How much time do you spend on the Innernet?

I recently discovered an amazing new technology. A web of ideas, writing and media, all linked together via a network of connections. I think it's called the Innernet.

I write daily in my journal, using a fountain pen. Thoughts about the day mix with recollections of what I've done, and funny quotes I've heard people say. Often I print pictures from my phone or camera onto sticky backed photo paper and add these to the page. This journal gives me joy. It doesn't judge. I can flick back to a date in the past and smile or find something significant or delightful.

I also keep a separate journal for working stuff out. I write down problems I'm wrestling with. I note down thoughts and possible solutions. I try out new techniques to help me become better.

A pocket notebook comes with me on high days and holidays. It's messy. I may have an inspirational quote on one page, sitting next to a packing list for going camping or measurements for Christmas icicle lights to hang along the front of my house.

I have my Bullet Journal to hand always. Longer form notes, lists and reminders of tasks to complete, sketches of project ideas. Commonplace book entries. It's now more of a working tool for the day to day, but again, when I flick back through days, weeks and years I often encounter surprising insights.

On my creaking Macbook, I have two workhorse applications. One old, one new. Both of them contain text. Pure, unadulterated markdown formatted plain text. My NValt folder simply lists more ideas, books to read, thoughts and quotes. Searching it is lightning fast.

And then there is my Obsidian "Second Brain" folder. Here's where I now spend more and more time. A big pile of linked digital notes. All in markdown plain text again. Backed up to an online file and readable by pretty much every device ever made. In Obsidian, I jump around and through my thoughts, I look for and find delightful links between ideas. I create new connections. I find as I start reading, that I can move around, spend time and wander in my digital garden. Plant a few new thought seeds, prune some ideas that have become a bit messy, pull weeds of now useless or out of date information that no longer serve me. 

In my innernet, there are no comments. No advertising. I don't have to worry what people will think about my "content". I can be as honest as I like. I can write private thoughts. It doesn't encourage me to view what I want through a popularity or performance lens. There are no likes.

So, in all of this, in reading, digital garden wandering, writing, creating, and spending time in each of the separate components of my innernet, I have noticed something. I come away feeling peaceful, feeling that I have grown, or smiled or improved a bit as a person. If I've been distracted, it's distraction by other important thoughts or life affirming memories, rather than distraction by some external agent wanting to monetise my time or get into my mental space.

I urge you to think about, build, and wander in your own innernet. I think you might enjoy it.

You may also like:

Pay yourself first, in time

I’m currently reading the excellent Four Thousand Weeks by Oliver Burkeman and came across the idea of 'Pay Yourself First', but applied to time. I...

Lunchtime dip

Have you ever seen a frog in a pint glass? The water was cold and I'd removed a few leaves and bits of grass from...

Time for a Digital Declutter

I'm having a digital declutter in January. Cal Newport in his email newsletter asked if anyone wanted to take part in a digital declutter in January....