21 votes

How do you record your journal, personal log, or diary and why do you record it that way?

Last year, I posted a comment on Tildes saying that I wanted to start regularly journaling as a new habit for 2020.

And so, since the beginning of this year, I have been recording a daily entry into my journal each night before I go to sleep. I have found the activity to be quite relaxing and enjoyable so far. However, I am curious about how others record entries into their journals and how they make the activity of journaling even better for them.

So Tildes, would you mind sharing with me how you record your journal and why you record it that way?

If you are having trouble coming up with an answer, here are some questions to help get you started:

  • Do you use any tools or software to help record your journal? TiddlyWiki? jrnl? Org-mode?

  • How do you record entries into your journal? Chronologically? Do you have a system that you follow?

  • How long are your entries? Do you try to keep things minimal, or write expressively for catharsis?

  • Are you specific in the things that you record? Is there anything you try to include? Anything you try to exclude?

  • Do you prefer recording your entries onto a physical or digital medium?

  • Do you have any tips or tricks for journaling that you would like to share?

Finally, I would just like to say that I am specifically asking about journaling and diaries. While interesting, the bullet journal system seems to be more of a personal organizer, and not really a system for recording long-form journal entries.

However, if you have worked out some layout for your bullet journal that allows you to use it as a diary, I would love to hear about it.


Online stuff that inspired this topic:

31 comments

  1. [3]
    symmetry
    Link
    I'm on the same boat as you of trying to do daily journaling. I kept at it for a better part of 2019, but struggled to keep up when I started traveling. Gonna try to keep myself honest for 2020....

    I'm on the same boat as you of trying to do daily journaling. I kept at it for a better part of 2019, but struggled to keep up when I started traveling. Gonna try to keep myself honest for 2020.

    My setup is pretty simple. Two notebooks. One, a generic dotted notebook from Amazon. Two, a palm sized notepad that I keep in my jacket.

    I made a conscious choice to not keep notes digitally, since I'm on my computer all the time already. I initially only had the notebook, but noticed that it works only when I'm at home or carrying my bag. Having a smaller notepad that fits in a jacket is good for when I needed to record something on the move.

    Each entry usually follows a similar format. Today's day + daily weight. Tidbits about yesterday and what I got planned today. I try to keep each entry to a page.

    12 votes
    1. hungariantoast
      Link Parent
      Thank you for your response. I would like to say though, I wouldn't worry too much about focusing on the "daily" part of journaling. The only reason I have been recording entries daily is because,...

      Thank you for your response. I would like to say though, I wouldn't worry too much about focusing on the "daily" part of journaling. The only reason I have been recording entries daily is because, so far, it hasn't become a hassle. I think when I inevitably do miss a day, I'm not going to "fill in" an entry for that day retroactively, I'm just going to skip it and probably (very) briefly summarize the day(s) I missed in my next entry.

      I guess what I am trying to say is that, for me and maybe for you too, I feel like journaling regularly is probably more beneficial than journaling daily, especially if recording an entry every single day starts to feel like a chore.

      3 votes
    2. acdw
      Link Parent
      I need to start carrying a little notebook in my pocket to jot down ideas and stuff.

      I need to start carrying a little notebook in my pocket to jot down ideas and stuff.

      1 vote
  2. [6]
    drannex
    (edited )
    Link
    I used to have a highly customized wiki, and I even built (am building) my own wiki-like notetaking software. But for the last few months, I've just been using a Word Document with a specific,...

    I used to have a highly customized wiki, and I even built (am building) my own wiki-like notetaking software.

    But for the last few months, I've just been using a Word Document with a specific, simple, file structure:

    C:/Journal/{MONTH YEAR]/

    • [MONTH YEAR].docx
    • All other files pertaining to the month

    The nice thing about word documents is the ability to search, create headers, 'draw' diagrams, embed videos, PDF's, websites, etc. I created a simple macro to automatically add a header with the date and time and a new line (Macro's are the most undervalued, simple as hell, function in word documents).

    I usually keep all thoughts that I find need to be thought out, planned, document, or just to process. This could either be a quick few sentences, or fleshed out over a dozen pages. This month my total entry in my main document (January 2020) is roughly about 25 pages at 15k words with a whole slew of entries that are a sentence long, and a few that are pages long.

