joelorr
My current PB usage runs just over a year. When I began using it last year, I decided to create a thought for each day, linked to a thought called "Timeline." I linked several thoughts to the day's thought: "Plan," "Diary," and one or two others.

I'm on a Mac. I replaced "Plan" with the Things app; it syncs with my iPhone and works well. 

I just realized that I don't like having to find my diary entries in different thoughts. So I now have "My Big Diary," to which I add on a daily basis.

I'm curious as to how other PB users who keep a diary/journal do it.

Warmly,
Joel
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zenrain
I don't use PB as a diary per. se, more as a tracking system. For planning I used to use Things, I now use OmniFocus (I only have the iPad and iPhone version, not the desktop version). I was splitting GTD originally between Things and PB, but my list in PB ended up getting too overwhelming, and Things just wasn't cutting it for sync options. Now I've switched, and am extremely glad I did.

But back to the question. Rather than a thought per day, I've created a 2010 Parent, and below that I have child thoughts for each week (for example, this weeks thought is "2010-08-30 to 2010-09-05"). Additionally, I went into Outline view and linked the preceding and next week to each week as jump links. This works well as when I have the weeks thought activated I always have access to the prior and next week off the bat.

Every week, I unpin the last week and pin the current week for easy access and linking. Originally, everything that I work on for that week gets added to that thought, like projects etc. Just a few weeks ago I also started to link things I've added to PB to the weekly thought in addition to it's usual filing structure. I've found it so useful to have a date to reference when I worked on things, I've started applying it to more things I add (for example, web links).

The Week thought gives me a place to put notes that were pertinent for that week. It also allows me to review everything I've done for the week, and provide a time context when looking at thoughts when not under the weekly view (as an example, I added a web link to Field notes under my notebook parent, but also cross linked to the weekly thought as well
.
I found that I just wasn't keeping up with a daily thought, and it didn't have enough stuff under it to really provide a worthwhile parent. Going out to a week worked better for me.
Although I don't write a journal per-se, I've found this practice provides a nice meta-journal of where I was and what I was doing for each week.

Hope that at least gives some ideas of additional directions you can take.



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Spacenexus

Great thoughts Zenrain. Check this out also Joel: http://forums.thebrain.com/post?id=2035280 

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joelorr
Thanks, Zenrain! I hadn't thought of chunking by week. For now I'm going to just let the My Big Diary thought grow until I see when it gets unwieldy.

Spacenexus, you have been thinking about this issue for quite a while! Thanks for the link. It is very helpful to read what other thoughtful users have done.

As alluded to in that older thread, I too am eagerly awaiting a built-in PB calendar that allows thoughts to be linked to days.

Warmly,
Joel
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You have a book inside you. I want to help you set it free!
http://www.joeltrainsauthors.com
650-969-6752
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SteveZ
I've started using PersonalBrain to keep a work diary. I used the diary builder you can download from http://www.brainstormsw.com to create a text file of the year, so that it looks like this:

2011
     January
          01-01-2011
          02-01-2011
          etc...
     Feburary
          01-02-2011
          02-02-2011
etc...

Pasting that into my work brain results in a complete structure with months as child thoughts of 2011, and days being child thoughts of associated months.

I then use the notes tool to keep notes about important issues of the day. Because the diary is part of my entire work brain, I can make project thoughts child thoughts of any day. But I only do that for significant days, mostly when I begin a project and when I complete it. If I just want to log that I worked on a project, I'll use a wiki-style link in the notes field for a specific day.

Each day I pin that day's thought for quick access, unpinning the previous day's thought. If nothing of note happens a certain day, I delete the thought for that day, so I keep the brain as pruned as possible.

So far this has worked well. Does anyone have any suggestions for how to improve this setup? Thanks.

Steve

Steve
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zenrain
Sounds pretty good to me.
My only recommendation is that I've found linking the week before and the week after as jump thoughts really help in navigation.
In your case (and you may already be doing this) I'd modify that work-flow slightly so that the last daily thought you used is pinned, and when you enter a new day diary entry, create a jump thought to the pinned thought from the prior day. Then remove the old day from your pinned thoughts and add the new day.

That way you have a very easy way to browse through your active days.

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SteveZ
That's a clever suggestion, Zen. Thank you.
Steve
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