According to the American Psychological Association, one in three college freshmen worldwide suffer from mental health disorders. As freshmen, this issue is close to our hearts as we witness some of our peers struggle with adjusting to college life. We hope to help people understand how their daily activities influence their emotional welfare, and provide them with a safe space to express themselves.

What it does

daybook is a secret weapon for students and others to be a bit happier every day. It's a web-based journal that gives people a space to reflect, automatically generating insights about mood trends and what things make people happiest. Our goal is to teach people how to best understand themselves and their happiness.

We don't force our users to go through awkward data entry or to be their own psychiatrist. Instead, daybook lets users write a few sentences for just a minute a day. Behind the scenes, daybook does all the work - using Google's Natural Language API to automatically find the mood for each day and what events, people, and places in our users' life make them happiest. daybook then gives the power back to our users with a happiness summary of mood, sleep, and a list of things that make them happiest, letting our users discover happy things they might not have even thought about.

How we built it

daybook was built with Google Cloud's Natural Language API to automatically rate activities on a scale of how good the user feels when carrying them out, while extracting and categorizing them.

We used a variety of technologies for our hack, ranging from:

Frontend: Vue.js, CSS3, HTML5 hosted on Firebase (also using Firebase Auth)
Backend: Flask (Python, SQLite3) app running on Google Compute Engine servers

Challenges we ran into

  • Coming up with a meaningful and viable idea
  • Determining which platform to use to store a database
  • How to get the entities we wanted from Google's Natural Language API
  • Setting up all of our servers - we host our landing page, main site, API, and CDN in different places

Accomplishments that we're proud of

  • Templates in Vue
  • Using Google's Natural Language Processing libraries
  • Developing a fully functional web application that is responsive, even for mobile
  • Rolling our own CSS framework - minimalism was key
  • Extensive use of Google Cloud - Firebase, Compute Engine, NLP
  • Git best practices - all feature changes were made on separate branches and pull requested
  • It's the first hackathon for 3 of us!
  • Of course, our cool domain name:,

What we learned

A whole lot of stuff. Three of us came in completely new to hackathons, so daybook was an opportunity to learn:

Creating databases and managing data using Google's Cloud Firestore; sentiment analysis using Google's Natural Language API; writing an API using Flask; handling GET and POSTS requests to facilitate communication between our web application and database.

What's next for daybook

  • iOS/Android App with notifications!
  • Better authentication options
  • More detailed analysis
  • Getting our first users - ourselves
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