the papercraft lab

New Gadget Alert: Microsoft Band + Android Phone - YAY!


I never fell in love with my FitBit. At first I thought it was because I didn't like tracking the numbers and the competitive aspect. But after reading a few books on building habits - Commit by Linda Formichelli and Better Than Before by Gretchen Rubin -  I started thinking that maybe I needed to push past this reluctance and actually start tracking my exercise, namely, how many steps I walked.

I LOVE walking. If I don't get distracted by other (mindless) activities, I could easily get outside every day and walk, and we even have a full size nice treadmill for the really crappy days. When I lost 40 pounds back in 1999, it was mostly due to my daily walking habit, plus a little strength training and eventually some running and 5Ks. But I walked *every* day.

Now we have a new puppy who needs to get out or she turns into a crazy dog who eats remotes (we've lost two now). So that's extra motivation for me to get out there and walk.

I've gone back to wearing my FitBit for the last couple of weeks and keeping half an eye on it. I've been trying to hit a very modest goal of 5000 steps, which actually requires some effort when I work from home and sit at a desk all day!

Come to Mama #microsoft #band #microsoftband #gadget #green

Posted by Anandi @ The Papercraft Lab (@anandirc) on

Back before Christmas, Microsoft announced a new fitness tracker called, inventively, the Microsoft Band. (All I can think about is "We're getting the band back together!".) I dismissed it almost immediately because I thought I "wasn't a numbers person".

But I took another look last week. I like the bracelet form factor better than my FitBit One which clips to my bra and is thus inappropriate to check in public. I tried clipping it to my pants pocket but it fell off a few times.

So I jumped in and ordered the Band online (because according to Rubin's classifications, I'm an "overspender" when it comes to aspirational habits). Today I picked up my brand new Band from Best Buy and within 30 minutes I had it all set up and ready to go.

I *adore* the fact that it works with my Android phone and the Microsoft Health app is pretty slick and easy to use. It paired up with my phone via Bluetooth on the first try (that never happens with anything I Bluetoothed!) It's bulky, but pretty comfortable on my wrist. The Small size is perfect for me.

I love the built in heart rate monitor and the customizability. I love that it tracks sleep quality - I'm curious to see that data. It doesn't have any "compete with friends" functions as far as I can tell, and I'm ok with that. I want to track my activities for myself and I'm not motivated by competition.

I am *such* a gadget person, but obviously just buying the thing won't make me exercise, of course. So I'll give it a test run today on a walk between raindrops with Luna.

Things I'd like to see (if the Powers That Be are listening):

  • a way to customize the background to photos or other custom graphics
  • an app to display various inspirational quotes while I'm slogging through a workout
  • a configurable app where I can set prompts based on time for interval training routines
  • a way to play streaming music to Bluetooth earphones 

OK, so that last one probably requires an entirely new device, but a girl can dream, right?

I'd love to hear from you if you have one and what you like about it!

See related posts at The Papercraft Lab