The Way I Journal: Gilles Vautier

My name is Gilles Vautier. I am a professional photographer and I am french. I am (a little) bit famous for my work : Be Myself, people will love you.

When and why did you start journaling?

I started journaling in 2012. My first entry was written after a circus show. I included a nice photo – according to me – and just wrote : this is my first journal entry. I will try to daily put a photo with a text.

What is your journaling routine?

I am not the kind of guy who’s daily writing his journal. I don’t have the time. Or a story to tell. Sometimes, when a beautiful thing happens, I appreciate to write it down. To remember.

But…

When I’m abroad, and it happens a lot, Day one is the tool I need. Several times a day, I like to write entries. Where I was, people I met, places I have discovered… I can add a nice photo with my iPhone. Or, and it’s even better, I can later add a beautiful photo with an export tool from Lightroom directly to Day One.

This way, I will remember. Very convenient when I feel blue or when I miss sun.

Do you focus on long-form writing, or in capturing small memories of life?

If I have something to develop, I’d rather write it on my blog (mistervautier.worpress.com). On the other hand, most of my travel blogs articles are inspired from my Day One articles.

Do you have a favorite spot where you like to journal?

No. Everywhere. With my iPhone.

What was your first entry in Day One?

How many entries do you have in your journal?

2207.

What is your favorite or most-used feature in Day One?

I really do appreciate to see the daily notifications about what happened one year ago, two years and so on… Today, it happens to (re) discover souvenirs from five years ago !

Do you write mostly on the iPhone, iPad, or the Mac?

Mostly my iPhone. And sometimes with my iMac to export beautiful pictures from Lightroom to Day One.

Do you follow any journal organization rules?

No. When I want to write.

Have you ever relied on Day One for something unexpected, or used it to recall details about a specific event or date?

No, not really. Day one has a feature I particularly appreciate. With my Apple Watch, I can instantaneously create an entry. This way, it will automatically record the place I am in. Later, I will write and insert pictures.

Et voilà.


Thanks Gilles. You can see more of his photography at https://www.monsieurvautier.com/

 

The Way I Journal: Zach Weismann

Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Zach Weismann and I’m a Partner at Connective Impact. Additionally, I am the Co-Founder of a healthcare startup called CancerQ.

When and why did you start journaling?
I started journaling in September of 2014 after losing my mom to only a 4 month battle with pancreatic cancer. It was an extremely difficult and challenging time for my family and me, and Day One provided an immediate outlet.

Zach Weismann and mom

What is your journaling routine?
One of the things I’ve found most helpful is using the Day One iPhone app to capture thoughts while on the go. I’ll open the app when a thought or memory pops into my head and jot down the thought, perhaps add a picture if relevant, and remind myself to go back and write out the full post when I am back at a computer and can use the Mac desktop Day One app. I love being able to use it this way because its like a safe place for cherished memories and thoughts that I don’t want to forget. It’s eased a ton of tension / grief for me.

Do you focus on longform writing, or in capturing small memories of life?
A little of both to be honest. The ability to post photos, and add short or longform writing is great. Not to mention the syncing so that I can pick it up at any time and not lose a step.

Do you have a favorite spot where you like to journal?
No I don’t but that’s the beauty of Day One. I travel quite a bit and I can take my journal with me everywhere I go! I have the app on my iPad, iPhone, and desktop.

What was your first entry in Day One?
It was actually a pretty emotional post, only 2 weeks after my mom passed away. Looking back on that time now, nearly 3 years ago, you can really see how raw and open that wound was. While it is still tough and emotional, it does help me continue to build confidence to see how far I’ve come and the journal does a great job of showcasing that.

How many entries do you have in your journal?
I have 203 entries thus far and over 26,000 words.

What is your favorite or most-used feature in Day One?
Hmm, tough question! I would say the geo tagging, the custom tagging as well as the photo uploads.

Do you write mostly on the iPhone, iPad, or the Mac?
I definitely tend to capture ideas on my iPhone and iPad, and do more of the long form writing when I am at a computer.

Do you follow any journal organization rules?
Yes. Rule: write often and freely. Don’t judge yourself too hard. Just put fingers to screen!

Have you ever relied on Day One for something unexpected, or used it to recall details about a specific event or date?
Absolutely. One of the craziest thing about grief is the journey it takes you on. It is a rollercoaster of emotion, anger, sadness, reflection, appreciation, and more. Therefore it leads to all sorts of thoughts, memories, and realizations that pop up unexpectedly. Having a place to put those emotions and thoughts has helped me so much not only in the grief process, but in the emotional and physical rebuilding after losing a foundational piece to our family. The Day One app has been a serious tool in my grief journey. For that, I sincerely thank you guys.


Zach is an amazing person, we are thankful for his time to share his story and how he uses Day One. Check out his work on http://www.zachweismann.com.

The Way I Journal: Daniel J. Olsen

Here’s how Day One helps a soldier track his life

Who are and you and what do you do?

My name is Daniel J. Olson, and I am a US Army Soldier, full-time dad, and college student. I also journal a lot, play guitar, take pictures, do artwork, and do family history work. I am a Latter-day Saint. I have been married for almost seven years now to my amazing wife, Jessica, and we have two goofy kids.

 

When and why did you start journaling?

Well, I’ve actually been journaling since about 1998. My maternal grandfather journaled all the time while I was growing up, and I later saw a movie called, “The Mountain of the Lord”, in which then-President Wilford Woodruff spoke of the importance of the Latter-day Saints being a “record-keeping people”. I ran with the idea and (except for a few parts here and there) have been doing so continuously since 2004.

What is your journaling routine?

In the morning, if I remember what I dreamt, I’ll write that down first thing. Throughout the day, depending on where I go, I use the Check-In feature. I also have an hourly prompt, where I write a small snippet of what’s going on.

There are also times when I take pictures and will create entries based off those.

Do you focus on longform writing or in capturing small memories of life?

Well, it’s a combination of both. Depending on what I have going on, I’ll either do a small entry, or if I’m abridging my older journaling into Day One, it can become quite long.

I’ve been all over the United States while growing up, as my dad’s career warranted such moving, and to South Korea once, as part of being in the Army.

Do you have a favorite spot where you like to journal?

I built my own “man cave”, as it were, some time back and that is my own personal space. It is in there that I like to have calming music (Gregorian Chants usually or something similar) to focus.

What was your first entry in Day One?

I actually have a tag, called “Entry Milestone” for marking off “x” number of entries. The very first one was done in Day One Classic:

“Nov 21, 2014–10:24 a.m.

So, I decided to try Day One for journaling and whatnot, and see how it goes.

Its interface is short and sweet, to-the-point.

I just finished eating some Ramen and am about to go smoke.”

How many entries do you have in your journal?

You have to understand, I’ve checked in at a LOT of places and have copied over a LOT of journaling from when I was younger. Plus, using IFTTT, I have my assorted social media accounts tied in, which go to a Social Media journal.

For All Entries, I have 11,277 entries at the moment, with 3,301 pictures.

For my Regular (Daily Record) journal, I have 7,785 entries, with 1,062 pictures.

For Social Media, I have 2,690 entries, with 2,149 pictures.

My other journals are: Dreams (Nighttime Record), Church Things, My Discourses, Church — Reading & Notes, and Misc. Lifelogs.

What is your favorite or most-used feature in Day One?

I would have to say that the ability to take my old entries and add them into Day One, thereby providing richer context to my story / history is probably the greatest one. I love how I can add the place and time, and the weather at the time is automatically retrieved. Being able to see everywhere I’ve been on globe is absolutely wonderful, too.

Do you mostly write on the iPhone, iPad, or Mac?

Most of the time, it’s my iPhone. If I’m copying over my older journaling, then my Mac. Sometimes, I do use my iPad if I can’t use my iPhone and my Mac is off or away from me.

Do you follow any organization rules?

The only real rules I follow are when I do a Daily Summary, or if I’m entering the older entries.

With the older entries, I bring up the Word Doc (or text file) and have it on one screen, and in Day One on another screen, I’ll create a new entry on the corresponding date. Next, I select the general location (to ensure the correct timezone is showing), followed by the exact address whenever possible. Then I’ll copy over the original text, make any formatting adjustments as needed, and finally set the time or approximate time if none was given.

Have you ever relied on Day One for something unexpected, or used it to recall details about a specific event or date?

There have been times where I wasn’t sure where I’d been, and other times when I wanted to “set the record straight”, so-to-speak.

The Way I Journal: Kendra Wright

Blogger Kendra Wright doesn’t want life to whizz by

Who are you and what do you do?

Kendra Wright. I’m a writer at HeyKendra.com, a speaker and creator of The Year of Fear Project. I specialize in helping others break through uncertainty, take consistent action, and embrace the rebel they were born to be.

When and why did you start journaling?

At the end of 2014 after a pretty startling revelation. At a New Years event, I was asked to sum up 2014 in one word. That year I had tackled quite a few incredible memories, like starting my consulting business, buying a one-way ticket to live in a city I had never been to for a month, white water rafting, participating in the “World’s Longest Yoga Chain” world record, riding in a hot air balloon, getting my writing in front of hundreds of thousands of people, and so much more!

However, when asked to wrap the year up in one word in front of a group of people I felt guilty. The word I wanted to use was “underutilized.”

