My Digital Journal


Hey friends,

I’ve used the journalling app Day One for about five years now.

I usually journal during those small moments in the day when there’s no time to sink my teeth into real work. For example this morning I was sitting at my grandma’s kitchen table in Karachi, having coffee and getting ready to go shopping for wedding clothes in 15 minutes. So I bashed out a quick journal entry, and thought damn, that was frictionless.

The app opens in milliseconds, showing a blank page with today’s date. I type some stuff. Done. (I promise this isn’t sponsored lol). I usually treat Day One as a brain dump for getting thoughts written down and out of my head (like morning pages). But it’s also good for saving random memories, like my grandma asking if I can buy her some Bitcoin.

I know that analogue journalling with pen and paper can be meditative, #aesthetic etc, but I never really stuck with it, mainly because typing gets way closer to my speed of thought, which stops me from overthinking. I also don’t like keeping track of paper notebooks, and I always have a phone or laptop on me. Good for cheeky journal sessions when I’m sitting on the toilet and having deep thoughts.

Anyway, as I’ve fallen back in love with Day One here are a few more features that I like:

  1. Multiple journals. Mine are:
  • 📖 Main Journal – For brain dumps and normal journal entries.
  • 🥲 Nice Comments – My folder of nice YouTube / online comments that I can look at when I’m feeling down. I email screenshots directly to this journal, which is super convenient.
  • ⏳ Memorabilia – This is where I save photos of birthday cards and other messages, so I can look back at them without cluttering my flat with bits of paper.

2. You can save photos. This makes it super easy to visually record special moments, without needing to trawl through the Photos app.

3. Security. It’s end-to-end encrypted, so I don’t need to worry about my private thoughts living in the cloud as easy-to-access plain text.

4. ‘On this day’ feature. Good for resurfacing memories, especially photos. Here’s part of an entry that resurfaced yesterday from 4 years ago – it’s nice to look back and see how much has changed:

What else is happening in life… YouTube channel going well, on 1185 subscribers, growth rate is around 10-15 per day which is pretty solid. Videos scheduled until the end on November, 2 VLOGS need editing. And thinking about a medical ethics type interview series perhaps featuring Charlotte and Molly and maybe this Jonathan guy who found me on YouTube. Would be a good reason to revise ethics and law, which I really should get round to doing.

I hope this helps any would-be-journallers. Thanks for reading!

xx Ali

PS A few paragraphs accidentally went missing from last week’s newsletter. Here’s the full issue if you want to read more.

❤️ My Favourite Things

🎧 Audiobook – Dune by Frank Herbert. I’m a few chapters in, and it’s sick so far. It’s got background music, sound effects, and different voice actors for all the big characters. So it’s almost more of an audio drama.

🎙 Podcast – Listening to the Acquired episode on Ethereum: about how Vitalik Buterin created Ethereum, all the drama along the way, and why it’s such a big deal.

🎬 YouTube Video – I rewatched My Video Went Viral. Here’s Why by Veritasium, about the science of making viral videos. Seems like such a genuine guy, and damn – his videos are intimidatingly good.

🥤 Drinks – Living off some insanely sweet drinks in Pakistan right now: Milo (chocolate malt), Pakola (luminous green soda) and Slice Mango Juice.

📚 Book – A Master’s Secret Whispers by Kapil Gupta – Started reading this book on spirituality (recommended by Naval Ravikant). Immediately got destroyed on Twitter by The Master himself:

✍️ Quote of the Week

Some words are so overused as to have become meaningless. If you find yourself using nebulous terms like “success,” “happiness,” or “investing,” it pays to explicitly define them or stop using them. “What would it look like if I had (or won at) ___ ?” helps. Life favors the specific ask and punishes the vague wish.

From Tim Ferriss’ article How to Say ‘No’ When it Matters Most. Resurfaced via Readwise.

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