Journaling on physical notebooks

1st August, 2023·
·2 min read

From January this year, I started journaling with a pen on a paper. I used to do it digitally on apps earlier but I could never stick with it for long.

With a few missing days, I've been consistently writing a journal till now. I mainly write morning pages, a concept or a tool, that I've taken from The Artist's Way.

Why pen and paper?

Yes, typing on keyboard is faster. You can train yourself to type at the speed of your thought. But you can't do that when penning down thoughts.

And that's the beautiful part.

You slow down when you hand write your thoughts. I might not be able to articulate properly but that's when the magic happens.

I love the haptic feedback of pen and paper. And that is addictive. I don't even listen to any music while writing. I enjoy the sound of the pen scratching on the paper.

What do I miss?

The advantage in those previous setups, while writing digitally on the apps, was that I could search across my journal entries really fast. I miss that ability to search.

But guess what–I hardly searched old entries.

Anyhow, the thoughts that come while journaling are fleeting anyways. They aren't of any value e most of the times. And when they are, I can easily transfer/copy them to my PKM (Personal Knowledge Management) apps.

GPT experiments

I like to fit in tech where ever possible. The problem I wanted to solve here was searchablity. I made an iOS Shortcut on my phone which takes pictures of my jounral entry on the notebook, converts the image to text. This text is then saved in my Notes app. So I can search now.

But yeah, I have to take pictures of it after writing my journal do this processing manually everyday.

Along with this - the text is then analysed by ChatGPT which summarizes, find actionable items from my journal.

It was nice and fun for a few days but that quickly added up friction and I stopped doing it.

I also have a few privacy concerns. I have to send my journal entries to OpenAIs servers and it does store everything on its servers.

Aravind Balla

By Aravind Balla, a Javascript Developer building things to solve problems faced by him & his friends. You should hit him up on Twitter!

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