A few years earlier, had I seen my the hit list of accomplishments and experiences I would have in 2014 I would have been totally jazzed. Instead, I felt inflated.

I had a giant revelation.

We think life is vacations, trips, and big moments like buying a house or falling in love, but what I discovered is big moments are a small percentage of everyday life. Ten to fifteen percent if you’re lucky.

What happened in 2014 was between the “big” moments I was head down in work. All the days blended together. In 2013 I had created The Year Of Fear Project where every day for a year I did something new, different or outside my comfort zone. I made every day count in little ways. In 2014 I still did a lot of amazing things, but I didn’t stay as present daily creating new memories and lessons.

When I got to the end of the year, I realized that I only remembered the big moments. All these tiny accomplishments, experiences, lessons and memories were lost.

This lesson hit me hard and I made a pact that not only would I not let my life whizz by and be forgotten but I would also document it daily to keep myself accountable to create new experiences, remember the lessons I learn that I don’t want to forget, and watch myself grow.

This realization also led me to kick off my second “Year Of Fear.” I have now gone on to complete over 850 self-assigned comfort zone challenges (I track them in Day One!), and built an entire brand and online business that helps others do the same.

What is your journaling routine?

  1. I “active journal” throughout the day using the menu bar shortcut on Macbook. As things happen, whether that be accomplishments, experiences, or conversations I want to remember, I quickly jot them down so I can return to before bed to flesh them out. I use the mobile app on the go.
  2. I also paste text conversations, micro-pieces of content I write or create for the day that log my thoughts and lessons I’m learning or sharing with students since most of my content comes straight from what is happening in my real life.
  3. At the end of the day, my evening routine includes journaling. Some days I have a list of ideas or thoughts to start with by active journaling throughout the day. Occasionally, it’s a blank page.
  4. If it is a blank page, I pull out my list of “Daily Reflection Questions.” As I built my journaling practice, I found staring at a blank page to be uninspiring and wanted a way to avoid having writers block (one of the biggest reasons people cite not journaling).

A few of my Daily Reflection Questions are:

  • What was my favorite thing about today?
  • What am I looking forward to in my life right now?
  • What incredible gifts or lessons did life deliver to me today?

You can get the full list of questions here.

If you have a hard time journaling because you struggle with building from a blank page, create your own list of Daily Reflection Questions.

Pro-Tip: I suggest keeping your DRQ in a note on your phone or using Text Expander to quickly insert them into your journal. Pre-format your list with bolds, markup, etc and it will make your journal organized and beautiful.

Do you focus on longform writing, or in capturing small memories of life?

I focus less on how much I write and more on what I’m capturing. The number one reason I love DayOne is the tagging feature. Using tags, in a click of a button I can track what is important to me. I’m very self-devlopment focused so my tags reflect that.

  • #YearOfFear: self-assigned comfort zone challenges for The Year Of Fear Project.
  • #Accomplishments: to track when I hit goals or things I want to be proud of later.
  • #Lessons: these are things I learn throughout the year. These could be those I’ve learned personally, or big ah-ha’s others shared with me that I don’t want to slip away in the chaos of life.
  • #Travel: every time you travel and where.
  • #Quotes: powerful quotes you read or love throughout the year.
  • #Books: when you complete a book. I also like to add a summary of my big takeaways or pull a few of my favorite highlights from my Kindle.

Other items you may consider tracking:

  • #Moments: track incredible memories with your kids or significant other. It would make a great list to surprise them with at the end of the year.
    #Content: if you’re a creative, brainstorm content ideas in your journal on the go that you can later write or create.
  • #Milestones: small steps you complete along the way to a big goal

Pro-tips: When you structure your journal to track objectives that are important to you it makes doing your year in review a breeze. In two clicks you can see your accomplishments, travel, lessons you want to remember, etc.

I also recommend setting a reminder to review your journal once a month. It’s incredibly powerful when you’re taking actions toward goals. I’ve also been able to uncover why life has felt chaotic — we often forget all the things we are doing on a day-to-day basis!

Do you have a favorite spot where you like to journal?

Nope. Life happens everywhere. Although, in my bed at night in my PJ’s tends to be my go-to. I’ve found journaling the day of events is more effective. I’m more emotionally connected with what happened that day.

What was your first entry in Day One?

I documented a comfort zone challenge. It was the day I sent out a survey to my email list about creating my first digital product. The first three years as a blogger I made no money. I was terrified of selling. So this was a big step for me!

That survey was the start of what would later become my flagship course (Facing Fear) that now teaches students across 8 continents how to face fears, take action, and make time for what matters most to them in their life.

How many entries do you have in your journal?

867 entries, 157 photos.

What is your favorite or most-used feature in Day One?

Tagging.

Do you write mostly on the iPhone, iPad, or the Mac?

Both. I heavily use the shortcut menu to active journal during the day and the app when away from my computer.

Do you follow any journal organization rules?

Tags to make goals and priorities easy to track. In two clicks and I can see what is happening in my life (lessons, travel, comfort zone challenges, etc).

Journal daily so that I remember the small moments in life later. At the end of the year it is incredibly fulfilling to see how you actually spent your time and what you accomplished.

Have you ever relied on Day One for something unexpected, or used it to recall details about a specific event or date?

YES! All the time. I often track when I meet people. I’ve been able to recall when and where I meet people by searching their name for my journal. I also use it to search for powerful quotes I later want to recall for writing and recommending to students.

About Kendra Wright:

Kendra Wright is a blogger, speaker and location independent entrepreneur. Since creating the Year Of Fear Project in 2013, she has completed over 850 self-assigned comfort zone challenges. Kendra specializes in teaching others how to break through fear and uncertainty, productivity slumps, and create better work-life balance (without abandoning their inner hustle).

Get 100 of her simple and unconventional comfort zone challenges here.

The Way I Journal: Amit Gupta

Traveler and entreprenuer Amit Gupta doesn’t want to miss a moment

Photo Credit: Helena Price

Who are you and what do you do?

My name is Amit Gupta. I’m a designer, entrepreneur, and occasional investor. I’ve worked on a lot of different things — started a couple companies, helped start a non-profit, wrote and contributed to a couple books, started a coworking movement called Jelly, and starred in a TV commercial with my dog. Most recently, I ran a company called Photojojo, which I sold a couple years ago.

When and why did you start journaling?

Doogie Howser. I loved that television show, and loved even more how he ended every episode by making pithy & poignant observations about his day on his computer. I started journaling on an Apple IIGS after seeing that show. I gradually went from that to paper, to a Newton MessagePad 2000, to a Mac.

What is your journaling routine?

I journal sporadically. I’ve gone months where I journaled daily, and I’ve gone months without journaling at all. Nowadays, I’m journaling when something momentous happens and I want to remember it.

Do you focus on longform writing, or in capturing small memories of life?

I like to write stream of consciousness for the most part. Similar to the Morning Pages practice of simply sitting down and writing whatever comes to mind. It’s a lot of personal reflection that effectively helps me think through things going on in my life.

Occasionally what comes to mind is a business idea or an essay topic, so I write on that.

Do you have a favorite spot where you like to journal?

For the past couple years I’ve been traveling nearly non-stop. Spending only days or weeks in a place makes it difficult to develop habits.

When I was living in Portland for four months last year, it was first thing on the kitchen couch after breakfast each morning. I didn’t let myself leave that couch until I’d written for at least an hour.

Establishing a morning routine that includes journaling has been the most reliable way I’ve found to keep it going.

What was your first entry in Day One?

I’ve actually imported journal entries, the ones I could find, from other platforms, text files, websites I used to journal (like my friend’s 750words.com) and even scraps of paper I found rooting around in my childhood bedroom.

So the first entry I have stored in Day One is from June 1997, and it’s a very emo letter to my future self from when I was 17, about to go off to college. I confessed my high school crushes, described in detail my first kiss at summer camp when I was 15, and talked about how I wasn’t going to go to prom, but that when I was a “famous geek or TV/movie star” I’d tell interviewers I didn’t go to prom as a badge of honor. Apparently I also really hoped that Newton would win out over Windows CE.

The first entry I typed into Day One itself is from 2012. It was the day before my brother’s wedding and I jotted down notes for a wedding toast I wanted to give.

How many entries do you have in your journal?

458 entries, 299 photos.

What is your favorite or most-used feature in Day One?

I love how simple it is and that my entries are synced everywhere. I like adding photos, but I wish I could add long videos.

Photo Credit: Stephan Ango

Do you write mostly on the iPhone, iPad, or the Mac?

iPad. I find it to be a perfect full-screen, distraction-free writing environment. But I use it on all three.

Do you follow any journal organization rules?

I’ve try to end each entry in my personal journal in recent years with one thing I’m grateful for. That one snippet has been an interesting way to look back at the changes in my life from day to day.

I’ve started to practice creative writing recently, and I’ve started a second journal that’s more of a daily log of that process. There, I’m recording I’m doing each day to improve writing, links to things I’m finding helpful, etc.

Have you ever relied on Day One for something unexpected, or used it to recall details about a specific event or date?

I find it really helpful to go back and understand what I was thinking or feeling in the past about certain things. We tend to rewrite our personal histories in head. How we feel or think today is how we assume we’ve always felt or thought. But real life is so much messier. Looking back and understanding my evolution helps me understand my weaknesses and be a more forgiving and generous person (towards others and towards myself).

