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Updating a diary

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Hi Everyone,

I'm a new Evernote user, so just learning...

One idea I'd like to use Evernote is keeping my diary there.

Is there any options to mark notes for a date from the past? Meaning that I'd like to write some notes related to past days.

Perhaps entering the wanted date as a title but is this the best way?

Anyone done the same?

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In some clients (IE Windows) you can change the created date.

Since this is not about the Knowledge Base & you don't mention which client(s) you're using, I'm moving this to the general discussion section.

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i keep a daily research journal. it is titled yymmdd keyword keyword (120324 journal saturday). if you sort by title and do this your entries will be in chronological order.

you can also use the created date field to put in past entries (mac and windows).

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I use EN for my diary/journal as well. I use it on the mac and if necessary I do update the "Created Date" to be the correct date. Although I rarely need to do this anymore with these entries because I usually create each day's entry in the morning, so it already has the right date.

My main journal notebook is for longer ramblings and I usually put the topic of the entry in the title. I do not write in this every day.

I also have a notebook I call "Log Book" that I DO try to write in every day. This is for short, bullet-point type entries about what happened during the day, sort of "who, what, where" kind of info. A bit easier to keep up with than a full narrative. For this one, I title the entries "Daily Log for DATE" (for instance, "Daily Log for March 28, 2012". GrumpyMonkey's format for dates is probably better for sorting and searching, but generally I just browse these entries so it works OK.

I think EN works terrific as a journal. For a short time I tried using Macjournal instead, which I did like, but I found it didn't work as well for me to view a huge number of entries. Its searching was also less effective (although since switching back to EN, searching changes have lessened this difference a bit. I hope some of the good search features come BACK to EN)

One journal thing I LOVE about EN - I do still have a small paper notebook (moleskin) that I write in occasionally. Then I will scan the pages (I've been using my iPhone to do this lately, but I used to use my scanner) and add those images to EN as well. So it becomes the complete record; I can use my pen and paper but still have all my entries in one place.

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I keep a daily log in Evernote too. I'm in my third year. I initially started it when I got sick and was told by a doctor it was in my head. Eventually, I saw another doctor and she read through the logs I'd been keeping and diagnosed me with Celiac Disease. She likes to joke that Evernote saved my life. :) She uses it in her personal life now too.

Anyway, I have a stack called Log. In the stack is a notebook for each year called "2012 - Log." In the notebook, each day gets its own gets its own note. Today's is "2012.03.30 Fri, Mar. 30". I create it while I'm drinking my (first cup of) morning coffee. As I write in it throughout the day, I put a quick timestamp over each entry (8:37a). I also have a link to a Saved Search on my favorites bar to Today's log.

I write about work and writing projects — always mentioning them by name so the log entries can be found if I search for the project itself. Ideas, snippets, and interesting facts. Books I want to read or movies I want to see are always prefaced with a "To read:" so when I need something to read, I can find it easily. I spend a lot of time modifying recipes so my many trials and errors are outlined. Things that are tagged with a "Funny:" for days when I need a laugh.

I love some of the ideas in this thread. I'm in awe, Don, of your efforts to pour years of journaling into Evernote. That must be so interesting to go back and read.

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Anyway, I have a stack called Log. In the stack is a notebook for each year called "2012 - Log." In the notebook, each day gets its own gets its own note. Today's is "2012.03.30 Fri, Mar. 30". I create it while I'm drinking my (first cup of) morning coffee. As I write in it throughout the day, I put a quick timestamp over each entry (8:37a). I also have a link to a Saved Search on my favorites bar to Today's log.

great ideas. thanks for sharing! i wonder, though, how you do the saved search to today's log. could you explain that a little more?

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great ideas. thanks for sharing! i wonder, though, how you do the saved search to today's log. could you explain that a little more?

Sure, the saved search is restricted to the 2012 notebook and then "created:day-0". Since I only make one note per day in that notebook, it automatically shows me the one I created today.

