Why Am I Building This?

A project log for Be Better Bracelet

A simple, subtle wearable that can reinforce positive habits and track progress on stopping bad habits

Darian JohnsonDarian Johnson 04/05/2019 at 01:100 Comments

I've got a confession to make: I’ve got a bit of a potty mouth. I can make any curse word a verb, noun, adjective or adverb.

A few months ago, my co-workers and I were on a conference call with another department. Since we were all in the office together, we took the call from a conference room. Once we ended the call, I let lose a two-minute tirade of curses that would make a sailor blush.

After I stopped, I looked around the room and felt that I had lost the respect of my peers. My words –though not directed at the people in the room – were hurtful, disrespectful, and not in line with my, or my company’s, core values.

I decided then and there to make a change: I was going to stop cursing.

The first few weeks were hard. I couldn’t go two hours without a mf, gd, or some other colorful phrase. I wasn’t making any headway, so I decided to start tracking my progress. Was a getting better over time? Where their certain days, or times of the day, that were worse than others? Should I reward myself if I only cursed 5 times a week? Or should I punish myself if I cursed more than 10 time a day?

Tracking my bad habit was harder than I thought. I built an Alexa still to keep track, but that only worked when I was at home. I tried multiple apps on my phone, but they were cumbersome to use (“unlock the phone, find the app, open the app, log the event”). I even tried using a notebook – but that was a failure from the start.

What I wanted was something simple, small, and always on me.

That’s when I decided to build a small tracker dongle that could be put in bracelet, latched on key chain, or simply put in my pocket.