A User's view of Hledger

Learning about hledger

Atomic hledger habits

The book Atomic Habits recently caught my interest. As I learned about its central ideas, I started wondering how they could be applied to hledger. Here are three ways:

Start with small habits

Start small. And and your goal is to start a habit. For example, if you are new to hledger, aim for a habit of entering your expenses and income one day at a time. Don’t try to add the last 3 months of expenses and income to your hledger data file. Just get into the habit of working each day on each day’s transactions.

Make it easy

Make working with hledger as easy as possible. How do you do that? One way is to increase your knowledge of hledger. This is because the more you know about key hledger features, the easier it will be to get the results you want. So, make a habit of learning about hledger, concentrating on the more basic commands. And per the “small habits” idea above, start by spending short amounts of time, for example, 5 minutes of daily hledger learning.

Now you will have two small, but good, habits started: tracking your finances one day at a time and spending 5 minutes a day learning about hledger.

Use a system

Use a system to keep you on the right path. Do you have a way to automate reminders? If so, use it to make todo items for working on hledger, both for tracking the data and expanding your hledger learning.

In summary

If you are new to hledger, identify a small habit, one that will get you started with using hledger. Add another habit of increasing your hledger know-how. Learn the hledger basics so that it becomes easier and easier to work with hledger. Use a system to reinforce your habit building, for example to provide todo items to keep you on track with the habits of using hledger and learning about it. This is one path to building atomic hledger habits.