Daily Notes

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July 2022

2022-07-06 Wed

I put up my first original piece of content on my new site, CreaDevLabs.com! It's a description of an experiment I'm running in Obsidian using a scratchpad note to quick capture thoughts and ideas. You can see the post here: Experiment: Scratchpad Note in Obsidian

2022-07-05 Tue

I'm not going to be doing daily notes the same way on my new website, and since I plan to have the new site up before the end of the month, I'm not going to worry about archiving last month's daily notes. The daily notes I have on this site will be converted into different types of content on the new site, where I still plan to post content daily. Everything I post in a week will get sent out in a weekly newsletter so people who are subscribed don't miss anything. Writing the daily notes on this website has been a great practice for getting me to write something every single day. I'm going to carry that habit through with me, even if it's not in exactly the same form.

2022-07-01 Fri

Video: 5 Copywriting Rules for Beginners

Got copywriting on the brain as I've been preparing my new site. Here's some notes I took on the above video about copywriting:

  1. Know your point
    • Work backwards from your goal
  2. Share YOUR point
    • What's your opinion?
    • What's your angle?
    • What's your relationship to the point?
    • How do you connect to the point?
  3. Get specific fast
    • Tell a story
    • Tell the specifics of why this matters to you
  4. Write to yourself
    • What do I think about (topic)?
  5. Anecdote-Bridge-Point
    • Formula for structuring your piece

June 2022

2022-06-30 Thu

It was a bit of a rocky start getting my new website set up in Ghost. Had some DNS issues that I needed to work through when connecting my domain to the site. I have plans to write an article about it and have it be one of the first new bits of content I put up on the site. For now I'm going to be transferring the content from this site over to the new one. Soon you'll be able to visit that site and sign up to receive a regular newsletter so you can be notified when there's new content available.

As a result of me moving content over and getting my new site up and going, my daily notes here may become more sparse. I'm hoping the site transition doesn't end up taking too long.

2022-06-28 Tue

There's a core plugin in Obsidian called Daily Notes that I've been using since I started using Obsidian back in December 2021. It generates a note each day utilizing a template you set up. It's useful for daily logs or journaling, and I've kind of been forcing myself to use it simply because I like the idea of it. The issue I've had all along is that I do all of my journaling in my Bullet Journal, and so I've been copying everything I write in my Daily Notes over to my Bullet Journal. This is a tedious, time consuming process that I don't want to do anymore. I've deactivated the plugin as I will no longer need it, and I already feel less stressed. I've been writing drafts of my website daily notes using the plugin, and I'd like to continue to have those in Obsidian, so I've consolidated all the website daily notes into month based notes, and will be using those going forward.

2022-06-27 Mon

I took some time today to work on the logo for my new website. It's gong to be a pixel art logo just like the one I've got for this site, but hopefully a little more detailed. I've also been planning out a new content strategy that more closely aligns with the idea of a published knowledge garden. I've got some ideas of how I can create a series of linked notes on the website just like I've got in Obsidian. I'm going to start off with one of their prebuilt templates, and then customice it as I go. Eventually I'll end up with a completely custom template.

2022-06-25 Sat

Now that I've decided to use Ghost as my CMS, I'm going to have to re-think my website design a bit. I had done all the sketches for my website previously, but I'm working with a different framework now, as well as shifting my content strategy. My mind has been working on possible designs all day long, but I've yet to have the time to get them out of my head and write them down. I'm excited for the potential utilizing the Ghost platform gives me, and look forward to sharing my new site to the world in the near future.

2022-06-24 Fri

I've been investigating a new content management system this week called Ghost, and I think I've decided to give it a try as the backend for my new site design. It has several great features out of the box that I really want such as mailing list creation, newsletter creation / sending, and free and paid membership subscriptions. I was going to stick to a static site, but those are great features to have come prebuilt. I'm going to go the self hosted / headless CMS route, so I'll still be able to build my front end using NuxtJS. For those who aren't developers and just want to get a site up and going, they have a hosting service that starts at $9 per month. I'm very excited to get started on development, and hopefully you'll be seeing my brand new site very soon!

(Edit): Looks like the headless CMS version doesn't support memberships yet, so instead I'll be looking at how to develop my own theme for Ghost instead. Not a problem! It'll probably actually speed up development, which means I can have the new version of the site deployed even sooner!