The Way I Journal: Kelly Hodgkins

Who are you and what do you do?

My name is Kelly Hodgkins. I am a journalist covering the outdoors sector and cutting edge technology for Digital Trends. I also work part-time as the Program Coordinator for the Western Foothills Land Trust.

When and why did you start journaling?

I started journaling a year ago when I started the Maine Master Naturalist program. This year-long program trains individuals to become naturalists — teaching them about the bugs, trees, plants, animals and more that are found in Maine. The overall goal of the program is to produce trained naturalists who can share their knowledge with the community by leading nature hikes, writing blogs and so on. The 12-month-long class required me to keep a nature journal — I had to document flowers, identify trees, and track seasonal changes at a natural site, which for me was a local pond. I ended up using Day One for everything — I used it to log more than 50 flowers, identify 30 trees, and record the seasonal changes I saw at the pond. I even used it to do my homework exercises and to create study guides for each quiz in the course.

What is your journaling routine?

I write in my journal at least weekly, sometimes more. I often use my iPhone to record in the field and then finish the writing at home on my Mac.

Do you focus on long-form writing, or in capturing small memories of life?

It’s a mixture — it’s mostly catching the little things and then doing some long-form writing when I have the time. I also do a lot of sketching on my iPad and import those sketches into Day One as well.

Do you have a favorite spot where you like to journal?

Yes, anywhere outside that is quiet. In the forest, in the fields or at the edge of a pond.


What was your first entry in Day One?

My first entry was a photo of a tree growing on a rock. I used this photo to illustrate and describe the ecological layers that created such an unusual place to find a tree.

How many entries do you have in your journal?

Over a hundred.

What is your favorite or most-used feature in Day One?

The ability to import a photo quickly and easily. I also appreciate the location and weather information. These can be handy when trying to figure out why I saw a bunch of deer one week and none the next week.

Do you write mostly on the iPhone, iPad, or the Mac?

I use a combination. I use my iPhone to capture photos for Day One. I use my iPad to draw sketches that I import into DayOne. And finally, I return home to do most of the writing on my Mac.

Do you follow any journal organization rules?

Not really, I write when and how I feel in my main journal to keep it stream of consciousness. I do add tags to help find entries more easily. I also use more than one journal — I have a journal just with flowers, one with just trees and so on.

Have you ever relied on Day One for something unexpected, or used it to recall details about a specific event or date?

All the time! It’s great to be able to look back and compare last year to this year. For example, I first saw the Indigo Bunting bird in April last year according to my journal, but this year, the Indigo Bunting didn’t appear until Mid-May due to the colder weather. I also use it to look up passages that I had written — one time I wanted to recall a detail about an otter’s behavior that I learned in class. I searched and found the answer in an essay I wrote six months ago. Invaluable!

The Way I Journal: Aymeric Marlange

[Day One] Who are you and what do you do?

[Aymeric] I am Aymeric Marlange @aymericmarlange, co-founder of AirJin, a combined app & smart box solution to assess indoor and outdoor air quality and to deliver specific information or recommendations on pollution eviction and prevention behaviors. I also co-founded a co-working place in France.

When and why did you start journaling?

I journal because I need to remember what I believe shouldn’t be forgotten. I never seriously kept a journal on paper. In the first years of personal computing (yes, I’m as old as that 😉 ), writing a diary via keyboard was not very fun and convenient (so I didn’t). Memos and information were in my head or dispersed on multiple physical or digital documents. Most of them evaporated as I have a terrible memory; some physical documents were lost, and some digital documents vanished (corrupted sources, lack of exportation, no backward compatibility, etc.). I began to be attracted to journaling – my brain screamed to get a second one – with the first diary apps on PDAs (remember Palm Pilot?). Throughout the years, I realized that maintaining a journal and keeping entries from one platform to another was painful, if not impossible. I really started journaling when apps either were cross-platform compatible or at least allowed export features, in the Cloud! Keeping a journal on a daily basis goes back to 2008 for me. Now, with the speed performance of smartphones, journaling is nearly as quick and easy as drinking tap water: just raise my phone, tap the screen, and tada! In the near future, I’ll just speak it out and tada! (I’m looking forward to Day One integration with Siri). A little bit later, just think and tada (neural integration :p)!

What is your journaling routine?

I journal throughout the day. I have a few rules. For instance, when I’m in a new place, I create an entry. When I read information I want to keep, I note it or take a picture, then add it to my “inbox” journal before processing it later. Taking notes is part of my journaling routine: at the start of a meeting or anywhere else I want to take live notes, I create an entry in Day One and start to write. When I have time, I often come back to my entries and develop them or their context. I also like to use Day One’s IFTTT integration to automatically import all the pictures I publish on Instagram.

Do you focus on longform writing, or in capturing small memories of life?

My journal is full of small chunks of life: entries are usually short with few words (except live notes of events), and sometimes include pictures. Each day has several entries. Using multiple journals in Day One is really helpful for organizing my daily entries.

Do you have a favorite spot where you like to journal?

No favourite spot, but a favourite position: sitting. Of course, I can journal standing or walking, but it’s not as comfortable as when I’m sitting somewhere, anywhere. That said, I’m looking forward to journaling under the shower—mankind has beaten darkness, mankind has to beat wetness. 🙂

What was your first entry in Day One?

I tried Day One many years ago, but I quit, came back and quit again. Features were attractive, but not actionable in my workflow, I guess. My first serious entry was created on January 31 this year (sorry I’m a newbie 😉): it’s a picture of my wife with my daughter at home on a cold Sunday (8°C light drizzle in Paris, France). I had just reinstalled the app in the morning on my iPhone to reassess the features, and found that, yes, it was quite good. Since then, I reorganized the way I journal, set Day one in the iPhone dock at the bottom of the screen and use the app in association with two other apps which are part of my productivity system (Todoist and Evernote).

How many entries do you have in your journal?

I currently have 1,281 entries and 488 pictures. On average, it’s five to six entries and approximately two pictures per day. I tend to journal more as time goes by.

What is your favorite or most-used feature in Day One?

Clearly, creating a new entry with 3D Touch on the app icon is great and probably my most-used feature. It takes only 4-5 seconds to create an entry when my iPhone is off and is close at hand, then I can write more in my entry when I have time. My favourite feature is the context mastering: I love the time savings. In one tap, I create an entry and all of the sudden, I already journaled the location, the time, the music I listen to on my device, the number of steps so far today, the type of activity (stationary, walking, biking…), and the weather.

Do you write mostly on the iPhone, iPad, or the Mac?

I journal mostly on the iPhone. I take notes on my Mac when I can. Currently, I do not use the iPad. I should give it a try one day.

Do you follow any journal organization rules?

I follow a few rules. I have seven journals (beyond the inbox one): process, pending, routine, journal, checkin, tour, and travel. I think I’ll create an eighth one soon: lifespan (for births, deaths, weddings, and other major events in my circles).

The process journal is a link between a simple diary and a GTD system. The notes I take on Day One may include tasks, but Day One is not a task manager. I use Todoist for this. Switching from Day One when taking live notes to set a task in Todoist and then switching back to Day One to continue writing the note is a mutant skill. I’m not a mutant. I prudently stay on Day One during all the note taking, and I then file the entry in the process journal. Later on, I come back to this journal and process all the entries in order to extract the tasks and create them in Todoist one after the other. My daily objective in Day One is inbox zero and process zero.

Have you ever relied on Day One for something unexpected, or used it to recall details about a specific event or date?

I cannot remember the number of times I had to search for data in Day One: it may be a date, a place, the details of my notes, etc. Last time was about mechanical ventilation in some of my rooms: an inspector came in June and recommended I change the openings. Fortunately, I immediately put his abstruse recommendations in Day One. A few days ago when I was ready to purchase this equipment, I searched in Day One, found the inspector’s recommendations, and I could buy the correct products.

About the Interviewer

Dallas Petersen is Day One’s product manager by day (and some nights). When he’s not working, he’s hanging out with his wife and five kids and/or playing board games.

The Way I Journal: Asatuurs Keim & Dennis Le Prevost

[Day One] Who are you and what do you do?

Asatuurs Keim: I am a filmmaker from Brighton, England where my studio From the Sky is based.

Dennis Le Prevost: I recently retired as an IT manager for a bank and I am now traveling on my motorbike with Asatuurs through 30 European countries making a documentary film about our journey.

When and why did you start journaling?

Asatuurs: I use Day One as it is a great way to capture notes about each day as we make our documentary film Faster Than My Mind.

Dennis: I started using Day One in the lead up to my retirement as I had decided that it was important for me to make every day count.

What is your journaling routine?

Asatuurs: I try to keep it up to date while things are fresh in my mind but Day One reminders are handy.

Dennis: I often start writing my journal during the day then try to finish them off at the end of the day. I also find the Day One reminder very useful.

Do you focus on longform writing, or in capturing small memories of life?

Asatuurs: I have a visual mind and I like to add a lot of graphics and pictures with my notes”.

Dennis: Knowing that my memory isn’t as reliable as it was, I try to keep as much important detail as I can and use a lot of images too.

Do you have a favorite spot where you like to journal?

Asatuurs: Yes, all around Europe.

Dennis: Every day is different as we are rarely in the same place from one day to the next.

What was your first entry in Day One?

Asatuurs: My first entry is about my trip to Manchester for a film shoot.

