Analog Office – Reader Question 2: Notes on Paper, Notes in Apps, Here, There, and Everywhere, Should I Just Give Up and Accept the Chaos?

Analog Office – Reader Question 2: Notes on Paper, Notes in Apps, Here, There, and Everywhere, Should I Just Give Up and Accept the Chaos?

There are some really great ideas and suggestions within but I absolutely love this:

The magic is in the fact that writing is a transit system, which transports little electrical sparks in your synapses into things that affect shared reality.

This is truly magical, and amazing, and a continuing source of awe to me: that we are alive, that we can create things, that we can use our thoughts to help ourselves grow, and to better the lives of others. A tremendous gift and power!

This! So much this! This is why we do it. This is what we believe in.

Habit and mood tracking in my Hobonichi Techo –

Habit and mood tracking in my Hobonichi Techo –

The “three lines” method described in the video impressed me with its simplicity and its forgiveness. The pattern looks prettiest when I’ve done all my habits for the day, but even if I haven’t, the result is still pleasing to the eye and encourages me to try again tomorrow.

This is a seriously beautiful way to do habit tracking. Could also work for other purposes with imagination.

Movie Lists in an Old Diary

Recently, reader Rahul Gaitonde alerted me to this with the following thoughts:

“Hi, Patrick. I thought this tweet might be interesting to The Cramped. It’s a photo of a page from the user’s grandfather’s diary where he recorded (in Tamil) the movies he’d seen in the 1960s. Including movies from the West the user didn’t think his granddad had had a chance to see. Lists from the past have always been fascinating to me. This one particularly so, maintained in a language other than English, from over fifty years ago, of movies both local and from half a world away.”

I agree. Very cool stuff.

December 9th is Journal Day


Today, December 9th, is a day I’ve designated as Journal Day. The idea came up many years ago in discussions with my friend Garrick van Buren. The idea was a day for celebrating journaling, preparing ours for the coming year, and committing once again to the daily practice.

I celebrate the day by opening up past year’s journals, logs, and notes and tease out any ideas that may have gotten lost in the shuffle and see what I might want to put into action the coming year. It is also a good way to tease out old memories and reminisce.

I’ve unwrapped my 2023 Hobonichi Techo and started to prep it for the coming year. Filling out my contact info on the page provided and starting to note special events and mark important dates.

But, that’s just my way to mark the day. You might decide to do something else. Need some help? Here are some ideas I’ve mentioned in the past…

  • This might be the day to take out previous journals and reflect on where you were then versus where you are today.
  • You might let someone you trust read one you have kept and get to know the “real” you.
  • Perhaps gift a journal to another person in your life who practices or you feel could benefit from doing so.
  • Or, maybe, be so bold as to spend a year keeping a journal for someone else in your life whom you love and spend your days with — write down their day as you saw it or the things you were thinking about them at that time. How wonderful a gift would it be to allow someone close to you to “see” themselves and their year through your eyes?
  • Like the above, start a journal for your kids that are too young to keep their own. We forget so much of those early years. This is a way to remember those special times. This is the sort of thing that would make a meaning high-school graduation gift when they get older.

These are just a few of the ways you can celebrate. If you come up with others, I would love to hear about them. Shoot me a message on Twitter and I’ll try to add them here. Happy Journalling!