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great ideas. thanks for sharing! i wonder, though, how you do the saved search to today's log. could you explain that a little more?

Sure, the saved search is restricted to the 2012 notebook and then "created:day-0". Since I only make one note per day in that notebook, it automatically shows me the one I created today.

great. thanks for that! i will give it a try :)

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I'm in awe, Don, of your efforts to pour years of journaling into Evernote. That must be so interesting to go back and read.

Having all this stuff in Evernote makes it easy to access. I'm trying to make a habit of revisiting past entries each day; I'll look at one year ago, 5 years, 10, 15, 20, etc. It's entertaining, embarrassing, and enlightening -- sometimes all at once!

And what a great story about the doctor -- logging stuff really does help. I use my journal when it comes time for the dreaded Annual Performance Evaluation: I can review what I've been working on over the past year and give my boss a list of accomplishments.

Off course, there are a million other uses, too.

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  • I make a note for each month with a title like: Journal 20120300 Mar - in each of these I make a 7x7 table that looks like a conventional calendar, and I drag each day's entry into the corresponding cell to make a link.

Don would you mind explaining how to do this? I can not seem to drag from one note to another. ( desk top client macbook air)

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Lots of great ideas here - I've just started using Evernote for my diary/journal, having moved from various other systems. This thread is giving me lots of motivation.

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rob24hrs: The secret is that you notes have to be synced before you can drag-and-drop them. I suspect that Evernote has to establish an online address for each note before it will let you do that.

Try hitting the sync button. After it's done, you should be able to drag one note (from the note list) into the body of another.

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Very helpful comments by all. Particularly Don, tardis, sschertz, gmonkey. Thank you for your thoughtful comments. I'm finally starting my journal and after doing a google search for journal software/apps, this forum gave me the needed push. Having first downloaded EN about a year ago, I didn't really know how useful an app this really was. I wasn't using it for much. I've been thinking about writing a journal for years, liking the thought of it but worried that I would not stay committed to it... and thus never starting. Is this a classic definition of procrastination? So my first entry is finished and it is a ramble for certain. But I started. So if anyone is reading this and considering starting at journal... just do it. Don't worry about the content. Just write. Best wishes. Thanks again.

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littleleaguecoach, good job! Now you just need to make it a habit. I've found two things that help me do a daily journal:

1. If...no, when...you miss a day, don't fret over it. Above all, don't say to youself "I'll catch up tomorrow, when I'll do yesterday and today" -- soon you'll find that you're putting off catching up on three weeks' worth of entries. If you miss a day, let it go and start fresh the next day. If necessary, in today's entry you can say "Yesterday i did such-and-such but forgot to write it down."

2. Find a regular time that works for you to write a daily journal. Last thing before going to sleep was working for me for a long time, but then I started skipping entries and I moved it around. Right now I'm doing it in the morning, between brushing my teeth and going downstairs. I find it helpful to anchor journal writing between two other sure-to-get-done tasks like that.

For those who are interested, my move-my-life-into-Evernote project continues apace. I've been averaging almost one month of past journal entries a day, and I am now down below 100 months left (98 as of today; 97 tomorrow). Even if I take weekends off, at this rate I should be done by the end of 2012: one Evernote note for each day of my life where I have record of something happening, plus monthly calendars. Right now my journal notebook contains 10,829 notes. [Yeah, that's about 29 years. I have precious little from the first dozen or so years of my life...but I can tell you the dates when I got each of my childhood vaccinations, as well as show you a copy of my vaccination record -- thanks for holding on to that, Mom!]

I'm getting a reputation as the go-to guy for personal history, and when I'm sitting around with friends reminiscing (that starts to happen a lot when you get to your 50s), I amaze people by dredging up on my iPad dates, names, even ticket stubs from things that happened in high school.

Evernote rules!

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That is just amazing. I wish i had been so diligent about keeping track of things.

