Note: I will update this post when additional functionality or ideas come to mind. Please keep this bookmarked and check by here occasionally.
How LifeNotes Came to Be
My favorite hobby is journaling. Being able to personalize the way I express myself is the reason I entered this realm. But, the actual process of becoming the journaler I am today was not easy for me. I just couldn't get into it in the way I saw others do.
The daily diary. Oh, how I hated that phrase. I could never find the patience to spend an hour or two a day accounting for all of the interesting things that happened. I wanted to document everything but, at the same time, not spend a lot of time doing it. At this point, it looked like it was time to call it an end.
The problem with myself, though, is that I'm stubborn. I am someone who calls 'stop' a last-resort. I sat down for six hours straight trying to either find a suitable journaling system or invent my own. And surely enough, at the end of the night, I invented what I call today 'LifeNotes'.
What is the LifeNotes System?
The system that became was a complex yet versatile system for journaling. It's made up of a bunch of notes that can be easily indexed and archived for the future. Instead of daily entries accounting for a bunch of cool things that happened during the day, notes are primarily based on one subject each.
It tackled a big reason why I couldn't get into journaling. Notes could be written throughout the day. They are also easier to index than daily entries.
Here is an example lifenote from early June this year:
Tuesday, 3 June 2014 at 01:55
Glenn Beck Says Video Games Are Dangerous
Rich of ReviewTechUSA made a video response to a video by Glenn Beck, talking about how violent video games caused the four suicides that occurred in the U.K. recently. The points he makes in the video are incredibly misinformed and will, clearly, misinform some who’ll watch.
The people – older than age fourty-five I presume – that claim these types of video games are dangerous are idiots. You can’t make an informed opinion on something without facts to back it up. Making empty claims, when it’s clear he’s nonsense, just makes you look stupid.
I can’t wait until the majority of the U.S. population is in support of video games (in general). It will happen soon. It’ll happen the same way that the television – or freaking books – became accepted among the media norm. When that day comes, I’ll hug the hell out of everyone because it will be a happy day.
Tags: Glenn Beck, ReviewTechUSA, violence, video games, suicide
THE COMPONENTS OF LIFENOTES
The lifenotes are basically the entries. They have dates and, most of the time, titles and tags. Note: 'LifeNotes', as in the journaling system, is a proper noun and capitalized like so. On the other hand, 'lifenote', as in the actual entry or note, is a basic noun and is lower-cased like any other noun.
The archive is the 'table of contents' of your journal. It lists all of the entries (and their titles) for easy access in the future.
This is the spine of your journal system. All of the tags are referenced here for easy searches in the future.
HOW TO GET STARTED
I choose to use the OpenDocument Format because:
- it has the brightest and most stable future.
- it's a non-proprierity format; it's free and well-documented.
- because it's the way I journal.
Download the Templates
Here are some templates I have for each of the three components:
The Lifenote Template
This is the template you are going to use to create a new lifenote (entry). The template is organized in lines.
The first line is the date.
Example: Sunday, 29 June 2014 at 17:42
The second line is the title of the note (optional).
Example: Sunday Drive in the City
- The third line is the body of the note.
- The fourth line, accompanied by dotted horizontal lines, is where the tags go.
Each line has it's own style.
Here is the structure for file names (can be customized to your needs):
The two-digit year. You can use four digits here if you want.
The two-digit month.
The two-digit day.
The alpha-numeric ID of the note. 1-Z, according to how many notes have been written in the day. If it's the fourth, 4. If it's the sixteenth, H.
The title of the lifenote. Example:
You can organize the files any way you want. I have them nested in folders. For example, I have a folder called "2012". In that folder I have a folder called "02". In that folder I have all of February's lifenotes. To make it easier to index, I usually keep all of the non-indexed lifenotes in an unsorted folder. When I index the lifenote, I then organize it in the folders.
The Index Template
This template has four styles: Category, Index Letter, Indexed Keyword, and Indexed Entry. The template comes with it's own examples of how you're going to index your entries. This is completely optional but saves a lot of time in the future the more notes you write.
Tags, People, Places, Music, Games, Movies, Food, etc. The more organized you want to be, the more categories — and the more specific — you'll have. Choose and make up any categories that have to do with you.
Purely for better readability when index entries pile up. It's like a real, professional index, huh?
These are your keywords or tags. When you add your tags to a lifenote, these are what those are. For example, you could put 'car' or 'tree' as keywords. Whatever works for you.
This is where you'll reference your lifenotes. Also, in some cases, it'll be where you clarify specifics. For example, if your keyword is apple, you could clarify and say '* pie' to say 'apple pie' (the asterisk is always used to replace a word that has already been said). This is shown in the example template. The syntax for referencing is the same as the first part of the note's file name, minus the title and extension. If you press [Tab], you can also add an optional description to make it easier for yourself in the future. This is shown in the template.
Each of these styles are directly linked to each other. If you're typing a Category, and then press [Enter], you'll then be able to type the Index Letter automatically without needing to switch styles. This works all the way down to Indexed Entry.
The Archive Template
This template is pretty simple with simple styles. Just like the Index Template's styles, each style is directly link to each other with the [Enter] key. Archive Title, Archive Year, Archive Month, and Archive Day.
Whatever you want to title your LifeNotes Archive. The default is "Archive".
The year. Typically four-digit.
The month. Typically in the
DD Month format.
The day number, title of note, and link to note. Type the day number, then press [Tab] and type the title of the note. Select the title of the note (not the day number), then hyperlink it to the corresponding note on your computer if you want. If you have multiple lifenotes a day, the day number is repeated.
EXTENDED FUNCTIONALITY AND IDEAS
Additional functionality that is completely optional. Well, come to think of it, what isn't optional?
The LifeNotes system also supports multiple journals. You could have a journal about ranting and call it RageNotes or even keep a dream journal and call it DreamNotes. Just separate each in different folders and have different archives and indexes respectively. Or just keep one big index. Whatever you like! Go wild!
I am an 'noob' programmer and can't create an application to automatically index your lifenotes yet. Maybe when I have more experience or perhaps someone could do it themselves! I suspect that the 'complicated' indexing aspect of LifeNotes is the prime suspect for drawing people away, so it's a priority for the future.
THE ULTIMATE TL;DR
For those who don't have the time to read everything.
How LifeNotes Came to Be
I love journaling, but hate daily journaling. So, I created LifeNotes.
What is the LifeNotes System?
Lots of notes, each with its own category. Can be indexed easily.
The Components of LifeNotes
Lifenotes are the journal entries. 'LifeNotes', the system, is capitalized. 'Lifenote', the actual entry, is not.
Table of Contents.
Like the text books. Helps you find notes later on.
How to Get Started
Use ODF. It's better than Microsoft's lame format. Download the templates.
Extended Functionality and Ideas
LifeNotes is customizable. Make multiple journals, like, RageNotes for ranting or DreamNotes for sleepy dreams.
LifeNotes too complicated? I'll get around to it eventually.