1. Commit: The app I use to stay accountable to myself and build my daily writing habit
2. DayOne: Easiest way to journal. It gives me daily reminders and allows me to easily access old entries.
3. Text Expander: I store many of most used phrases, numbers and email in this program. It allows you easily recall them with a simple abbreviation.
4. Michael Hyatt’s blog post that inspired my journaling habit and portions of this workflow.
What is your daily writing workflow? (Transcript)
I use three different applications to do my daily writing.
So, the first thing I use is an app by Nathan Barry called Commit. In early 2014, I set a goal for this year to write 250 words every day of the week. Saturdays, Sunday and all weekdays.
I wanted do that because I came to the conclusion that writing regularly was a foundational skill for anyone that wants to run an online business.
The writing could be anything. It could be a blog post, this could be a video script or journaling. It just had to be 250 words.
And what I found in the beginning was it got hard to come up with a new blog post to write every day, to write 250 words on. So Michael Hyatt had a blog post about journaling and talked about his process. I have modelled the process he talked about and tweaked it for my use. I use three different apps mpw.
The first one is Commit. It’s a reminder app. Hopefully, you can see that. It’s just a reminder app that dings you every day. And I have it set up to remind me at 8 am every day.
It dings me and tells me “Hey, write 250 words.” And if you did, you hit “Yes” and it keeps a streak of that going.
So I’m on Day 164 right now. So now, I can’t not write 250 words because I’d break my streak. So that’s the first app I used.
The other one is an app called Day One. And this is what I use for journaling specifically.
I also use Scrivener if my writing is going to be for a blog post. It just depends on the exact type of writing that I’m going to do. Most every day, I journal. As you can see here, these are all the days since December that I completed an journal entry.
Now, every day I write the 250 words. Sometimes if I’m working on a big project; I put my 250 words into that. Then skip journaling for the day. But I would encourage you to journal as often as possible because it’s really a good exercise to work out ideas and to intentionally go through your day; to look at what works from the previous day and what didn’t; to look at who you need to be helping in to reprioritize what’s going on.
It really helps with that. So, I use Day One for that just because it makes it super simple. I keep it down here on the menu bar. To open it just hit the big plus sign and immediately I get a blank white screen that I can start writing on. Now, that was intimidating at first because I didn’t know what to write about.
So, I mean do I just pound out what I did last night or the movie I watched, like “What do I write about?” So I used a template that Michael Hyatt provided in that blog post and modified enough. Tweaked the questions and modified them over time.
So I’m gonna type in journal. I have one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten questions that are populated up on the screen. And all I have to do to journal is answer those questions. Sometimes, they’re really long, sometimes they’re really short. But nine times out of a hundred they become 250 words.
And the nice thing about Day One is you can click info and it shows you how many words you have types. So that day, there’s a hundred and fifty-seven words. But I also wrote a blog post; so, that counted for the other hundred words I needed for that day. I use an app called Text Expander and I keep it open over here in the Menu Bar.
It just opens when my computer starts. And I have all different types of short codes that. My journal one is here at the top. “/journal” is the he abbreviation that I have to type in to populate that. And this is the stuff that’s filled in when I typed it in. So, think of it kind of like Gmail canned responses, just they’re universal so I could use them anywhere I want.
And that’s my journaling workflow.