One Big File

recently i have come to love journaling in one big file. it establishes a feeling of momentum and continuity. it’s easier to come back and pick up where you left off, than reckon with the feeling of starting fresh every day. plus, it’s easier to browse previous days’ journal entries. no need to scroll through a billion pieces.

i also have always preferred writing web apps as one big file, especially small-ish ones. it’s easier to keep everything loaded in mental context, and see how all the pieces interconnect.

i think there’s something generally nice about the OBF approach. maybe it more closely maps onto reality, how, in reality, there was no sense where you could make some important information disappear. plus, loading something into context in the physical space was way more expensive time-wise (searching and reaching into a filing cabinet instead of just hitting CMD+P in VSCode and searching for the filename), so it made less sense. and thus, historically/evolutionarily, we’ve learned to be somewhat “out of sight, out of mind” because, historically, that’s been useful and helped us keep good tabs on reality.

i think the zettelkasten approach has its merits, and that tagging and smart folders and interconnected nodes all have their merits, but i think they’re most useful in a pretty small problem-space. and the rest of the time, at least for myself, and especially for projects where i’m working alone (whether that be journaling or web apps or essay writing or note-taking) it makes sense to use the OBF approach.