How are you using Daily Notes?

I’m still in the experimental phase of figuring out my Obsidian. I’m trying to use my Daily Note as a Journal and a catchall.

When I’m researching or going about just daily work, if I don’t want to figure out how to format a note or where this information goes or how it fits somewhere. I just open a daily note, create headings, and take notes. At the end of the day or week (if super busy), I’ll go back through my daily notes and either embed (which is why heading are helpful so I don’t have to link each paragraph) or just straight up cut and paste sections from a daily note into a topic or source note.

I am trying this for a few reasons.

  1. To maintain flow while working
  2. It lets me review notes later when sorting out the daily notes. I can usually see the bigger picture at the end or the day or week. Or even just after I have finished the video, podcast, article… It is easier to see what is important.
  3. I can see personal progress and what I learned every day while still sorting information into topic categories.
  4. I’m more likely to “correctly” format a note and link it if my main task at the moment is to cleanup Vault. When my main task is learning, I don’t focus on the format of a note or how I should be linking. My main goal with formatting, linking, putting in keywords, and tags is to be able to find this note later either on purpose or accidentally.
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I use a synced todo.txt on my smartphone, laptop and desktop, so no need for replicating my To-Dos in the Daily Notes. I’m also not much of a journal or diary writer.

That said, I haven’t yet found my real use of Daily Notes, but I love some unexpected inspiration for my writing in the mornings.

So I use the templater plugin and a Daily Notes template to give me local weather, a random Unsplash image and a quote of the day as an inspiration, and immediately put my thoughts below it, which later might become actual notes.

I also put other stuff in it that comes to mind (like watch a video, read a book, work on xy).

So my »inspirational morning note« might look like this:

In case anyone wants to experiment, here’s my current Daily Notes template:

# {{tp_date}}

{{weather}}

### Inspiration

{{tp_random_picture:size=1920x1080}}

{{tp_daily_quote}}

#### Thoughts

{{tp_cursor}}

and here the code for the internal template {{weather}} I use with Templater:

curl "wttr.in/?format=3"

Other weather formats are possible (help).

This may not be the most »productivity-boosting« setup for Daily Notes, but at least it gives me a nice inspirational kickoff every morning. :slight_smile:

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I’m using obsidian since the beginning of the but my daily note system is going since 3-4 years now. I used it previously in a self-hosted wiki.

My main ideas are:

  • Use a single daily note to capture 2 things
    • List of 50min / 10min pomodoro cycles with a very informal description of what I did
    • Remaining daily notes
  • Have a weekly note to make a short summary of last weeks events at the beginning of next week to connect to the topics and continue the train of thought
  • Create a quarterly note in advance to sketch out my plans for the next ~12 weeks. Contains a list of all weeks in that quarter (links to weekly summaries) with a check-mark list of all goals for that week

The system works well if you can establish the habit of weekly reviews and planing the next quarter once you finish the current one. It’s not as much work as it sounds and is really useful to keep things aligned and go in a intended direction.

My daily note template looks like this:

#CaptainsLog, {{date:YYYY-MM-DD}}, week [[{{date:YYYY}}-W{{date:WW}}]]

### Logbook
1. 

It is automatically create with the date (e.g. 2021-03-09) and also linking the parent week (e.g. 2021-W10).
The quarterly note is a bit more manual work, but you only have to do it every 3 months.
I want to look up the dates for completeness and think a bit about my goals for that time period. I cross out weeks that passed and move around weekly goals as things progress.
A 2021-Q1 note could look like this:

tags: #CaptainsLog #12WeekYear

## 2021-Q1

### Goals
- Learn to program in python

### Weeks
- ~~[[2021-W01]] from 2021-01-04 to 2021-01-10~~
    - [x] program hello world example
    - [ ] write own library
- [[2021-W02]] from 2021-01-11 to 2021-01-17
    - [ ] write own library
...

By the way, the resulting graph is beautiful. :slight_smile:

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This is such a fresh and inspiring approach to Daily Notes. You’ve motivated me to build something personal around these topics. Thanks so much, @Moonbase59!

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Hi,

Can you explain how you implement {{weather}} in a daily note.

Do I need a plugin for this?

New user, so bear with me.

