Add Decisions from Your Calendar

Today, we’re excited to announce our new calendar integration, now live on both our web and mobile apps.

A decision journal is an amazing tool for improving your decision making skills. We’re obviously a bit biased but just ask some of the best thinkers on decision making and top decision makers themselves and you will see a trend.

Even though it is a great tool, there is a hurdle to getting the most out of it. And that hurdle is remembering to add your decisions. It may seem obvious that a decision journal requires one to add their decisions to it, but we’re busy people, living busy lives. And on top of that, we make a lot of decisions. So remembering to add our decision to our decision journal is not as easy as it sounds.

But we asked ourselves, how can Decision Journal help make it easier on people to remember to add decisions to their journals?

That’s why we created our calendar integration. By connecting your calendar to Decision Journal, remembering to add a decision you made or are going to make for a particular meeting or event just got a whole lot easier.

Many of us run our entire lives off of our calendars. So your decision journal and calendar are natural partners. Having your calendar sitting in your decision journal makes it a lot easier to remember the decisions you are about to make or ones that you have made in the past. At the moment, our calendar integration only supports a single Google Calendar but we are working on adding support for both additional calendars, as well as other calendar clients, like Outlook, soon. If there’s a particular calendar integration you would like to see, just let us know.

Finally, be sure to keep an eye out for our future feature rollouts. We’re busy working on a few exciting features like Skill vs Luck measurements and personal Brier Score calculations.


Decision Journal now on the web!

When Decision Journal was first launched, we wanted to make it as easy as possible for people to capture their decisions in the moment. Naturally, this led us to developing a mobile app. Mobile apps allow for quick and easy capture because they are on our phones, which are almost always on us.

However, as time went on, we discovered the downside to mobile apps. They’re not really the best solution for writing down long thoughts and reflections, something that a decision journal inherently elicits. Desktops or laptops are much better at helping us think deeply and write out long reflections. They also happen to be the place where many of us make some of our most important decisions.

That’s why we’re excited to announce we’re launching Decision Journal today on the web!

We think you’ll enjoy having a place for your decision journal that’s a bit less distracting and easier to write out long reflections. With the addition of the web app, you’ll still be able to quickly capture thoughts and decisions on the go using our mobile apps, but now you’ll also be able to sit down at your computer and write down longer and deeper thoughts and reflections with a keyboard.

The web app looks and works much like our mobile apps do. The heart of the site is focused on your decisions: capturing them, reviewing them, and analyzing them. Just like the mobile app. It also integrates seamlessly with whatever you do on the app. Making it easy to quickly capture an idea or reflection on the go using the mobile app, then picking up where you left off later on from the web. And the site is also mobile friendly for anyone that doesn’t want to download yet another app.

To try it out, just visit https://dashboard.decisionjournalapp.com and let us know what you think.

We hope the web app is a helpful addition to your decision making process.


New Features — Editing Decisions and Reviews and Email Notifications

One of the design choices we made for Decision Journal was to prevent the editing of entries after they’ve been added. We made this choice because we wanted to force everyone to be honest with themselves when making a decision or reviewing a decision and not succumb to hindsight bias and be tempted to edit prior thinking. This, of course, is one of the primary reasons for keeping a decision journal in the first place, to avoid hindsight bias and honestly review our past thinking. Therefore it was an important feature to add into the app.

But we’re also only human and sometimes we make mistakes. Whether they are mistakes of omission, formatting, or just simple typos, we want to be able to clean up our entries. That way our mistakes don’t get in the way of the main value of our journals, helping us make better decisions. No one wants to read their own typos when reviewing a decision. It’s frustrating and distracting.

So we’re happy to announce that we’re changing things and adding a grace period for every decision and review that you add to your journal that will give you the chance to make edits!

We’re starting off with a grace period of 2 days, which starts right after you first add a decision or a review. This should give you plenty of time to spot any corrections you’d like to make, while still keeping it short enough to keep you honest in how you were thinking at that time. We may make changes to this period over time based on feedback, but we think that two days is the right amount of time to start with.

The only exception to being able to edit is for scoring reviews. Once you add a review, you will not be able to change its score. If, for whatever reason, you decide you need to change the score. You can delete the review and add a new one.

