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    Another happy jrnl.sh user here. It’s so useful for quickly capturing things that are on your mind, especially because the history editing features are well done.

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      Until now I’ve used a directory and set of simple text files for each ‘task’. Top of each file is reserved for tagging, so I can locate needed files later by grepping all files from the journal directory in search for a specific tag.

      It might be cumbersome but I’m used to it.

      I will give jrnl a try though.

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        I feel multi-file approach works a lot better than single file. You can get a good sense of what that file is about just by grep -rC1, and you can link to that particular file in your own notes later. I found that the most friction I had when I started to taking notes electronically was thinking of a file name. Now I just use a serial number, like N05349. ed works great for jotting down notes, and acme wins in cross-linking files.

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        I like jrnl I never get to actually use it continuously…

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          I wrote a cron job that uses espeak and notify-send to tell me “Please make a log entry” every half hour. I was going to put it in the article, but people always give me funny looks about it so I left that part out ;-)

          Maybe I will make a part II to this article.

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            That probably helps in the beginning but it seems like it would be very annoying and it would break concentration efforts.

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            I’ve solved this with a physical journal. I find it’s harder to forget when it’s in front of me. Downsides, my handwriting could be better, so it’s not the easiest thing to review. Plus it’s organised chronologically, rather than by task.

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            I would love to use something like this, sadly I usually run into the problem of “forget to write into journal”, after which I setup a reminder that will inevitably be ignored out of habit or forgotten about…

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              I put a reminder into my prompt. If my journal file was not modified in the last 90 minutes a red “journal?” is printed in my terminal. To avoid getting spammed with reminders, the file is touched after each reminder.

              I made my own script for this.

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              I keep a little bit of bash in my .zshrc that gives me some cli commands for handling my notes, and stores it all in my ~/notes folder. Basically note subject will create ~/notes/{date}-subject.md, and note subject folder does ~/notes/folder/{date}-subject.md.

              journal aliases to note journal journal, so my daily journal entries all go in ~/notes/journal/{date}-journal.md. The nice thing is I can run that command and it will always open today’s entry. That way I can pop in, capture a thought, and then get back to work.

              For my work log I keep a file called ~/notes/DOING.md, and the command doing opens that. I delete stuff out of there as I go, which helps me not worry too much about formatting and all that, and just use it as a way to focus my thoughts through the problem I’m on.

              Works pretty well for me!

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                I added some other features in my fork for those that are interested. There’s a pull request in there somewhere but the original jrnl developer isn’t too active anymore so it hasn’t been merged yet or anything.


                • import a jrnl from JSON
                • export a jrnl to a pretty print HTML format
                  • no HTML stripping from jrnl entries, so you can add any other decorators you’d like by inlining them in the entry.