Dennis: Friday 18th December 2015 I wrote “Installed Day One app today”. I also recorded that I gave a charity shoe box for an appeal at my work.

How many entries do you have in your journal?

Asatuurs: I am quite new to Day One and have used it about 40 days.

Dennis: I have 237 journals with 373 photos.

What is your favorite or most-used feature in Day One?

Asatuurs: The ability to capture images.

Dennis: I also like the ability to capture images and to view my journals across all my devices.

Do you write mostly on the iPhone, iPad, or the Mac?

Asatuurs: I use my iPhone.

Dennis: I mostly use my iPhone and occasionally make entries on my Macs.

Have you ever relied on Day One for something unexpected, or used it to recall details about a specific event or date?

Asatuurs: I’ve looked back a few times to recall the dates when we were in specific countries.

Dennis: Yes, on several occasions to check details on where I was or what I was doing on a particular date.

About the Interviewer

Dallas Petersen is Day One’s product manager by day (and some nights). When he’s not working, he’s hanging out with his wife and five kids and/or playing board games.

The Way I Journal: Chris Handy

[Day One] Who are you and what do you do?

[Chris] I’m Chris Handy (@chrishandy), a board game designer and publisher. You can learn about my games at www.perplext.com and my latest game project—Pack O Game—a collection of gum-pack-sized card games. I also write and record music for children.

When and why did you start journaling?

I started using Day One on November 28, 2011. I have created a single entry every night since. I did not journal in any way prior to using Day One. Initially, I was drawn to the UI and design aesthetic of the Day One app. I thought, “Hmmm… this might be kind of fun to just summarize each day with a little blurb…” I didn’t announce any crazy declaration like, “From this day forth, I will journal every hour, on the hour, for the rest of my life!” I simply opened the app, summarized my day before bed, then closed it. The next day, I did the same thing, and then each day since.

What is your journaling routine?

I journal exactly once a day just before going to sleep. It’s usually just a paragraph, as short as three sentences for boring days, and longer for more exciting ones. Keeping it in a “summary” form has helped me be consistent with my Once-A-Day-Before-Bed routine. If I knew I had to create longer, more detailed entries, I might not be as willing to keep up with it each day. Occasionally, I’ll forget (though, not very often anymore). If I do forget, I’ll usually create the entry the next morning, then backdate it to the night before. I always have a photo to represent something from that day. I’ve used movie posters, pictures of meals, my dog, the lady at the Post Office… just about anything. I try to get a picture of the most significant and meaningful part of my day. One of the great by-products of using the Day One app everyday is that I think about taking photos more often, as I know I’ll want one for my journal entry that day. Anything that makes you take more pictures is a good thing.

What was your first entry in Day One?

My first entry was quite short, and kinda lame. I can tell it was more of a test entry. It was about the day before. This is the only entry that is entered in the AM. It’s the second entry that feels more like a “first entry.” I remember seeing the Day One app on the first screen of my iPhone before bed that night, and thought, “I’ve already added one entry, I’ll add another to sum up the day.” From then on, I just continued that routine.

How many entries do you have in your journal?

Currently, I have 1372 entries. One for each day since 11/28/11.

What is your favorite or most-used feature in Day One?

When I began using the app, it didn’t have the photo feature. I was thrilled once they did, because a photo is very effective when scrolling through the entries and looking for specific experiences and stages in life. I’ve even gone back and attached photos to older entries that were entered before photos were a feature. So, I’d have to say that photos is the best feature. However, I was thrilled when search was added because it makes finding specific entries a snap. It has become essential when referencing older entries. It’s also kind of fun to use the “star” feature to highlight specific entries. In my case, I star days that I feel are excellent, well-rounded days of great food and experiences. Here are a few Starred entries:

Do you write mostly on the iPhone, iPad, or the Mac?

Usually I use my iPhone right before I plug it in for the night. Though, I’ve used it on iPad occasionally, too.

Have you ever relied on Day One for something unexpected, or used it to recall details about a specific event or date?

I search the entries, for one reason or another, nearly once a day. I believe that in addition to locking memories in digitally, it’s helping to solidify them in my brain. Day One has been especially useful in my game design iteration, as I’m able to reference the progress and timelines of game designs. I’ll continue my “once a day” routine and look forward to building a rich, valuable reference of my life and memories.

About the Interviewer

Dallas Petersen is Day One’s product manager by day (and some nights). When he’s not working, he’s hanging out with his wife and five kids and/or playing board games.

The Way I Journal: Sam C. Perry

[Day One] Who are you and what do you do?

[Sam] My name is Sam C. Perry (@samcperry), and I’m a Senior Menswear Buyer for an e-commerce company in New York City. I am also the Creative Brand Director and Editor for samcperry.com. Aside from the professional titles, I am a creative individual from a small town in New Jersey, the only child of wonderful parents, and the partner of a beautiful soul.

When and why did you start journaling?

As a child, I always kept journals as a way to release my thoughts and ideas. A little over a year ago, I was going through a pivotal transformation in my adult life and I began journaling again as a release. It has been a process that continues to evolve over time. It started as general thoughts and has now turned into solely gratitude journaling. Keeping a gratitude journal has proven to be life changing. I’ve found when I focus on all the things I do have, I lose interest in the things I thought were missing.

What is your journaling routine?

I honestly do not have a routine. I try to submit an entry at least once a week that will focus on what I am thankful for from the previous week. I tend to find a picture I’ve taken, or something that has inspired me and base my entry around that. I find it difficult to stick to a routine when, (in most cases) I’ve had an extremely busy and stressful day. With Sundays being my “relax” day, I usually find time to sit and reflect on my week and submit an entry.

Do you focus on longform writing, or in capturing small memories of life?

I focus on both. When I write for my site, the focus is on longform. When doing my journal, the focus is on capturing those small moments and memories of life. I tend to always use my phone when doing my entries, so if I see something that inspires me I capture it and write a small note.

Do you have a favorite spot where you like to journal?

My favorite spot to journal is my bedroom. I don’t have a TV in my room, so I find it to be the perfect spot to tune out any distractions and focus on getting my thoughts out.

What was your first entry in Day One?

My first entry was at the start of 2015. I’d been keeping a written journal and wanted something that was more accessible and that’s when I discovered Day One. My first entry in Day One is about being thankful for all I learned and made it through in 2014. A picture of myself and my grandmother on Christmas morning served as the basis for how I wanted my year to go—be surrounded by people I love and enjoy the simple things and quality moments I sometimes take for granted.

How many entries do you have in your journal?

I’m still rather new to Day One—I have 11 entries, each with an image. I plan on developing an image series that will focus on creating stories through imagery.

What is your favorite or most-used feature in Day One?

My favorite feature is the ability to add images (though I wish you could add more then one). Aside from that, it would be the time stamp and location feature. Having the ability to use all three allows me to go back to older entries and reflect on those moments I enjoyed.

Do you write mostly on the iPhone, iPad, or the Mac?

Since my iPhone is always with me, I tend to use it more. I do enjoy using the iPad app simply because of the size. I haven’t downloaded the app for Mac, but plan to do so.

Do you follow any journal organization rules?

The only rule I follow is tagging each entry. This allows me to look at specific tags all at once. I’d definitely say this is another feature I enjoy.

Have you ever relied on Day One for something unexpected, or used it to recall details about a specific event or date?

I’ve unexpectedly used it as a gratitude journal. After being recommended to keep one, and no longer wanting to keep a written one, I sought after an app that allowed me to do.

About the Interviewer

Dallas Petersen is Day One’s product manager by day (and some nights). When he’s not working, he’s hanging out with his wife and five kids and/or playing board games.

The Way I Journal: Valerie Elkins

[Day One] Who are you and what do you do?

[Valerie] Hi, I am Valerie Elkins (@elkinsvalerie), and I am a professional genealogist, family history researcher, presenter, and writer. I am passionate about helping others find their stories and leave a recorded legacy. I recently wrote an ebook, “30 Days to Becoming Unforgettable” (free download available at ValerieElkins.com) with journal writing prompts that I record using Day One app.

When and why did you start journaling?

I started journal writing when I was about 12 and have kept one ever since. I use a journal to record and process my thoughts and to leave a legacy—a written history of my life and my family’s lives.

What is your journaling routine?

I schedule my journal writing using journal prompts once a week and journal during the week according to what’s going on in my life and my need to record and express my thoughts and feelings or to remember a particular event.

Do you focus on longform writing, or in capturing small memories of life?

I do both. I write a narrative most of the time, but I will use Day One on one of my devices when a memory or thought comes to mind that I want to capture before I forget.

Do you have a favorite spot where you like to journal?

I most often write from my favorite comfy chair, usually early in the morning while the house is still quiet.

How many entries do you have in your journal?

I am still pretty new to Day One. I was a die-hard handwritten journal devotee for years and never thought I would ever use a digital journal. I was doing research about journal writing for a presentation and explored the Day One app and I quickly saw the merits. I like the ease and the speed of using a keyboard when I am writing, I appreciate the ability to add pictures, locations, time and tags and to go back into time to record an event that I had handwritten in my paper journal. Being able to print and share to Evernote and social media are also options that I appreciate.

Do you write mostly on the iPhone, iPad, or the Mac?

I have Day One on all my devices. I create long posts on my Mac. I record memory flashes and future journal prompt ideas on my iPhone or iPad.

