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Ask HN: How do you write and store your digital journal?

Markdown, LaTex, G Docs? Simply as txt files? I'm currently writing in LaTex in one massive document, but I'm sure some of you smart lot have found a better way about it.

  • 6 points
  • 13 days ago

  • @oskhib
  • Created a post

Ask HN: How do you write and store your digital journal?


@WesleyLivesay 13 days

Replying to @oskhib 🎙

I use daily Markdown files, which I started out just manually creating, then I used an extension in VS Code called Journal to create them automatically, now I do the same thing in Obsidian.

I have found MD to be the proper mix between formatting and plain text, just enough formatting to enhance readability but not enough to require a mandatory parsing tool. Overall I just consider it essential that at anytime I can take my 4+ years Of daily documents and interact with them in however I want.

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@pqs 12 days

Replying to @oskhib 🎙

I use Evernote. My whole life (personal stuff and work) is there. The last years have been rocky but now it works very well.

A few years ago I used DayOne for a while but I ended importing everything to Evernote, as having everything in the same place is valuable.

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@IceMetalPunk 13 days

Replying to @oskhib 🎙

I don't really keep a "digital journal" per se. But I do track all my work in a plain text file, for which I've developed a simple markdown-ish syntax that's both human-redable and parsable by a small script I wrote. The script and parsing is really just to give me a time breakdown of each task (and link me to the JIRAs for them) so I can fill out my timesheet accurately at the end of the week without doing much math. (I.E. any tasks without time labels are assumed to divide evenly across an 8-hour workday, but each task, and the entire workday as a whole, can be labeled with different start/end/duration times and the parser maths out the divisions for me).

So, kind of "one big text file", but with a small script to enhance that for timekeeping purposes.

Not-so-fun related fact: About a month ago, I had hardware failure and needed to replace my work laptop. My script didn't get backed up, as it wasn't in one of the directories that I copied over before replacing the machine. So I rewrote it and... now there's a bug that screws up the time calculation if the day isn't 8 hours. Haven't figured out why... Gotta love automation!

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@al_borland 13 days

Replying to @oskhib 🎙

I don’t use it much, but I setup something in Apple Notes with one note per year. I setup something with Shortcuts to make it quick and easy to append entries to the file with time stamps. I can use it via the menu bar on the laptop, through a widget on the iPhone/iPad, or via Siri which is nice with CarPlay.

At work I’ve tried various options, mostly with text files or markdown. Currently, I wrote something in bash to quickly log stuff to a text file and parse the file to get a log from a certain day, so I can fill out some time tracking stuff each week.

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@lovelearning 12 days

Replying to @oskhib 🎙

yyyy-mm-dd.md files in markdown format.

Managed as a private git repo. Because I use multiple machines, git helps me with easy backups, merging, and version control.

I just use my OS's default plain text editor for writing.

I prefer markdown instead of plain text because it allows me to link to images. Images are stored in yyyy-mm-dd/ directories.

All these decisions were motivated by my long-term goal to make my journal easy to own, read, process, and pass down two or three decades down the line.

That goal pretty much rules out any kind of third-party service or specialized journaling application. git is the exception but I always have an accessible version even if git disappears.

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@DantesKite 12 days

Replying to @oskhib 🎙

I go back and forth between Roam Research and DayOne.

I haven’t decided which I prefer yet.

But now that I think about it, I only use DayOne on mobile so I suppose it’s actually just my mobile solution.

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@LinuxBender 13 days

Replying to @oskhib 🎙

I don't keep a digital journal so to speak but when I would do something ad-hoc/break-fix in the workplace I would always add a comment to syslog on-the-fly in case someone asks why I did a thing. So I suppose this is sort of a digital journal. Syslog has data retention requirements in this case and was also replicated to Splunk.

    echo "Fixing ssh key permissions for ansible. --my.name JIRA-1000101" | logger
Logger sends the text to syslog. If someone detected a system change they will eventually also see my message and can review the JIRA that hopefully answers any questions they might have as well as showing my work and approval process. That has saved me from many emails and meetings and saved me a lot of time.

One could run a syslog server on their home/vpn-mesh and/or use rsyslog with TLS and send messages from any terminal to the syslog server. I have also found this to be a useful way to distribute commands and log feedback for home automation. Not command injection but automation that looks for keywords and takes actions.

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@drakonka 13 days

Replying to @oskhib 🎙

My daily notes and TODOs are all now in Workflowy. It's not really a journal, just a bunch of bullet points with tasks or random links. The closest to a journal I have is my blog, which I write in markdown and store in a private GitLab repo.

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@mikewarot 12 days

Replying to @oskhib 🎙

Locally, a WikidPad wiki

I used to log activities in Word2000 back when I was a sysadmin (aka DevOps)

Publicly, I blog at mikewarot<dot>blogspot.com, and cross post to facebook and twitter.

I hope to replace it all with a Memex eventually... once I figure out what that really means (I've been doing a lot of reading and watching videos about the origins of the idea)

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