Owner’s Manual and FAQ

Last Updated: October 15, 2018.

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BASIC CONCEPTS

How do I get started?
What is a Lumen Trails category?
How do I delete entries or sample categories?
How can I change units or other settings?
How can I start tracking something new?
How can I record multiple entries per day?
How can I move or copy an entry to another day?
How can I move list entries to another category?
How do I sum entries in the year summary view?
How can I organize or group categories?
How can I organize or sort lists?
How can I hide categories or set up a password?
How can I search for entries?
How do I set up reminders?
How can I quickly navigate between categories?
How can I see weekly sums and averages?
How do I add map locations, voice notes or pictures?
What are carry-over values?
What are additive values?
How do I track time?
How do I track money?
How to switch between line and bar charts?
How do I set up a recurring checklist?
How do I set goals?
How can I see graphs for 1 or more categories?
How can I change the first day of the week?
What are daily forms?
What is the difference between the 8 app colors?
Is my data in Lumen Trails safe and secure?
I have a lot of entries, is that a problem?
Is there a dark mode? How do I use the app at night?
Something is not working, what can I do?

DATA TRANSFER & SHARING

How can I share categories with someone else?
How can I print my entries?
How can I sync data between my devices?
How can I backup or restore my data?
How can I transfer data to a new iPhone or iPad?
I lost my device, how can I get my data back?
Can I import my HealthKit data?
Can I import data from the iOS calendar?
Answers

How do I get started?

The easiest way to get started is to experiment with the sample categories that come with the app. Simply create some test entries and poke around to see how things work. Notice that every quantity is being tracked in a separate category. For example, you’ll have a separate category for weight, expenses, workouts etc. Even for things like blood pressure (which are made up of two quantities), you’ll have a separate category for systolic pressure, and a separate category for diastolic pressure. You can group categories together by moving them into a folder. To do that, tap the (+) button (top right corner of the main screen), choose Folder with Categories, give it a name and tap Save. Once you’ve created your folder, tap Edit, select categories that you’d like to move, and tap Move.

What is a Lumen Trails category?

Categories are the things that you track, for example, weight, calories, expenses, to-do list etc. To create a new category, tap the (+) button at the top right corner of the main screen. For example, suppose you get migraines and you’d like to start tracking your pain to identify possible triggers. In this case, create a new Number Tracker (Clicker) and use the up/down buttons in Day view to record pain levels. The scale and units are entirely up to you. For example, you can use a [0-3] scale (and put “[0-3]” in the units field as a reminder to yourself), where 0 could mean no pain, and 3 could mean extreme pain. Use the notes section in Day view to write down information about possible triggers, for example, whether you drank coffee, the types of food that you’ve eaten, or medications that you’ve taken.

How do I delete entries or sample categories?

To delete a category, swipe the corresponding row in the category list. Or, tap Edit and select multiple categories to delete. To delete an individual entry, go to the Day view and tap the (x) button at the top right corner of the screen. You can also go to the Month view and swipe rows corresponding to the entries that you’d like to delete.

How can I change units or other settings?

Tap on the category that you’d like to change, tap the Action button (top right corner) and choose Category Settings.

How can I start tracking something new?

Tap the (+) button at the top right corner of the main screen (or inside a folder that you’ve created) and choose a new category from existing templates, or create a new custom category from scratch. You are not limited by the templates that come with the app. Here’s a 2 minute tutorial with details how to create a new custom category. It’s super easy!

How can I record multiple entries per day?

Let’s say that you track expenses, and you’d like to record multiple purchases throughout the day. In this case, simply use the (-) button in Day view to record your spendings, and use the notes section to add any additional details beyond the amount (which gets recorded automatically). Now let’s suppose that you track your blood pressure and measure it twice a day. In this case, tap and update the value field every time you record a new reading. The notes section will get updated to reflect the new entry, and the summary graph in the Year view will use the last recorded value for a given day.

How can I move or copy an entry to another day?

In Day View (or Note View), tap the Action button (top right corner) and then Move or Copy this Entry.

How can I move list entries to another category?

You can either tap Edit (bottom left corner in List view) and select the notes that you’d like to move, or go to individual notes and tap Move (bottom left corner).

How do I sum entries in the year summary view?

Some categories are additive, and others are not. For example, if you track your workouts, the results are very much additive. On the other hand, if you track your weight, it doesn’t make sense to add those entries together. To mark your category as Additive, go to the Day view, tap the Action button (top right corner), choose Category Settings and turn Additive Values ON.

How can I organize or group categories?