Do you follow any journal organization rules?

The only rules I have are to use the full name of a person the first name time I mention them and, if I use nicknames, I identify who that person is. I’m a family historian and so many times I wish that people who were mentioned in letters or on the back of the picture had been identified instead of being forgotten with time. If I use some obscure reference, I try to explain it. I want my posterity to understand me and what I am writing about, so making my meaning, references, and important details clear and less likely to be misunderstood or not comprehended is important to me.

Have you ever relied on Day One for something unexpected, or used it to recall details about a specific event or date?

I write a journal “prompt” in future entries for the whole year using the calendar. My journal prompts are meant to be thought provoking and cover the most important things I want to reveal about who I am. Planning my posts ahead makes sure that they get recorded.

About the Interviewer

Dallas Petersen is Day One’s product manager by day (and some nights). When he’s not working, he’s hanging out with his wife and five kids and/or playing board games.

The Way I Journal: Bakari Chavanu

Bakari Chavanu

[Day One] Who are you and what do you do?

[Bakari] My name is Bakari Chavanu @Bakari45, and I’m a freelance writer, blogger, author, and staff writer for MakeUseOf.com. I sometimes wear a few other hats, including a professional meeting facilitator. I’m happy to announce that I recently published my first iBook, Starting From Day One: Using the Day One Journaling App to Record and Enrich Your Life. And this past January I started a new blog and project called National Journal Writing Month. NaJoWriMo will be held again in April, July, and October.

When and why did you start journaling?

I started journal writing back in 1980 as a part an English course assignment, and I continued the habit of journaling throughout my college and teaching years. I realized that journal writing was and is a powerful tool for personal growth, problem solving, monitoring goals, and documenting my life over time.

What is your journaling routine?

I try to write in my journal on a daily basis, either in the morning or in the evening. I often use journal writing most when working on a long range project (as a motivation and processing tool) or taking on a monthly journal writing challenge with prompts created by me or other journal writers.

I also mostly dictate my journal entries on my iMac, using Dragon Dictate. Since I do a lot of typing, it’s a nice relief to voice dictate sometimes twice as much as I would manually typing. I’m also fortunate to have Day One installed on my iPhone, my iPad Air and iPad mini, and my Mac computers, all of which keeps Day One accessible wherever I go.

Do you focus on longform writing, or in capturing small memories of life?

I do both. I like writing lists, occasional daily logs of my work day, descriptions of events and personal experiences in my life, and longform, often stream of consciousness, entries about issues that are bothering me. I use journaling to work through problems.

Do you have a favorite spot where you like to journal?

When I have the time, I prefer journal writing on my iPad mini, while sitting in bed, or in the kitchen drinking a cup of coffee in the morning. For some reason, typing on my iPad mini with an external keyboard makes it feel like I’m writing in a paper notebook, though that shouldn’t matter because I rarely write with pen and paper any more. Unfortunately, however, I don’t always have to the time to actually write using the iPad mini.

What was your first entry in Day One?

My first entry was January 29th, 2011, shortly after the death of my mother. That entry was about her passing away, and how I felt about it. But I didn’t actually start using Day One on a regular basis until the photo feature was added.

How many entries do you have in your journal?

As of this writing, 1,521. Last year I only missed like four days of writing in Day One.

What is your favorite or most-used feature in Day One?

I totally like tagging my entries. (I devote a chapter to tagging in my book.) Tagging is the best way to filter entries and export them to PDF for reading and printing. Because of the tags feature I don’t feel that Day One particularly needs a folder or multiple journal feature. Each tag or set of tags constitutes a set of journal entries.

Do you write mostly on the iPhone, iPad, or the Mac?

I mostly write on my iMac, and browse and read entries on my iPad Air.

Do you follow any journal organization rules?

I try to be honest with myself when writing. I try not to allow the thoughts of my family members reading my journals after I die to get in the way of writing honestly. I’m still not sure, though, if I’ll ever delete my journal, or that I may delete entries I don’t want my family to read.

Have you ever relied on Day One for something unexpected, or used it to recall details about a specific event or date?

Sometimes browsing back in my journal I do discover small experiences or bits of information that have slipped my mind. And I always use Day One at the end of the year to look back and review what I accomplished, and what challenges I faced.

You’ve recently created a book about journaling and Day One. Can you tell us a little more about that? What was your motivation for creating it?

I was inspired by David Sparks to write a multimedia eBook. I felt the iBooks format would be perfect for writing about Day One and digital journaling. I wanted my book to be browsable, whereby readers could use it more as a guide than a book that needs to be read from cover to cover.

Using the iBooks image gallery widgets and pop-ups made writing about the Day One features a littler easier to explain, and again readers can simply go to chapters about application features and journal writing strategies and tips they need to know about.

I hope the book will be useful for those new to Day One, and that it will will provide journaling ideas for those who want to develop and maintain the journal writing habit.

Win a Copy of “Starting From Day One”

The first 10 readers to retweet this article will receive a promo code to download Bakari’s new iBook. Enjoy!

About the Interviewer

Dallas Petersen is Day One’s product manager by day (and some nights). When he’s not working, he’s hanging out with his wife and five kids and/or playing board games.

The Way I Journal: Cecily Walker

[Day One] Who are you and what do you do?

[Cecily] My name is Cecily Walker @skeskali, and I’m a public librarian and emerging front-end developer based in Vancouver, BC. I’ve also worked as a user experience professional. I’m also on the editorial board of In The Library with the Lead Pipe, a peer-reviewed, open-access journal of library and information science. Although these things are what I do for money and to contribute to the profession, I’m a polymath at heart. I love learning, being in a state of growth and development, and challenging myself to learn new things.

When and why did you start journaling?

I can’t think of a time when I didn’t keep a journal of some sort. I’ve done it for most of my life. My problem has been consistency and — to be frank — boredom.

I started because of an elementary school assignment. Our teacher wanted to help us improve our writing skills and to feel like we could write without judgment (although we had to submit our journals for credit) so that we would be free to write about whatever we wanted. I don’t really remember what those early entries were about, but I remember I liked making the time to sit down and reflect and work on finding a better, more polished way to convey my thoughts and emotions.

What is your journaling routine?

I don’t really have a routine. I tend to write when I need to think a solution thorugh, whether personal or professional. For awhile I used a daily journal Launch Center Pro action to force me into capturing the little details of my day, but the rigid structure of those kinds of entries didn’t appeal for very long.

I’ve pretty much moved to Day One for journal keeping instead of paper journals. I still keep a notebook for recording meeting notes and action items for work, but for my personal use, I only ever write digitally. I type faster than I can write longhand, and since being diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis, writing longhand for any stretch of time is quite painful.

I’ve read writing advice that suggests you should only write in longhand and only at the start of each day. Those hard and fast rules have never worked for me. I almost always have my MacBook, my iMac, my iPhone or iPad nearby, so Day One has lowered the barrier to writing. When my preferred tool is at my fingertips, I write more.

Do you focus on longform writing, or in capturing small memories of life?

I mostly capture small memories, thoughts, or fleeting (yet interesting) images that float through my day. I’ve used Day One to help me formulate longer blog posts (which, for me, is anything over 1,000 words). I envy people who can focus on one type of writing and do that really, really well. I’m more of a mood writer.

Do you have a favorite spot where you like to journal?

In my office at work, which overlooks one of Vancouver’s busiest streets and which, on clear days, provides the tiniest sliver of a mountain view. Watching people move through the city, or looking at the sun shining down on snow-capped mountains helps me organize my thoughts.

What was your first entry in Day One?

A photo entry of young boy on a bike as he rode around the seawall near my apartment. The title is “Summer’s On The Way.” It was unseasonably warm and the days had become noticeably longer.

How many entries do you have in your journal?

312 entries, 181 photos.

What is your favorite or most-used feature in Day One?

Probably photo importing, though I wish it were possible to add more than one photo (I know this is possible with HTML and/or Markdown, but it would be great if that wasn’t needed). The automatic geolocation is probably my second-most used feature. It means I don’t have to capture those details myself.

The Day One team is developing multiple photo support for entries. Once that is available how will it change the way you journal?

Sometimes instead of writing, I like to create visual stories. Stringing a series of photos together is the way I like to do that. Being able to use Day One in this way would make creating these stories easier. I also think it would make it more likely that I would use Day One to capture more memories/moments from the day.

Do you write mostly on the iPhone, iPad, or the Mac?

Mostly on the iPhone because a lot of my entries are only photos, no text.

Do you follow any journal organization rules?

None. I like a little anarchy in my life. 😉

Have you ever relied on Day One for something unexpected, or used it to recall details about a specific event or date?

I’ve been using Day One to keep track of my rheumatoid arthritis flare-ups and my thoughts about possible environmental triggers, like diet, amount of sleep, and stress. It’s been really helpful to have this information immediately available during the appointments with the rheumatologist.

About the Interviewer

Dallas Petersen is Day One’s product manager by day (and some nights). When he’s not working, he’s hanging out with his wife and five kids and/or playing board games.

The Way I Journal: Alan Bailward

[Day One] Who are you and what do you do?

[Alan] My name is Alan Bailward (@alanbailward), and I’m the senior technologist at a web startup just out of Vancouver, BC. By day I do everything from programming architecture to fixing printers, while evenings and weekends I am a portrait and wedding photographer. I’ve been everything from tech support to a programmer to a system admin (and back again) since my first job in IT in 1994.

