How and Why Do You Use a Daily Note?

In the morning I record what time I went to bed the previous night and how well I slept, along with any issues such as pain, insomnia, etc. It gives me context for understanding how the day went. At the end of the day I write daily note that consists of entries for 1} blessings/ accomplishments 2) challenges/lessons learned 3) a single emoji that expresses my feeling about the day and 4) a space to just just decompress - anything interesting, how I spent my time, life reflections. I seldom look back at it but I may look for sleep or mood patterns. Altogether it closes out my day.

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Before we had personal computers, iPads, smart phones (and even PDAs) we had paper planners. Usually two pages per day with the day’s schedule and task list on the left-facing page and the right-facing page dedicated for hand-written notes. Dayrunner, Daytimer, the Franklin-Covey planner; they all followed this model. The Franklin-Covey planners (still in use) label the right-facing page “Daily Notes”. In an earlier incarnation (I believe when it was called the Franklin planner and before the merger with Covey) it was labeled “Daily Record of Events”.

I think of the Daily Note in the current crop of digital note-taking apps as a modern analogue of the right-facing page of those paper planners we used to carry, with the significant advantage that the new digital versions are searchable by computer. There are no established rules as to what should go there. But as the paper planners of yore, it’s a useful place to put scraps of information, thoughts, or ideas that one encounters during the day in order to get them out of mind so that one can get on with the task at hand. I think of it as a holding place; another inbox that needs to be reviewed regularly (perhaps daily, certainly weekly) for anything I might need to follow up on or record elsewhere where it will appear when needed.