It’s a new year and I’ve decided to change the way I record my daily journal entries. I have been writing a journal on and off since my early twenties and keep evolving the way that I document my life, memories, and goals. I used to write in a Moleskine with my JETSTREAM pens (great for lefties) but now do most of my journaling and writing behind a computer. I still write in a physical journal and take physical notes that I transfer to a digital form at a later time.

For the last few years I’ve been using Apple Pages to keep a journal. I like that it saves my journal in the cloud so it is always backed up and easily accessbile to me on my devices. It works well but I don’t like the fact that it doesn’t use plain text and doesn’t export well to plain text. So I’ve decided to start using vim (I use neovim) to keep things as simple as possible and keep exercising my unix muscles. I created a journal.txt file that I save locally in Documents, this ensures that it is backed up by iCloud. I created an alias named journal that issues the command vim + /Users/joshsisto/Documents/journal/journal.txt. This command opens the journal file in vim and opens it at the bottom of the document. I then type !!date to insert the date press o to begin inserting in a new line below the newly created date.

Journal entries look like this

Sun Jan 3 18:18:48 PST 2021 Created cron job to backup journal

Mon Jan 4 21:58:26 PST 2021 Ran into an issue while starting kubernetes.

Now that my journal is accessible from the command line and my iPhone I now need to make sure that I also have an offline copy. I created a cron job that saves my journal to an external drive for added protection. While your here you should check out Benefits of a daily diary and topic journals by Derek Sivers.