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Context Link to this heading

I’ve been using a sentence diary for years. It’s come in many forms:

  • a notepad, which I lost after a move and lost several months of valuable context
  • Google Keep (yeesh, see my DeGoogle’ing my Life post)
  • Daylio, a convenient Android app meant for this, but it’s only an Android app and has no desktop client, plus it costs (a reasonable) fee per year for some features I wanted
  • Obsidian, which has been pretty fantastic so far! I’ve combined my sentence diary, my personal notes, some logs, and my to-do and grocery lists here! Everything is just Markdown files internally, meaning even if Obsidian catastrophically fails tomorrow or I get tired of it, my files are still available on both my phone and computer to move to another platform!

As a result of using Obsidian as a second brain software, I wanted all my old sentence diary entries in there as well.

Migrating Link to this heading

One of the most magical things about programming to me is the ability to take a common task and make it nearly instant. I spent about half an hour on this project, and saved myself probably hours of copying and pasting from a CSV, reformatting, and making new files in Obsidian.

I keep a pretty specific structure in Obsidian (e.g. today’s note would be sentence diary/2023/07-July/2023-07-29-Saturday.md), so I wanted a way to programmatically create those directories with month names and file names with day of the week as well.

Results Link to this heading

I was able to write a script to migrate all of my entries from Daylio (exported to a CSV with date, weekday, mood, activities, and a full note) to my sentence diary format with a summary, mood and activities, and tasks today section. I could extend this a little farther out and format it nicer, but I really just wanted to have the important part (the note body) under the summary for my migration to Obsidian.

Final Notes Link to this heading

Funny enough, after doing this exercise, I found someone else had done a similar project. Mine is a little more fine tuned to my own needs while theirs is a little more general! Both of us make big assumptions around how someone might want to structure their notes, and I think both make tradeoffs in legibility and extensibility to do so.