    I usually always try to write an entry in the morning outlining what needs to be done for the day, my goals, etc. And one at night examining what I did, could do better, and my goals and tasks for the following day.

    Sure, I could use OneNote, but I dislike how OneNote functions, and a word document is super easy to print and format. For now, this has been the best and most simple (but powerful) method I have found.

    Best of all: You own your data, you can sync it easily, more versatile than a markdown file, and you don't have to rely on software that always changes because Word, just works and will for the next 50 years as it has for the last thirty.

    6 votes
    1. [5]
      hungariantoast
      Link Parent
      I think it is interesting that you use Word for this. Most people seem to be in the "it must be plain text" camp when it comes to storing their text files, and I generally fall into that camp as...

      I think it is interesting that you use Word for this. Most people seem to be in the "it must be plain text" camp when it comes to storing their text files, and I generally fall into that camp as well, but you do make a great point about Word's longevity as a program. (And there are other programs, like LibreOffice, that can also open Word files, so that just increases survivability.) Overall, I think that makes for an interesting way to keep a journal and I'm glad you wrote about it, thanks.

      I also really like your ideas for how you record your entries. I have been almost exclusively recording my entries at night, right before I go to sleep, with minimal planning for the next day, but I think I could benefit from interacting with my journal both in the morning and the evening. I already use Taskwarrior and a physical notebook for task management (Taskwarrior for long-term tasks, the notebook for daily tasks), so I'm not sure exactly how beneficial using my journal to help plan the day might be, but it would probably help with writing out how I expect to tackle some of my daily tasks.

      Finally, I have a couple of questions, if you don't mind answering them:

      • Why store your journal across multiple files separated by month/year instead of just one giant file?
      • What wiki software did you use in the past?
      • Any details about your note taking program that you would like to share?
      • You mentioned syncing your files, would you mind sharing what software you use to sync your files, how many devices you sync, etc?
      4 votes
      1. [2]
        drannex
        Link Parent
        1) Why store your journal across multiple files separated by month/year instead of just one giant file? This way I can easily get to a specific point, I also keep the folder setup in Month Year...

        1) Why store your journal across multiple files separated by month/year instead of just one giant file?

        This way I can easily get to a specific point, I also keep the folder setup in Month Year because then I can write a bit more on different topics, an example is an invention/product idea (I am an inventor by profession and hobby): I create a document specifically for that, I then break it up into engineering requirements, thoughts, market share, and industry information and a whole list of things that shouldn't be specifically stored inside my 'Journal' files.

        Another example focuses on one I wrote recently on how I personally should deal with anxiety as I am prone to that. I wrote a file outlining a list of things to help relieve my anxiety - music to listen to, articles to read, remind myself to drink water, to go for a jog, etc. In my anxious moods I tend to forget the most basic self-care tips and reading a manual or guide that I write for myself in a good headspace seems to work better than anything else. I place that in the month that I wrote it so I can easily get back to it.

        I also keep documents pertaining to my work, receipts, etc in those folders. This way I have a full archive of my activities for the month. I don't need every receipt or a tutorial on how to properly read a MPU6050 chip in my personal journal, I'll reference the creation and addition as a sort of changelog in the journal, but they don't need to be between my notes of the daily.

        2) What wiki software did you use in the past?

        Dokuwiki is the one I ended up on for years, I tried mediawiki, tiddly, and others but Doku had the simplest setup, the best plugin architecture, and better markup systems. I extensively used the monthcal plugin.

        3) Any details about your note taking program that you would like to share?

        Absolutely! It's a self-contained wiki system in a note design setup akin to Evernote, Simplenote, etc. Ability to create notes, documents, etc, with options to create a customizable meta-system. Everything is treated as a '#tag' and allows for an insane amount of filters to group notes together.

        Create notes, tables, documents, from within other notes and have them all linked together. I have a few people trying it right now (close friends who use it for notes, etc). This is just something I develop in my free-time (mostly when bored). link to a screencap".

        Everything updates in real-time with complete historical archive and a nice slider to be able to 'play' and watch the progression of thoughts.

        I've been looking for a good note application for years, but all the open sourced ones are painfully bad and the closed ones don't have any proper plugin/extension support.

        4) You mentioned syncing your files, would you mind sharing what software you use to sync your files, how many devices you sync, etc?