Tap Edit (bottom left corner) and drag categories up or down, or select one or more categories and tap one of the action buttons at the bottom of the screen (Delete, Move or Edit). Note that you can only edit one category at a time, so this button gets disabled if you choose more than one category. You can also group your categories into folders. To create a new folder, tap the (+) button (top right corner of the main screen), and choose Folder with Categories. Once you’ve created your folder, tap Edit, select categories that you’d like to move, and tap the Move button.

How can I organize or sort lists?

To move list items around, tap Edit (bottom left corner) and drag items up or down. Swipe list items to delete them from the list. To sort items automatically, tap the (AZ) Sort button (bottom right corner) and choose the new sort order. If you choose Group by Day option, then your newly created items will automatically be put into one of the 9 group sections: 7 sections for each day in the upcoming week, the “Earlier” section, and “In a Week or Later” section. If you tap Edit, you can drag items up or down between different sections. This way you can quickly organize your to-do list for the next 7 days. Alternatively, you can tap on a list item and then tap on the date/reminder button (bottom right corner).

How can I hide categories or set up a password?

Often times you’ll want to track something very personal, so obviously you don’t want others to see it. You can protect the entire app with a passcode, or hide just select top-level categories. To do that, tap the Settings button (bottom right corner of the main screen), then tap Passcode Protection, and type in your passcode. By default, this will protect the entire app. If you want to just hide some top-level categories, then go to the Locked Categories screen (Settings > Passcode Protection > Locked Categories) and choose which categories to hide. In this case, you will not be asked to enter your passcode when you launch the app. Instead, those locked categories will be hidden and you’ll need to tap the Lock icon at the bottom right corner of the main screen to unlock them. This is a much more convenient way to deal with sensitive data. You can also use it to simply hide categories that you don’t use very often (to make your category list cleaner when you launch the app). For example, you could hide the Recently Deleted folder. Lumen Trails supports Touch ID and Face ID, so you can also unlock your categories with either your fingerprint or face recognition.

How can I search for entries?

Tap the Search button at the top left corner of the main screen. Notice that search results show the number of days since each entry was recorded. This comes in handy if you’re wondering when was your last haircut, oil change etc. All you need to do is put “haircut” somewhere in your notes to record it, and then search for “haircut” later on to see how many days has it been since you’ve had one. You can also delete items directly from Search results by swiping rows corresponding to the entries that you’d like to delete.

How do I set up reminders?

You can add a reminder to any note. Tap on the list item of your choice, then tap the Reminder button at the bottom right corner. You can also set up reminders for your categories. To do that, go to the Day view, tap the (+) button at the bottom right corner, and choose Add Reminder option from the pop-up menu.

How can I quickly navigate between categories?

If you organized your categories into folders, you might find yourself tapping the Back button a lot. In this case, instead of tapping the Back button, you can just swipe it and that will always bring you back to the main screen. In fact, when you’re done updating your entries, instead of tapping Done, and then Back, you can just swipe the Back button to save your changes and go back to the main screen in one gesture.

How can I see weekly sums and averages?

Go to the Month view and swipe individual rows in the calendar. This will show you a summary for that week. Whether it shows sums or just averages depends on whether the category is additive or not. To mark your category as Additive, go to the Day view, tap the Action button (top right corner), choose Category Settings and turn Additive Values ON.

How do I add map locations, voice notes or pictures?

Go to the Day view, or to an individual note in the List view, and tap the (+) button at the bottom right corner of the screen.

What are carry-over values?

Carry-over values are useful for budget-like scenarios. For example, say that you want to spend a maximum of $500.00 each month dining out in restaurants. You can create a Dining Out category with a Number Tracker (123.45), set the units field to your local currency (e.g. $), and turn Carry-Over values ON in category settings. When you do that, you’ll notice two fields in the Day view: the top field is used for your daily spendings, and the bottom one is the remaining Balance field, which you’ll use to set your budget. In this case, you’d set it to $500.00 on the first day of the month. Use the (-) button as usual to record your expenses. The Balance field shows how much you have left to spend in order to remain within your budget. Note that the only time you need to update the Balance field is when you need to change your budget. If you are setting your budget monthly, then you’d update it on the 1st day of each month. You could also do it weekly if you prefer. As you can see, carry-over values are used for things that carry-over from day to day. You could use it in other scenarios too, not just money.

What are additive values?

Some categories are additive, and others are not. For example, if you track your workouts, the results are very much additive. On the other hand, if you track your weight, it doesn’t make sense to add those entries together. To mark your category as Additive, go to the Day view, tap the Action button (top right corner), choose Category Settings and turn Additive Values ON.