To edit a decision, go to a decision’s details screen and tap on the three dots in the top right corner of the screen. This will show a menu of options, one of them being “Edit Decision” if you are still within the grace period.

If you are not within the grace period, you can still edit the tags on a decision. Since tags are a way of organizing things and helping you better see how categories of decisions stack up over time, we want you to always be able to change tags on a decision.

To edit a review, if you are still within the grace period, you will see a new “Edit Review” button at the bottom of the review card on a decision’s details screen. If you don’t see that button, you’re outside the grace period for editing that review.


We’ve got one more feature update to talk about and that’s the addition of email notifications.

Being a mobile app, Decision Journal’s primary way of reminding you to review your decisions has been to send you a push notification.

The problem with push notifications, however, is that they come with a lot of baggage. Many apps today abuse push notification permissions to send users annoying messages to try to get you to use the app more. So a lot of people are hesitant to accept push notification permission from a new app.

This is completely understandable. That’s also not what we’re trying to do with Decision Journal, we just want to send you notifications to help you remember to review your decisions. That’s one of the primary benefits of using an app vs pen and paper for your decision journal.

The problem is, if push notifications are the only method for reminding people to review their decisions and they don’t have them turned on because they are hesitant, people won’t get reminded to review their decisions and the whole value of using an app goes away.

So that’s why we added email notifications as a new way to get reminders about reviewing your decisions. If you prefer email notifications to push notifications, you can now receive emails too.

Because there are now multiple methods for notifications and in order to avoid a situation where you feel overwhelmed, we’ve also added a new section to the Account screen that gives you more control over all the notifications we send to you. You can find this screen by going to Account > Notifications.

On this screen, you’ll notice that you can turn on/off push or email notifications completely or choose to turn on/off particular types of notifications. Feel free to edit these settings however you want. We don’t care whether or not you have them turned on, the app is meant to help you, not bother you. That’s why we’re giving you full control over the notifications you receive.

Finally, you’ll notice a reminder notification for decisions. This is a notification we’ve been testing and have received feedback from users that they want more of, so we’re going to start rolling out more reminders to add decisions to your journal. As mentioned, you can always turn this type of notification off. But we’ve heard from you that getting a helpful nudge every so often will help remind you to keep track of your decisions.

To try out all these new features, make sure you have the latest version of the app (1.3.0). And as always, if you have feedback don’t hesitate to reach out.


New Feature — Analyzing Decisions

One of the main benefits of having a decision journal is to improve your decision making ability. In order to do that, however, you need to be able to identify patterns of errors or mistakes in your decision making. That’s why we’re excited to announce the launch of a new set of features for helping you analyze your decision making.

The main new feature is an entirely new screen in the app called Analyze. In this screen, you can find your overall score across all your decisions. This score is an average score for every decision that you have reviewed.

In addition to your overall score, we’ve also added a section for your top tags. This gives you a quick glance at the decisions your performing best in to help you recognize what categories of decisions you are excelling in. These scores are the average scores for all your decisions that have been reviewed and tagged. You can find a full list of scores for all your tags too from this page.

Another exciting addition on this new screen is the graph of your scores over time. This is meant to give you an idea of trends for your decision making.

In addition to the main Analyze screen, we’ve also added a few other updates to help you analyze your decision making. The first is that you can get more details into any tag with scores, just by tapping on that tag’s score row. This will show you a more detailed view with the tag’s overall score, as well as a graph of scores for that tag over time, similar to the main Analyze screen.

The other update that we made was in adding overall scores and graphs of scores over time to each decision’s view. These will show up right above the decision’s reviews (once you’ve added at least one review).

One final note on scoring, don’t think of these scores as a grade on a test. Instead, view them more as temperature readings for your decision making at any point in time. Remember that this score is self-graded. So be aware of inflating your review scores just to make your scores higher. You do yourself no favors by not being honest with yourself. The way you become a better decision maker is by being honest in your reviews, including your scores. This will help you get the most out of these new features and the app in general. Finally, don’t compare your scores to others since they are on different scales. A score of 5 for one person might be a very good score, whereas for someone else, it may be a low score.

We hope that these updates help you understand patterns of errors or mistakes in your decision making and help you become a better decision maker.


