Daily Burn (dailyburn.com) is a web app that helps users track fitness and nutrition goals in an online community. It allows you to set goals and offers an interface to track progress.
Honestly, this isn’t a bad app, but there are a handful of gaps that meant a trip to the Boneyard.
It’s a hassle to log in and navigate around to enter the appropriate information:
I’ve dilligently tried to remember to log in every day to track the food I’ve eaten, the workouts I’ve done, and my current weight, but it’s just not an enticing proposition. First off, the interface requires a large number of clicks per operation. Oh what’s that, 3 days behind eh? It’s really going to be a hassle clicking here, there, and everywhere to get caught up again.
Additionally, I’d like to see some deeper flexibility in the type of information I really care about tracking. Give me some distinct options for how detailed I need to get when logging my progress.
A spreadsheet on Dropbox is as effective of a solution:
Yeah, good ol’ Dropbox (dropbox.com) giving me easy access to a document created in my old standby Excel. I’m able to track my nutritional and fitness goals and customize to my heart’s content. Also, though the data sits in the cloud, the format (and ultimate portability) is in my control.
From a security perspective, I encrypt the Excel file that I keep in my Dropbox. Maybe this is overkill given the low-sensitivity of the contents, but I’m already doing this as my best practice for tracking my finances (more on this another time).
My experience with the community left me unsatisfied:
Even if I’m a bit frustrated with the UI and a little nervous about security, the community isn’t something that gets recreated if I go it alone. Then again, I never really felt a sense of community when I made my goals public or attempted to participate in group goals.
I connected with “motivators” (other users I found online or recruited to help keep me motivated and on track), however, the motivation I received was stronger from mild acquaintances who commented on my apparent progress.
All said, the DailyBurn community as a whole seems to be meeting their goals, and it is a great place to help get some direction on improving health. I can say that it was easy to set up, and did not require a bunch of up-front work on my part as a user; I appreciated that, but I ultimately found that I was best off going this one alone.