A man with brains and a shovel

A blog about goals and obstacles, motivation and procrastination, life's random events and getting things done.

Commit and release

Intangible work

Often times, knowledge work feels intangible and after a long day of work, you feel like you accomplished none of your goals. That's probably one reason why people like to keep a journal. To have something to show for all the work.


Putting your goals, obstacles, options, thoughts, decisions and accomplishments in writing is very satisfying and helps to make things clear.


If you are a programmer, you probably know the feeling when you commit something to git or the version control system of your choice. You have just taken another step. Maybe it's just a small step. Maybe it's not even in the right direction. But a step none the less. A step worthy of committing.

Review and get back on track

Having your commit log, you can look back and even retrace your steps after an interruption.

Make it commit-able

I like to have a filesystem folder per area of responsibility or for major projects. There I like to keep my files simple, so the versions can be viewed as a diff. For text, I love markdown, asciidoc and emacs orgmode. I put each sentence into a new line.

If I need spreadsheets and orgmode feels to cumbersome, I use Libreoffice flat files with the .fods ending. They are larger because they are uncompressed, but in the long run, you save space, since git has a clever compression and can add the difference to the repository instead of the new binary file.


Now each time I feel like I've inched closer to my goal or when I need to shift my focus to something different, I commit my work

  1. Open git software (I use
  2. Look at the diff
  3. optional: go back to editor and fix little things
  4. write a commit statement summarizing what I've done
  5. commit all files
  6. git push to the server

The git push feels like releasing my work even if I'm the only person who will ever see it.

Small steps

When programming, it's a good habit to make small commits and not dump a ton of changes into the repository. I like to do the same with my other mental work. It feels less overwhelming and makes looking back at your day's work more rewarding.

Sync between devices

A wonderful side effect is that you can git pull your work onto your home computer, laptop, etc. I rarely use Dropbox or iCloud Drive any more.