Water is the essence of life. Without water we cease to exist. In today’s go-go-go world it can be difficult to stay hydrated. With a little help from Tasker and a few extensions, I created a Daily Water Consumption Tracker Project. It assists in drinking water throughout the day with reminders while being it is easy to use. Continue below if you want know how I constructed the project. Enjoy!
Water For Busy Persons
Staying fit and healthy has always been a top priority for longer than I can remember. While it is difficult at times I still do my best as often as possible. Even when work or other life events take me off track, I get back on the rails immediately.
One of the simplest ways I feel healthier is by drinking plenty of water. I typically feel good when I drink at least 1 gallon (4 liters) per day on non-workout days and about 1.5 gallons (6 liters) per day on workout days. In order to accompany this I carry a large water bottle at all times.
I frequently run around a construction site during the week while staying active over the weekends. During those times, I either run out of or forget to drink water enough water. In order to meet my goal for the day, or at least know how much I have consumed, there was only one solution. I Tasker. I already used Tasker to automate my workout logs and now I needed to track my consumption on a daily basis.
At first I thought of just using a run-of-the-mill water tracking app from the Play Store, but then I realized this would be a fun way to test my Tasker skills and knowledge. After a bit of thinking, the challenge was defined with three goals. The first was to make a project easy to log and track. The second was to make it extremely accessible. And third, was to help me remember.
Goal 1: Easy Logging and Tracking
In order to meet the first goal, I had to make this project with a simple and effective user interface with few actions from the user. The theory was this; if it was dead simple, how could I not make entries? To me, this meant asking for a numerical amount and having the application do the hard math. I did not want more than that.
Goal 2: Extreme Accessibility
The second goal was to give easy access on my mobile device. It is this reason that gives me no excuses to make an entry. No matter what screen I would be on, I would be able to log an entry.
Goal 3: A Helpful Reminder
This would be the most important goal. How do you feel when you have a helpful reminder? I bet you are more likely to do said task. The reminder makes all the difference, especially when busy. Having one for drinking water is a perfect solution to stay hydrated and worth a goal for this project.
Solution: The Daily Water Consumption Tracker Tasker Project
My solution proved to be simple yet effective in accomplishing all three goals. I was and still am very happy with the results. I used multiple Tasker extensions to build this project. They were specifically chosen to meet each of the goals for this project. Each Tasker plugin contributed to the above goals in their own special ways. All of which made this project a lot easier.
Goal 1: Front-End UI using Material Design Tasker Plugin and Back-End Data Processing using AutoTools
In order to make this project visually intuitive and simple I use the Material Design Tasker Plugin’s (MDTP) List Activity action. Developed by Nick Mowen, it is the perfect fit for any list as the name implies. I use a floating action button to add consumption quantities in ounces as list items. After adding to the list, I tap the checkmark at the top right corner to confirm. At which point, MDTP’s beautiful and simplistic design dismisses and AutoTools’ takes over.
In order to the do the background data processing I leverage the power of AutoTools. I use plethora of AutoTools actions from the AutoApp, developed by Joaomgcd. Those include the “maths” and “arrays” actions in order to manipulate the Tasker variable and array data. While Tasker has native data manipulation actions, AutoTools definitely adds to the list with it’s advanced data handling and processing. After harnessing the power of AutoTools the back-end of goal 1 was complete in less time and with less effort.
Goal 2: Tasker Notification Action Button (NAB) for Accessibility
Having accessing to logging and tracking is key in maintaining a goal. Once I have the project UI and data processing under control, the second goal was easy. I take advantage of Tasker’s constant notification, which I purposely leave in the notification bar. As previously discussed, Tasker provides up to three spaces in it’s constant notification for tasks, known as Tasker’s NABs. Here is where I place access to the the Daily Water Consumption Tracker. With this location, no matter what, I am able to access the Daily Water Consumption Tracker at a moment’s notice!
Goal 3: AutoNotification for Custom Reminder Notifications
As I stated above, being reminded of a task is invaluable. This is especially true to a busy individual. What is the best method for Android to provide a notice of said reminder? A notification. The answer to this goal was AutoNotification. Developed by you-know-who, AutoNotification allows for creation of totally custom notifications. With it, I created a reminder notification to make sure I drink water. Then I created a profile to show the custom notification at 10:00AM and again at 03:00PM.
Extending Beyond The Base Functionality
Once I got to using this project for so long, I wanted to extend it’s functionality. I have gotten this far already, right? Why not keep going? For those reasons, that is exactly what I did. I extended the access to my project by 4 ways.
Updated Access: AutoNotification Notification Tile
I already had simple access to the project via one of Tasker’s NABs. But with Android 7.0, I wanted to make use of a notification tile. AutoNotification did the trick perfectly! And so I transferred the main task from the NAB to it’s own notification tile. Easy as pie. As a result, the project is more up-to-date with Android.
PC Integration: Join Keyboard Shortcut
At a computer with the Join chrome extension installed, I easily add quantities of water. The process is a simple keyboard shortcut. I set up a Join custom keyboard shortcut as “Ctrl + Shift + V”. The keystroke opens a dialog to enter text. All of which are intercepted by Tasker via a “Join Received Push Context” event context. The triggering phrase is: “add water=:=[quantity]”. The command is also case insensitive. This is because I often use AutoCAD (not another Joaomgcd app, lol) while in the office and have capslock on. The task processes the quantity and sends a response notification to the same PC which originally sent the quantity. The message looks like this: “You’ve added [quantity] oz of water. Your new total is [total quantity] for the day!”
Location Specific Homescreen Integration: AutoLocation & KLWP Shortcut Tap
Another simple extension I love using is the homescreen shortcut. I already have a special homescreen that appears only when I am at the office, thanks to AutoLocation geofencing and KLWP’s Tasker integration. This is because I have specific apps and Tasker tasks which I use more often while I am at the office. One of those is mapped to a Tasker task to open my Daily Water Consumption Tracker Log. From there, I make entries and receive the total, as a flash, when finished. I know it is not too different than using the above mentioned tile but this way, I can make the log entry quicker this way.
Android Wear Integration: WatchMaker (WM) Layer Tap and AutoWear List
This is easily my favorite. It is an extension for Android Wear devices. In order to function, I use WM due to it’s Tasker integration. I first created a simple and plain watch face. It has three open areas, each for a specific Tasker Task. At this moment, I have not finalized all spots. Of those spots, I programmed the tap action of an image layer to execute a Tasker task. That task is an AutoWear List action, which lists common consumption quantities like 8, 16, 24, 25, and 32. I have not yet programmed the project for a custom amount because I usually drink those quantities. I have the ability to select multiple items from the list and swipe to hide when finished. Once hidden, phone handles the data processing and updates my watch face with the new total for the day.
Daily Water Consumption Tracker Conclusion
For some final touches I use visual feedback principles to add an AutoTools flash action. The flash action displays my total after each addition. Furthermore, I added a color theme to give the project more life. With the goals met and final touches added, achieving my daily goal has never been easier. I have been using the Daily Water Consumption Tracker Project for many months now and still use it everyday. It is a huge help to stay hydrated. It is easy to use, it has effortless access, and I get a nice little reminder twice daily. Below is a video showcasing some of the features from my project.
How to create your own Daily Water Consumption Tracker
Want your own Daily Water Consumption Tracker Tasker Project? Follow the project setup instructions to build it. The page explains how to get just the bare minimum and how to add each of the extended functionalities discussed above. Enjoy!