        Right now just OneDrive as I was grandfathered into a fantastic 1tb plan from a few years ago and has great syncing between word documents (you can have a word document open on 2+ separate devices (phone, web, software) and it will automatically update in all versions just like a Google Drive Document with multiple collaborators.

        I've also used other syncing tools, and since it's just a document and file structure it can be used anywhere.

        2 votes
        1. hungariantoast
          Link Parent
          Your note taking program looks beautiful and sounds very cool! When you release the program, you should post a topic about it here on Tildes. I would love to try it out. Also, from the way you...

          Your note taking program looks beautiful and sounds very cool! When you release the program, you should post a topic about it here on Tildes. I would love to try it out.

          Also, from the way you described the program, it reminded me of Roam, another note taking program. I do not know if you have seen it yet and I do not have any experience with it, but maybe it will help you with thinking about ideas and features for your program.


          As for keeping your journal and other information in a month/year directory structure, that is very interesting. It sounds like, on one hand, it allows you to more tightly integrate your journal writings with your ideas and life events during that month, with the files accompanying the journal in that month's directory serving as "evidence" that could provide context when reviewing that period of your life.

          On the other hand, it sounds like, by keeping additional files alongside your journal in each month's directory, you are more easily able to separate out your writing and information from your journal if it might not necessarily be relevant there.

          Thanks! Your answers give me a lot to think about.

      2. [2]
        Algernon_Asimov
        Link Parent
        This reminds me. Back in the late 90s, I kept a journal using a non-Microsoft word processing program on an old PC. Later, I replaced that computer with one that came with Miscrosoft Word....

        you do make a great point about Word's longevity as a program.

        This reminds me.

        Back in the late 90s, I kept a journal using a non-Microsoft word processing program on an old PC. Later, I replaced that computer with one that came with Miscrosoft Word. Microsoft Word refused to read any files created by the other word processing program, I couldn't install the old program on the new computer, and I was unable to find any way to convert those files to any format readable by Word.

        I basically lost access to those files.

        The same thing will happen to files created in Word, even if it takes longer to get to that point. This is a concern with any digital data: the data requires software to read it and interpret it for human comprehension, and all software becomes obsolete eventually, even if it takes 50 years.

        cc: @drannex

        2 votes
        1. drannex
          Link Parent
          All software will be obsolete, but all data can be converted to appropriate formats (given you have the keys ofc) Another great benefit is how far virtual machines have progressed. In fifty,...

          All software will be obsolete, but all data can be converted to appropriate formats (given you have the keys ofc)

          Another great benefit is how far virtual machines have progressed. In fifty, sixty, a hundred years we will likely still be able to spin up a virtual machine and run an operating system that can run the file. This is what calmed my fears on longevity of data for this time (I write extensively about the digital dark-age that we will be going through in the next forty years when almost all the data created between 1990-20XX will disappear never to be found again).

          Not disagreeing with you, but I do agree with your point - it's a fear any file or data will have attached.

          3 votes
  3. Algernon_Asimov
    Link
    I haven't kept a journal for a while. My very first journal was a paper book. There's something personal and immediate about writing that you don't get from typing. My other attempts at journals...

    I haven't kept a journal for a while.

    My very first journal was a paper book. There's something personal and immediate about writing that you don't get from typing.

    My other attempts at journals were using word-processing software on my own computer. I'm already averse to handing over my data to large corporations. I'm certainly not going to type my innermost personal thoughts & feelings into someone else's website/app and let them store it on their computers. (I once saw a sticker on someone's laptop that said "There's no such thing as the cloud. It's just someone else's computer." This is a brilliant insight that more people need to understand.)

    My journal entries are purely chronological. What happened today? How do I feel about it?

    5 votes
  4. [2]
    hungariantoast
    (edited )
    Link
    For as much as I want to maximize the benefits of keeping a daily journal, it turns out that my current methods for recording entries are absolutely boring. I have a Journal.txt file sitting on my...

    For as much as I want to maximize the benefits of keeping a daily journal, it turns out that my current methods for recording entries are absolutely boring.

    I have a Journal.txt file sitting on my desktop. Each night I add the current date at the top of the file, then start writing the entry below on the next line. Once the current entry is complete, I add three dashes (---) below the current entry to separate it from the entry before it. That's it. Everything is stored in the plainest of plain text and the entries are usually written with Kate (because I use KDE on my desktop), so there's no spellchecking either.

