How to keep a time based LOG / journal / diary in OneNote?

Discussion in 'PUBLIC: Discuss Tools & Software for GTD' started by AFG, Sep 24, 2018.

  1. AFG

    AFG Registered

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    Elsewhere I have described how my current flow is based around a log (aka journal, aka diary) kept in time based order. That's the part of my current system that works - capturing stuff. But I want to get better at tracking stuff, e.g. in GTD lists.

    I have also posted questions about whether people have been able to use OneNote's tags and FindTag feature to automatically extract lists that can be manipulated into GTD form - without too much hassle. (And I have mentioned occasional OneNote crasyes and file corruption.)

    This post is more specific:

    Q: how do you manage a time based LOG (diary or journal) in OneNote?

    ---+ DETAIL

    ---++ What I do now

    Currently, my OneNote LOG is a section in a notebook.

    I create a new page for every new day, typically titled "** Monday Sept 24, 2018".
    Using the double asterisk to make the new day stand out in the list of pages in the section.

    I then record some items in the "** page". Sometimes inline, if short.
    More often, as [[topic]], which is OneNote's trick to create and link to a new page.
    Longer notes in the new page.

    Annoyingly, OneNote can get confused by multiple pages with the same name. So I often have to make the name unique, e.g. [[topic 9/24/2018]]

    I may use sub-pages and sub-sub-pages. But, annoyingly, I cannot easily make all topics for a day sub-pages of the "**" LOG entry for that day - because OneNote only allows sub-pages, and sub-sub-pages.

    This section can get very, very, long. Occasionally I take all of the older entries, and put them into a section called something like [[LOG older than 9/1/2018]]. Sometimes I may say [[LOG Aug-Sept 2018]], but that takes more work. Multiple such old LOGs into section groups, etc.

    ---++ Other things I have seen and tried

    Some folks (like the OneTastic macros for OneNote) do things like putting multiple days on the same page. That doesn't work for me, since I often need 10 to 100 pages per day.

    Others go to the opposite extreme, creating a section per day, with section groups for weeks/months. I have tried that, but it seems to have to much clutter. I find looking through the page title list for the last week or so helpful.

    Some create calendars with boxes fr each day, and list topics in each day's box. Nice, but again I record too much.

    ---++ Stuff I have wondered about

    Sometimes I wonder about giving up on time based, chronlogical order LOG / diary/journal

    Creating pages randomly in GTD context lists (OneNote sections) or project sectuions.

    And possibly faking out a tie based LOG by using a OneNote macro to extract page titles and dates, and sort by date.

    Has anyone tried that?


    ---++ What do you do?

    I am interested in any ways that other users use OneNote to create LOGs.

    Day/page, Day/section.

    Any macros or procedures you use.
     
  2. Gardener

    Gardener Registered

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    Scrivener!

    Yeah, yeah, that's my solution to everything lately. But it does store the create date for each page, and I just created eleven levels of sub-pages before I got bored.
     
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  3. AFG

    AFG Registered

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    I just realized that this problem:

    "I want to create a new page with name FOO,
    *not* a link to an existing age with name FOO"

    is very similar to the problem that Donald Knuth solved with labels in assembly language.

    Instead of labels like 1, 100,

    Professor Knuth used 1H (the label itself), 1B (a reference to the immediately preceding version of a label), and 1F (a reference to th next following version of a label.

    I.e. his label names were *relative*

    This allows you to reuse the same label (label number in Knuth;'s case - can be a name) safely.
     
  4. AFG

    AFG Registered

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    My OneNote GTD BKMs (Best Known Methods) are evolving.

    I used not to use Quick Notes much. I used to start a new LOG page every day - sometimes one in my personal log, and one in my work log. I then used to create [[new-page-links]] in my daily LOG, then click on the [[new-page-link]] and start writing the new link. And so on. I managed to use this, but it slowed me down.

    I used "Send To OneNote" from various places, such as my iPhone, to record stuff as I encountered it into my Inbox. And IFTTT to capture Apple Reminders. Too many places.

    A week ago I started using Quick Notes a lot more, in particular the Win+N global keyboard shortcut. Although that shortcut can be very slow (hint, empty the section that your quick notes are stored in), overall a speedup.

    Now I run a OneTastic macro "TOC in Current Notebook with Dates" to create a list of all pages created on a day. Typically the next day, or sometime later. That TOC (Table Of Contents) goes into my daily LOG entry.

    I put everything in one LOG section. Then I may move pages away, e.g. to separate work from personal. I dislike some of this, but it also acts as a mini-review.
     
  5. AFG

    AFG Registered

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    This makes me worry about security. My personal OneNote is on my personal MS One Drive cloud storage; my company OneNote is on my company's corporate OneDrive. If I collect work stuff using win+N first to my personal OneNote, and then later move it to my work OneNote

    a) if I forget to move it - security risk

    b) even if I have moved it - I am worried that Microsoft may leave "turds" around that might leak work info. E.g. old page versions, etc.

    Same in reverse if I save personal stuff first to work OneNote and then move it to personal.

    I am considering saving to local, private, storage on my PC first, and then moving it from there to work or personal as needed. But... then I can't access that state from other devices, like OneNote on my iPhone, or web on other devices.

    I am wondering if there is any security advantage to having a third OneDrive or other cloud storage account for such transient state. Easier to ensure completely empty, of stuff supposed to be kept secure.
     

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