When and why did you start journaling?

I’m pretty sure it started when I was 11 or 12 and read The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, Aged 13 3/4. At the time I was a voracious reader and the story was great, and showed me that writing about your own life can be really interesting, and tell a greater story. Of course my own life at the time wasn’t a storybook, but I got myself a notebook and started writing down things that happened that seemed interesting. I remember that my output wasn’t all that consistent and I’m pretty sure it was fairly forced, trying to make my life interesting like in the book. When I was a bit older I got back into it to deal with what I can only describe as teen angst. As a nerdy teen without much of a social life, having a place to put hopes, dreams, and… No, I’ll be honest, it was more about how I like this girl in school but she’s going out with this guy and I’d like to ask her out but how would I do it and all that stuff. I wish I could say it was something more noble, but it was who was going out with who, how pissed off I was when I had to get repairs on my car and other silly teen stuff like that.

How did your journaling style change across the years?

My early journaling was more honest, and was written just for me. It was before the age of the Internet (yea, I’m old) and its intention was an examination of myself more than anything. By writing out my feelings or what was going on with girls (or more often, what wasn’t going on) I had an outlet. When I moved out of the house to go to school I started a page (just called news.html) on my local ISP account for my parents, to let them know what was going on with me, make sure they knew I was still alive, that school was going well, etc.

Eventually this turned into a personal blog that more people knew about in my social circles, and the writing style was more written for consumption. I started sending “secret” messages to a girl in the blog by putting more messages in comment tags. She’d do the same and we’d “talk” like that. I still wrote them with the knowledge that other people might find them, so while they were diary-like, they weren’t as honest.

Lately with Day One it’s been nice to have something that is out in the open, but is still synced everywhere, so I’ve been moving back to a more honest, diary style, talking about what’s going on in the day, feelings, and frustrations. I’ve been dealing with some life-frustrations lately and I’ve been using a journal to track when I feel them and why.

Did you start journaling with paper when you started taking journaling seriously in college?

Yes, strictly paper, really, until Day One came out. I’m kind of obsessed with capturing my own handwriting and allowing those who read my journal at some point to see me through my handwriting. And so, even when Day One came out, there was some initial push back in my mind to capturing something digitally and allowing posterity to know me through a computer font rather than my handwriting.

Of course when I started journaling, computers were just becoming affordable and available to the masses. But, you know, for a while I put up some resistance to using a computer to capture my thoughts and my experiences.

What is your journaling routine?

Either the mood strikes me or something interesting or frustrating enough happens that needs to be recorded. Sometimes it’s off to the side of my desk on my iPhone, or sitting on the couch on my laptop. I don’t have a set routine (other than hitting snooze or skip on the Day One menu bar reminder when it pops up!), it’s just when the muse strikes.

Do you focus on longform entries, or more on capturing the little moments of life?

I use the excellent Slogger to capture my online activity on a daily basis. Tweets, Instapaper links, Facebook updates, Flickr uploads, checkins, etc are all captured automatically. When I’m writing “real” journal entries, they tend to be longer form, though sometimes they are literally reminders for myself like “got cheque from client for $200, deposited tonight”.

Do you have a favorite spot you like to journal from?

Not really. Either at my work desk at work, or on the couch at home. That is where I tend to write from, but mostly because that’s where I am when I decide to write.

Do you recall your first Day One journal entry?

Sunday, August 30, 1992.

It’s what I can only describe as “emo-Alan”, as 17-year-old me writes to a girl that I really liked, but couldn’t actually talk to. The first line is:

It is hard for me to say what I want to say. I could be straightforward and come out and say it or I could be poetic, and hide my feelings between the lines. I wish I could do both and yet neither.

It’s honestly painful to read, and it goes on for another 7 paragraphs, followed by the lyrics to a sad country and western song. Oh boy, oh boy…

Originally this was written in a .doc file on my first computer, and was the start of the second phase of journaling I talked about above. I’d come home from school or work, sit at the computer and type things out. I kept the .doc file around for years to come, still have it, in fact, sitting in an archive in dropbox. Last month I decided that since I have a lot of old archive entries, and Day One seems like the main place to keep everything, that moving all my old entries into it would be a good idea. Lots of copying and pasting, some formatting (luckily I didn’t do crazy formatting), and I had 96 entries from ranging from 1992 to 1999. I tried to add a bit of extra commentary to them (not changing the original entry in any way) to note names or events that may be related to help remember things in the future.

I did the same thing for my old hidden-in-the-comments blog entries to input 45 entries between 1999 and 2003. The fact that these start right after the .doc entries probably isn’t a coincidence. These required a bit more commentary because they were written in a more obtuse fashion, so adding what I could remember relating to the entry above it helped a lot.

It was a neat trip down memory lane, I very rarely go back to read what I’ve written, going back and re-living and thinking about the people and events was a great and introspective experience. I think my next project might be to import my old blog, just to get everything on one place.

Do you write mostly on the iPhone, iPad, or the Mac?

Mostly on the Mac, since most of my long journaling is longer form, the keyboard on the computer is much easier to use. My iPhone is always with me though, so taking a quick picture or adding a quick note there is probably a close second.

How many entries do you have in your journal?

At current count 2,809 and 936 photos. Breaking that down:

  • 936 automated entries from Slogger
  • 96 old diary imports
  • 45 hidden blog comments

What is your favorite or most-used feature in Day One?

Other than the main entry screen I think it’d have to be a combination of the syncing (which I don’t really “use”, but I love that I can see the same entries on any computer or iOS device I have) and the API, or at least the third party support that lets Slogger auto-import everything about my day from other services like Twitter and Foursquare.

Do you follow any journal organization rules?

Mostly tags. I only know the numbers from my old entries and auto-generated entries because I tagged them with #social, #oldblogcomments, and #olddiary. I’m of the mindset that if things have metadata like tags associated with them I can always go back and “fix” them after. As far as the writing, no, I just write whatever it is that’s in my head that I feel like I need to get out. I need to follow that rule more though, I still don’t write all the time that I feel like I have something to say, and that’s something I feel like I should work on.

Have you ever relied on Day One for something unexpected, or used it to recall details about a specific event or date?

I think importing my old diary in is about the most interesting thing. Got me an interview, plus fame and fortune, on the Day One blog anyway 🙂 I have actually gone back and used the old entries to correlate other things in my life, like trying to find when some old pictures were taken by searching in Day One for when I went on a trip to Yosemite.

I think my next project might be to find my old paper journal, if it still exists somewhere, and putting it in. Having a Day One that goes back to the mid-80’s would probably make me the coolest kid in class!

Thank you for such a great interview, Alan!


About the Interviewer

Tulio Jarocki is a student, design aficionado, and journaling enthusiast. When he is not writing about the rewards of journaling for Day One, he can be seen drinking coffee, running, or just out and about in Boston.

The Way I Journal: Ross Lockwood

[Day One] Who are you and what do you do?

[Ross] My name is Ross Lockwood (@rosslockwood), I’m a PhD student and simulated Martian. I’m working towards my PhD in Condensed Matter Physics, and participating as a crew member in the 120-day long Hawaii Space Exploration Analog & Simulation (HI-SEAS.org, a NASA-funded study).

When and why did you start journaling?

I’ve been journaling on and off my entire life. I still have my first journal from when I was seven, which was given to me by my grandmother so I could document a road trip she was taking me on.

To me, journaling is essential to remembering when important events took place in my life. I don’t put a lot of faith in my own brain to keep an accurate record, so journaling helps add reliability to my memories.

What is your journaling routine?

Typically I’ll start the day by writing a little bit of what I expect to accomplish and what’s on my mind, just so that I can calm some of the chatter in my head. This is often the bulk of my routine, and occupies from two to twenty minutes of my time, depending upon how inspired I feel.

Lately, I’ve also taken to writing a few hundred words before bed as well, just so that I can capture the most important parts of the past day. This part of my routine rarely lasts more than two minutes, about the time it takes me to brush my teeth.

Do you focus on longform writing, or in capturing small memories of life?

I mostly focus on capturing small memories, but there are times that longform writing is necessary to get a complete description of events. Typicially I’ll put more effort into writing an entry the newer and more unusual an experience is. For example, my entries during the HI-SEAS mission have been several hundred words longer than my average entry prior to the mission.

Do you have a favorite spot where you like to journal?

My all time favourite place to journal was the lab that I worked in as a graduate student. I would arrive early and have the entire lab to myself for several hours. It was a quiet and peaceful way to start my day. Of course, my crew quarters in the HI-SEAS habitat will likely grow on me when the mission ends.

What was your first entry in Day One?

That’s difficult to say! I imported some old journal entries from another service when I discovered Day One, so the first entry that I have is a short story that I wrote on April 20th, 2011. The actual first entry I did in Day One is from January 24th, 2012 (I know because I wrote, “This is my first entry in this new program, Day One.”). In the entry I’m complaining about a lack of a word counter in Day One, something that I’m no longer preoccupied with.

How many entries do you have in your journal?

Current count is 357 entries, with 80 of those being made in the last 120 days.

What is your favorite or most-used feature in Day One?

Search, by a big margin, is my most commonly-used feature. One of the differentiating factors between Day One and other services is iCloud sync, which allows me to pull up past entries when I need them most.

