Daily Reflection

This note is part of the series of notes about My Workflows.

Summer 2021 Update

After experimenting with the daily reflection workflow below, I decided to stop doing it as it began to feel like a chore. Finding the right frequency for reflection is something I’m thinking about, and whether I might want different prompts to ask instead. Leaving the rest of the post here in case it is helpful for anyone.

High Level

I take a couple minutes at the end of each day to review how things went this day. I allow myself to free write what I feel like, and I write down my responses to prompts and my current emotional state.

Current Implementation

Right now I complete my daily reflection in Logseq. I use Logseq rather than Roam Research because of the private nature of some of the writing.1 My template looks like this:

  • [[Evening Reflection]]
    • [[free-write]]
    • [[plus]]
    • [[minus]]
    • [[next]]
    • [[on my mind]]
    • [[feeling]]

I start writing in the free write section to get the writing process going, and then I jump around to the other sections as I think of things. Plus, Minus, Next is the same sort of activity I do in my Weekly Review, but I do it on the scale of one day instead of one week. The on my mind tag is for ideas or thoughts that I want to potentially revisit in the future (rather than free write which is more of a brain dump / fleeting notes). Finally, in the feeling section I put a bunch of tags with different emotions I am feeling.

I have an additional template for minus that I will populate on some days but not all: the mistake template. It looks like this:

  • [[mistake]]
    • Details:
    • [[lessons learned]]
    • Next steps:

I use the mistake template when I realize that there’s something I want to improve moving forward that I would categorize as a mistake. I don’t do this to beat myself up but to try to learn from mistakes and minimize repeating them. The process of consciously writing out the mistake and articulating a clear “lesson learned” also helps me remember the lesson in the future. I include next steps to help think of a concrete action I could take to help remember and implement the lesson learned or fix the given mistake itself.

Potential Improvements

Feeling reasonably happy with the setup right now. My biggest barrier to doing reflections before was not having the right prompts and not really understanding the point. I like what I have right now and think it is short enough to do when I’m tired (and I’m OK leaving certain sections blank), but enough that it feels like I’m getting value from it. Once I get used to doing the reflections I think I may add some other provoking questions to reflect on (sort of like writing prompts).


  1. Security and privacy in Roam is currently an ongoing discussion. As of this writing, there are some risks to using Roam for private thoughts, especially when using custom javascript, which I like to do as there are a lot of great plugins. However, because graphs in the same browser are not walled off from one another, malicious code run in any Roam graph could expose a private graph, even a local one. Roamhacker has a great thread on how to do this safely by using a second browser dedicated for private thoughts, but I am sticking with Logseq for now as storage in the browser cache (even with hourly backups) feels a little risky to me. 

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