This is something I’ve personally done since 2013! I started creating a text file almost every day in a directory structure of ‘../daily/2017/17-10-14.txt’.
I use it as a journal (I put the current time and wrote whatever it is down), a scratchpad, a temporary todo, habit tracker, etc. It’s been super useful for me. I’ve thought about formalising it, using tags, etc. but have found myself getting along fine.
I used to use Day One (macOS/iOS) religiously but have found that this daily txt log mostly sufficient. What I would like is to expand my macros from getting the current time to getting my current location and weather.
For work, I have a ‘log.txt’ in which I have a section for each day and copy-forward the previous day’s section. While we have our own company tracking tools, etc., this is purely for me and has helped me keep better track of everything I need/want to do without letting anything slip out.
I’ve found that doing each of these things takes up very little time too—partly due to not formalising it or making it fancy. I’ve thought about using a vimwiki which I’m a big fan of, and gave it a go once, but I stopped. It was no fault of vimwiki itself, but so far have found the text files sufficient.
For my phone (iPhone), I use https://ia.net/writer/, and I keep all these text files in Dropbox.
Another reason why I’ve stuck to text files is because of the fatigue of different apps and services disappearing due to whatever reasons.
I do similar but let org-mode handle most of the heavy lifting. There are capture templates which will handle the date and surrounding template information to be filled out for me. It still takes discipline to get right, though, of course!
I do pretty much the same thing as @je, but I do it by ‘topic’, like I have work/servicename.txt or vacation/location.txt etc. New stuff goes at the top of the file.
This and https://github.com/BurntSushi/ripgrep gets me everything every note editor has with all the future proofing one could hope for.
I even do that too! Especially the vacations one. In each of my side-projects folder, I have an ‘idea.md’ file which is based off of a template I have which I then fill in per-project. The ‘log’ section is the equivalent of my general daily log file, just specific to this project.
# Initial thought
Why is it worth the effort?
Why is it not worth the effort?
What already exists?
I also started to keep a notebook of essentially everything I know documented in a continuos way.
And there are many other people who share this idea.
After 3 years on Evernote, I switched 1 years ago to TiddlyWiki. It is free and customizable.
Today I edit my “Tiddlers” inside Firefox and use the TiddlyFox Firefox extension to save it on my disk. Then I commit the changes in a private git repository.
I find it handy and effective
Curious, will the move to WebExtensions cripple your usage? I just checked and it looks like the maintainers are at a loss for how to migrate given the lack of a save-to-file api. That uncertainty has prevented me from really adopting Tiddlywiki for general/desktop usage, even though it is very good on Firefox for Android.
This kind of thing has been promoted for a while under banner of Personal Software Process:
That is more formal and detailed since it was designed for companies. The idea, though, is to constantly track progress in terms of what you’ve done and learn to identify ways to improve.
I feel like if I did this I would quickly have more notes than I could meaningfully look back on.