How to Track Your period Without an app

How to Track Your period Without an app

complimentary period tracker from Imperfect Inspiration
There’s been a lot on social media lately about why you must delete your period tracking apps. various sources have noted that data privacy, including Internet search history, are bigger issues — but let’s discuss.

Readers, how are you tracking your period these days — with an app, a cute paper way, or something else? (For those of you trying to conceive, have you changed any of the apps you might be using to track basal body temperature and so forth?)
Let’s Talk about period Apps
The argument For Why You must Delete Your period app
A June 24 tweet that got a lot more than 300,000 (!) likes and nearly 100,000 retweets was just one of the lots of urgent messages on social media telling people to delete their period tracking apps after Roe v. Wade was overturned. The tweet urged, “Delete your period tracking apps today.”

Some activists and data privacy experts are concerned about period app data being used by authorities to verify that someone has had an abortion. Mashable quoted a former senior cybersecurity staffer on the Biden presidential campaign as saying, “I would caution people who menstruate to stop using any type of app to track their menstrual health if they have any expectation of having a presence in states which are expected to ban abortion.”
Also consider where your period tracking data is stored. A representative of the digital rights advocacy group fight for the Future told Mashable that where this data is kept is important. A court would need a warrant to search your phone to get the menstrual charting stored on it, while only a subpoena would be required to obtain data from the cloud.
If you do delete your period app, MIT technology review recommends asking the app company to delete your information — and recommends this Washington post guide on how to do so.
The argument against Deleting Your period App
Other experts, including a representative of the electronic Frontier foundation interviewed by The new Scientist, don’t believe it’s needed to delete period apps ideal now. The post noted, “[India] McKinney understands the urge … but says that is akin to not getting a car because you don’t want someone breaking into it on the street.” Instead, McKinney recommends checking apps’ privacy guarantees and not allowing apps to use your location data.

Vox pointed out, “[P]eriod tracker apps are very low on the list of things you must worry about when it pertains to online privacy and abortions,” while the NYT noted that depending on where you live, you must probably be a lot more concerned about being potentially implicated by your text messages, Internet searches, and location data. (Social media articles can also be a concern.)
Note that Google has stated it will delete location data for visits to abortion clinics.
Period apps with ok privacy Terms (For Now)
Not surprisingly, a lot of period app users have swiftly switched to “safer” alternatives. Stardust unexpectedly became popular as a supposedly safer option, but TechCrunch soon found concerning data privacy issues. TechCrunch noted that lots of people have also switched to period Tracker by GP apps but pointed out that GP Apps’s privacy policy said it would abide by legal requests and subpoenas. TC highlighted the option of using Apple’s health app, which has end-to-end encryption of iCloud records.
Some period trackers, such as clue (Kat’s preferred tracker, which follows EU privacy laws), have issued company statements committing to good data policies, but note that any app’s terms and conditions are subject to change. I used to use Flo and am still on their email list; I recently received a Roe-related update email a announcing their new “Anonymous Mode.”
Consumer reports has a helpful chart that summarizes eight period app’s privacy policies.
How to Track Your period Without An App
The Etsy way to Track Your Period
There are a ton of really cute period trackers popping up on Etsy that you can use for a digital bullet journal or print out.

1. Kat get emails from Imperfect Inspiration, a TikToker/shop owner/Etsy seller who specializes in organization and planners for people with ADHD. In a recent email she announced her new complimentary download: a monthly period tracker. this one is great because it shows 12 months at once so you can see variations in your cycle.
(While you’re there, her planning game board (free digital download, or $16 laminated) is one of Kat’s favorites, especially when she’s out of ideas for dinner.)
Free period tracker from Imperfect Inspiration
{related: ideas for digital journaling}
2. Canadian Etsy seller FeelingCozyOfficial uses printable period trackers, including this instant download for $2.39. It tracks dates, blood flow, symptoms, and cycle length.
3. This printable period journal from Etsy seller PlanPrintLand includes three versions of a period log plus a yearly log and diary days. The digital download bundle is $1.71. The seller also has other reproductive health printables that include a basal body temperature chart and IVF/fertility planner.
Other easy ways to Track Your Period
If your cycles are mostly regular, and you just kind of want to know when to expect your next period, here’s something Kat used to do long, long ago: On the day you get your period, count forward in your calendar by 4 weeks (28 days). put an X on the future day so you know when to expect it. If it comes sooner or later than that, track it in your calendar (for example, with different colors or symbols). (You can also set up a repeating calendar event in your calendar app, naming it something other than “period” if you want extra peace of mind.)

{related: If your periods aren’t regular (or you’re really into environmentalism), we looked at the pros and cons of period underwear and other alternatives products for your period.}
You can also use Google Sheets or this chart from university of British Columbia’s Centre for Menstrual Cycle and Ovulation Research. [Update: In the comments below, India McKinney wrote, “If you are anxious enough to delete your period tracker, you must absolutely NOT put your data in anything Google owns.”]
Readers, how are you tracking your period these days — with an app, a cute paper way, or something else?

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