My boss -- and a whole lot of other people -- always says, "If you can't measure it, you can't make it better." Or something like that.
I'd been tracking my progress on paper but these days, there's an app for everything. The Way of Life app (Apple only so far) was mentioned on The Tim Ferriss Show (podcast), and I checked it out. I paid $5 for the premium version and started using it immediately. It's the best $5 I've ever spent.
A quick look at Way of Life
Way of Life helps you build or break habits. I set up a number of habits I want to build, for example, "read in Japanese for 5 minutes", "learn 36 kanji daily", etc. Then, each day, you check in as having reinforced the habit or not. You can see from this screenshot that I'm just now ramping up (after three weeks of life, including, hosting visitors for a week, taking care of a family member during and after a major surgery, etc. Life happens).
In this next screenshot, you'll see some of Way of Life app's advanced reporting features (don't worry, I'll turn that trend around). The real joy happens when you look back and you see how well you've been doing and practicing Japanese daily. Of course, the real measure of progress is whatever you've set as your overarching goal, for example, carry on a conversation in Japanese, watch and understand a Japanese television show, etc.
If you're not measuring your activity, you're missing out on hacking your learning progress and understanding what level of effort yields specific results. Perhaps we'll consider that in another post. In this post, I wanted only to share this amazing app.