Adam Israel

Adam Israel

An economy of words.

2-Minute Read

One habit I’ve gotten into over the past few years is to keep a daily journal for work. This is composed of an Obsidian vault with a few plugins (Daily Notes + Templates) enabled so that I can quickly create an entry and track my work for the day.

I’ve found that it helps to keep myself accountable – at the start of the day, I review the previous days’ work and create a bullet point list of work for the new day. Throughout the day, I keep a running commentary – a sentence or two – about what I’m working on, what I’m stuck on, and any interesting things I’ve discovered. I spend maybe 5-10 minutes/day doing this; not a major time commitment.

It’s also come in handy when I need to refer back to something I worked on weeks or months ago. Instead of relying on memory, I can go back to see verbatim what I did on a given day.

Switch to Obsidian, click “Open today’s daily note” from the sidebar, and dive right in.

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First you’ll need to download, a cross-platform application. Create a Vault for your work – I save it in Dropbox so it syncs between laptop and desktop. The only caveat is the iOS application only supports Obsidian’s sync service, so I live without it on the mobile.

Create a template for what you want your daily journal to look like. Mine looks something like this:

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It starts with a basic list of tasks that I should perform every day, followed by things I need to work on today.

Next, setup the Daily Notes plugin, telling it where you want to create the note and which document to use as the template.

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And that’s it. I’ve been doing it for the past three years and it’s one of the best habits I’ve picked up.

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This website is the digital home of software engineer, author, and genealogist Adam Israel.