Do you write mostly on the iPhone, iPad, or the Mac?

Whatever is conveniently in front of me. If I’m travelling, it will most likely be my iPad, if I’m around home, my Mac. I’ve found that the iPhone is the quickest way to attach a photo, though.

Do you follow any journal organization rules?

I only follow one rule: just write.

Have you ever relied on Day One for something unexpected, or used it to recall details about a specific event or date?

During the HI-SEAS mission we do a battery of daily surveys to assess our psychological well-being. Instead of letting all the writing disappear into the void, I copied most of it to Day One so that I could look it up later. It will certainly be interesting looking back on my experience at HI-SEAS and seeing what my thoughts were during the mission.

You can read about the HI-SEAS mission on HI-SEAS.org, follow my experiences on my personal blog, spincrisis.net.

About the Interviewer

Dallas Petersen is Day One’s product manager by day (and some nights). When he’s not working, he’s hanging out with his wife and five kids and/or playing board games.

The Way I Journal: Sven Fechner

[Day One] Who are you and what do you do?

[Sven] I am Sven Fechner and work as a Senior Manager for Cisco Systems across Europe, Middle East, Africa, and Russia. However, I might be more known online for the blogging I do at SimplicityBliss.com and, as of recently, I am a co-host at the bi-weekly German tech podcast “Der Übercast“.

Stuttgart, Germany—known for all the beautiful, well-engineered Mercedes and Porsches manufactured here—is the place my wife, two kids, and I call home. But my job requires a lot of travel which I tend to document in Day One, amongst other things.

When and why did you start journaling?

Maybe I had a little journal when I was a very young boy—I cannot remember. I actually cannot remember a lot of things—whether they have been two or ten years ago. The past never mattered much to me. It is the past, isn’t it? But it actually bothers me that my memory works this way. Our past is important as it influences our future. In particular if you have kids, you want to keep these memories. The first tennis tournament your son played and the first day at school of your daughter. It matters a lot. That is why I started journaling and it is Day One that made it really easy for me.

Documenting goals and progress has also become a very important aspect of journaling to me. We all have these dreams, but they too often get buried under the day-to-day noise, only to surface occasionally to remind us we have not made much progress towards them. Journaling helps me to keep these goals in sight and be more conscious about the progress I am making (or not).

What is your journaling routine?

I’ll be honest with you: I originally thought I’d take a quiet moment at the end of each day and journal. I never did. At the end of a fulfilling—and sometimes just stressful day—I simply lack the energy to journal. That is why I typically journal in the morning. Either right after getting up or in the commuter train when I am on my way to work. Since I travel a lot internationally I also take time during flights to journal.

Granted this does not sound much like a routine, but energy is equally important to me as time is and hence it is of limited value to me to journal when my energy is too low for quality reflection.

Do you focus on long form writing, or in capturing small memories of life?

Longform is something you find rarely amongst my entries. Typically it is a combination of some little longer entries that are more reflective and short snapshots of situations, moments, and feelings. The latter is nearly always combined with an actual snapshot.

Do you have a favorite spot where you like to journal?

Unfortunately, I do not have a “reflection chair” or “journaling tree” under which I sit and write. It varies from on-the-go (on the commuter train, on a plane, or in a hotel room) to when I get my cup of tea in the morning sitting at our large dining table at home before the family wakes up.

What is your first entry in Day One?

It is any entry from early October 2011 in which I am heavily complaining about the ear pain I suffered while flying from Newark back to Germany with a severe cold I, ironically, caught on the in-bound flight, thanks to United’s aggressive air condition settings. The entry helps to remember a strange, but helpful whiskey-based, get-well drink an Irish colleague made the hotel barkeeper mix for me. It has a number of unexpected ingredients, like cloves, but worked wonders and helped me with a deep, recovering sleep the night before the entry.

How many entries do you have in your journal?

503 entries of which 252 come with photos. I worked hard not to be religious about having an entry for each day—quality trumps quantity, as they say. There needs to be something to reflect on, a moment to remember, or significant (or lack of) progress against one of my goals.

What is your favorite or most used feature from Day One?

While I love that Day One supports writing in Markdown syntax and Dropbox sync, it is the simple feature of taking a photo that means the most to me. The photo represents the moment you are journaling or an association with what you are reflecting on. Many journaling apps take photos, but Day One delivers such a simple, wonderful, and aesthetic user experience that there is no alternative to it, at least for me.

Do you write mostly on the iPhone, iPad, or the Mac?

Most short entries that capture a moment, typically with a photo, are done with the iPhone. However, I typically then add some more text to the entry when in front of my Mac or iPad. Any slightly longer entry is made on either my MacBook Air (13″) or my iPad Air which, for that purpose, typically gets paired with a Logitech Tablet Keyboard.

Do you follow any journal organization rules?

People tell me I am very organized while I think modestly organized describes it a little better. In Day One I use about two dozen tags to organize my entries. The most important ones are goals, events, ideas, and the names of my wife and kids. But there are also tags that help me capture (business) travel memories, sometimes including short personal restaurant reviews.

I had to fight with my inner OCD for quite some time to accept that there will not be an entry for every day and that two entries on one day are also okay. I am a little obsessed with symmetry by the looks of it, but I can manage.

Have you ever relied on Day One for something unexpected, or used it to recall details about a specific event or date?

Not really something unexpected, I’d say, but I also record my personal movie reviews in Day One. I am usually looking to use a tool for a single purpose whenever possible. Day One is really only for journaling in my overall setup. I use other tools like Evernote, nvALT, Byword, and Dropbox for things like notetaking, meetings minutes, and to capture inspiration, articles I like, quotes, and snippets.

Going off the previous question, we often see you using Day One for a multitude of things on simplicitybliss.com. Has the Day One experience triggered you to start recording and remembering things that you usually didn’t think about?

Oh yes, I love fiddling around a bit to automate reoccurring tasks such as reflecting on progress against the goals you set. The combination of Day One and TextExpander—whether on Mac OS X or iOS—is simply made for this. While my approach has slightly evolved from the one shared in that post, I am still applying the same principle and technique in every Day One entry that reflects on “the broader state of me.”

At some stage I also went to some length deploying Brett Terpstra’s brilliant Slogger to capture my social media blurbs, like Tweets and Instagram posts, as well as my Runkeeper workouts, in Day One. It work perfectly fine, but eventually I decided to stop using it as it caused quite some clutter in my Day One database (there comes the OCD again).

Did you get a chance to use Day One Publish yet? If so, how do you use it?

It is likely the only feature I am yet to try beyond just testing it. Because of the single purpose I use Day One for it is hard for me to imagine the situation where I would publish what is a very personal memory or reflection. As everything in Day One, ‘Publish’ is very well designed, extremely easy to use and it is a pleasure to look at entries others push out with it. If my usage of Day One broadens at some stage I would absolutely consider using ‘Publish’, but at present, the options and channels available to me for sharing various forms of content address all my single purpose requirements.

Thank you for the interview, Sven—it was great hearing about how you use Day One.


About the Author

Tulio Jarocki is a student, design aficionado, and journaling enthusiast. When he is not writing about the rewards of journaling for Day One, he can be seen drinking coffee, running, or just out and about in Boston.

The Way I Journal: Christine Chan

[Day One] Who are you and what do you do?

[Christine] I am Christine Chan (@christyxcore), a writer and editor over at AppAdvice.com. I go hands-on with tons of apps and cover everything about them to let our readers know if something is worth checking out or not in my in-depth reviews.

When and why did you start journaling?

I started journaling when I was really young. I always liked the feeling of just having a notebook around with me, and just writing down my thoughts whenever I could. Of course, being as I was only a carefree kid then, I didn’t really have a lot to talk about, other than something like how my day went. I actually never finished using up a notebook as a kid, and I jumped around quite a bit from book to book.

I started taking journaling more seriously when I was in high school and college, as this is when I would write down how I feel in my Moleskine notebooks that I discovered, and they soon became a favorite. I started journaling in these with my favorite pen (Pilot G2) because it helped me relax, and I really did enjoy sitting down, writing, and just taking the time to reflect on things in my life. As my life matured, I had plenty more to say. Journaling helped me keep all of that in one place to someday go back and look at.

Then, when Day One hit the scene, I loved the simplicity of the app, and began using it as my permanent journal solution. With the addition of photos, I could easily record every little memorable thing that occurred in my life that I want to remember later on. I now journal every single day, or well, at least I try to, so I have a record of my life.

What is your journaling routine?

Well, I no longer keep a paper journal since Day One. I wouldn’t say I have a routine, but I like to journal whenever I have some time and something exciting to talk about, or even some thoughts that are flooding my head at the moment. Lately, I’ve been journaling what I’ve worked on right after I do it, so I have records of what I’ve written on AppAdvice or wherever.

I like to take walks around my neighborhood, and on those walks, I enjoy taking photos. In fact, I am kind of a photo nut—I take a lot of pictures. When an image really strikes me, or it’s just something I want to recall later, I will throw it into Day One as a visual timeline of my day.

But some days, I may not have worked on anything, or I didn’t take any remarkable photos. Then I just like to sit in the evening and just reflect on how my day went, what I learned or did, or just talk about how I feel, and other personal stuff. I try and make it a habit to have at least one entry in Day One each day.

Do you focus on longform writing, or in capturing small memories of life?

