Simple cli that creates and manages text-based journals
🖋️ Pen - your command line diary
Pen allows you to quickly jot down your thoughts right from the command line. All your journals will be stored as text, which means you can simply put them into cloud storage or on a USB flash drive and access them from anywhere, even without Pen itself. It takes a lot of inspiration from jrnl and tries to create a similar interface that is just as easy to use, but Pen is rewritten from the ground up in modern Python, aiming for a more stable and enhanced experience. Currently, Pen is still in an early stage, but some nice additional features are planned. If you want to try Pen out now, don't be afraid! If you run into any problems or bugs, please be sure to create an issue describing your problem.
Windows is currently not supported. If you want to use Pen on Windows, you can leave a request for Windows support on the the issue tracker or upvote an existing thread. Pen does work and is being tested on the WSL, though.
Writing about your daily routine has been linked to therapeutic health benefits like stress reduction  . For years, practitioners have used logs, questionnaires, journals and other writing forms to help people heal from stresses and traumas. It's not necessary to journal every single day, because it should not become a burden. However, when you feel like it would help get things off your mind, when you feel stressed by something or when you just want to go through an experience in your head again before forgetting too many details, writing it down can be a very relieving and helpful experience.
Pen is also great just as a simple note-keeping app. You could for example create a journal called 'code' where you briefly describe the cool new library you learnt about today so you can go back to it later, or to describe how you solved a difficult programming problem.
You can also use Pen to track progress in your work, in the gym or on the race track. Having a place to note your achievements, personal records or how much weight you lost over time is a great motivator, as you can always look back and see how fast you progressed.
It is recommend to install Pen using pipx:
pipx install pen
If you don't want to use pipx, you can also use pip:
pip install --user pen
To upgrade, either use
pipx upgrade pen or
pip install --user --upgrade pen
depending on how you installed Pen.
To write your first entry, just type
pen into your command line and hit enter!
If you are transitioning from
jrnl, you can instead import your old jrnls using
pen import /path/to/journals/*.
If you haven't run Pen on this machine before, a short setup dialog will start,
asking about your preferences like which editor you want to use. Pen will
always try to infer these settings from your environment variables and only ask
when necessary. You can always change the way Pen behaves by changing its
configuration which is by default located at
$HOME/.config/pen. You can also
change the config file's location by exporting the
variable before running
pen. This is especially useful if you want to sync
your config using Dropbox, Google Cloud or a different cloud storage service.
To see all currently supported commands, type
pen --help. To see more information
about a specific command type
pen <command> --help.
The following list also gives a broad overview over the current features of Pen. Implemented features are marked with a ✔. The list is ordered by their planned implementation order, but the order may change at any time.
|Fully text based||✔|
|Uses your OS settings when possible
(from environment variables)
|✔||$EDITOR, $VISUAL, $LC_TIME
|Multiple Journals||✔||One can be set as default|
|Journals as single file||✔|
|Plugin System||✔*||(*still being extended)
based on pluggy
|Extendable Import System||✔||supports imports from jrnl|
|Filtering by date, tag, starred|
|Star entries (favourite)|
|git sync||Can use cloud
to sync (Dropbox, etc.)
|Journals as hierarchical directory|
|Store in custom file formats||✔ (1)||plugins can extend this!
|Imports from other sources||None planned
: Smyth, Joshua M. (1999). Written emotional expression: Effect sizes, outcome types, and moderating variables.
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