Effective Journaling Practices for Better Life Quality?

:herb: Hello Anytype Community! :leaves:

We are developing new use-cases in Anytype and we want to involve you all in the process! One of the areas we are focusing on is daily journaling practices.

Mindful journaling brings a shift in awareness which can help us make sense of our thoughts and feelings. It offers a profound and transformative path to cultivate clarity of mind, emotional resilience, and a deeper understanding of oneself and the world.

Our goal is to aid your real-life practices with a range of features by implementing a truly useful tool for daily journaling and mindfulness exercises. To do this effectively, we’re calling on the wisdom of our community.

Here are some ways you can help:

:milky_way: What does your Sacred-Space look like? Share videos or screenshots of your regular journaling practice or similar activities. Maybe we can inspire each other with our unique approaches.

:woman_in_lotus_position: What tools or techniques do you use? Whether it’s apps, devices, music, or good old pen and paper, we’d love to know!

:crescent_moon: Tell us about your journaling pains. Are there any obstacles holding you back from fully enjoying the process with Anytype or similar software?

:rainbow: Whatever comes to mind, all feedback is welcome! Link your (or other members) feature requests with any suggestions as to how we might enhance the journaling experience.

Thanks again to you all for being part of this community. Let’s make journaling in Anytype a fundamental practice!

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I think the main reason I don’t write journals in anytype is the lack of automatic object creation(recurring objects I think was the name of the FR).

I just want to have a ready place for me to write and not care about the logistics.

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If you set everything up with a set and a template, all you would need to do is to click one button in a set to start writing. Is this not enough for you at the moment?

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I don’t write daily, but I practice these three:

  • personal journal
  • gratitude journal
  • dream journal

For personal, I write the following:

  • mood
  • activity
  • location
  • tags
  • actual journal title and content

This is actually going to be one of my use cases for Anytype. I’ve written a few entries already, but no template yet. I plan to take advantage of Relations to group my entries into categories because it has always been my frustration that most journal apps don’t have a filing system in place.

With my entries scattered in Word, Journey, Dream Catcher, and Notion, I have a lot to organize.

For a full journal experience, I’d like to plug Map/Location View. It’s a common feature in journaling apps, perfect for travel inspiration or simply reminiscing about the places you’ve been to. :grinning:

Other good-to-haves:

  • A View where you can scroll down to read multiple entries
  • A Calendar that you can filter to only show icons or relations (like mood) – for tracking mental health
  • Tag Cloud (widget/block) – very useful for checking which topics are common in your entries/dreams
  • Grouping in Sets so entries are automatically grouped per month.
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I am using Stoic and I like the reflex of this app. and I also like the way to write journal. It has focus mode, set time, goal,…

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I have lots of needs in terms of journal practices :sweat_smile: … these are some of the few.

For Productivity Evaluation

I would like to see everything I have done on the date of journal.

  • Automation to making set query’s filter which match journal date and object creation date, as well as modified objects - information can be pulled from version history.
  • All checkbox text block across objects (not task object) can have date relations for creation and completion.
  • Formula or calculation and list of total started / completed task
  • Words / letters input counts for all work done on Anytype for that journal date

For Contemplation and Reflection

I would need better flow and relations to have smooth process.

  • Handwriting - just let everything in mind flow
  • Thought flow: Feeling objects relating to event / thought objects, specify to journal date - enabling pattern observations, e.g. frustration to hanging projects across different dates / time, thus accumulated effects; but also happiness to seeing sunshine in the morning (Not just a single mood for the whole day)

For Relay / Quick notes / Referencing

I would want capture insights everywhere and easily organise them for later use, while maintain links to journal object. Like an inbox.

Accessibility of journaling object, so I can reach it no matter what main object I am using. E.g. pane between sidebar and object or tabs to display multiple object alongside journal object.

P.S. I have never found an app which satisfy my journaling needs, so there are possibly more needs I am not aware of. Hope Anytype will be the one I go to :sunglasses:

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In my opinion, effective journaling is achievable when you have the data you need in your journal workspace automatically, already contextualized and categorized so that you can do the important thinking and reflecting you need to do. However, that is just the starting place. Having rich options to present that information is also important. I agree with what has been suggested so far, A calendar view, Maps… I would add a timeline view as well.

