Personal Analytics: Gmail via Google spreadsheet scripting.

Recently I was fascinated by Stephen Wolfram's personal analytics post. He carried out some personal statistics of the type I never had the time to sit down and do. I have been gathering all my email since 1998 and I always wanted to mine my own 9.5 GB of mail.

Recently I discovered a tool that makes mining your gmail account really easy: Gmail Meter. It uses the (so far really hidden and underutilized) power of google spreadsheets to be able to be used as a poor man's database and scripted.

Gmail Meter is the second instance of this cleaver way to use google cloud spreadsheets as a table in a database from which to produce regular reports with graphs. The first instance I found was Twitter Tags which I use to monitor Twitter hashtags at regular intervals.

So here is my email statistics for 2011


Figure 1: My hourly email activity in 2011 (sent and received) 

Figure 2: Weekly email activity. Apparently I am relatively active on week-ends.

Figure 3: Monthly activity. I had an extremely busy autumn last year. This was the period when I moved from MAST to my current position as the JWST Innovation Scientist


Figure 4: How long where my conversations? Most of them just a few emails, but there is a long tail, and some where very long.


Figure 5: How much does it take me to answer emails? I peak around and hour 1/4 of the time, and I seem to be typically faster than those who email me. When it gets past an hour, it seems that I am not too responsive.


Figure 6: How long are my emails? Over 30% of my emails have less than 30 words. It seems that, unlike those who email me, I tend to be brief.



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