Tuesday, June 22, 2004

A Thinner Outlook

I was married 18 months yesterday (I love you babe!) and that, combined with a love of food, has increased my girth (okay, in reality, it started before we got married but I enjoy the excuse anyway). I play softball on my church softball league but only during the summer and finding time to workout seems hopeless. At this weight, I'm not going to run off the weight. When I was in college I lost around 40 pounds on the Atkins diet. I've put about 25 back on and it's time to regroup. I've tried Atkins a few times since putting on a few pounds, but to no avail. I've known some people whom have used the Weight Watcher Point system diet with success. So I'm trying that. I've created a simple "weigh in" web site on my home computer, complete with point calculator. However, it got me thinking about usability. Having it on a web site is all right. However, I would like to take a note out of both FranklinCovey's and NewsGator's books: Outlook integration.

A pleasant fiction:

I get to work this morning, fire up Outlook, and my Today page tells me that I've lost 5 pounds since last week. I click "Weigh In" and navigate to my weekly weigh in page. I can see a line graph of my progress and some encouraging messages from my Weight Watcher/Atkins/South Beach/etc RSS feed. There is a food/point search so I can see how many points are in my Krispy Kreme donut and a point calculator so I can figure out the points for items that aren't in the database. There is a grid with my weigh in history where each entry links to the calendar. I don't enter the foods I eat throughout the day but, suppose I do. I can see what I ate on any given day just by clicking on the entry. Suppose I also subscribe to a low-fat recipe RSS feed. Clicking on the feed adds the recipe (along with ingredients) to an appointment (with a reminder) so I know what to get at the grocery store for dinner tonight. I enter my weight and lament the Krispy Kreme donut.

Possibilities

I wonder if anyone would use such an addin. Perhaps the information is too personal to keep in Outlook. But maybe it's not. I keep email in my Outlook I don't really want anyone to see so I would probably not mind keeping my weight history in their either. Then again, I'm a guy. I wonder about the ladies...

Grace and Peace to you,
John

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