I gravitate towards a “systems approach” to life, in so far as it does not get in the way (more on that below). Generally, speaking my days are filled with organizing, tasks, meetings, activities. Utilizing tools, and processes as I work towards fulfilling the requirements of the goal or project that I have set for myself or that has been set by work or other life obligations. Reflecting, thinking and processing what is happening in my life is important to me.

For me journaling is a central workspace where I routinely engage in collecting, tracking, thinking, curating, reflecting as well as some creating. I like it when I am able to easily create notes that can be queried within my Journal space. While journal entries are sequential, they are also foundational. Each day builds on the day before and so on. I have experimented with keeping my journal in both a database and also in a networked thought application like logseq. There are ways in both to allow ideas and themes to surface or for a kind of serendipity to unfold with the information you are using, however there is more friction than I would like.

Here are the things I do in my journal workspace.

  1. Organizing myself for the day, weekend, week or month and taking stock of where I am.
  2. Collecting or Creating a record where their isn’t one already or importing data from different tools. (health tracking, productivity/billing tracking, Outdoors gpx data, screenshots, )
  3. Layering constructive and thoughtful reflection ontop of my personal and work activities.
  4. Writing about life happenings.
  5. Exploring a new idea or one that has surfaced from my readings, notes, a conversation, a quote or experience.
  6. Examining the past, present and future arc of my life, relationships, goals and projects as they relate to my personal/ professional development as well as my health and spiritual well being.
  7. Reviewing/Listening/Processing/Incorporating photos, video and audio recordings. I keep a photo, audio/video journal that I like to index as best I can and incorporate into my journal entries.
  8. Publishing /Exporting sections.

While each of the things above might start off in my journal space, it does not mean they will stay there. Reflections on a work project might be compiled for a meeting etc.

Each of the above are extremely valuable, but they each come with their own hurdles where they “get in the way”. The more time I spend organizing myself & Creating a record/ bridging data or collecting /creating records the less time I have for the thinking and reflecting etc. As a result I lean into areas that I can create automations or that can ingest information from other applications, that cut down on the friction and the time needed maintain my setup or needed to enter information from other software or applications. So for instance, I can use dictation apps while hiking or walking- and because I can convert this to text it is easy to get this into one of my databases or something like logseq. However habit/health tracking data I have to export and import and as a result I do it more sporadically.

When I am working or doing something, I often have a thoughts and ideas I would like to later reflect on in my journal. I do not have a way of making a note that is satisfying for every situation. Currently I either tag notes or keep a running notepage with date stamped entries. It would be nice if I could link these notes to the work I am doing, and have them automatically show up when I query them within the journal space.

Automated contextualization would be helpful. Being able to contextualize information based on where it being entered within anytype, where it came from ( clipboard web clipper), autotagging based on words present, utilizing file metadata, a rudimentary rules and filters (if this then that) system, utilize geolocation data, would be extremely useful.

If Anytype had an internal logging/tracking feature where the user could tag and set certain information to be rolled into a daily or monthly report widget that would be amazing. Most knowledge workers I know would like a configurable privacy focused “black box” airplane flight recorder so they do not have to spend the time doing it manually.

Hope this is helpful
(I did a quick edit to correct some typos)

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Thanks for the write up @Archivist. I especially resonate with this part:

Unfortunately, Anytype is still a long way off when it comes to:

And especially:

It would be nice if shared some of this in their respective FRs or created them yourself if there aren’t any yet.

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I do agree with the ideas of @C.c & @Archivist.

Daily Notes Calendar

As in the post of Calendar view & Timeline view @Jeroen mentioned Daily Notes Calendar: the implementation of a journal in Capacities or Logseq with the Date feature, which is really appealing to me. Since I have been using Logseq irregularly as a journal for some time.

My current Version

Since the alpha version of Anytype my journal template looks like this:
I haven’t connected the needed Sets (Tasks, Goals, … etc.)
IMPORTANT: I haven’t used it jet. Why? Privacy reasons: Anytype hasn’t a custom storage location yet - so my data should ONLY be stored on my hard drive & external hard drive and not somewhere else.