I use the Weather Fetcher Plugin GitHub - fyears/weather-fetcher but it requires manual action to insert in daily note …

Follow this thread Daily weather and next day forecast in a template - #11 by ninjineer for my struggles to get this to work from a template. :slight_smile:

How to you input the weather on note creation? I didnt get this part above.
Thanks.

Why aren’t people bringing in entries from Google Calendar to comment on?

I’m a Obsidian newbie but I’m finding that I have no headings or template for daily notes, instead I use it as place to put whatever coms up, as it comes up.

This helps avoid getting stuck wondering if it should go in a new note, or be added to an existing one, what to call it etc.

I find using bullets helps me fold and indent content, becuase, well I’m a former workflowy user. I also give most dot points a timestamp to avoid confusion about the order I’m addting things to the daily note. Finally, when adding content to other notes, I’ll add in a link to the daily note as well.

Then I link like mad, and to try and ensure each bullet point can pretty much explain itself on it’s own, so that when I’m looking at a note, I can easily see all the times I’lve refered to it in any daily notes and find whatever I’m looking for, or get a bunch of useful contextual information.

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I use Daily Notes less as a scratchpad and more as a tool to ‘ground’ myself each morning.
Opening today’s note is part of my morning routine, and I use it to journal, review notes I want to read each morning - goals, prayers, etc - and track my morning routine items as I get them done.

Here’s a screenshot of my template:

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The automation process I presented in this post should contain the steps you need. (There’s quite a bit more there than that, but I think the elements you’re looking for are there—including, perhaps, the edit at the bottom.)

Hello @KevinR

Most if not all of my notes begin in daily notes. each daily note is linked to a weekly note, each weekly note to a monthly and then a yearly reflection note. So now each week, month etc I already have and only have the relevant dates attached to the back links of the parent note. So for example this weeks weekly note will have 7 days worth of daily notes for me to then reflect and review. When I get to the end of the month that notes will contain only the weekly reviews this way I can atomatize my year in summaries. It works out really great in keeping both my backlinks less cluttered and also allows me to remove the daily notes from my graph but importantly also as my vault grows I can then remove the weekly notes and so forth. This method also visually reminds me to review my week, month and year much easier. With the help of the "Open Gate " plugin I can also have all my other apps open in my right menu thus I am able to work in my daily note with everything or most things I need instantly viewable from Todoist, to Google Photos, Otter, Drive etc

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EDIT because i, put an image in that was not done…bleh

I use mine as kind of an “artistic” outlet lol, i swear i spend more time designing my daily notes than actually filling them out but i view that as a good thing… I’ve tried journaling/tracking habits and generally being a functioning person before and i always forget about ti eventually…my mind is that bad O_O. but since i have been using obsidian i dont think there has been a day that has gone by that i don’t use it. i think the design freedom has a lot to do with that.

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I really, really like this! Any chance you could provide some more insight into the templates you use, maybe screenshots of the daily and weekly templates themselves?

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Cool! Do you automate this somehow?

And about the bullets, do you use the Outliner or any other plugin, or just make it a list manually?

Thanks!

Hello Tyler, my apologies for the delay.

There really is not much to my templates they are minimal and in a state of flux. But essentially I have in both daily, weekly, monthly and yearly the following;-

Daily Notes

Header banner
Home
here I add the page the note links up to (- week No2, 2023 for example

Daily Story:
I manually add extra details e.g.: Daily Story: Friday xxth January/ Under this I write a paragraph each day to ground myself this takes any fluff and confusion out of my head. This is simple like its Friday, sun is shining woke up feeling good, anxious etc today I am going to etc

Daily Journals
I have 3 journals I complete if relevant each day these are my Dream Journal, Habits Journal and Gratitude Journal

Then I have 2 headers for todays notes

Personal Notes
Professional Notes

My Weekly template is kind of similar

Header banner
Home:
Here I add the month in which this note is linked to e.g. January, 2023

Weekly Story
under this i write a summary of the week highlights and emerging theme

then a series of headers to include

This Weeks Dreams
This Weeks Habits
This Weeks Gratitude
under this I just summarise themes that occurred, highlights ,significant hinges, patterns and insights that i feel drawn to

Followed by

Personal Notes
Professional Notes
here I highlight occurring themes, discoveries high lights, patterns best of etc, completed projects that kind of thing

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