How do I track time?

When you go to the New Category screen (tap the + button at the top right corner of the main screen), you’ll notice two types of Time Trackers: Manual and Stopwatch. As the name implies, the first one allows you to add or subtract time manually using the +/- buttons, and the second one functions like a stopwatch (with start/stop buttons). When you’re adding time manually, use whole numbers for minutes. For example, if you’d like to add 90 minutes, tap the (+) button and enter 90. This will be displayed as 1:30 hrs (i.e. 1 hour and 30 minutes). Use numbers with a decimal separator when adding hours. For example, if you’d like to add 1.5 hrs, tap (+) and enter 1.5.

Note: The character used for decimal separator depends on your locale. For example, in the US you’d type +1.5 (to indicate 1.5 hours because the US uses decimal point as decimal separator), and in France, you’d type +1,5 since France uses decimal comma.

How do I track money?

If you just want to add or subtract your daily entries, then simply create a new Number Tracker (123.45) category, set the units field to your local currency symbol (e.g. $, £, ¥, € etc.), and turn Additive Values ON in Category Settings (since money is inherently additive). In addition, if you’d like to set a monthly budget, then turn Carry-Over Values ON in Category Settings. When you do that, you’ll notice one more field (the Balance field) in the Day view. This field is used to set your initial budget and shows how much you have left to spend in order to remain within your budget. You can read more about carry-over values here.

How to switch between line and bar charts?

In the Year view, tap the Action button (top right corner) and tap Switch to Bar Chart or Switch to Line Chart.

How do I set up a recurring checklist?

If you don’t need to track past performance, then you can create a List with Checkmarks. To clear all checkmarks, tap the Action button (top right corner) and choose Clear List Bullets. If you do want to track past performance, then create a folder (e.g. “Daily Checklist”) and create a Yes/No category inside that folder for each item that you’d like to track on an ongoing basis.

How do I set goals?

Lumen Trails doesn’t let you set goals. We strongly believe in developing systems rather than goals to achieve optimal results. For example, think: “I want to exercise regularly”, rather than “I want to run a marathon in under 4 hours”. Here’s a good article about it if you’re interested. In short, “if you can turn your process-goals into habits, you’re virtually assured of meeting your ultimate goals”. Having said that, if you do need to set a goal, you can add it to your category title, or type it somewhere in the notes.

How can I see graphs for 1 or more categories?

Go to the Year view to see the summary graph for each month of the year. If you’d like to compare graphs for multiple categories side-by-side, then group those categories in the same folder, and then tap the Summary button (bottom right corner of the folder category list). Here’s more info on how to organize categories into folders.

How can I change the first day of the week?

The first day of the week is set automatically based on your locale. For example, in the US, Sunday is considered the first day of the week. If you’d like to change it manually to Monday for example, then go to Settings > Device Sync & Options > First Day of Week. You’ll find the Settings button at the bottom right corner of the main screen.

What are daily forms?

Daily forms are used as a template for your daily entries. For example, if you track your mood, you might want to answer 2-3 questions every day to journal exactly how you feel. To set a template, go to the Day view, tap the Action button (top right corner), choose Category Settings, and then tap on the Daily Entry Form. Whatever you enter here will appear as template for your daily entries. In this case, you could write down 2-3 questions that you want to answer every day, for example:

  • What am I grateful for?
  • What made me smile?
  • What am I worried about?

Following a template like this will force you to take a moment and reflect not just how you feel, but what contributes to those feelings. If you focus every day on the positives, chances are, you will feel much better over time. Food Diary is another example where you might find daily forms useful. You could create a form to write down your meals, for example:

  • Breakfast:
  • Lunch:
  • Dinner:

What is the difference between the 8 app colors?

If you go to the App Store and search for “Lumen Trails”, you’ll find 8 separate apps. They differ in the sample categories to get you started, and the color of the icon. The core functionality is the same. Each version is a fully functional, multi-purpose tracker that you can customize to track anything. Some people like to use two apps to separate things they track for work and home. Others like to have a separate tracker for different family members.

Is my data in Lumen Trails safe and secure?

Yes, and you are fully in control over it. We do not collect any information that you enter in Lumen Trails. Your data is never transmitted to our servers. Please see our official privacy policy for more details.

I have a lot of entries, is that a problem?