I never really got into journals until I started reading Japanese diaries from the tenth and eleventh centuries. I was amazed at the kind of stuff they wrote and rather humbled by my lack of effort, despite having one of the most powerful recording devices in history (Evernote) in the palm of my hands! How embarrassing. As a kid I read Dune (remember the emperor's hidden recording device?) and Snow Crash (remember the gargoyles?) thinking of this stuff in a faraway future, but here we are. I only wish I could go back in time and give myself an iPhone with Evernote on it. Kids are lucky these days, and their "journals" are going to be amazing after 50 years of Evernote :)

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So glad to have found this thread. I've been using MacJournal for years, like you Don, I'm working on journalling my whole life. I have about 1500 entries but I'm dissatisfied with MJ.

Recently I bought Day One, since they FINALLY added the ability to include a photo, but only one per listing...still not good enough.

So, since I have become even more thrilled with EN, I too have thought about how well it might work as a Journal (not Diary, I'm told girls have diaries, men have Journals..:) ).

Does anyone know a way of importing entries from MJ without the pain of cutting and pasting one by one?

That's what I've been doing with Day One, and beginning to think its a waste of time with the limitations of DO.

Cheers

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One down side to this when considering including PDF documents in a journal entry is the I ability to view PDFs in Evernote on the iPad without downloading every time I want to view it.

Is it better to save as jpg?

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I believe Evernote will be able to better read your images, so that is an added benefit for jpg files. If you use offline notebooks (a premium feature) opening pdfs is quick.

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Thanks, I didn't explain that very well.

In any evernote entry I do like to view images and files within the note. On the iPad version there is a thumbnail image in the sidebar, but in the main window the PDF is represented but this (attached), whereas jpg images are shown fully in the main note window.

This is the downside I mention.

I do have a premium account.

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I think the "view as attachment" instead of "view inline" aspect of the iPad may be an iOS thing, but I am not sure about that. At any rate, it is a frustration about working on the iPad. As much as I prefer to write my journal by hand, there are too many drawbacks, not the least of which is the extra effort it takes to scan it. A kind of half measure is the stylus + handwriting app option, but you'll still be unable to view the notes without opening up the attachment.

I am quite satisfied with my iPad overall, but these little things add up and make me wonder if I wouldn't be better off with a Surface tablet come October. The retina display is a real pleasure to view (I do a lot of reading on the iPad), but the tradeoffs might not be worth it. We'll see -- the Surface will probably display your PDFs inline just fine :)

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I keep my daily journal in Evernote, and I'm on the second year of a two-years mission to move all my past journals there as well. (I'm 54 this years and have been keeping a journal off and on since high school, so there's a lot...)

Here's what I do:

  • Separate notebook called Journal
  • Each note has a title in this format: Journal YYYYMMDD ddd (ddd=Sun, Mon, Tue, etc.)
  • I make a note for each month with a title like: Journal 20120300 Mar - in each of these I make a 7x7 table that looks like a conventional calendar, and I drag each day's entry into the corresponding cell to make a link
  • I make a note for each year with a title like: Journal 20120000 - Drag each month note into it to make links for each month
  • One last master note: Journal 000000 - you guessed it, contains a link to each year

Yes, I am way too into this. I figured that if I'm going to spend two years doing this, I'm going to do it right. New journal entries are easy, and at the end of each month I construct the monthly page in about 15 minutes on my MacBook.

I attach PDFs, images, even a few small videos and audio files to appropriate days -- everything from memorabilia like ticket stubs to meeting notes and handouts. Plus photos (if I have a bunch of photos for one day, I usually try to pick one or two good ones for the journal - all of them are in iPhoto).

The upshot of all this obsessiveness is that by the end of this year, I expect I'll have my entire life in Evernote. :D

Hi Don, Have you considered posting a Youtube video on how you do this? I'm sure a ton of people would find it useful.

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> Hi Don, Have you considered posting a Youtube video on how you do this? I'm sure a ton of people would find it useful. 