    For now, the file isn't being tracked with Git or anything like that, it's just being backed up by rsync along with the rest of my files.

    Soon, I would like to start tracking the file with Git, but there are two things keeping me from doing that:

    • First, I am lazy. If I start tracking the file with Git, then I am going to have to commit-in-the-past each entry on the date it was written. I'm two weeks into writing this journal, so that would be a bit of a hassle (though certainly not getting easier by the day).
    • Second, I need a nice, clean way to encrypt the file before committing it, as well as a way to decrypt it on any of my devices when editing it. I am still looking into this.

    As far as what devices I use to write these entries, so far just my desktop. Tonight I am going to set up the journal file to sync to my laptop, since I just started my next semester and will probably want to write entries while at school. I do not think I will bother with syncing my journal to my phone though, since if I really want to record something on my phone, I already have a solution for that and can just add the record to my journal later on from another device.

    I have been recording these entries exclusively with a keyboard because I type faster than I write. Even though most of these entries have so far been a relatively simple recounting of my day, they can still end up being pretty long (because I'm wordy as fuck). I also just generally like having all my writings stored digitally.

    So, I write my entries digitally because:

    • I type faster than I write
    • My entries can be quite long (though not necessarily deep)
    • Storing the journal digitally as text makes it easier to search through and reference

    As for the journal entries themselves, the only things I make sure to record in each entry (for now) are the minor and major activities of my day. I don't always write about my thoughts, emotions, or anything else, but I think over time I will naturally optimize what I should (and shouldn't) be writing about.

    Something I have recorded in my entries a couple of times is the list of things I would generally like to get done the next day. I already use a physical notebook to track my daily tasks (todo list), so I am not sure how "worth it" it is to also write about that stuff at night (the same time I usually fill out my task book), but I am going to give it some more thought and experiment. I think maybe using the journal to plan out how to accomplish a task or how I did accomplish a task might be very useful though, especially when referencing back later on.

    Finally, the last thing I want to mention is that I have been recording these journal entries at night, right before I go to sleep. I think recounting my day like this is cathartic and it might even be helping me sleep better, but I have also been wondering about journaling in the morning instead. I think over the next week or so I am going to try starting each day's entry in the morning by writing out predictions, plans, or goals for that day, and then at night I will come back and edit the entry to reflect what actually happened throughout the day, what I got done, etc.

    At the same time though, that means keeping up with this journaling business twice a day, instead of just once daily. I don't know if that is something I can keep up with doing indefinitely, so I'm not going to sweat it if it turns out to be too much effort.

    That's about it so far. Like I said, my journaling habit is relatively boring and simple, but I want it to evolve and hopefully become more beneficial for me over time.

    5 votes
    1. casimiria
      Link Parent
      You can try using some gpg solution. If you encrypt it then don't track it with git, the log will get bigger with time & I don't really see any reason to version control it. I'm using a simple org...

      Second, I need a nice, clean way to encrypt the file before committing it, as well as a way to decrypt it on any of my devices when editing it.

      You can try using some gpg solution. If you encrypt it then don't track it with git, the log will get bigger with time & I don't really see any reason to version control it. I'm using a simple org file for this & just don't delete any entry, I will start moving them to archive when it gets big.

      3 votes
  5. [4]
    rogue_cricket
    Link
    I commented about my Notion.so setup on that Tildes post, but I thought I might as well show it! I've got a few custom templates and it's organized hierarchically into overall view, weekly view,...

    I commented about my Notion.so setup on that Tildes post, but I thought I might as well show it! I've got a few custom templates and it's organized hierarchically into overall view, weekly view, and entry view. Click. I didn't take a screen of entry view because it's basically what you'd expect, a blank page with a date on it.

    As for what I put in entries - feelings, musings, whatever. They're generally pretty benign, honestly, and I find it a good way to kill a few minutes. I have definitely had the experience of going back and reading old "boring" entries only to have a a great time doing it - memories come flooding back and I would have completely forgotten about the small day-to-day things I used to do, even less than a year past, if not for the journal. Most entries are maybe two paragraphs long.

    Sometimes I feel moved to write more, and more deeply - in those cases it's generally just me sorting out my own feelings. But it can't happen all the time, I only have so many depths to plumb at any given moment.

    I do use it a little bit for organization, but more in the sense of maintaining focus and motivation towards my goals than the actual nitty-gritty of planning how to achieve them.

