Automating Dog Food Tracking

I have a problem that I am trying to automate. I have two dogs who I try to track when they start and finish a bag of food. I used to use a spreadsheet in both Excel and Numbers but the issue I had is it always required me to go into a spreadsheet and manually enter it which was either cumbersome from an iPhone or I would do it next time in front of a computer and I would forget.

My goal is to use Shortcuts to when I replace a bag I can track the start/end dates of each bag so I can ultimately get an idea of how long each dog takes to finish a bag so I can better estimate how long each bag should be in between auto-shipments.

If anyone has any ideas of applications or services that could help me with it I would appreciate it. I have most of the usual that most of us around here have (Excel, Numbers, Airtable, Pythonista, Scriptable, Data Jar, etc).

I do something similar for mileage tracking. I set up a Shortcuts action that prompts me for details (number entry, location menus, etc), and appends a plain text document in Dropbox. Date is grabbed automatically via the action steps.

I add the info so it’s separated by tabs, so I can easily copy/paste (or drag/drop, I forget) into a table in a Numbers sheet. Tabs worked better than commas for adding, I do recall that being an issue.

I know it’s not as ideal as appending a table directly, but there’s no simple way I’ve found to do that.

The text file is a good solution, you can also append to notes, to drafts…
If you really want a spreadsheet, shortcutify has actions to add a row in airtable, you can also trigger a webhook to iffftt or integromat to add a row in a google doc sheet…

Seems Data Jar might be a good path for you. Very easy to create a shortcut to update info. Equally easy to extract and present data.

I’m finding so many uses for Data Jar. Among them is a recently converted cycling training log. I’ve kept it in Numbers for many years and Excel prior to that. Converted for some of the same reasons you describe. I’ve really enjoyed the new approach. — jay

How are you implementing what you’re talking about. I’ve though data jar could work just not exactly sure. Honesty to visualize the date I was thinking of using Charty.

1 Like

My setup is pretty simple for training log. Dictionary entry for each date logged. Within the dictionary I’m storing key attributes of that day’s workout. I wrote a few shortcuts for different reporting (eg, weekly totals, current week status, etc).

An aggregate Numbers table is quicker for data visualization, but I like ease of access for both entry and review on both iPad and iPhone using the Data Jar model.

Data Jar Screenshot

I’m with those suggesting a simple text file. I think I’d use something like the Captain’s Log shortcut, so you can just say “Captain’s log started new dog food bag” and it will add a date/time stamp.

If I was feeling very ambitious, I might setup something with an NFC tag so I could tap a tag and be prompted for starting/finishing a new bag.