Normally, we use data science and AI tools for practical things, such as scientific research or marketing, however, they can be very powerful tools for self-reflection and introspection.
In this tutorial, we will demonstrate how you can use InfraNodus introspection app to analyze your personal journal or diary. We will also demonstrate how you can use InfraNodus for journaling and apply various text analysis and GPT-3 AI tools to better understand yourself and generate new ideas.
What we find particularly interesting is that data visualization, in this context, is used as a mirror to look at yourself from multiple perspectives and enhance your understanding of your own personality.
Step by step workflow
Follow this workflow to understand how to keep your journal and diary and to generate insights from it.
1. Keeping a Personal Journal or a Diary
First of all, you need the actual data. Perhaps, you're already keeping a personal journal or a diary. If you are not doing it yet, we recommend you to do it in InfraNodus directly. A good way to start is to separate your experiences into positive and negative ones. So you can create one graph context where you write down all the positive things that happened throughout the day and another graph context to write down all the negative things. This approach will let you compare the positive and negative experiences and reveal some interesting patterns within. You can also add another graph, for instance, where you write about the things that you could improve or some ideas that come up when you're journaling
2. Visualizing Your Diary as a Knowledge Graph
Once you have the data, you can visualize the diary as a graph. The words that you use are the nodes and when the words are used in the same context, they will be connected. As a result, you construct a text network graph and can then use advanced algorithms to detect the important topics and relations within:
For instance, on the graph above we see several entries from my personal journal (the positive section) over a few years, and the terms that come up are shown bigger: "practical", "stuff", "good". Those terms that belong to the same topic have the same color. So I can quickly see, for instance, that I use the terms "body", "movement" and "dance" in the same context a lot, which is an indication that it's an important pattern for me.
3. Revealing the Patterns and High-Level Ideas in Your Diary / Journal
You can produce an interpretation by yourself just looking at the graph or use the built-in GPT AI to do that for you. It identifies the topical clusters and sends them to the AI system that responds with the names for this clusters, providing categories for your text. Note, it doesn't send your private diary data to GPT-3 AI, just the keywords found within.
As we can see, the main topics discovered are:
- • financial infrastructure, money matters, and “practical stuff”
- • spiritual and body movement practice
- • relaxation and rest
- • personal affairs
- • nature and exercises
- • caring about life
- • social interactions
- • fulfillment from work
This insight can help me see what is important for my positive experience. I can also see if there are any discrepancies between my expectations and the results I get. For instance, it may seem like the financial and practical matters take too much attention and perhaps their level in the realm of positive experiences could be reduced. On the other hand, if we see that nature and spiritual practices are important, we may want to increase their prevalence.
The same approach can also be used for the graph that contains the negative experiences: visualize the main topics, reveal recurring patterns, see how prominent some elements are, think of ways to reduce their presence in daily experience.
4. Revealing the Blind Spots in Your Diary for Self-Transformation
Another interesting approach is to use the structural gap detection feature of InfraNodus. It detects two topics that are distinct from one another and could be better connected and then proposes to think of a connection between them. It's like finding a blind spot in your thinking and then trying to think of an idea or a question that would bridge it in an interesting way. This approach is very effective because it touches upon the things that are relevant for you personally, but connects them in a new way:
Interestingly, you don't have to do it yourself, but you can also use built-in AI to generate it for you. In order to do that, just go to Analytics > Gap Insight > Structural Gap and then click AI: Insight Question to have AI generate a connection for you.
In this way, you're using AI to help you connect parts of your experience for you, which can be very beneficial for self-development.
To try out this approach, please, sign up on https://infranodus.com/use-case/introspection-self-reflection