2022-06-23 Thu

I decided to use the journaling prompts I got from Tracy Winchell's Linking Your Thinking Conference session, and they were very helpful for calming some anxiety I was feeling. Having them written down helped me to realize that they were things I didn't need to worry about. It reminded me of what I learned from the book Better Than Happy, which is that there's no point in worrying about a future that hasn't, and most likely won't, happen. The thing we need to focus on is what we can take action on right now, and we'll deal with whatever issues arise in the future when those things become our present. This is not say we shouldn't prepare for the future. Being ready for possible future issues will make them easier to deal with, but spending all our time worrying they're going to happen causes us nothing but pain and anxiety. That's not how I want to live my life, so I think I'm going to continue using these journaling prompts each day because it really did help me gain a clearer perspective.

2022-06-21 Tue

Video: Tracy Winchell: Linked Thinking for Better "Now" Decisions

Notes I took on this session of the Linking Your Thinking Conference:

  • Exercise: Search for instances of "I want", "I need", "I will", "I hope", "I can't" in Obsidian vault
    • I was surprised to find instances of all these in my notes. "I want" had the largest number of instances
    • When going through the exercise I discovered I've written the words "I want" quite a lot throughout my notes. They mostly revolve around things I want to do on my website. They are things I can go through and figure out if I have action items associated with them in Things. Then I can work on executing on them so I make progress rather than just having a bunch of dreams that never come to fruition. (video: Why you don't achieve your goals)
  • Compare present self to future self --> "The Gap"
    • See how far you still need to go
  • Compare present self to past self --> "The Gain"
    • See how far you've already come
  • Journaling Questions
    • "Today I do NOT control"
    • "Today I DO control"
    • "What am I looking forward to today?"
    • "What am I dreading today and why?"
  • You change the world by changing yourself, strengthening your relationships, and drawing close to Heavenly Father
    • "God can move mountains, but you better bring your shovel"


I was doing some Sketchnoting for work today, and it got me thinking about the ways I like to use Sketchnotes. I find I don't really like live Sketchnoting. I like to take notes in bullet lists during presentations or videos or podcasts, and then later create a Sketchnote based on my bullet lists as a form of review. I've heard from many different sources that it's best to put things in your own words when taking notes, and Sketchnoting helps me put things in my own words and in pictures. It really helps me understand the material because I have to find a way to draw it. I also enjoy using Sketchnotes in presentations and trainings instead of slideshows. A coworker of mine saw the Sketchnote I made, and not only did she love it, but also told me I should do it more often. I tend to agree.


Video: Mike Schmitz: Gaining Clarity with an Obsidian-Based Personal Retreat

Notes I took on this session of the Linking Your Thinking Conference:

  • What do you want your future to look like?
    • Write it down!
  • Don't de-value the things you do well
    • It may be easy to you, but it isn't for everyone
    • Not everyone knows what you know
  • Retrospective
    • Start doing?
    • Stop doing?
    • Keep doing?
  • Creating Obsidian Dashboard
  • Personal Retreat Template
  • If there's no output, your PKM information loses its value
    • Gets stale
    • What does the info mean to me?
  • You can live your life by design or default
    • Proactive vs. Reactive
    • Intentionality
    • Change your defaults
  • Don't try to fix everything at once
    • One Percent Better
  • If you don't like your outputs, change your inputs


I finally got around to finishing my Sketchnotes from the April 2022 General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I had planned on doing the Sketchnote for the last session on a light background while still utilizing what I'd learned from the video I watched on visual journaling, but I found I really liked the look of the Sketchnotes with the dark background. Not sure what this means for my Sketchnote style going forward. I still like Sketchnotes with light backgrounds, so maybe I'll do a mix of light and dark background Sketchnotes. The nice thing is I don't have to decide today.


Video: Bob Doto: Zettelkasten 101: A Primer on All Things Zettel

Notes I took on this session of the Linking Your Thinking Conference:

  • Bob Doto's Website
  • Atomic Notes
    • Title --> Statement (e.g. Productivity is a gospel related topic)
    • Your idea
    • Tags
    • Source
    • Links to other notes
    • Notes should contain one idea only
  • Zettelkasten Workflow
    • Fleeting Note --> Permanent Note --> Zettelkasten --> Connections --> Outline --> Create
      • Creations can be:
        • Books
          • Articles
          • Videos
          • Comics
          • Rock Operas
          • Knowledge Base
          • etc...

Additional thoughts:

I love the simple template he provides for creating atomic notes. I'm going to create a reusable template based on it in Obsidian and use it for my atomic notes going forward.


