conversations. Definitely swear words do not suit her. I expected that there would be few of them. Therefore, I fully understand that the statistics also include swear words heard and read.

The process:



Klaudia

Topic:
I don’t swear too much, but it depends on the period of my life. I’m definitely trying to avoid it. Swearing doesn’t help me at all, and it doesn’t relax me. On the contrary – it usually makes me even more angry.

Data gathering:
I wrote down every swear word I said (usually to myself) and heard / read. As luck would have it, almost every evening I was reading a novel by Isabel Allende with a very explosive main character, who definitely accounts for a large part of my postcard. I also listened to an audiobook about climbing in the Himalayas, and there were also swear words in moments of danger and helplessness. I heard only one swear word from another, living man – my husband during an argument. Well, the pandemic…

Data drawing:
I like using the so-called diverging bar charts, so I showed the relationship between my own swear words and those from other sources.

Jakub’s postcard:

I love the idea of emotion outlets. When everything is in turmoil, sometimes we just have to let go of bad energy. Simple and clear!

The process:

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Week 36

Jakub

Topic:
We live in a world full of choices. Just go to Zalando or Netflix. It’s no joke that choosing a movie or series to watch takes longer than actually watching it. There are also many decisions to be made at work. Should I stop working on this project? Should I write an email already? And so on and so forth. I expected this week to be rich in data.

Data gathering:
I used a proven system. I set up notifications on my phone every hour (except during the night) and wrote down every moment of indecision. Over time, five categories clarified. My indecision was related to:

  • creative work (e.g. details of graphic designs)
  • food (when and what to eat?)
  • relationships (should I write / call?)
  • hygiene and clothing (what to wear, when to take shower?)
  • related to shopping (browsing offers, reading reviews).

Data drawing:
I gathered quite a lot of data. I have written down over 130 moments of indecision. While drawing the postcard, I had four different ideas. Ultimately, I decided to choose the artistic vision, which shows the diversity of my indecision moments. I had both important dilemmas (e.g. related to buying a new car) and trivial ones (e.g. what font to choose in advertising graphics). Ultimately, I mixed all data together. I hope that my postcard clearly shows that life is not simple and black and white.

Klaudia’s postcard:

Having children must be like having an extra job. I don’t have children myself, but Klaudia’s postcard clearly shows it. I like the everyday labyrinths. They illustrate well the subject of indecision. I am sure that Klaudia’s knowledge and experience play the role of Ariadne’s threads 🙂

The process:



Klaudia

Topic:
I was curious to see what this week would bring. Even though I hesitate a lot, my goal is to ensure that as many repetitive and trivial activities as possible in my life happen automatically. In this way, I do not have to remember about them and I spare energy to solve more interesting problems.

Data gathering:
The idea of detailed data collection terrified me, as I expected a tough week at work. I decided not to interrupt my focus with regular writing down of all hesitation moments. I just sat every evening and remembered all (or at least the majority of) major and minor decisions that I had to make during the day.

Data drawing:
Initially, I had absolutely no idea how to present my indecision mishmash. After analyzing the data and breaking it down into topics, I observed that some decisions were interesting and thought provoking, while others were trivial or just boring. I decided to use this additional data layer.

On top of that, I wanted to show in my postcard that each day is a sequence of decisions.

And that’s how my postcard was created. I am not entirely satisfied with the outcome, but at least I tried something new 🙂

Jakub’s postcard:

It’s easy to see that Jakub collected data every hour, and I only collected data only once a day – he managed to save over 50 more records than I did 😉 

This postcard makes me think of sea waves. Moments of hesitation come and go like ebbs and flows. As soon as we deal with one problem, another one comes.

The process: