Journaling and note-taking

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Journaling or note taking is an approach that can be used in cases where you are interested in collecting qualitative data rather than quantitative data. It is a frequently used approach for Lifelogging and relies on manual input rather than automatic data collection. The research method is called Diary Studies.

How to quantify written textEdit

Journaling can be useful to put data into context, but due to the nature of the data collected, it is hard to quantify[1]. There are a few options to nevertheless convert this data into quantitative data: One option is to summarize each entry with a few keywords, which could become "tags" that can be counted and viewed over time. Such keywords could be automatically determined algorithmically by building an index of all words used and removing the ones too common in language,.

An even more complex approach that tries to automate this process would be to determine the "Mood" of the entries using sentiment analysis.


There are different approaches to engage in journaling or note taking:

  • Pen and paper: This very traditional approach is used by many presenters of show and tell talks. Where wanted, the paper text can be converted to electronic using OCR.
  • Digital handwriting:
    • Dedicated handwriting tablets such as the reMarkable are designed to convert hand-writing into digital notes.
    • Similarly, the Notes application for iPads also tries to perform handwriting recognition
    • Third-party tablet apps such as Nebo are designed for digital handwriting notetaking
  • Regular Word processing apps, allowing typing using a full keyboard.
    • Notepad++. Easily handles hundreds of thousands of lines. Time stamps require some setup.
  • Smartphone apps for typing notes:
    • Mysymptoms has built in notes field instead of a proper notepad. DG (talk)
    • logg
    • structured journaling to reduce need for natural language processing
    • TLC bot Hashtags to cross journal entries, and journaling prompts.
    • "algorithm analyses your thoughts and emotions automatically based on your text & speech input. No need to press smileys to track how you feel."
    • is mostly for travel
  • With ai analysis of notes Future Tools [1]