Lumen Trails will perform very well even if you have 100,000 entries or more. We are regularly testing it in extreme scenarios. Many of our users have used the app for 10 years, making several entries per day. Having said that, if you do store many pictures or voice notes, the app will inevitably use a significant amount of storage. Lumen Trails stores pictures as JPG files with a slightly lower quality than the originals, so typically, they take about half the space compared to the photos stored in your iPhone’s Photo Library. A typical photo taken from within the app takes about 1 MB of space. The same is true for a typical 1-minute voice recording. In other words, 1 GB of storage gives you enough space for about 1,000 pictures or about 16 hours of recorded voice notes. To see how much space the app is currently using, go to iPhone Settings > General > iPhone Storage and scroll down to the version of Lumen Trails that you use (e.g. Daily Tracker). Note that the value reported there includes application binary size. The app itself uses around 30 MB of space, which makes it one of the slimmest apps you’ll find on your device.

Is there a dark mode? How do I use the app at night?

Many apps support dark mode, where you can invert colors so that the screen is less bright at night. We think this is better done at the operating system level, rather than the app level (that’s why we have not implemented this feature in our app). Indeed, iOS supports two modes that solve this problem:

1. If you go to iOS Settings > Display & Brightness, you can enable Night Shift, which automatically shifts the colors of your display to the warmer end of the color spectrum after dark. This may help you get a better night’s sleep (if that’s what you want to use the Dark Mode for).

2. If you go to iOS Settings > General > Accessibility > Display Accommodations, you can Invert Colors to increase display contrast. On iOS 12 and above, you’ll find the Smart Invert option, which reverses the colors of the display, except for images and media. This way you can effectively enable Dark Mode for all your apps.

Can I import my HealthKit data?

No, that’s not possible today. We believe that something magical happens when you enter things manually. For example, say that you just run for 45 minutes and took a moment to record it in Lumen Trails. Recording it feels great! It’s a moment to celebrate and pat yourself on the back. Having it recorded automatically takes away from it. Call us old fashioned, but we like it this way.

Can I import data from the iOS calendar?

No. Lumen Trails is meant to supplement, not replace the built-in Calendar app.

Something is not working, what can I do?

Let us know. When we ship an update, we are always at zero known bugs. In other words, if there is a bug, we don’t know about it. If we learn about a problem from users like you, we’ll update the page with known issues and then fix the problem in the following update. Email us if you encounter any problems.

How can I share categories with someone else?

You can share one or more categories via AirDrop or Email. Tap the Share button at the top right corner of the main screen. AirDrop sharing works just like a two-way sync. For example, if you share a Shopping List and then add more items to the list, the next time you share it, the recipient will receive just the latest changes and the lists will get merged. In other words, the other person will not lose their local changes. If you haven’t used AirDrop yet, you’re missing out! Check out Apple support page for more details.

How can I print my entries?

You can export an entire list with notes as a PDF file and then print it from your desktop. To do that, go to the List view, tap the Action button (top right corner) and choose Create PDF Document. You can also go to an individual note and export just that one note.

How can I sync data between my devices?

Tap the Settings button (bottom right corner of the main screen), go to Device Sync & Options and turn iCloud Sync ON. Here’s a page with more details: iCloud Sync.

How can I backup or restore my data?

You can backup Lumen Trails to iCloud, Google Drive or iTunes (your computer). Here’s a page with more details: Backup & Restore.

How can I transfer data to a new iPhone or iPad?

The easiest way to do that is to simply backup your old device to iCloud, and then restore your new device using that backup. This will transfer all your apps. Here’s Apple support page with details how to restore your device from iCloud backup. Note: Do not launch apps until restore is fully complete, otherwise data for those apps will not transfer and you’ll need to perform restore again.

Alternatively, you can backup Lumen Trails to Google Drive, and then restore it on your new device. To do that, go to Settings > Desktop Data Transfer, sign-in to Google Drive, and then go to the Backup Lumen Trails page. You’ll find the Settings button at the bottom right corner of the main screen.

The third option is to download the app, tap “Restore Purchases”, go to Settings > Device Sync & Options and turn iCloud Sync ON. This will restore data from iCloud provided that you had it enabled on your old device.

I lost my device, how can I get my data back?

The answer depends on the kind of backup that you had enabled before you lost your device. You’ll need either an iPhone or iPad to restore your data. Once you have a new device, download the app, choose Restore Purchases, then go to Settings > Device Sync & Options and turn iCloud Sync ON. This will restore your data if sync was enabled on your old device. If not, go to Settings > Desktop Data Transfer, sign-in to Google Drive and see if you have a fairly recent backup in Google Drive. If that’s not the case, then the last option is to restore your device from iCloud Backup. The first two options usually take just a minutes or two. Full device restore from iCloud may take hours.