Introducing Decision Journal

Make better decisions.

A decision journal is a simple, yet effective tool. It helps us to avoid hindsight bias, recognize patterns of mistakes in our decision making, and provide accurate and honest feedback on the decisions we make.

For those unfamiliar with what a decision journal is, it is the simple idea of keeping track of your decisions by writing them down for the purpose of reviewing it in the future. The Nobel Prize winner and famous psychologist Daniel Kahneman introduced the basic concept of a decision journal:

“Go down to a local drugstore and buy a very cheap notebook and start keeping track of your decisions. And the specific idea is whenever you’re making a consequential decision, something going in or out of the portfolio, just take a moment to think, write down what you expect to happen, why you expect it to happen and then actually, and this is optional, but probably a great idea, is write down how you feel about the situation, both physically and even emotionally. Just, how do you feel? I feel tired. I feel good, or this stock is really draining me. Whatever you think.”

This, Kahneman said, helps us avoid hindisight bias. The bias where everyone tends to look back on their own past in a favorable light. It’s the tendency people have of attributing their success to their own skills and talent but their failures to bad luck.

By keeping a decision journal, we avoid this bias by writing down exactly how we feel in the moment of making the decision. That way our future self can’t create a false narrative. We’re forced to be honest with ourselves.

Many decision makers in all walks of life use decision journals to help them improve their decision making capabilities. The problem is they can be challenging to maintain and keep track of. They require you to always remember to write down the decisions you want to keep track of and to go back and review them periodically. This causes many people to stop using them or to use them sub-optimally.

What if there was a more convenient way to use a decision journal?

Now there is, introducing Decision Journal, now available on iOS and Android.

With Decision Journal, we tried to take all of the awesome benefits decision journals offer and augment them with modern technology and software. Let’s go over some of the app’s key features.

Always with you

One of the challenges in keeping a good decision journal is making sure that you remember to write down the important decisions you want to keep track of. Not only that but the whole point of a decision journal is so that you can later recall exactly what you were thinking and feeling at the time of the decision. The challenge is that we don’t remember everything and the longer you go without writing down your thoughts, the more likely what you write down will be inaccurate.

That’s one of the great benefits of using the Decision Journal app as your decision journal. It’s always with you. Whenever you make a decision or begin thinking about making a particular decision, you can pull your phone out of your pocket and jot it down. Plus, given that it is on your phone, we’ll sync it to the cloud every time you save it so that you can keep track of your decisions on your own time, whenever is most convenient for you.

Scheduled reviews

Another important part of keeping a decision journal is so that you can accurately and honestly evaluate your decisions. However, one of the challenges is in remembering to do so in a timely manner.

We’re probably all too familiar with setting out our New Year’s resolutions at the beginning of each year, only to never follow up and review them. Why? Because life happens and we lose track of things. We’re human.

But that’s where technology can come in and assist us. With the Decision Journal app, we’ve made it super simple to mark a particular decision for a review at some point in the future. And you don’t have to remember to follow up, the app will do all of that for you. When it’s time to review a particular decision, the app will send you a notification letting you know that a particular decision is up for review.

And we didn’t just stop there. Sometimes you make decisions where the outcome of that decision can take place over long periods of time. That’s why we made it easy for you to schedule multiple reviews for any decision.

Analyze the results

The whole point in keeping a decision journal in the first place is to try and improve on our decision making ability. That means picking up on patterns of errors and mistakes that we may be making.

With a paper and pen journal, this can be quite challenging. We may be able to remember the most frequent patterns of errors that we make but we might also miss a lot due to information overload.

This is another area where modern technology and software can help us. With the Decision Journal app, you can tag every decision you make to easily find trends and patterns in any particular category of decisions. In addition to tags, we’ve also added a powerful search capability that allows you to find decisions in a flash, so that you can be sure you’re not missing anything.

Make better decisions today

Decision journals are such a powerful and effective tool for helping you make better decisions. Everyone should be using them. The problem is, they can also be a challenge and a burden to keep. That’s why we created the Decision Journal app for iOS and Android.

It takes the powerful concept of a decision journal and expands on it with new capabilities made possible through modern technology and software. We think it is an essential tool for any decision maker out there, but don’t just take our word for it, give it a try today: