Ashlee Culmsee

When she was 18, Ashlee had no interest in IT and just wanted to go to university and spend time with her cats while doing the local paper rounds for cash. Instead, she was encouraged to learn Microsoft Power Apps and her life was changed forever.

Despite having no prior experience in IT and also suffering from various mental illnesses, she found a passion for technology and quickly gained recognition from Microsoft by winning their “Fidget Spinner” app challenge. From this, she progressed into developing the “Universal Audit App” with her dad, which streamlined auditing processes across multiple industries and has been deployed across the world.

At 20, she was awarded a Microsoft MVP, and is currently the youngest female MVP in the world. Now 21, she is a part time Power Apps / Power Automate developer, part time psychology undergraduate, and also runs hackathons and classes worldwide in the hopes of empowering other young people, especially women, with her story.

Ashlee's Gift!

Mental health is super important, and it’s especially important to look after our mental health during the holiday season. Not only can it be a stressful time of year in general, but the holiday season has higher rates of depression and feelings of isolation, and can be triggering for many people for various reasons.

So why don’t we look after ourselves take the first step?

This is a personal project I’ve been working on for a while now and is close to my heart. Mood tracking is an important part of taking care of my mental health, especially as someone with EUPD (Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder) where my mood can change very quickly over the course of a day. I have trouble recalling emotions unless I’m currently feeling them, so it’s important to keep track of how I’m feeling in order to be able to remember those emotions in the future.

It allows me to identify trends and triggers, as well as giving me the ability to see what my average mood has been like, and by having it on my phone I can ensure that I have access to it whenever I have internet access.

My gift to you is my Mood Tracking Power App. This can be used multiple times a day and allows you to log your general mental state as well as specific feelings. Also included is a colour picker, since I often associate my moods with certain colours, and this can be a helpful visualisation tool (as well as being helpful for people with Synaesthesia).

All the data that is collected within the app is stored in a Google Sheets file so you can look at the data yourself, but there is also a graphing screen within the app that allows you to look at your recent responses at a glance. I find that mood tracking apps often don’t allow you to have the raw collected data, and it’s always something that I want to have so that I can analyse it however I wish.

Check up on yourself these holidays!