Optimize Your Productivity With Interstitial Journaling Using Tools for Thought

We get a sense of accomplishment every time we tick off an item on our to-do list.

However, the euphoria fades away as we move on to our next task.

But what if there’s a way to capture those fleeting moments so we can have something to look back on?

Without a doubt, there are effective methods for keeping track of the tasks we perform one after the other. One of which is interstitial journaling.

In this article, I’ll introduce you to interstitial journaling and provide a template you can use in the app of your choice.

Without further ado, let’s deep dive into the details.

What is interstitial journaling?

Interstitial journaling is a productivity technique introduced by Tony Stubblebine. In a snapshot, it’s a workflow composed of tracking time, monitoring tasks, and taking notes.

I got introduced to interstitial journaling when I was working from home. It was the tool I used to log my daily accomplishments, turned into a report, and submitted by the end of the workday.

Until now, I’m still using interstitial journaling as part of my daily routine. In between tasks, I make it a habit to write in my journal.

Creating a journal entry is pretty straightforward. According to Stubblebine, “Note the time, write a few sentences about what you just worked on, and what you’re about to work on.”

For example:

13:07 The reference materials for writing my next article are ready. The first of the three headlines stood out for me. I might use it. Next, I'll start working on the outline. Perhaps I need to brainstorm ideas for the hook, too. Also, I like to include one quote.

13:25 I got distracted by that Twitter notification. I need to get back to work.

14:15 That was fast! I'm about to finish writing my article. It's time to prepare for bed.

You can also embellish your interstitial journal with emojis, images, or videos. As long as the structure is there, allow yourself to be artistic with your journal entries.

Which is the best tool for thought app for interstitial journaling?

There are a lot of tools for thought out there you can choose from for interstitial journaling. Different tools perform differently, so I’ll walk you through some apps you can check out:

Roam Research

Roam Research is known for its bidirectional linking feature. It allows you to link two notes together and have them discovered in new contexts. The Daily Notes Page is perfect for jotting down your journal entries. Adding tags in your entries even puts your journaling onto the next level. You can discover linked and unlinked pages and blocks to make connections.

Notwithstanding Roam’s capability to “network thoughts,” it lacks speed in its mobile user experience (UX). It’s one of the pain points of adding notes to Roam on mobile. Hence, I recommend using a third-party app for adding journal entries to your Roam graph.

Overall, Roam is a viable tool for interstitial journaling.

You can download the Markdown file of your free Roam Research Interstitial Journal Template here.


Notion has attracted a large, loyal following because of its database features. It allows you to organize multiple pages in a single structure and view them depending on your preference. Unlike Roam, its mobile app is lightning fast. You can easily add entries to your interstitial journal while on the go.

However, there’s a steep learning curve, especially when using Notion’s pre-made templates. Some tweaking is necessary to suit your taste.

For interstitial journaling, Notion is an excellent choice.

You can duplicate your free Notion Interstitial Journal Template here.


Without a doubt, xTiles is a game-changer because of its aesthetic appeal. It has removed the dizzying complexities you commonly experience with most tools for thought. With its user-friendly interface, you can get moving with its pre-made templates. Unlike Notion, its pre-made templates are pretty straightforward to use.

Nevertheless, xTiles has room for improvement in its mobile app. Adding notes is a breeze, but some elements in its web version do not adapt well on mobile.

The visual appeal of xTiles makes it stand out among other tools for thought in this particular aspect. Incorporating visual elements into your interstitial journal is such a good idea.

You can copy and edit your free xTiles Interstitial Journal Template here.

In sum, interstitial journaling using the tool of thought of your choice can help you optimize your productivity.

Making a conscious effort to take notes in-between your tasks allows you to have a journal you can look back on.

Start with the interstitial journaling templates provided in this post and see for yourself the endless possibilities it can offer to your productive self.

Share your thoughts in the comments.

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