jawbone, fitbitHelp!  Today’s big question: Jawbone or FitBit?

We always get the best results when we monitor what we do and examine the data to make course corrections as we go.  I do this all the time with social media.  I spend money every month on social media software that collects & shows me my data so I can make better informed decisions.  Why should I leave my health and fitness up to (weak) memory or chance?  Why shouldn’t I utilize available technology to collect data and make well-informed decisions for my own health and fitness?  It makes perfect sense.

I love data.  Data motivates me.  Why not make my fitness (which is sadly lagging) data driven?

With this in mind, I’ve been exploring the world of fitness technology accessories.

I can get either Jawbone’s Up2 or the FitBit Flex for for under $100 each and that seems like a reasonable amount, especially if one of them can track the data I need.

Have You Used Jawbone and/or Fitbit Devices?

I’d love to get some input from people who have used one (or both) of these devices for fitness/health tracking.

Here’s what I need:

Sleep Tracking – I’ve found that sleep is vital to my weight loss efforts.  From previous experience, I know if I don’t get enough sleep, perfect diet & exercise have no effect.  Some nights I sleep like a rock and others I toss and turn.  Data may help me figure out why.

Meal Timer – I need a meal timer that reminds me to eat.  A little vibe on my wrist would be a great way to remind me without being irritating.

Speaking of irritating reminders, I downloaded a meal timer app for my phone.  It looked good enough.  It could remind me as many as 6 times a day which is great, but I usually have the sound off on my phone while I’m working.  When I work is when I get lost in time and forget to eat, so the app was reminding me silently and I wasn’t acknowledging it.  Because I never acknowledged it on time and it didn’t have a way for me to do it after the fact, the app began to believe I wasn’t ever eating.  The other day, it got passive agressive on me and suggested “Maybe you should try harder next time”.  

Hello?  What?

Bike/Walking Mileage – I love biking, either on an actual bicycle or a stationary bike, so mileage is important.  I currently use Runkeeper to keep track of mileage and times.

Team/Group Tracking – I’d love to get my sons similar devices so we can challenge each other with fitness activities.  How great would it be to have a stepping challenge where the winner gets a special award at the end of the week like picking the movie for Family Movie Night or some cold, hard cash?

Desktop Interface – In order to examine the data I collect, I’d like to be able to look at all of it on my desktop or laptop screen.  What good is tracking all of my data when I can’t analyze it properly?

So let’s talk.  Are you Team Jawbone or Team Fitbit, what has your experience been, and do you know which one might fit my needs?