 

I'm just not that much of a video-instruction person. In the time it would take me to make a video for YouTube, I could write an entire book on how to use Evernote in journaling. And I have lots of other books that need writing first.  :)

 

Similarly, I can read instructions in a lot less time than it takes to watch some slowpoke demonstrate on the screen.

 

I would imagine that there are already plenty of instructional videos for Evernote on how to create notebooks, create and title notes, use tables, and create links to notes. Those are the important skills; coupling them with my instructions is fairly easy. It's not rocket science.  :)

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I keep my daily journal in Evernote, and I'm on the second year of a two-years mission to move all my past journals there as well. (I'm 54 this years and have been keeping a journal off and on since high school, so there's a lot...)

Here's what I do:

  • Separate notebook called Journal
  • Each note has a title in this format: Journal YYYYMMDD ddd (ddd=Sun, Mon, Tue, etc.)
  • I make a note for each month with a title like: Journal 20120300 Mar - in each of these I make a 7x7 table that looks like a conventional calendar, and I drag each day's entry into the corresponding cell to make a link
  • I make a note for each year with a title like: Journal 20120000 - Drag each month note into it to make links for each month
  • One last master note: Journal 000000 - you guessed it, contains a link to each year
Yes, I am way too into this. I figured that if I'm going to spend two years doing this, I'm going to do it right. New journal entries are easy, and at the end of each month I construct the monthly page in about 15 minutes on my MacBook.

I attach PDFs, images, even a few small videos and audio files to appropriate days -- everything from memorabilia like ticket stubs to meeting notes and handouts. Plus photos (if I have a bunch of photos for one day, I usually try to pick one or two good ones for the journal - all of them are in iPhoto).

The upshot of all this obsessiveness is that by the end of this year, I expect I'll have my entire life in Evernote. :D

 

 

Don,

 

This is awesome.

 

Thanks for sharing - I'm glad I landed on this post.

 

Best,

 

Chris

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I keep my daily journal in Evernote, and I'm on the second year of a two-years mission to move all my past journals there as well. (I'm 54 this years and have been keeping a journal off and on since high school, so there's a lot...)

Here's what I do:

  • Separate notebook called Journal
  • Each note has a title in this format: Journal YYYYMMDD ddd (ddd=Sun, Mon, Tue, etc.)
  • I make a note for each month with a title like: Journal 20120300 Mar - in each of these I make a 7x7 table that looks like a conventional calendar, and I drag each day's entry into the corresponding cell to make a link
  • I make a note for each year with a title like: Journal 20120000 - Drag each month note into it to make links for each month
  • One last master note: Journal 000000 - you guessed it, contains a link to each year
Yes, I am way too into this. I figured that if I'm going to spend two years doing this, I'm going to do it right. New journal entries are easy, and at the end of each month I construct the monthly page in about 15 minutes on my MacBook.

I attach PDFs, images, even a few small videos and audio files to appropriate days -- everything from memorabilia like ticket stubs to meeting notes and handouts. Plus photos (if I have a bunch of photos for one day, I usually try to pick one or two good ones for the journal - all of them are in iPhoto).

The upshot of all this obsessiveness is that by the end of this year, I expect I'll have my entire life in Evernote. :D

 

 

Hi Don,

 

Great tips! I'm trying a similar style too:

 

Notebook: Journal

Note title format: Journal DDMMYY <Title that describes today>

Tags: None

Body: All text at the top so far, and I add one image at the bottom that is a major event of the day.

 

Hopefully I'll have some time to write up a blog post on this in the near future. I'm currently into my third day of using this journal.

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I keep my daily journal in Evernote, and I'm on the second year of a two-years mission to move all my past journals there as well. (I'm 54 this years and have been keeping a journal off and on since high school, so there's a lot...)

