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Legend Use Case: Morning Pages

How one might set up Legend for practicing a morning pages routine.

Note to the reader: This is the second in my series of short articles featuring Use Case studies for the notes application Legend. See here for the first article.

This morning I am doing my morning pages practice in Legend. Actually, that isn’t true. I am writing about doing morning pages in Legend and pretending this work is actually today’s morning pages.

For those who don’t know, morning pages is a daily routine suggested by Julia Cameron. Pick a number of words — 250, 500, 1000 — as a goal. And write until you reach that goal. You’re not supposed to pick a topic to write about. Just let the words flow… stream of conscious.*

There is at least one app set up specifically for this practice. And you can use any writing app that shows you a count of your words. Lately, I’ve used Craft for my morning pages. But I have thought that Legend might also be good for this practice. Thus this use case article.

The way I am initially doing this is to set up a document and a board specifically for morning pages. Being optimistic that I might actually move my MP writing to Legend, I want my document to be manageable. So I am giving it a hierarchy of year, month, day. I use the date feature (use the “!” key to pick a date) to set the day’s date. Then I focus to that day and begin to write.

At the bottom of the pane, Legend gives me a live word count so I know when I’ve hit my target.

Legend keeps a running total on your word count. The app is smart enough to count only the section of the document you are focused to.

My paragraphs start with a bullet by default, so I just hit the enter key twice and the bullet goes away. I can also change the default item type to none in the settings (gear icon)>general control, but this will change the default for all my work, so I live with the need to type enter twice.

And here’s a cool twist on this: I can open a second pane showing a document called, let’s say, In Box. Now I can review my morning pages and drag bits I want to remember or act upon into the In Box. From there I can easily transfer it to whichever document I need that information in. To copy it to the InBox instead of moving it (I want to leave the original thought in my morning pages), I hold down the Control Key (in Windows) as I drag and drop.

You can open a second pane in your board (or set up a different board) to drag parts of your morning pages into an Inbox for transference to another document to put the piece to work.

A final practical note. I am using a separate document for my morning pages because I am using the date feature. If I combined this work with my bullet journal, then each of my dated morning pages would show up in my action calendar. I don’t want that.

This is just one way to set up and support a morning pages routine using Legend. I am sure there are other equally solid approaches. Legend is that flexible.

*For the sake of full disclosure, I usually decide a topic or two to write about at the start of the day’s writing, so I am really not doing morning pages as prescribed by Ms. Cameron.



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Stephen Zeoli

Stephen Zeoli

Carl Sagan and Edward Abbey are among my heroes.