Journaling

August 16, 2011 at 12:32 AM

I’m releasing 0.1 of Journal, a simple Python CLI tool to help with keeping a journal for work/personal stuff! Inspired by Peter Lyons' article on career development, I decided to write up a script to help manage things.

The idea from Lyons' article is to keep a chronological log of everything you do at your job. This mirrors my own experiences with working so far: keeping meticulously notes of what I’m doing is always helpful and not too much extra work, since I always carry a notebook around with me for this purpose. Now I can keep things digital!

Install

The script is located on Github here: https://github.com/askedrelic/journal

You can install with:

$ pip install journal

The journal command should now be available on your command line and you can journal like so:

$ journal "Task foo completed"

and a ~/.journal/[CURRENT DATE].txt file will be created using the current date, with a timestamp and your entry. Just continue to enter your tasks through the days and weeks and build a record of your work.

Thought Process

For interest, here was my progression of work in creating this tool:

  1. Creating a journal using Bash isn’t really that hard (bsd style for OSX):

    $ echo -e `date`"\n-work completed\n" >> ~/`date "+%Y-%m-%d.txt"`
    
  2. I looked for existing projects that may have already solved this problem.

    I found work_log, a Ruby script more oriented for tracking time. I got some good ideas for how the CLI interface should work, but this program didn’t quite solve my problem.

    There are existing blogging solutions, but a blog is heavy-weight and mostly something you manage through the web. I prefer KISS and keeping things on the console.

  3. Then I rolled my own!

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