Jack Baty Daily

Daily notes from Jack about everything

The Spark File

Ten years ago, Steven Johnson wrote The Spark File, in which he describes his process for keeping track of hunches, ideas, etc. in a single text file.

I, of course, thought this was a great idea and immediately started keeping my own spark file. It began in 2012 and I was reasonably consistent with it until 2016. After that, there was a lull, but it picked up a again for a short time in 2021, after which I sort of forgot about it.

I ran into the file today and reviewing it has been quite a trip. The short version is that I’ve only done a few of the things I’d written down. This is fine, since many of them are things I’m either no longer interested in or were too ambitious anyway. I have, since I last checked, completed a few of them. Crossing them off the list was fun. There are others that are still good ideas and that I may pursue.

Since the file is an org-mode file, I’ve added a capture template to my Emacs config that lets me quickly capture new entries. Now I just need some hunches or ideas to capture.