Entries from September 2012 ↓

Avoiding the ‘Idiot Light’

When I was first learning to drive, my dad told me that the check oil light, what he called the idiot light, should never come on. If I ever saw that light it meant I had been neglecting the basic maintenance of my car, and I should expect to have other problems start to creep up.

Some garages put a helpful sticker letting you know at what mileage you should get your next oil change, but that’s not the only thing we need to do to keep our cars running smoothly. Checking the fluids, rotating and balancing tires, aligning wheels, inspecting the battery … there’s a pretty long list of checks that need to be done at different intervals.

That’s where LoggingIt comes in.

To keep your car in perfect shape you really only have to develop two habits. First, whenever you get maintenance or repairs for your car, it goes in the log. This takes a few seconds and can be done while you’re waiting for the mechanic to finish (with plenty of time to spare, in my experience).

For anything that needs to be done regularly, like getting the oil changed, you can add a note to the log telling you when it will need to be done again. Then, at the beginning of each month, you check the log for anything that might be coming up, add it to your planner, and pat yourself on the back for your diligence.

You can also include reminders about getting new tags and having your emissions checked so that you never get pulled over for expired tags. It’s just the kind of detail that comes up infrequently enough to be overlooked, but can suddenly cost you a couple hundred bucks if it’s a police officer who reminds you of it.

Aside from never missing a beat with car maintenance, this log allows you to keep track of what garages you have gone to, what your experiences were, how long the repairs took and, most importantly, how much you were charged for repairs and services.

Over time, this record will show you which garages are worth visiting and which should be passed over for taking too long, charging too much or unprofessional behavior.

That fact is that keeping track of such minute details over years or decades is simply beyond most people’s memory, but with LoggingIt you don’t have to remember a thing. Just check in from time to time and you’ll have all the information you need right at your fingertips.

I decided as a teenager that I’d never let the idiot light come on, or at least never let dad find out if it did, but with LoggingIt there’s really no excuse for missing scheduled oil changes. A few minutes per month is all you need to keep everything in working order.


For more information on how to use LoggingIt to keep track of car maintenance and many other activities, visit us at LoggingIt.com.



Watching your Weight

The National Weight Control Registry is a research group that studies people who have lost a significant amount of weight and kept it off for at least a few years.

Their mission is to gather as much data as possible about sustainable weight loss. They don’t espouse any particular diet, and they don’t offer advice on how to lose weight, they just present their findings from studying people who have succeeded.

And they have found that one of the most important habits developed by people who keep the weight off is logging their weight on a regular basis, both during the diet and in the years after. According to the National Weight Control Registry, 75% of people who maintain their weight step on the scales at least once a week.

When you think about it, this actually makes a lot of sense. People don’t gain twenty or thirty pounds, they gain one or two. And then another one or two. And another.

Weight gain is slow and people get used to their gradually growing waistline. By the time they realize that they have gained ten or fifty pounds, the damage is already done.

But logging your weight even once per week will help you keep track of those little variations that lead to long-term weight gain. Some people even log their weight every day, though this probably isn’t necessary after the initial dieting phase.

At LoggingIt, we recommend that people who want to maintain their current weight log it once per week on the same day and at the same time. The idea is that even though your weight can vary throughout the day, weighing in at consistent times should give more consistent results.

There will still be variations, but they should be both up and down. Consistently varying upward is probably a trend that needs to be dealt with, not just your body going through its paces. You should also note anything unusual that might affect your weight temporarily. A big birthday dinner might take a few days to work off, but it isn’t evidence of eating habits that need to be corrected.

If you do find yourself four or five pounds higher than you’d like to be, the good news is that you don’t have too much work ahead to get back to your ideal weight. You can start a new log to track your weight on a daily basis until things get under control, still logging your weekly entry on the primary log.

In the end, logging is all about leveraging the power of information, and LoggingIt makes it easier than ever for you to keep track of your weight so that you are aware of small changes, instead of just ignoring the small changes in the mirror.

If you are trying to lose weight, or if you’ve struggled with weight in the past and want to maintain your current weight, sign up with LoggingIt today to learn what logging can do for you.