I love journaling. I’ve blogged about it in the past and the same rules basically apply today. I’ve also been more conscious about planning my days and I’ve also blogged about my workflows for it in the past. Today I’ll be joining both concepts together, with my up-to-date workflows (Siri shortcuts) and a new concept I’ve been trying lately - intermittent journaling. Here goes:
Using Siri Shortcuts and Bear app
Because I’m using iOS devices to get my stuff done - I’m iPadOnly with the new 11” iPad Pro and I use an iPhoneXS - I do all of my planning an journaling on either of these devices using Siri Shortcuts and the Bear note-taking app. I don’t use Bear for anything else - just for planning my days and for journaling.
You’ll find below my Siri shortcuts for both planning the days and journaling:
Siri shortcuts to plan the day:
- Plan - Today - this shortcut either opens a new Bear note with today’s plan or adds a new note if it’s not there yet.
- Plan - Tomorrow - this shortcut does exactly the same thing but for tomorrow.
- Plan - Read Rocks - this shortcut helps me read my day’s plan and use it in other shortcuts - like the journaling ones below.
Siri shortcuts to journal:
- Journal - Day - main journaling shortcut I launch in the morning.
- Journal - Night - main journaling shortcut I launch in the evening.
For these shortcuts to work, you also need these smaller shortcuts that I use inside them to get everything done:
- Journal - Get Goals - reminds me of my monthly goals every day before I start to journal
- Journal - Compose - asks me journaling questions and composes the journal entry
- Journal - Save - saves the journaling entry in Bear
Now that you’ve got all of the above shortcuts, you can see how they work together. Both the planning and journaling shortcuts are inter-connected.
Intermittent journaling with all these shortcuts - how my day goes:
My day starts in the evening as I summarize my day and get ready for tomorrow. I launch my Journal - Night shortcut, answer some questions and within the shortcut I’m being redirected to the Plan - Tomorrow shortcut where I plan my day. Now that I’ve journaled and planned the next day, I can go to sleep.
In the morning I launch my Journal - Day shortcut and again, answer some questions and within the shortcut I’m being redirected to Plan - Today shortcut to make sure I review my plan and make adjustments.
At the end of the morning journaling session a whole checklist is added to my daily plan with each checkbox for each 30 minute interval:
9 - 9:30 Meet - Deep - Work 9:30 - 10 Meet - Deep - Work etc…
And as the day goes, after every 30 minutes I’m using the Bear’s quasi-Markdown formatting and I’m making bold one of these three options… or none of them… and right next to it I write what actually happened. Here’s how I ended my workday today:
Intermittent journaling keeps me focused and helps me see where my time goes
I got the idea of intermittent or interstitial journaling from this article.
If I procrastinate for 30 minutes and just browse mindlessly through the web… I write it down… if I manage to do some good deep work session, I write it down, too - and mark the “Deep” word in bold. When I do sports, I write it down.
This way I’m very aware of how my day is going!
Anyway, I’ve been doing this for the last few weeks and I really like how my days are going - more mindful work, less procrastination, more focused time… even though I’m spending a few moments every 30 minutes writing things down.
Hope this helps you stay productive, too!