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Five Minute Journal – Daily Journal Techniques and Tips (briansunter.com)
233 points by bribri on Sept 14, 2021 | hide | past | favorite | 30 comments

I've built a service that lets your create an online blog from your paper journal. I use it daily, and I find I'm a lot more consistent with journaling knowing others are reading my writing. I also write way more without all the tech distractions:


Jeff Bridges, the actor, has taken this to the next level:


All I can think is how inefficient it is to download text as a JPG. It would be cool if he first converted it to SVG.

For example this image is 344KB: https://images.squarespace-cdn.com/content/v1/5f0dbd41d1d25c...

Using a basic online JPG->SVG converter ( https://tracesvg.com/uploads/1631702350_latest_part_1B_1.jpg... ) it goes to around 90KB (~4x smaller) and it should be a lot smaller with some basic curve optimizations.

Perhaps that’s the next cool idea for a business?

While not wanting to sound too negative in this response, I didn’t even consider the file size, but rather the creative possibilities that opens up when one successfully breaks with an otherwise common format and merges it with a new one.

Wow! This is so cool. Jeff Bridges always surprises me. He's a photographer as well, and quite good.

That's very cool - nice to hear his cancer is in remission.

It seems original - blogging from handwritten notes. My first thought was - how accurate is it? i.e. if I'm to blog-post from a note, automagically, I'd love to have the confidence that there are not typos/OCR-issues.

p.s. I've submitted it to SaaSHub as well https://www.saashub.com/paper-website

Thanks for submitting it! It's free to try out, so throw your handwriting at it and see. I've leveraged GPT3 so it automagically fixes errors that OCR produces.

This is really cool! I much prefer writing in longhand (I do for all my fiction writing). However my handwriting is absolutely awful. Maybe I need to try this out and see how it fares -- all the examples on the front page have nice neat handwriting :)

I've tested it with some pretty "awful" handwriting examples from /r/handwriting and it's surprisingly good (think tiny doctor scribbles). Have a go and let me know what you think, it's totally free to try.

This is amazing. Do you plan to support other languages than English? I would pay for a service that converts my handwritten notes, written in Catalan, to Evernote notes, for my private consumption.

Yeah I'm planning to add more languages in the future - as long as the characters are English-looking (i.e. not Greek, Chinese, Japanese etc.). So I think Catalan should be okay.

Very nicely done landing page.

I also journal since multiple years, and I feel that this many questions create too much pressure.

My best approach was simply writing down bullet points of stuff which I found noticeable.

I’ve also found that journaling without prompts is much more sustainable for me. Now, for the second year, I’m doing daily morning pages of at least 750 words. It takes me about 30 minutes of free-flow writing. I can write whatever comes, and if nothing comes, I write that. It’s helped me to become much more self-aware about what’s going on in my mind and also mostly solved my fear of starting from a blank page.

Initially, I used https://750words.com/ which helped to create a routine. But now I'm using obsidian daily notes with a word counter plugin.

So you do your morning pages in Obsidian? I'm curious how your pages and content may change depending on whether you're doing it on paper & pen as opposed to a word processor & keyboard.

I live blog my entire day in Obsidian. My tasks are interspersed with my working notes, links, record of frustrations, noting wrong turns, celebrating progress.

At the end of the day I extract any good reference sections into separate notes.

This system has made my days much more conscious and productive.

This is a well known technique. You can buy physical journals with certain questions as prompts.

I tried this for a while. It works in the beginning, but it wasn't long before I tired of coming up with answers to the same question every day.

The real question I have: Which fountain pen is in the picture?

(It’s a Jinhao 250)

Wow - I did not expect a real answer.

I've tried two Jinhao models, but I don't think I've tried the 250. I liked them at first, but the inconsistent quality issues annoyed me. I still use one of the Jinhao's, but I swapped the nib.

I do something similar, but I use the Jesuit's Daily Examen as a guide/prompt [1]. You can strip it with only the secular stuff and the pattern becomes the same: what you're grateful for, what worries you, what you want to improve upon.

[1]: https://www.jesuits.org/spirituality/the-ignatian-examen/

Great tips! I also do "3 things I've learned" that day, which could be an interesting fact, an esoteric code thing, or something random in the news.

This is a rewarding one to look back on

I also find journaling for even five minutes in the morning helps clear my mind. The benefits seem to last all day too. My problem was that I would forget to journal many mornings. I solved this by piggy-backing on an existing habit, checking my email. I built a morning journal via email that sends a template similar to the article’s every morning. It has built in tagging so I can go back on Sunday evenings and see all the times I mentioned a certain person or topic. If this sounds like it might be helpful for you give it a spin at https://mymomentjournal.com it’s free for 3 weeks so you can see if the habit sticks.

> Writing helps you practice organizing coherent thoughts and articulating yourself

I can't agree with this more. As someone who feels like their mind moves at one hundred million miles per hour, writing slows me down to a walking pace with my thoughts.

I already write what I'm grateful for on a daily basis but I don't ask myself what I'm worried about or what I would want to accomplish. I think asking these questions are important for self awareness and I will try adding them to morning routine.

Just created a step by step audio flow for this if anyone is interested, great way to actually do it:


I started with a more structured journal, but slowly got less structured. I generally go back and do monthly and yearly retros when I feel like it which yeilds something more structured.

I tried doing it in the morning but found that I just didn't have a very strong morning habit/protected time in the morning. Instead I do it at night and write what happened the day prior, that way I can write it whenever I feel like without missing out on anything, and it gives me some practice simply using my memory.

I’ve also tried the morning/evening routine. It felt too stiff for me. Now I just write what happened during the day and how I feel about it. I write it in English for practice. It’s like letting go of the day’s emotional charge.

I am using DayOne, which can generate templates with questions for you and also provide a "daily question", but I've found it too annoying in the long run. I just sit down and write in the morning.

However, sometimes I will record a voice message instead, while running to the office. Or a small video. Or take a picture. The value of a diary for me is to make clear the changes over time, and a video or audio is just as good as text. 5525 entries and 2200 days so far.

I really struggle to know what to write - sometimes I feel like writing loads but don't know what about other times I don't want to write but I know it helps me! I used to keep a list of prompts in evernote but it got really long so recently I dumped them all on https://www.journalprompts.co.uk/ its a WIP but just being able to filter my list easily is a god send!

This is really great. I especially like the morning questions. Thank you!

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