Here's what I do:

  • Separate notebook called Journal
  • Each note has a title in this format: Journal YYYYMMDD ddd (ddd=Sun, Mon, Tue, etc.)
  • I make a note for each month with a title like: Journal 20120300 Mar - in each of these I make a 7x7 table that looks like a conventional calendar, and I drag each day's entry into the corresponding cell to make a link
  • I make a note for each year with a title like: Journal 20120000 - Drag each month note into it to make links for each month
  • One last master note: Journal 000000 - you guessed it, contains a link to each year
Yes, I am way too into this. I figured that if I'm going to spend two years doing this, I'm going to do it right. New journal entries are easy, and at the end of each month I construct the monthly page in about 15 minutes on my MacBook.

I attach PDFs, images, even a few small videos and audio files to appropriate days -- everything from memorabilia like ticket stubs to meeting notes and handouts. Plus photos (if I have a bunch of photos for one day, I usually try to pick one or two good ones for the journal - all of them are in iPhoto).

The upshot of all this obsessiveness is that by the end of this year, I expect I'll have my entire life in Evernote. :D

 

 

Hi Don,

 

Great tips! I'm trying a similar style too:

 

Notebook: Journal

Note title format: Journal DDMMYY <Title that describes today>

Tags: None

Body: All text at the top so far, and I add one image at the bottom that is a major event of the day.

 

Hopefully I'll have some time to write up a blog post on this in the near future. I'm currently into my third day of using this journal.

 

 

 

Hi Kinson,

 

Why don't you turn your date description round the other way:

 

YYMMDD

 

This way you can list your Notes by Note title and they will be in the correct order!

 

Best regards

 

Chris

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Thanks to Don Sakers , have transferred / duplicated  a Wiki diary to Evernote , but I think I'll continue with the wiki and copy across to Evernote , that way if one goes down I have a back up :-)

Cheers again Don !!! :-)

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littleleaguecoach, good job! Now you just need to make it a habit. I've found two things that help me do a daily journal:

1. If...no, when...you miss a day, don't fret over it. Above all, don't say to youself "I'll catch up tomorrow, when I'll do yesterday and today" -- soon you'll find that you're putting off catching up on three weeks' worth of entries. If you miss a day, let it go and start fresh the next day. If necessary, in today's entry you can say "Yesterday i did such-and-such but forgot to write it down."

2. Find a regular time that works for you to write a daily journal. Last thing before going to sleep was working for me for a long time, but then I started skipping entries and I moved it around. Right now I'm doing it in the morning, between brushing my teeth and going downstairs. I find it helpful to anchor journal writing between two other sure-to-get-done tasks like that.

For those who are interested, my move-my-life-into-Evernote project continues apace. I've been averaging almost one month of past journal entries a day, and I am now down below 100 months left (98 as of today; 97 tomorrow). Even if I take weekends off, at this rate I should be done by the end of 2012: one Evernote note for each day of my life where I have record of something happening, plus monthly calendars. Right now my journal notebook contains 10,829 notes. [Yeah, that's about 29 years. I have precious little from the first dozen or so years of my life...but I can tell you the dates when I got each of my childhood vaccinations, as well as show you a copy of my vaccination record -- thanks for holding on to that, Mom!]

I'm getting a reputation as the go-to guy for personal history, and when I'm sitting around with friends reminiscing (that starts to happen a lot when you get to your 50s), I amaze people by dredging up on my iPad dates, names, even ticket stubs from things that happened in high school.

Evernote rules!

Don hi!
It's been almost 3 years since you shared your approach on journaling in Evernote. Thanks for it a lot!
 
Now it is my 3rd attempt to start my journal (first one was done on paper over 20 years ago, and unfortunately I have not saved it). Since recently I decided to try it again and was looking for the best application. For many reasons Evernote seems to be the best choice.
 
I wanted to ask you a small question on the way you do it. Why do you need to have each note titled with a date? I understand it was usefull and necessary on paper. But Evernote keeps dates of the note created and edited. Plus in you own system you link all notes by hyperlinks to the calendar grids. So, I don't really see much value in those titles. Is it just a matter of your old days habbit or do I miss some use of it?
 
If anybody else has any ideas on giving titles to notes in hte diary please share as well.

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