Dave Lovemartin

Interstitial journalling

Mindfully journalling throughout the day

last tended: 22.1.2023

I’ve been writing a weekly reflection at the end of the working week which helps me think about what things have and gone well and how I might do things differently.

At times this reflection has been useful, however, because it’s at the end of the working week, I’m not always in the best frame of mind. I can be quite tired, and sometimes, I just need to prioritise finishing off a piece of work before the weekend.

I don’t always wait until the end of the week to write out my thoughts.

Sometimes, I write to structure my thoughts which helps bring clarity of mind.

So when I stumbled across an article on Interstitial Journalling by Tony Stubblebine, my interest was piqued.

Tony sells Interstitial Journalling as a “new journalling tactic that immediately kills procrastination and boosts creative insights”.

So what’s the deal?

The concept behind Interstitial Journalling is that between each task, you take a little time to pause and reflect on what’s just happened and what you are about to do. Rather than a lengthy braindump, it’s a micro-journal of events throughout the day.

When we transition between projects or tasks, we continue to think about what we’ve just been working on. By writing down some salient points about what’s just happened, we can gain some closure which helps us concentrate on the next task.

As well as emptying our minds of the last project, this also gives us the mental space to think strategically about our next project.

So, here’s the process:

You can also start your day with a check-in, asking yourself how you feel, what are your fears for the day and what you are looking forward to. Bullet-point the answers.

I’ve found journalling as I work, produces mindfulness about the context, my goals, mood, and skills. I’ve been using Obsidian to write this journal. Obsidian allows you to add tags, which create automatic links to your notes on that subject, and templates, so you can add in custom checklists.

Each time I start a new section of work, I fire up my “next task” checklist which reminds me to:

Then I bullet point next steps and start executing.

For me, this was a natural iteration and evolution of my note-taking and it’s taken it to the next level. The ability to tag, means I can interconnect my notes and allowing me to recall a lot more information. Hopping in and out of meetings, it’s not always possible to write my interstitial journal consistently but I’ve already seen a benefit to my output of work.

And when I do come to review my week — it’s a lot easier to read through the daily notes and see where I might have room for improvement.

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