For whatever reason, I’ve been using daily notes in Dendron this week, and it’s been a pleasant and useful addition to my usual practices.
Although many people who use tools like Dendron or Obsidian seem to prefer working out of daily notes, I do most of my task management out of weekly notes. So what am I doing with these daily notes? They’re a good place to have more of a “journal” instead of a “log,” a place for writing down and processing emotions and thoughts, outside of where I try to mostly work on the things I intend to accomplish each day. My “regular” notes are a sort of log and pomodoro “potential tasks” space, so it feels good to have a separate space for a different sort of processing and to recognize different types of patterns. The two types of notes so far seem quite complementary.
Why do I tend to use weekly notes? This is probably partially a holdover from when I started using linked text files for this sort of thing, and tools for linking notes weren’t as robust as they have become.
It’s probably also because I tend to have regular weekly meetings, so from a “pattern management” perspective, it seems easier to create a single weekly template and then update it than it would be to make 7 different templates. It’s also simpler to carry tasks over when you can select and move a few lines in a text editor, rather than having to have multiple notes open.
The downside is of this approach is that it’s easier to lose track of when you first intended to do a task, and find that you’ve been carrying a task over longer than you’d like.
Writing about daily & weekly note patterns recalls the discussion in Purdon’s Modernist Informatics of information patterns and documentary/information film production. It’s a really generative book, and I’d certainly recommend it to anyone interested in what I’m starting to call “information humanities” when thinking about my dissertation project!
Here “information humanities” would overlap with “critical information studies” as outlined by Said Vaidyanathan as well as journals like the Journal of Critical Library and Information Studies. Its interdisciplinary approach would slightly emphasize humanistic methods, such as attention to specifics of form and representation. It would allow greater emphasis on questions of how we make meaning, adopting epistemological and rhetorical analyses as well as historically-situated inquiry. It would also invite recognition of how artists and curators have been some of the most critical among GLAM practitioners, taking note of practices like Fred Wilson’s Mining the Museum, the work of folks like James Luna or Coco Fusco, and institutional critique more generally.
As “critical” ideally has become a core aspect of “humanities” at this point, it seems like “information humanities” would be mostly equivalent to “critical information humanities.” It also echoes “digital humanities,” for better or worse.
This terminology is something I’m realizing I’d love feedback on!
I also updated my Daybreak theme note this week, specifically mentioning how I’ve made the scrollbar more visible by adding more color contrast.