The Journaling Template consists of the following parts:

  • Brain drop
  • Reflection
  • Goal setting & Planning
  • Mindfullness

Sources

As always, I do thorough research on the topic (pick up existing knowledge) and based on that, create my own version tailored to my needs.

The Template is inspired by these Youtube Videos/Shorts:
Jani Jäckel - Notion 6:36 - 9:22
Jani Jäckel - Notion Setup 5:22 - 6:10
August Bradley - Notion Bullet Journal Daily Planner
Ali Abdaal - Journaling
Ali Abdaal - Bullet Journal
Matt D’Avella - Journaling for 30 Days
Tim Ferris - Journaling and Take Notetaking
Ryan Holiday - Journaling Habits
May those sources inspire you to start journaling or at least give you an explanation why people do this…

Next Version

I will create another one for the new Beta with all the links. But for this I have to look at all the components, whether I still need them and thus will keep them, or they are unnecessary and I can omit them. For this clarification, however, I still need a little time …

Hope this helps …

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Thanks for sharing some of that research here. I appreciate the links to youtube videos.

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Thanks for sharing… while I was reading the thread I realized, that I need to build a template and system. I will look at yours in detail and add my own thoughts and needs.

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I have been thinking and working on my ideal journaling/daily reflecting setup for quite a while now. I really wanted to have it implemented in my Anytype space but as of right now, there are some obstacles preventing me from setting it up so basically I have put it on hold for when Anytype properly introduced some of the functionalities that have been missing. I will try my best to lay our my ideas and suggestion as simple and clear as possible while linking to external resources that inspired me.

So, journaling or having a daily reflect page can be quite simple as writing down some ideas that have gone through my head during the day and keeping track of my mood, which is totally fine by the way, or be as complex as capturing every aspect of my life that I need capturing. I don’t think the first scenario needs much explaining but let me dive deeper into the second one.

My ideal daily reflect/journaling entry would include but not limited to ( As I go on, my needs keep changing, So I adapt these based on them):

  1. A block dedicated to offload my ideas, feelings, log, etc of the day.
  • it can either be done through text, audio or video which Anytype supports all of them.
  1. I would like to have relations dedicated to track my energy levels, mood, feelings, etc which again can be achieved.

  2. I would like to have a section dedicated to showing my tasks and goals. Generally speaking I track my tasks and goals by assigning two relations (among others) to them: Due date and Target date. The former is for the ultimate deadline for that task/goal and the target date is for when I think can free my schedule to get it done. Again, these can be achieved since the introduction of “inline sets”. I just create two inline sets and set their filters for that specific day and this way I have a clear overview of both tracking my task for the day in the morning and checking whether I could complete all of them by the end of the day.

So far so good. These are a couple screen shots form my current setups right now:

But from now on I’m going to mention some of the shortcomings that I came across. You see I was watching and admiring Marie Poulin’s setup over at Notion and she had some serious advanced thing going on over there :sweat_smile:. I mean as she herself mentioned in the videos, it’s probably overkill for most of the people but nevertheless I think it’s better to have the functionalities and features to create an overkill setup rather than lacking those features. To be specific, I was inspired by these two videos: link1 and link2.

As you can see, she tracks a lot of stuff but I want to focus on the workout and supplement properties to be specific. You see, in notion one of the problems that people have is that their systems bugs down quite heavily as they add stuff to it and part of the reason behind this slowdown is that Notion users create databases and pages limitlessly without considering that they are creating a lot of duplicates. Since Notion doesn’t have a graph view, this issue can’t be seen visually and doesn’t get brought up that often.

In anytype on the other hand, there’s a genuine chance of avoiding this duplicate culture of just creating databases and pages regardless of the similarities. Let me give you an example. As I said at the beginning, I wan to track as much as possible with Anytype including my health and fitness. If I create a daily entry, like in her setup, I can dedicate a relation to workout, and link it to a specific workout object in my Anytype but here lies the problem. My ideal setup would let me:

  1. Track whatever I do throughout the day and that includes the fitness workouts that I planned for the day. I want to track which workouts I did for any specific day and the details of that workout, for example the no. of reps, sets, duration, etc.

  2. Also, I want to have an object/set for each of my workouts routines showing me on which days, I did what and again show me my progress in terms of no. of reps, sets, etc.

