Noisy Deadlines


Journaling is a habit I started in 2013. I talk more about my initial experience here.

For some time, I was doing shorter entries, like “The 5 Minute Journal” style, where I would have a template to write daily on Evernote. That was 2017.

It was also the year I moved to Canada and lots of things changed in my life. I stopped using Evernote and moved to other tools. And when I moved away from that initial template, I wanted to write more freely. So, I started writing longer entries, “Morning Pages” style.

Since then, journaling is a part of my daily routine. During the worst of the COVID pandemic I struggled to keep it regular, but I did my best. I tried some journaling services like Journey and 750 Words. I tried using a private blog in to journal. Now I journal using Standard Notes, which I love!

I never liked the idea of using a public blog to journal private thoughts, but that's just me. My inner critic is still strong, and I must constantly tell him (yeah, I don't know why, my inner critic is a guy) to go away and just let it be. When I'm journaling, I want to be as free as possible, that's why I journal privately. I really like how the website 750 Words describes journaling:

I don't need to title my entries, or tag them, or enable comments, or any of that other stuff. This is writing, and it's online, but it's not blogging, or Twittering, or Facebook status updating. This is between you and you. — 750 Words

It's been a couple of years since I've been focusing on consolidating journaling as a daily activity for me.

I'm off to a good start in 2024 🤘:

My process:

  • I protect time in the morning, before I leave to work (it could be anytime, but that's what works for me). I plan my morning routine so that I will have 10 to 30 minutes to write. Sometimes less, sometimes more. All that matters is having this pocket of time protected.
  • I do it always at the same place: on my laptop at my home office, using the app Standard Notes. I use the Standard Notes “Daily Notebook” feature with a customized note title format. It's easy to open my notebook and go right to the note of the day.
  • I set up a timer to start writing and stop when it's over. Simple as that.

Since I started writing daily, I feel lighter. I feel like I'm living more intentionally. Days are not passing by so quickly.

Because writing is an exercise in being grateful. In remembering the good things. In learning with my errors. In forgiving myself. Daily journaling has helped me go through grief and process my emotions. It's a good mini therapy session!

Sometimes I will journal when I'm feeling overwhelmed and stressed at work. Sometimes I just need to do a quick mind sweep in the middle of the day to regroup and move on. So, I open the note I started in the morning and just write some more (I can access Standard Notes via web at work).

And the space I have for journaling is all private. It's a space where I can write whatever, it's not to be censored or edited. It's an exercise to clear my mind, a true brain dump. I usually get ideas to write on my blog from these journaling sessions. Sometimes I start a draft in my journal, which will then be transformed into a blog entry.

My plan is to journal every day, a little or a lot, it doesn't matter. I don't force myself for it to be 750 words or 3 pages long or whatever. I just write how much I feel like that day. Sometimes it's a note saying how I'm feeling now. And that's enough.

I think journaling has now become more than a habit, it's a daily practice to nurture my mental health and creativity.

Post 89/100 of 100DaysToOffload challenge!

#100DaysToOffload #100Days #NoisyMusings #journaling #journal

Thoughts? Discuss... if you have a account or Reply by email

By Noisy Deadlines Minimalist in progress, nerdy, introvert, skeptic. I don't leave without my e-reader.

I got a new computer this week! 😃

My 6-years-old 15.6” ASUS VivoPro laptop couldn't hold its battery charge anymore, it was bulky, heavy to carry around and I actually hated the keyboard and the screen. It still works, if connected to power, so I'll probably use it to play around with Linux or something.

So I decided to get a new laptop and since I've had a good experience with the Lenovo Thinkpad I use at work, I got a new 14” Thinkpad X1 Carbon.

It's ultra light, I love the screen and the keyboard and I also got the docking station to get my cables better organized at my desk (I am not a fan of wireless keyboards or mice). New laptops have fewer and fewer ports nowadays. I used up all the ports available for my basic devices and didn't have any port left to connect my Kobo connector, for example.

So, the docking station solved all the problems and it makes it a lot easier for me to disconnect it and grab my laptop to go somewhere.

Here is my new setup at home:

My new desk setup with Lenovo Thinkpad X1

Because of my old bulky/no-decent-battery laptop I've been avoiding going to a café or a library to do some writing, journaling, etc. And I wanted to do that sometimes, you know, change the scenery and go work on my computer somewhere else.

And I did it! I packed my laptop in my backpack, I didn't need to worry about battery charging and I spent a couple hours at the Public Library typing away!

Writing at the Public Library!

#journal #journaling #tech #noisymusings

Thoughts? Discuss... if you have a account or Reply by email

By Noisy Deadlines Minimalist in progress, nerdy, introvert, skeptic. I don't leave without my e-reader.

Sometimes one small change to our routines leads us to take action. For me it was a change in my morning schedule. That happened because my partner (who was more of a night owl) started a job that requires him to be on site at 7am. So now he joined me in being an early bird (my usual wake up time was 5:30am – 6am). We are both waking up at 5am now! This was great for my morning routine! The result is that now I have 30 minutes free before leaving for my work.

One of the things that I've always struggled was to find time to journal. I tried mobile apps, notes apps, journaling before bed or on my lunch breaks. But it was always unsustainable, and I never had more than 10-15 minutes to write. I was either too tired to journal before bed or I had no time throughout the day. And I've been thinking about writing (including blogging more) for months!

