Philosophy Behind engram

Problem

I started building engram because I wanted a place where I could quickly capture thoughts and have them automatically associated with the current day. After trying out several different options, I continued to see that other apps sacrificed the ability to just quickly dump some thoughts for a laundry list of features that I wasn’t really looking for.

Solution

Minimize the amount of time and effort required to enter a new idea.

Bottom Up vs. Top Down Thinking

I frequently found myself opening a notes app with an idea in mind that I was ready to start brainstorming, but would instantly lose momentum as I was distract by: “Where should this note go” or “What is the title of this note”. Our brains operate much faster than our technology currently supports capturing. Ideas are often generated randomly and out of order. Sometimes they are important and sometimes they aren’t.

The rapid logging nature of engram makes it easier to relieve your mind from trying to hold on to these thoughts. Once they are down, you can then figure out what needs to happen. Hint: Oftentimes the thought that won’t go away is entirely a distraction. Seeting it written down can make this much more obvious.

The Bullet Journal Method

engram is largely inspired by The Bullet Journal Method. Rapid Logging is one of the key pillars of The Bullet Journal Method and you will find that engram follows many of these conventions.

Many are quick to point out that bullet journaling is intentionally supposed to be done not on a device. I mostly agree with this sentiment, but the benefits provided by digital notes oftentimes outweighs this. It’s important to choose the correct tool depending on the situation.

A longer term goal is to bridge the gap between one’s physical journal and their digital one. While photos of pages do this quite well, I hope to eventually be able to parse rapid logs journal entries in order to ingest and categorize handwritten notes into engram.

Your Data is Your Data

I firmly believe in data privacy and will put this at the forefront of decisions for engram. An offline first model is mutually beneficial as you (as the user) remain the data owner and engram doesn’t need to host storage of your data.