And after all these preliminary talks, let’s get to the problem. Take a look at this:

Here, I was forced to use a table in order to log my workout for the day. I can’t do it with inline sets ( i will explain why not in a moment). But, as I’ve said I want to monitor which days for this week I’ve done this workout and what was the reps, etc for it. Again, I can’t do it with sets and I’m forced to use the simple tables again.

So, if I can use simple table to achieve this, what is the problem that I keep mentioning? Well, to put it simply, I have to create simple tables for each of these things that I want to track; So, I can’t have an overview of all the things I do for the day. If we have multiple levels of relations, or “roll up” and “relation” features of Notion, we can simply fix this.

Imagine, if we can link multiple relations together within a certain object. For instance, I create a workout relation which I can add the workouts that I’ve done for each day. But, I can choose to add/link other relations to the “work out” relations. You can think of this as a multi-dimension relations. I can assign “reps”, “sets”, etc. relations (which on their own are independent relations and they exist for each of the “work out” objects) to the “workout” relation and have all the information I need at a glance and then I can use inline sets and filters to see specific information for the day.

This way if we consider the “push-up” object, which is a “work out” btw, once more we can see that we can add the multidimensional relation to each of the “set”,“rep”,etc this time in the form of “date” which again we can set the filter so that we can see all the progress for each workout and for the whole workout set as a whole.

This has become a post by itself :sweat_smile:, I apologize for that. But for the last part, if we had formulas like Notion or Coda, Then we could write down formulas for doing certain things with all of these trackings and information. For instance, the average energy of a week, or the general mood for a month, etc.

One last thing:

The multi-dimensional relations that I described earlier has tremendous potential because usually the relations we create are not totally independent in our mind. I come back to my Oscars example once again because it’s sensible. If I have a relation for a specific actor called “awards”, then I can add “best actor” object to it. But if I have multi-dimensional relations, I can further add “Year” and “movie” associated with that award for him too. This goes both ways for the award too. I, now can specify the people who have won “best actors” by the year, their role and the movie. As of right now, I do this by simple tables:



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@dzlg I see you have put a lot of thought into this & it’s quiet an interesting read. I agree with most of it. The rest I don’t know if I fully understand it correctly… :sweat_smile:

Inspirations

You’re right, Marie Poulin has really good ideas and a great setup. I had completely forgotten about her. You might be interested in August Bradley in terms of collecting your health data. He’s all about efficiency. August Bradley - Daily Data Tracking in a Notion Database

Data Tracking

I am also toying with the idea of tracking my workouts & habits in Anytype. I even considered writing my own software for it. But if the required features are available in Anytype, this would work wonderfully there. Namely:

Otherwise, I will probably have to use excel for this too, as I mentioned in my post to Excel as a substitute for the timeline view. Just for clarification: excel isn’t bad, I just wish I could have all my data stored in one place.

Questions

  • What you need to be able to do your ideal daily reflect/journaling entry are formulas and "multi-dimensional relations“?
  • Is there already a feature request for "multi-dimensional relations“?
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I wanted to ask if the following items listed on the website are live. Please forgive me if they are because I have possibly deleted some of the built in templates. I am running Mac OS Ventura 13.4.1 and Anytype 0.32.3 Public release version.

I have attached a screenshot.

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If there aren’t types or templates for these use cases already, it’s possible to build them yourself atm.

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Thank you.

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It all depends upon you, I usually start with the template and the go crazy

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You could say that :sweat_smile:It’s been on my mind ever since inline sets have been introduced.

Thanks, I haven’t heard of hime before and I will make sure to check him out.

I’m sorry, I didn’t understand the question :sweat_smile: can you help me understand it?

Not really. There has been some talks regarding multi-types and Inheritance but those are mostly considered with object manipulating rather that giving more powers to the relations. I mean, If we had multi-dimensional relations, we could achieve both of them theoretically but not vice versa.

I fancied creating a request for it. But I’m not sure whether devs would be interested in it. Should I? @Angelo @ignatovv

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I’m sorry, I didn’t understand the question :sweat_smile: can you help me understand it?

Well I just asked which features you need in order that your ideal journaling/daily reflecting setup would work. Just a question to better understand the meaning of your text, that’s all.

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