A screenshot of Pagi

In March 2021 my MacBook Pro broke and forced me to spend more time with my iPad. At that time @vin approached me with a new book and asked me to read it together with him. The book was "The Artist's Way" by Julia Cameron. We didn't really like it and we only read the first few chapters. We did, however, pick up on something called "Morning Pages" while reading it.

Morning Pages is described as the practice of putting 3 pages of your own thoughts on paper every morning and is supposed to help you unravel your thoughts and boost your creativity. This sounded promising to both of us, and so we started doing this exercise every day. @vin first decided to do the whole thing with pen and paper as recommended and I chose my iPad + keyboard to complete this task. According to Google, 3 handwritten pages equaled 750 words for me to write. After a while @vin switched to writing on the computer as well and adopted my 1,500 word approach.

After the first few days, it was already clear to us that we were going to make this practice a permanent part of our routine and we haven't let it slide a day since. The positive effects are difficult to describe and should be experienced for yourself. Morning Pages definitely bring out more hidden thoughts and force you to deal with yourself. Truths about yourself often come out and at the end of the exercise you feel clearer and more self-confident because you have found out again what is important to you and what is not. In addition, the whole thing acts as a kickstart to your own creativity by writing so many words every day.

I myself have become much faster at writing since starting this exercise and even small essays like this one are much easier to write now. At the beginning I needed 25 minutes for the exercise, meanwhile I have reached 16 minutes.

First I did the exercise in iA Writer, but at the time I was chronically bored through my MacBook withdrawal and tried to write a better app using Swift Playgrounds.

The idea was to write an app that doesn't rate what you write, doesn't improve it and doesn't show any spelling errors. After all, it's just about writing down your own thoughts. Red lines under typos are not conducive.

In addition, the app should make it more visual how many words you have already written and thus motivate you to continue writing and to signal when the exercise is finished.

The Playground app worked surprisingly well and I started using it daily.

When I got my MacBook back a few days later I started porting the app to the Mac and documented the development on Futureland.

After a few weeks off and daily personal use, I decided to polish up the app and use it as my first native Mac experiment. I started polishing and got it ready for release. I pushed the source code to GitHub and released the first usable version in the Futureland community.

I continue to see the app as a learning experiment for myself to become more familiar with the Mac ecosystem and learn how native software fits me. So far, I can say that I've had super fun with this project and I can see myself developing and making more software available this way. The app is in daily use by me and so it has at least one user.

The name "Pagi" /paɡi/ is Indonesian and means "morning". I chose the name together with Sabrina when I decided to release it.

I created a new open journal to gather feedback about Pagi. Everyone is invited to contribute.

Download for Mac