Using the Journal

An entry is denoted by a timestamp, which is written using hours and minutes, like 0815 for 8:15am and 1425 for 2:25pm. A day is denoted by a datestamp, which is written using year-month-day, like 2016-01-08 for January 8, 2016. Usually, Text Editor Macros will do this for you, so you really don’t need to worry about it. Read more about the Text File Format to learn other tricks.

The default gthnk installation will create a file on your desktop called journal.txt. This file is called a “journal buffer” and anything you write in it will be added to the journal once per day. You can change the location of this file by editing ~/Library/Gthnk/gthnk.conf and changing the INPUT_FILES entry.


A simple journal consisting of 1 day and 3 entries looks like this:



Hello world!  I am making a note in my work journal.


The gthnk website is


I had an interesting thought.  What if...

There is no limit to the number of days you can have in a journal buffer. It is also possible to use multiple journal buffers in order to gather entries from Mobile Devices.

Accessing the Journal

Access gthnk in your browser with this URL: http://localhost:1620/admin/journal/latest.html

Browser Integration makes it easy to search gthnk by keyword, so you can easily find old entries. A variety of GUI methods enable navigation between days.

Daily Journal Maintenance

Every day, gthnk automatically does two maintenance tasks:

  • Just after midnight, gthnk will collect any new journal entries for the day and store them in the database.
  • At 9:00am, gthnk will open a browser window with the previous day’s entries.


Archive images and PDFs in the journal by dragging those files onto the “Attachments” target in the GUI. Use this to attach Handwritten Notes on Paper to your digital entries, bridging the gap with the writing/drawing experience.