The third iteration of the diary

Starting from July of this year, I gradually shifted the act of writing a diary to Obsidian, marking the third iteration of diary writing.

Looking back at the evolution of diary writing over the past few years: the first generation of diaries was recorded with a pen in a notebook; the second iteration was done on electronic notes, mainly using the eDiary software1; and the third iteration, still using electronic notes, but this time using Obsidian. As for the differences between the second and third generations, I will explain in detail below.

Diary Template#

Thanks to Obsidian's templates, I can quickly insert various formats according to the template, ready to write. The templates have a high degree of freedom and can be customized according to needs. Based on my own requirements and daily habits, I have decided to adopt the following template, which will be explained in detail later.

type: "daily"
date: {{date:YYYY-MM-DD}}T{{time:HH:mm:ss+08:00}}

##### 🎉 Worth Celebrating
##### 🎯 Worth Reflecting
##### ⏳ Interstitial Journaling

Interstitial Journaling#

For the first and second generations of diaries, the usual recording process was to take them out before going to sleep at night, then recall the interesting things that happened that day, and spend about ten to twenty minutes writing them down.

The advantage of this approach is that the diary is concise and focused, as it usually only records one or two important things. However, there are also disadvantages, such as the need to rearrange thoughts, which takes a long time, and the possibility of missing important details. In addition, this method has a drawback—it is easily interrupted. If something delays the process, it becomes difficult to pick it up again after a few days. From then on, the diary becomes a weekly diary, and the weekly diary becomes a monthly diary...

Electronic diaries are very convenient, as you can record them with just your phone. So I changed my previous habit—I no longer have to wait until "burning incense, bathing, and sitting at the table" to start writing a diary, but instead record everything in daily life—what I call "interstitial journaling"2.


This is how I use "interstitial journaling":

  • Record current thoughts/feelings: "10:00 The weather is great today, the sunshine feels very comfortable."
  • Record interesting things/tools discovered: "11:00 The Dialogue plugin is great, it can organize themed discussions."
  • Record the start and end of work: "14:00 Start analyzing data, estimated to take forty minutes."

Through Obsidian, I can quickly enter the current time and then start typing: capturing some fragmented thoughts, new discoveries, and quickly getting into the state of work when starting a task, and clearing my mind when finishing work.

Although it may resemble a log, the emphasis is on authenticity. Moreover, when the day is about to end, I quickly browse through it to see what happy things happened today, as well as things worth reflecting on, and then briefly summarize them at the beginning.

If I want to elaborate on certain things, I will continue to record them below the "interstitial journaling", sometimes writing hundreds of words, sometimes just a few sentences.


Obsidian's bidirectional linking feature greatly facilitates note-taking and connects a series of actions together, instead of being isolated as before.

For example, I have been reading the book "The Amazon Chronicles" for a long time, and it already exists in my note library. If I start reading it at a certain time on a certain day, I will start recording it in the interstitial journaling, simply by typing the keywords, it can be invoked and quickly entered, and this book is associated with the diary of that day.


This is more like our daily state, where everything is not linear, but interconnected like a neural network.


In this iteration of diary writing, the main changes are in the recording mindset and the use of Obsidian to improve efficiency, while also paying more attention to the connections between various actions.

After practicing in this way for a few months, it has brought me the following benefits:

  • Never missed a day of diary writing
  • Each diary entry ranges from a few hundred words to over a thousand words
  • I feel more fulfilled: the diary prompts me to record, and recording prompts me to reflect


  1. Still regularly synchronizing to that software, see previous article:

  2. See:

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