Do you keep a daily diary? I have a couple questions for you:
- Length: Do you keep it really short? Or do you write longer form?
- Medium: Where do you write it? In a physical notebook? Or maybe online in a blog? Maybe some sort of software, or Google Drive.
The short diary in a Google doc
For many years I’ve tried to keep an extremely short diary. One line every day. From 2008 to 2019, I kept a one-line diary in a single Google doc. Read about this format in my 2017 blog post, “Starting up a one-line diary“.
Here’s what a two weeks of entries looks like from 2016:
The problem is that I didn’t fill out the diary every day. Here’s the number of entries I had for each year:
- 2008: 29 (8%)
- 2009: 17 (5%)
- 2010: 24 (7%)
- 2011: 0
- 2012: 0
- 2013: 0
- 2014: 0
- 2015: 89 (24%)
- 2016: 52 (14%)
- 2017: 175 (48%)
- 2018: 56 (15%)
- 2019: 15 (4%)
You can see that I was not consistent at all. Only one year did I get even close to filling out half the days.
The Google doc got a bit awkward in the structure. Do I keep it chronological, and add to the bottom? It would all be in order, but then every time I write something, that’s a lot of scrolling, scrolling scrolling.
Then I tried keeping the newest entries at the top. Reverse order never felt quite right for me. I liked the ease of having the dates already added to the list, but then every month I would have to add the newest dates. And that got to be too much to do. All the stuff is still there, but I never really updated it much. The single-line part sounds easy. But then sometimes I’d want to write more.
The longer-form diary in Evernote
Thus, i figured in 2020, I’ll make a new diary. Here in Evernote.
- Available offline
- I could write a lot or a little. Every entry is a new day.
- Could add photos? Not sure about this. But it’s possible.
- I’m already in Evernote for lots of things.
- Sortable. I can sort reverse or forward
So far I love it. I can write as much as a I want. And guess what!? I still get the single-line preview from the title field.
Here’s a screenshot of the list of entries I have so far:
Since I’m writing about every day, I am able to reuse some of the text. Today I wrote about my three-year-old daughter’s first movie we took her to. I composed it Evernote, and when I saw all that text, so I thought I’d email the text (and photos) to my family.
There might be days where I want to write only a single sentence. And that would be fine too!