Pages, Categories, and Times


Psygraph consists of several tools that monitor your information.  For example, when you start and stop the Stopwatch, the start and stop times are logged to a server.  While the Stopwatch is running, various data that you specify (such as GPS location and acceleration) will also be logged.

Briefly, the four tools are:

  • Stopwatch: The Stoppwatch tool is used for tracking the length of time that you meditate or spend on another activity.
  • Timer: The Timer tool is used to set reminders, such as a gong which indicates the end of a meditation session. You can also set the gong to go off at a random time during the day and print an inspirational quote.
  • Counter: The Counter tool is used for the practice of breath counting, which can be used as a measure of mindfulness. You can also use this page to set a motion alarm that goes off if you move too much :).
  • Note: The note page allows you to annotate your meditation sessions with text and/or audio notes. These notes can automatically create posts on your WordPress server if you are logged in and that option has been turned on.

All events and their associated time and position data belong to a particular category.  The default category is “Uncategorized”, but you may create new categories for your data and change the category of existing data.  If you wish to see the data belonging to all categories, you can create the special “*” category (categories can be created on the Preferences page). Categorizing the data is useful if you wish to distinguish the timers for different types of events (such as time spent in shamatha vs vipassana meditation).

All events have a time.  The time of an event is specified as follows:


For example, to specify one minute and eight seconds, you would write “1:08”.  To specify one and a half seconds, you would write “1.5”.  This format extends to months and years in an obvious way (today’s date would be YYYY:MM:DD:HH:MM:SS). If you wish to specify one hour, just write “1:00:00” (or, since zero minutes and seconds is the default, you can just write “1::”).

The Data
The data from Psygraph can be used in different ways. Within the application itself, the data can be displayed as a list of events, as a 2-D graph, or on a map. The data can also be emailed to you, or kept in sync with a WordPress site from which it can be exported in various formats, and then processed in other applications.

Changing the Category Settings

Someday, the Psygraph category settings will integrate better with WordPress.  Until that day, you can edit the categories using the web client.

Every Psygraph category has the following modifiable options:

  • Description: the category description.
  • Style: A CSS style file that governs the display of each category: think of it as a “skin” that only nerds can alter.
  • Sound: The sound that is played when a timer elapses in the given category.
  • Text: An XML file that shows the display.

Each of these fields can be changed by setting the URL of a new file (either CSS, audio, or XML) in the relevant edit box.  If you are using the web client, it is also possible to specify the sound directly by base-64 encoding it (in the web client, click on the link to the left of the edit box).

The Style, Sound, and Text files that ship with the program can be found at  If you wish to provide your own alert quotes, you might start by modifying


Random Reminders

One of the reasons that I wrote this app was to encourage randomness.  Randomness can be defined as a quality which is not predictable: while it may be impossible to encourage randomness (or creativity) directly, it clearly is possible to discourage predictable behavior.

There are currently two examples of randomness in this program.  One is a game in the about box, and the other is present in the Timer page.

When using the countdown Timer, it is possible to set the timer in a loop so that it goes off at a random interval.  To do this, first go the the Timer page, then select settings.  Set the Min reset value to the minimum amount of time you wish to elapse before the timer goes off, and set the Max reset value to the maximum amount of time you wish to elapse.  Once you have done this, time timer will begin again every time it has finished.

When the timer elapses, the sound for the category will go off, and an option text note will be displayed.  The app comes with the Lojong sayings embedded in the “meditate” category: see the post about Changing the Settings for more information about changing the sounds and text that accompany the alarms.