This experiment is complete and I am continuing with the practice it helped me to start: regularly revisiting what I have thought about in the past.

By 2017, I had been writing sporadically for five years. Most often when I felt inspired.

Writing proved to be a powerful tool for me. After I wrote, I would feel a range of things, all positive: untangled, unblocked, clear, relieved, settled, inspired, and empowered.

Sometimes something would bring me back to what I’d written in the past. Whenever I read this thinking I would feel a sense of perspective, progress, and gratitude for having this “foundation” to grow from and refer back to. As a result, I began to develop more confidence in my capacity to adapt and evolve.

This practice of revisiting what and how my past self thought happened by chance. This experiment was borne out of me wanting to make this a regular practice; it was built on the following hypotheses:

  1. I would write consistently if I no longer needed to decide “Where should I put this?” each time I felt inspired to say or save something that spoke to me and

  2. I would be able to make better sense of what I was thinking and feeling if I developed a habit of seeing what I’d written across time


For each day of the year, I created a separate note and wrote whatever I felt compelled to externalize on that day’s note across time.

This amounted to a total of 365 distinct files (titled 01.01.md, 01.02.md, 01.03.md, etc. all the way through 12.31.md) stored within a Dropbox folder called “DailyNotes.”

This experiment was an outgrowth of me wanting to write more consistently and to develop a practice of revisiting what I had thought about in the past.

Impact & Conclusions

This experiment worked for me.

The “DailyNotes” mechanic got me writing regularly and helped me to become better at naming and communicating what I was feeling and thinking.

The experiment also had this unexpected clarifying effect.

Before, I would notice when an interaction, situation, quote, thought, feeling, question, or experience impacted me and then I would forget them.

Consistently writing, and importantly, revisiting what I’d written changed this. My memory of these moments started to improve. As a result, I started being able to see across these moments and name the links/patterns that connected them.

These links materialized as needs, values, ideas, fears, questions, goals, affirmations, etc. Said another way: I felt like I was beginning to really “hear” what I’d been trying to “say” and start to use that voice to take actions and make decisions I could "stand in."

Writing and revisiting also made a whole new set of new, smaller choices inside of my everyday life legible to me.

I started to see how these choices could bring me in more or less alignment with these truths and this voice. And this is precisely where the practice I had developed broke down...

I wasn’t remembering these truths and that voice in the situations when I needed them most: moments when I had opportunities to put them into practice. There was still a disconnect between what I had "learned" from and in the past and how I was thinking and acting in the present.

The DailyNotes Experiment helped me to see and name this incoherence as an unmet need related to recalling the past.


To relieve of myself of having to decide where to put what I felt compelled to externalize, I created a note for each day of the year and decided I would write write it on that "day's" note.

This amounted to a folder – hosted using Dropbox – titled DailyNotesthat contained 365 files, one for each day of the year.

I titled the files 01.01.md, 01.02.md, 01.03.md, all the way through to 12.31.md.

Each note, followed the same structure:


## YEAR (e.g. 2022)

#### TOPIC 1 (e.g. Permanence)

#### TOPIC 2 (e.g. Thought as Chemical)

## YEAR (e.g. 2018)

#### TOPIC 3 (e.g. Wikipedia)

#### TOPIC 4 (e.g. Integrity)

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