    I also like physical notebooks quite a lot, just the weight and aesthetic of them. But I also feel confined by them because I really like the index and the overview capabilities of software. This results in me buying lots of notebooks and then never ever using them. My best attempt was a disc binder which got repurposed into more of a planner.

    4 votes
    1. [3]
      hungariantoast
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      Thanks for sharing here and in the other topic. Sorry I never got back to your comment on the other topic, but I did want to mention to you that if you have an education email address, you can get...

      Thanks for sharing here and in the other topic. Sorry I never got back to your comment on the other topic, but I did want to mention to you that if you have an education email address, you can get the $5/month tier of Notion for free.

      I've been dabbling with Notion for a little while now, but I obviously haven't looked into it enough, because I have no idea how to set up habit trackers like the one in your second screenshot. That's super cool though and something I think I would find useful. If you don't mind me asking, how did you create the habit tracker?

      Finally, regarding deep entries, I agree. Writing "in-depth" is something I can only do irregularly. Most of my journal entries so far are rather boring summaries of my day-to-day activities. I have only been journaling for about two weeks now and only two of my entries I would consider "deep", and one of them is a "deep dive" into a technical problem I was having and solved.

      5 votes
      1. [2]
        rogue_cricket
        Link Parent
        It's an inline database where the day columns consist of a todo element. https://www.notion.so/Intro-to-databases-fd8cd2d212f74c50954c11086d85997e It's probably a bit overkill, it was mainly a...

        It's an inline database where the day columns consist of a todo element.

        https://www.notion.so/Intro-to-databases-fd8cd2d212f74c50954c11086d85997e

        It's probably a bit overkill, it was mainly a GUI/ease of use concern for me. :) I set this thing up ages ago so there is probably a better way to do it, but I like the database interface for adding a row and you can template it easier than a table IMO. I think a calendar block might also work pretty well.

        2 votes
        1. hungariantoast
          Link Parent
          Oh dear, there is a lot more to Notion than I realized. This is going to take some reading. Thanks!

          Oh dear, there is a lot more to Notion than I realized. This is going to take some reading.

          Thanks!

  6. [2]
    zara
    (edited )
    Link
    I've always had a tough time keeping a journal. I don't know if I can properly explain this, but basically whenever I go back and re-read old entries, I get this overwhelming feeling to tear out...

    I've always had a tough time keeping a journal. I don't know if I can properly explain this, but basically whenever I go back and re-read old entries, I get this overwhelming feeling to tear out the pages or throw out the entire journal itself (I've gotten rid of quite a few journals over the past few years).

    I think it might have to do with embarrassment? Seeing old writing of mine makes me cringe because I think it sounds melodramatic and not like me so I feel the need to destroy it at any cost. Even that sounds melodramatic and over the top!

    But still, I want to have some sort of archive that shows what my thoughts and feelings were in the past. Journaling has also just proven to be very therapuetic for me.

    I use a physical notebook because I want to prove that it was me writing it and not some someone else pretending to be me or using my name on fake journals.

    4 votes
    1. cardigan
      Link Parent
      I often feel the same way reading old entries in my journal. But an important part of the process is accepting that you once were that person, and that there is an unbroken line between the...

      I've always had a tough time keeping a journal. I don't know if I can properly explain this, but basically whenever I go back and re-read old entries, I get this overwhelming feeling to tear out the pages or throw out the entire journal itself (I've gotten rid of quite a few journals over the past few years).

      I think it might have to do with embarrassment? Seeing old writing of mine makes me cringe because I think it sounds melodramatic and not like me so I feel the need to destroy it at any cost. Even that sounds melodramatic and over the top!

      I often feel the same way reading old entries in my journal. But an important part of the process is accepting that you once were that person, and that there is an unbroken line between the thoughts you were having then and the thoughts you have now.

      2 votes
  7. casimiria
    Link
    I use Org-mode to record my journal entries & it is also my todo manager. Journal > Year > YYYY-MM Month > YYYY-MM-DD Day > Time Like this: https://i.redd.it/7gtr35fo3ca41.png There is no fixed...

    Do you use any tools or software to help record your journal? TiddlyWiki? jrnl? Org-mode?

    I use Org-mode to record my journal entries & it is also my todo manager.

    How do you record entries into your journal? Chronologically? Do you have a system that you follow?

