Day One and Logging Everything

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Day One has become an important part of my data ecosystem. It’s always been a fine journal app. Then, back in July, they added photos and location data to what you could save in your journal. Then, and this is what really turned it into an important piece of the puzzle for me, Brett Terpstra released Slogger. Slogger runs on your Mac once a day (I use the default 11:50pm) as a launch agent. It runs a ruby script that scrapes Twitter, Pinboard, Pocket, Instapaper, Last FM and maybe a couple other ones and saves the data collected that day from those sources to your Day One database in Markdown. There’s also an additional image script that you can have Hazel/Folder Actions invoke when an new image shows up and that image gets added to Day One as well. Combine with that, and you can suck in photos from Facebook or Instagram and now you’ve got a truly automated diary of all the things you’ve read, said or photographed.

I don’t often make an effort to manually enter data into Day One. However, all my memories are getting added to it everyday and if I wanna go back and see what I was thinking about or doing on a given day, all I have to do is fire up Day One and it’ll have everything there for me.

Updated: 2012-09-28

I would like to add that if you’re using Day One for Slogger, I recommend Dropbox over iCloud. iCloud seems to choke on syncing the large amount of entries Slogger produces. Dropbox handles them no problem.

Buy Day One for OS X here in the Mac App Store.

Buy Day One for iOS here in the App Store.

Vitamin-R: Kinda Getting Things Done

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Can it help you get more done?

Vitamin-R is not going to help you plan better. It’s not a GTD app the way that Omnifocus is. You’re not going to be building project lists and adding contexts to help you figure out when and where you can get work done. It’s not going to make you work harder. Simply put, if you’re not willing to do the work, no software is going to make you do it. Vitamin-R’s app description states that it will help you actually get things done, but I think that’s a false statement.

What can it help you do?

So what can it actually do for you? Vitamin-R can nudge you in the direction of getting work done. It can hide apps for you (although you could easily switch back into them), it will run a timer, and let you know when your allotted time is running out.

That’s all fine and dandy, but I think the real value in Vitamin-R is in its logging ability. Every time you start a task, you enter in the objective you want to accomplish and then the time you want to work on it. When you complete it, you can log it as a success or whether the objective was completed. You can also rate your level of focus. For example, “I wasn’t focused”, “I was highly focused” or the stupidly named “I experienced ‘flow’”. After your objectives are logged, you can then check your statistics and see what time of the day you had the best and worst levels of focus. I suppose that if you were on a regular working schedule, you could use those charts to see when you should be doing intense work and when you should do work that requires less intense focus. Inversely, you could also see where you need to make an effort to work harder at certain times of the day, or just certain days of the week. You might notice that you work harder on Tuesdays instead of Fridays.

Is it necessary?

Do you need Vitamin-R? No.

Could you find it useful? Sure.

If you like the idea of logging your productivity and like the idea of an assistant that keeps track of work time for you, Vitamin-R is a worthwhile investment.

Buy Vitamin-R in the App Store here.

Take a photo of yourself everyday

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I’ve always wanted to do one of those daily photo things. There’s a new app from Little Pixels that’ll help you do that. It’s called Everyday and is just $1.99 in the App Store.

[itunes link="" title="Everyday"]