I like to browsing through past work when I’m in need of inspiration, trying to reflect on the present, or in a nostalgic mood. Not just finished work, the things that didn’t make it can be even more inspiring to look back at.

With modern software, artifacts of work in progress are becoming more and more rare. Gone are the days of essay_final_v2, a project’s history is often contained in a single file (which isn’t even a file anymore with tools like Figma,…).

Per Alex Chan, taking screenshots while you work is a great way to build a journal of sorts.

I have dozens and dozens of screenshots of things I’ve made (and a handful of screen recordings, too). They’re a sort of “visual journal” of fun, silly and interesting things I’ve done on my computer.

The best time to take these screenshots is as I’m doing the work – when I have all the required context. And unlike the raw files, images are a stable format that I’ll be able to read for a very long time. I don’t need any context to look at an image; I just look at it in an image viewer.

I reconfigured CleanShot to store screenshots I save to a folder on iCloud Drive instead of my desktop. Out of sight, out of mind. Until I want to take a stroll through my visual record.