Keeping a Log with jrnl

Learn how to keep a log with jrnl.

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Setting up jrnl

Keeping a log of what we worked on throughout the day will help to identify where we’re spending time and help us see our accomplishments. If we make this a habit, we can use it as a reference when our boss inevitably asks what we worked on all quarter. In addition, taking some time to reflect on the work we’ve done at the end of our day can help us collect our thoughts and prepare for the future. Using jrnl lets us keep a journal of our thoughts right from our terminal and lets us query our entries for search terms and tags.

The jrnl application is written in Python. On Ubuntu, we install it with pip:

pip3 install jrnl

If we want to be able to create encrypted journals, we install jrnl like this:

pip3 install --upgrade keyrings.alt

pip3 install jrnl[encrypted]

The first command ensures that the keyrings.alt library is up to date. The second installs jrnl with support for encryption.

On macOS, we should install jrnl with brew instead. This method installs encrypted journal support too:

brew install jrnl

Using jrnl

Now that jrnl is installed, we can create our first journal entry. We create an entry like this:

jrnl Set up my first journal

When prompted for an encryption, we press “N” and “Enter.”

Use the terminal below to practice this command. Try to use only Ubuntu commands on the terminal.

jrnl  Set up my first journal

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