So I saw this 30min pocket of time in my mornings. I remembered a book I read during the pandemic about writing practice and also some articles about morning pages, which I will get to in a minute.

My realisation was that using my mornings to write was the best use of those 30 minutes. These were the steps I took to make it happen.

Finding a reason and a method

I went back to the book about writing practice. The book is: “Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within” by Natalie Goldberg. Re-Reading this book was the catalyst: I noticed this pocket of free time, connected it with my urge to write more and a technique to follow... And voila, a space for writing practice was born.

Natalie Goldberg describes a simple practice: set up a timer for any amount of time you have available, and start writing. Whatever it is on your mind, just write. Don't worry about punctuation or grammar. Don't edit, just write. You can choose a theme, a topic, anything, or write whatever you feel like in the moment.

Another popular method is the Morning Pages, described by Julia Cameron in her book “The Artist's Way”. The practice is to write 3 handwritten pages (equivalent of 750 words) every morning, every day. Stream of consciousness writing. You can burn the pages later.

I prefer the practice described by Natalie Goldberg because it's more flexible. She actually encourages us to go back and re-read our entries to extract some ideas and good pieces of writing. I highly recommend her book. It's is a delightful read. She connects writing with mindfulness Zen practice, which pretty much aligns with my feelings on writing.

“When you write, don’t say, “I’m going to write a poem.” That attitude will freeze you right away. Sit down with the least expectation of yourself; say, “I am free to write the worst junk in the world.” You have to give yourself the space to write a lot without a destination.” — Natalie Goldberg

How am I doing it

I prefer to type using a full sized keyboard. So my steps are:

  1. I sit down at my home office desk

  2. Open up my notes app (Standard Notes) and go to my Daily Notes folder to create a new note

  3. Set up a timer from 20 min to 30 min (how much I have available that day)

  4. Start writing whatever comes to mind until the alarm goes off.

I'm not hard on myself. I will miss some days, but I strive to do it most days.

My timer beside my keyboard

The results

For me it has been a little cathartic experience (in a good way).

Just by having this space to pour out my thoughts into text reduces my anxiety. I never thought it could be that simple.

It's like a mindfulness practice. Because I'm in the moment, transcribing my thoughts. And by transcribing them, they loose power. Worrisome thoughts are not worries anymore. They become fleeting thoughts. It has been a powerful tool to use with therapy. My days are lighter!

For me the important thing here is writing privately. It wouldn't work for me if I was publishing these entries on the internet. It is an intimate mind dump. It is a space to throw it all out. It is not pretty, or logic or even coherent. But sometimes there are good things in there that I will use to write a blog post, for example.

By having these morning writing sessions I have more headspace for ideas. Writing ideas. Life ideas. Fun ideas. I am reading better. I'm feeling less anxious. I'm not writing to please anybody. It's just for me. And it's wonderful.

#writing #standardnotes #journaling #journal #mindfulness #NoisyMusings

Thoughts? Discuss... if you have a account or Reply by email

By Noisy Deadlines Minimalist in progress, nerdy, introvert, skeptic. I don't leave without my e-reader.

💾For a complete summary list of my blog posts grouped by year, click here.

🎈 Things I write about :


🎨 #NoisyMusings: a little bit of everything 📂 #Productivity: organization, methods, apps, GTD 📚 #Books: everything book related

Some Topics:

#apps | #Nirvana (the app, not the band) | #Todoist | #GTD | #MSTodo | #notes | #journal | #journaling #BookReview | #ReadingList | #Reading | #ReaderGoals | #BookWyrm | #TheStorygraph | #weeknotes | #podcast | #GTDnotes | #100DaysToOffload #projects

#internet | #socialmedia | #attentionresistance #minimalism | #digitalminimalism #outdoors | #Hiking | #winter | #iceskating | #music | #heavymetal | #puzzle | #health

How I managed to write on my journal every single day of 2016


When journaling was a thing…and then it disappeared

For years during my adult life I struggled with starting a journal. You know, simple, personal daily journaling where we sit down and write about our day. It doesn’t need to be public. It is a space that is all ours, with our own reflections and sorrows.

The weird thing is that I remember having lots of “Diaries” when I was young. I enjoyed writing on my “Diary”. It was a daily practice that soothed my pre and adolescent despair. I decorated it with drawings. I even did collages with small souvenirs of my young adventures. By the end of the year, my diary was huge!! And kept them hidden from view, of course.

What happened to this habit? It has suddenly disappeared by the time I entered the “grown-up” stage of my life. I don’t remember when it was exactly, but it just happened. Poof! One day I was journaling, the other I was more interested in, what? Internet? Sometimes I wonder if the Internet destroyed some of my habits. It probably did… See, I grew up without internet and then this new amazing technology appeared and dominated me. It was fascinating. Maybe it is Internet’s fault…I don’t know.

Anyway, when I reached my 30’s and started to worry about productivity, I found out that there is such a thing as adult journaling!

Wait, what? Adults have diaries too?

I wondered how I could start this habit. There are tons of articles online stating that journaling is good for your brain, good for stress-management, good for creativity and so on.