Keeping a Diary Follow-Up

Last week, I posted a geeky article about the way I use Markdown, TextExpander, and Day One to keep a daily log. I got in touch with Zach Holman, who inspired me with his article, Keeping a Journal:

Zach's command line trick is pretty easy to implement.

Install the command line interface from Day One's website. When you type dayone new in Terminal, this creates a new Day One journal entry. Then you can use TextExpander to create our favorite Wall of Sound Text, without actually opening the Day One app.

If you're feeling super-geeky, you can make the command line easier to use by creating a script.

Note that you must deselect Secure Keyboard Entry in the menu bar before using TextExpander in Terminal. The developers at Smile Software do a good job of explaining why Secure Keyboard Entry is enabled by default:

[W]hen you are typing a password or entering other sensitive information, a feature called Secure Input ensures that TextExpander—along with other applications—can't see what you're typing. Normally, Secure Input is a good thing; you wouldn't want TextExpander or any other applications to see your passwords. Secure Input is usually turned off as soon as you leave the password field or sensitive information area.

Here’s why none of that matters.

I’ve made a lot of progress since I began treating my depression earlier this month. I still experience ups and downs throughout the day, and have good and bad days throughout the week. This is actually a good thing; the goal isn’t to become an emotionless zombie.

But instead of looking at the big picture—on improvements I’ve made over the course of weeks and months—I find myself spending more time writing and worrying about the day-to-day fluctuations that, ultimately, don’t really matter.

So I’m going to stop making a daily log.

Instead, I’ll use Day One to keep track of medical changes and important conversations, for future reference. At the end of the day, I’ll write (by hand) in a (physical) diary. The act of writing can be oddly cathartic, and I’ll never refer to the entries, anyway, since they’re essentially brain farts on paper.

Technology can be incredibly handy for treating illnesses, but sometimes the human element gets lost in the quest for ultimate quantization. Sometimes, it’s best to take a few steps back.