    Journal > Year > YYYY-MM Month > YYYY-MM-DD Day > Time

    Like this: https://i.redd.it/7gtr35fo3ca41.png

    How long are your entries? Do you try to keep things minimal, or write expressively for catharsis?

    There is no fixed length, I just write whatever comes to my mind & sometimes its multiple times a day. I've observed that I write more entries when I'm sad.

    Are you specific in the things that you record? Is there anything you try to include? Anything you try to exclude?

    I don't exclude anything because everything I write can only be read by me, I tried using physical journal before but I couldn't write much there because of the fear that someone might read it. I do have expenses & uptime heading that I update daily before going to bed.

    Do you prefer recording your entries onto a physical or digital medium?

    It is a Org-mode file gpg encrypted, I just can't write everything in physical journal freely.

    Do you have any tips or tricks for journaling that you would like to share?

    If you fear that someone might read your journal & cannot freely write entries then don't use it. Use any system that allows you to journal freely. I also don't try to think much before writing, I just write whatever comes to mind as is.

    I also don't use any online service because of that fear.

    4 votes
  8. skybrian
    Link
    I tried this for a couple years using markdown and git, using Keybase to sync the git repo between desktop and laptop. If I did it again I would want something that works similarly but also on a...

    I tried this for a couple years using markdown and git, using Keybase to sync the git repo between desktop and laptop. If I did it again I would want something that works similarly but also on a cell phone, and maybe a better search.

    3 votes
  9. flip
    Link
    I tried a bunch of different solutions, some good, some bad, but these days, because I'm crossplatform in mobile and desktop, I've been using Journey. It imports from my previous one (Day One),...

    I tried a bunch of different solutions, some good, some bad, but these days, because I'm crossplatform in mobile and desktop, I've been using Journey. It imports from my previous one (Day One), it's very decently built, and it has good backup and security, so that's what I use.

    I also have a couple of physical notebooks I use when I'm not near a device, then either take a picture and post it in the relevant date (bad for searching, but faster) or transcribe it into Journey.

    3 votes
  10. Eylrid
    Link
    I'm not a traditional journeler, but I installed Daybook on my chromebook. I don't have any other note taking apps on there so whenever I need to jot something down or work something out, I type...

    I'm not a traditional journeler, but I installed Daybook on my chromebook. I don't have any other note taking apps on there so whenever I need to jot something down or work something out, I type it in that day's entry. So, while it's not a record of everything going on, it's still a record of some of the things on my mind.

    3 votes
  11. ibis
    Link
    Any time I try to maintain a long form journal, I don't keep it up for long. But I do semi-regularly use gratitude journaling as a tool for improving mental health. All I do is write down three...

    Any time I try to maintain a long form journal, I don't keep it up for long. But I do semi-regularly use gratitude journaling as a tool for improving mental health. All I do is write down three good things that happened that day before I go to bed. Studies have shown that this one simple habit has a measurable impact on happiness.

    I think that keeping the task short and easy makes it easier to succeed at maintaining the habit. If I want to elaborate I can, but all it really requires is three bullet points.

    3 votes
  12. ThatFanficGuy
    Link
    I don't keep a journal, or anything similar of any permanence. The idea of writing things down appeals to me, but not in a way that involves consistency or even a designated target of such...

    I don't keep a journal, or anything similar of any permanence. The idea of writing things down appeals to me, but not in a way that involves consistency or even a designated target of such expression. I often verbalize what I think or have come up with during relevant conversations – which means some things haven't been expressed in years, and I will have a lot when it comes up.

    I do write some things down, though.

    I have a plain-text file where I wrote every once in a while. It's not the same as talking to someone, so it never stuck.

    Most of the time, when something personal comes up, I open the nearest note-taking app I have and write it down. Then, usually after a couple of months, I revisit it and either publish it, store it in an extended form somewhere, or think about it and let go. It's not that a thought wasn't important enough to keep, in the last case: it's more that it wasn't yet ready for something more valuable; it hasn't yet bloomed. It still needs time – so I give it time, at the back of my mind, where a powerful processor works tirelessly to provide me with further insight. I'm so very grateful it does.

    That said, I am working on something permanent: Mythos – something of a publicized self-exploration project. I had the idea for a while, and seeing Nikita Voloboyev's and Devine Lu Linvega's wikis inspired me to keep going.

