Storing information on journal pages vs dedicated files

Journal pages are often considered the default place to store information. I think I even read in some official LS source that it’s expected that users will work 99% of the time with them.

This, however, is not the case for me. I use journals mostly to store ad-hoc tasks for the day, information that will be relevant for the day, and some other pieces of information that are unlikely to ever be retrieved and don’t fit nicely anywhere else. Otherwise I use a dedicated page.

And so I’m curious what’s the reasoning people have when using journal instead of dedicated pages?

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Of course different people have different reasons that may share, and nobody is expected to follow the workflow of someone else (unless they closely collaborate), but I have the impression that the most popular reason is to avoid the mental burden of deciding where to put a note, which in my opinion is a strong reason. As you wrote yourself:

All things fit somewhere else, but are we sure where? So just use the default place and let the decision for another time.

But this should not be the end of it. Unless we are lazy to think for ourselves (and let AI “do” it), later moving mature notes from journals to dedicated pages is an important but separate phase, which I explain here. The thing is that most of the work in dedicated pages can take place without leaving the journal page (and its context), as the right pane, the pop-ups, and the references, are all editable.

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Do you tag/link your notes to some other pages? That usually seems like is a good clue on where the note fits.

That makes sense. I edit/organize my quick notes as well, just that they are already on dedicated pages. Do you tend to organize them on your journal page in some way, before moving them to other files?

Yes, notes are supposed to have references to other pages. But those pages don’t need to already exist, neither to be created on that moment. There are good chances that a note belongs to the page of one of the concepts referenced in it, but it is not immediately clear which one (as it has to be only one). This leads to the next point:

I don’t organize them in the journal, but I work on their phrasing and block-structure, until I feel confident with moving them (or otherwise merge them or delete them). Of course I may further improve them in their new place, but I prefer keeping dedicated pages somehow clean. As a rule:

In other words:

I understand that users in both camps may find this move to be unnecessary. My answer is that:

  • Journal-only users produce something that other people cannot appreciate. They are probably using the wrong tool as well.
  • Users who skip the journal miss chances of thinking out of the box. Cause when a note is put directly in a dedicated page, it is hard to imagine it somewhere else.

While I agree with your post, this strikes me as an odd point.
Why would a journal-only user use the wrong tool?
I work 99% on journal pages, because that’s where I journal. (Shocking idea I know :joy:)
I only have some things I make a dedicated page for. I actually like keeping the amount of files small. I rather work with blocks instead of pages.

A note can fit in multiple pages. I often have multiple links on one note. So moving a note to any one page is then not a good fit for me.

Maybe my whole workflow is a bit different anyway. I don’t use Logseq for PKM primarily, but rather for life organization.
So planning my day and executing that plan. Simple task management. Etc.


Thanks @mentaloid, journal page as a temporary storage makes a lot of sense.

That happens often in my case. But even if it’s a coin flip, I prefer to store it on one dedicated page, and link it to the other, instead of keeping it on “neutral” journal page. I think it’s easier to retrieve that way, but maybe it’s just what I’m used to from my *.txt days.

Pretty much how I use journal pages, in my own relaxed, fuzzy way at least.

Good to know a perspective of one of the 99% journalists, maybe that text I read somewhere was about a about similar workflow.

Because journaling is not Logseq’s strong point (neither task management), there are other applications that are arguably better at it. But this is something that each user should decide for themselves, thus I said “probably”.

Everyone likes that, but the trade-off is big files (see next point), so there has to be some balance.

It’s not one or the other. Blocks are for notes, while pages are the natural containers of notes. The usefulness of visual graphs is currently available to pages only. Big pages attract too many links, resulting in poor visuals.

Until it is rephrased to focus better on a particular subject, at which point it fits better on that subject’s page, and its references properly connect that subject to other pages. If that subject is a specific day, then it fits better to that day’s journal.

If days in life are the only topics that matter in a graph, there is no need for other pages. Having a journal-only graph is fine, but Logseq is meant for multiple graphs (although currently missing proper inter-graph integration).

Yeah I can understand that. My entries are mostly “in time”, so the journal page makes sense then.

But they are not Logseq! :joy: Oops I’m biased!
I use many of Logseq’s unique features in my workflow that makes it uniquely suited for my needs.
I do agree it isn’t suited for long form journaling. Just not something I tend to do either.

Yeah my natural container is often the journal page. So that prevents big files a lot.
To illustrate what minimizing means in my case:
I have 418 Logseq pages, of which 232 are actual files.
I have 419 Journal page files. (560 pages total)

I guess I’m not too good at the PKM game yet :joy:

Yeah. I think in the end my approach isn’t far off. I just have way more day specific notes than anything else. I do group things on one page as needed though.
These are mostly pages related to my P.A.R.A. set up. So each project, area etc. Have their dedicated page for easy management.

I primarily locate a new entry on the appropriate page. But when I have odd thoughts and I don’t want to take the time to figure out where an idea belongs, I drop in on the Journal. At some future point, some of those ideas are relocated. And some aren’t.

The bold truth is we all probably have more ideas than we’ll ever get around to addressing. What I try to avoid is managing dormant ideas.

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by default I create everything on the journal page, but some notes I move to the dedicated page when it’s time to sanitize my journal - many notes are kept on the journal page, but I have this habit to move what makes sense to be on the dedicated page

I have a recurring (daily) task to perform sanitizing

so it has worked well for me, until I arrived at this workflow I tested several ways

  1. work 100% on the journal
  2. ignore the journal and create separate pages
  3. as I am today: commented above

How do you guys move blocks from journal to other pages efficiently? Obviously LS doesn’t support split screen, so it’s a bit iffy. Do you use right panel or something like this plugin GitHub - vipzhicheng/logseq-plugin-move-block: A Logseq plugin help you copy any page blocks ref to today's journal page, very useful for task management case.?

Not quite right. You can open a block or a page in the right hand panel and adjust the width to make it the same or wider as the main panel ➙ voilà, split screen :wink:

Yes, I mentioned the right panel as an option. This is not really an equivalent of split screen, for example there is no shortcut to jump between it and the central panel, nor there is an easy way to open a specific page there (like you can through ctrl+k in the central one). Having split screen would allow accomplishing this easily, e.g. select a block then m t/b to move the block to the other panel top or bottom etc.

True, it is not a real split screen, but an acceptable workaround, AFAIC.

From your comment I assume you work from keyboard?
I use my mouse primarily (or actually my phone which is a whole other problem).
From ctrl+k I shift click to open the page in the side panel.

Mostly I put what needs moving in the side panel and where to move to in the main.

I also drag drop often from the linked references pages.

On mobile I’ll have to use cut/paste action. Which is very cumbersome.

So in the end I’m trying to eliminate moving blocks as much as possible :sweat_smile:

Yes, I think using keyboard only for this task would make the most sense.

I know that you can drag and drop with mouse, but that only copies the block, right? There is no option to move it, as far as I can see.

Drag and drop does actually move it, not copy it.
I’m very bad at keyboard shortcuts, so I barely use those. (remembering them mostly lol)

Could you explain how? When I try it’s only copied. simplescreenrecorder-2023-07-05_18.21.13

Can be useful to note somewhere, maybe even in LS, the most useful ones.

You have to drag drop the bullet, not the text.

Having to constantly check it isn’t faster than just using a mouse. Especially because I barely use a computer for logseq to begin with.
That’s also a big reason for never remembering them, I don’t use them often enough.

Hah, thanks for that.

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