Earlier this month I talked about how I wanted to have a planning meeting with myself where I could plan and prioritize my top work and personal projects. I had this meeting last week, and I felt it went really well. I went through this set of questions for each of my work and personal projects:

  • What are 1 to 2 work/personal projects you'd like to prioritize?
  • What tasks are needed to complete your work/personal projects?
  • What are the next 1 to 2 tasks to complete in your work/personal projects?
  • When would you like to have your work/personal projects completed by?
  • What obstacles stand between you and completing your work/personal projects?

I now have a much clearer picture of what I need to do to accomplish these projects, and have a set deadline to complete them by. For example, the personal project I prioritized is to get the redesign of my website built. I find myself spending a lot of time trying to figure out shortcuts to getting it done, but the only way to get it done using shortcuts is to sacrifice customization, which defeats the purpose of redesigning the website in the first place. I need to stop trying to find shortcuts and just get to work, and I'm hoping that writing out all the tasks I need to do and setting a deadline will help motivate me to get it done.


Video: Why you don't achieve your goals

Notes I took on the above video:

"A project without a goal is a hobby; a goal without a project is a dream"


I watched another session from the Linking Your Thinking Conference about something called the Idea Compass. It's a simple way of taking ideas and thinking about and expanding upon them. The Idea Compass looks like this:

There are 4 directions you can take your thinking about a given idea:

  1. North
    • Where does the idea come from?
  2. West
    • What ideas are similar?
  3. South
    • Where could this idea lead to?
  4. East
    • What's the opposite of the idea, or what's missing?

I really like this simple framework for thinking about ideas. It provides a clear direction for brainstorming sessions that I'm very excited to try out.

One of the presenters of this session, Vicky Zhao, has a video where she talks about the Idea Compass as well as a couple other ways of taking "Smart Notes".

Video: How To Take Smart Notes (3 methods no one's talking about)


It's one of those days where everything seems stacked against you, and you're able to put your productivity system through its paces. I'm happy to discover that my system is robust enough to handle all the urgent tasks popping up. I have ways of getting tasks into my task manager quickly, and I allow myself enough flexibility to shift things around as needed. I'm once again very happy with my choice of Things 3 as my task manager, and am grateful to have a tool that helps reduce the stress in my life.


Video: Where Creative Work Thrives

Notes I took on the above video:

4 Spaces of Creative Work

  1. Inner - produce lots; most essential
  2. Safe - share with like minded peers
  3. Give & Take - test out the material with real people
  4. Outer - publish

This video inspired me to schedule thinking/brainstorming time in hopes that I can have some solid, uninterrupted creative working sessions. This goes hand in hand with the project planning meetings I scheduled for myself. By putting these items on my calendar it's increasing the odds that I'll actually follow through and do them.


I watched a session from the Linking Your Thinking Conference about having effective personal meetings with yourself, and it sparked some ideas for a project planning session I've been wanting to do. I created a rough agenda in Obsidian with questions about what work and personal projects I want to focus on right now, what tasks need to be done to complete the projects, and what are the next actions I need to take. I also included setting a deadline for projects as this is something I'm not very good at and my projects tend to drag on forever. I want to get into the habit of actually completing projects in a timely manner. Another thing I included in my agenda was to think about what obstacles might arise that'll prevent me from getting the project done. This will hopefully help me set a more accurate deadline.


I've slowly been watching all the sessions from the recent Linking Your Thinking Conference. The last one I watched was called "Start and End Your Day with a Daily Note". A lot of what was covered were things I'm already doing in my Bullet Journal and as part of my daily note in Obsidian. I ended up taking only one note from the whole hour long session, and it was something the presenter, Leah Ferguson, said when she was answering questions at the end. In reference to notes, she said:

"It's not where you put it but where you want to find it again".

This statement resonated with me because I often find myself worrying about where a particular note fits, and not how I can make it easier to resurface later. This has got me thinking about how I can better resurface my notes when I need them, and I'm going to play around some more with the Dataview plugin, which allows me to aggregate lists of notes based on keywords and meta data. These will provide launching off points for me during my Obsidian working sessions.


With the start of a new month comes a new monthly spread in my Bullet Journal. Here's what a fresh monthly spread in my Bullet Journal looks like:

On the left page, I've got the days of the month in a list on the left, and my habit tracker on the right. I have a small calendar in the bottom left so I can more easily tell where we are in the month. On the right page is where I'll write what I'm grateful for each day, with a graph at the bottom where I track the number of hours I sleep each night. I wouldn't normally be able to fit this much on a single spread, but right now I'm using the large Archer & Olive journal, and I'm really liking the real estate it gives me on each page.