    3 votes
  13. retiredrugger
    Link
    My goal for 2020 is to write 300 words a day. It can range from recordings of the mundane to whatever question I spent the day pondering. I don't keep a strict routine, I try and write simply...

    My goal for 2020 is to write 300 words a day. It can range from recordings of the mundane to whatever question I spent the day pondering. I don't keep a strict routine, I try and write simply because I find it fosters a healthy head space

    2 votes
  14. HoolaBoola
    Link
    I use a mood tracker slash journal called Dailyo. It's been enjoyable to use though I usually get too lazy to input anything other than my daily mood (there are customizable options for things you...

    I use a mood tracker slash journal called Dailyo. It's been enjoyable to use though I usually get too lazy to input anything other than my daily mood (there are customizable options for things you did, and a section to write your own notes)

    2 votes
  15. cardigan
    Link
    I've kept a daily journal from the age of 12. I'm now much older than 12. I have missed writing some days, but not many. The journal is spread out over fourteen or fifteen plain composition...

    I've kept a daily journal from the age of 12. I'm now much older than 12. I have missed writing some days, but not many.

    The journal is spread out over fourteen or fifteen plain composition notebooks. At the beginning I kept my dream journal in a separate book from my daily journal, but mixed things together once I realized how much one side informs the other. I still have the whole thing from start to finish, and have not lost a volume. But I also rarely go back to read them.

    The best (or rather, only) way for me to remember something is by writing it down. But once it is written down, it stays in my memory. So much of the journal is given over to directly transcribing quotes from books. Sometimes there's commentary, sometimes there isn't; reflections on what happened to me that day are interwoven freely without any separation.

    In 2019, I began copying some handwritten notes into an Org-mode file because I spend so much time in Emacs already. There isn't a rhyme or reason to what I choose to copy. The only commonality seems to be things I'd like to look up when I'm next at a computer. I keep a single Org file encrypted against my GPG key. At the time of my writing this it's 18,800 words long.

    2 votes
  16. [2]
    acdw
    Link
    I've been trying off and on to journal every night before I go to bed. But I'd really like to do something digitally. Right now I have a series of half-filled notebooks. It's okay but I feel like...

    I've been trying off and on to journal every night before I go to bed. But I'd really like to do something digitally. Right now I have a series of half-filled notebooks. It's okay but I feel like it's not quite what I want.

    1 vote
    1. hungariantoast
      Link Parent
      If you want to keep a journal digitally, you should "just do it". No, really, just create a little text file on your computer, or write yourself a text message, and start typing up the things you...

      If you want to keep a journal digitally, you should "just do it".

      No, really, just create a little text file on your computer, or write yourself a text message, and start typing up the things you have done today, even if that is nothing at all (or the things you want to do today, even if that is nothing at all).

      Alternatively, if you wanted to relive your past, you could take the notebooks that you mentioned and try transcribing their contents into a digital file, then see how that process makes you feel.

      Good luck!

  17. mftrhu
    Link
    I have an hybrid system. I jot down short notes and TODOs in an org-mode file which I keep synced between my laptop and my phone, and which I access with Orgzly, while the long-form log is stored...

    I have an hybrid system. I jot down short notes and TODOs in an org-mode file which I keep synced between my laptop and my phone, and which I access with Orgzly, while the long-form log is stored in a bunch of Markdown files, which I mostly edit via Emacs.

    I have bound C-z j to my/create-or-open-journal, which takes care of creating the appropriate folder structure (just YYYY/MM), and of timestamping and switching to the journal file (YYYY/MM/YYYY-MM-DD.journal). It's very thorough, seeing as how I wrote almost 500k words since May 2016, and I add to it throughout the day: I write about how I feel, what I dreamed, things I did or saw, what I read, what I ate, about the people I met and what we talked about.

    Sometimes, what I write is substantial enough that I feel like shunting it to its own file and expanding on it, but, by and at large, my journal is for me and me alone, serving as a secondary memory and as a way to ground myself.

    1 vote
  18. krg
    Link
    I generally don't think I have thoughts worth recording, but every once in a while I'll open up Notepad, jot some stuff down, and save it in my "journal" folder. File name is the date, tho...

    I generally don't think I have thoughts worth recording, but every once in a while I'll open up Notepad, jot some stuff down, and save it in my "journal" folder. File name is the date, tho metadata should handle that anyway.

    1 vote