Every now and then, if there’s a lot going on in my life and I want to reflect, I will do longform entries. It’s just a way for me to express myself personally, and it helps when no one is able to read how I really feel at times. But I do mostly just focus on capturing small memories of my life as they happen, because that’s what I keep a journal for—a record of my life. As mundane as some parts may be, it’s still my life, and just nice to go back and see visual or written memories.

Do you have a favorite spot where you like to journal?

Not particularly. I basically journal whenever the mood strikes.

What was your first entry in Day One?

Apparently it was about some crazy dream I had. Crazy car chases were involved.

How many entries do you have in your journal?

As of right now, 1,430.

What is your favorite, or most-used feature from Day One?

Definitely the photo importing. It has made journaling much easier for me, and I love going back and looking at my photographic memories. It’s amazing being able to capture life and record it as it happens in your journal.

Do you write mostly on the iPhone, iPad, or the Mac?

I mostly use the iPhone version to import images, but I do some writing on it before I sleep if I forgot to do it earlier. But the majority of my Day One writing is done on my Mac, as it is much easier for me to type on my computer than the small iPhone screen, especially if I have a lot to say. Every now and then, I’ll use the iPad version, but my iPad 3 usually just sits around in my backpack. Maybe that’s why I don’t use the iPad version that often.

Do you follow any journal organization rules?

Nope. To me, journaling doesn’t really have organization or structure—it’s just thoughts that flow through you, memories you want to remember, and other stuff. You can’t really structure that, and I just journal as how I see fit.

Have you ever relied on Day One for something unexpected, or used it to recall details about a specific event or date?

All the time. You never know what will happen in life, so I like to record any significant event (especially the unexpected) in my journal. As I mentioned before, it’s a record of my life, and I want to remember everything that happened in it.

I have also been using it to remember when big events happen that don’t affect me personally. It’s just nice to look back and be like “Oh, that’s the big thing that happened that day!” and see what you were doing at the time it happened. Little things like that are just fun to look back on, at least for me.

Thanks for your time, Christine! We’ve enjoyed learning more about you and how you use Day One.


About the Author

Tulio Jarocki is a student, design aficionado, and journaling enthusiast. When he is not writing about the rewards of journaling for Day One, he can be seen drinking coffee, running, or just out and about in Boston.

 

The Way I Journal: Cameron Moll

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[Day One] Who are you and what do you do?

[Cameron] I’m Cameron Moll (@cameronmoll), a designer, speaker, and author living in Sarasota, Florida with my wife and four sons. I’m the founder of Authentic Jobs (@authenticjobs) and Type Structures (@typestructures), an endeavor to print letterpress posters that reimagine buildings as if created in type.

When and why did you start journaling?

I didn’t start journaling seriously until about the time I went off to college. I think at that point I matured enough to realize the importance of capturing the thoughts I was having, the experiences, names of people I was interacting with, places I visited… all those things. In retrospect I wish I would’ve started sooner—a lot sooner. I started taking the idea of journaling seriously, but really didn’t start journaling on a regular basis until around the time I started having children.

The idea of journaling really hit home with me when that happened, and I started to devote a lot more time and importance to capturing what my day was like, what my experiences were like, and wanting to make sure I could share those with my children at some point. That’s when I set aside a day of the week, Thursday morning, to make sure I wrote something at least once a week, if not more. I wanted to make sure I was capturing those experiences my kids were too young to understand, but would appreciate reading later on in life.

When you left for college, was there something, or someone, that inspired you to start journaling? Or, was it something you always wanted to do yourself and just came around to it?

I’m not sure how to answer that. [Long Pause] You know, I grew up where I have a long line of ancestors who have kept journals. So growing up I was able to read from those journals, and hear stories from those journals from great-grandfathers and that sort of thing. My mind had been exposed to the the idea of capturing one’s experiences ever since. I think, as I began to mature in many areas, this was just one of those areas that finally stuck. The idea of allowing others to see who I was through the notes I was capturing became something important to me and something I made time for.

Did you start journaling with paper when you started taking journaling seriously in college?

Yes, strictly paper, really, until Day One came out. I’m kind of obsessed with capturing my own handwriting and allowing those who read my journal at some point to see me through my handwriting. And so, even when Day One came out, there was some initial push back in my mind to capturing something digitally and allowing posterity to know me through a computer font rather than my handwriting.

Of course when I started journaling, computers were just becoming affordable and available to the masses. But, you know, for a while I put up some resistance to using a computer to capture my thoughts and my experiences.

Would you say Day One changed that for you?

Yeah, I definitely think it did. The overall accessibility of Day One, the fact that I can use any of the devices I have with me or at my desk or at my nightstand at home—I think convenience begun to trump posterity being able to read my words. It is one thing for them to see those words with my own handwriting, it is another thing for me to just simply get those words somewhere in the first place. I found that, because of the time and challenges the act of writing takes with a pen and paper, I missed capturing some of the experiences that might’ve been captured quickly through a digital format that I happened to have with me.

Do you still keep a paper journal?

I still do have a paper journal. As a matter of fact, I wrote in that journal recently because I felt, at some point, those who read it would appreciate seeing my thoughts in writing as well, and not only digitally. Right now I keep both, writing more frequently on Day One, but from time-to-time still using paper.

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Do you focus on longform entries, or more on capturing the little moments of life?

I’d say neither one of those, and I’ll explain why. For me, “journaling” isn’t about, “Is this something that is going to require paragraphs to explain?” or “Is this something I can quickly capture with a photo or with a sentence?” For me, “journaling” is capturing those experiences that, if not captured, I may forget someday, and experiences I want other people to know me through. For me it isn’t about focusing on longform or snippets. It is simply: “Is this something important to capture?”. It doesn’t matter if it takes two sentences or a couple of paragraphs.

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For me, there is kind of this mental divide between journaling and all of the other posting that I do in other devices. I view Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram as journals of sorts, in that they are capturing this running narrative of who I am and what I’m experiencing. I allow that to capture some of the experience I have—like my son’s soccer game or camping with my family—and eventually sharing those with friends and family or followers. My journal is really those things that are private to me, in some cases even sacred, that I consider only close family members ought to read. At least right now, maybe at some point my journals will be released to a larger audience, but, right now, only the very important individuals in my life are the ones that see it, sometimes. I’ve shared my journal with only two or three people outside the close circle of my wife and kids. Actually, I take that back. I have read from my journals to audiences to show some thought I had, and this is usually at a web design conference, or a church congregation. For the most part, my journal includes private matters that are important to me. I’ll let Twitter and Facebook tell the rest of the story.

That is very, very interesting. Was it always like this, or has the was you journal changed?

No, I think I always looked at journaling as exactly that—just capturing experiences that I feel are very important to me to never forget and allow other to see and experience. My journals were never, “Dear Diary” sorts of journals. There was always a focused approach of opening the pages of my journal to capture the things I hope I will remember for a very long time.

You mentioned previously that you set a specific day for journaling? With your increased use of Day One, do you still keep a routine?

Let me actually check my Day One… For sure, it is no longer a Thursday-only activity for me. It was done, initially, I would say, to make sure I captured at least something once a week in my journal. Now, with the convenience and accessibility that Day One provides, I see I journal pretty much every day of the week. The goal of writing on a regular basis is still accomplished, it is just no longer a set date every week.

I occasionally write several entries in a week and then go another one or two weeks without adding anything, the important thing is:

1) Am I doing it regularly?
2) Am I capturing experiences that might’ve been forgotten otherwise?

Do you recall your first Day One journal entry?

I do, and it was something like a first Twitter entry. It felt like a first Twitter entry, anyway, given it was a very short one. I’ll share it with you:

“I have a wonderful family. I have much to be grateful for.”

My second entry right after that, I made two entries that day, and it was a bit longer. Here it is:

“This is a really simple journaling app by a good friend, Paul Mayne. It syncs with Dropbox and makes journaling as easy as tweeting. Consequently, on a day like today—tsunami in Japan, first day of SXSW, etc.—it seems an appropriate time to start using Day One. (Mac, iPad, iPhone)”

That was the extent of my second entry and that is not typical of what I record. As a matter of fact, it is the complete opposite of the things I normally write, but I felt it was important to capture my first spin at trying this new thing. Looking here, right after that second entry, my third entry was already twelve paragraphs long, mainly talking about my son wanting a dog for Christmas and the typical family discussions associated with that decision. This is a typical entry for me, and I guess I just needed to settle with the first two to then start capturing in-depth experience more.

Do you write mostly on the iPhone, iPad, or the Mac?

iPad the least, iPhone second, Mac first. Oh, paper journal in fourth.

How many entries do you have in your journal?

I have 125 entries so far. About one per week, given I started March 2011.

You said that journaling was as “easy as tweeting” with Day One. Does that still hold true with you?

Yes, I’d say that over 50% of the entries here are short sentences. An example of this, which I actually tweeted out, is a thought I had one of these days about design. I just had to write it somewhere not to forget it. It later turned out that it was worth sharing on Twitter:

“Tip: The best design critiques I’ve experienced began with ‘Here’s what I think is working well’ before sharing what wasn’t.” https://twitter.com/cameronmoll/status/450656693286735872

It was just a thought in my life that I wanted to make sure I would never forget. There are numerous entries in my Day One log that are like this, one or two sentences only recording things I will forget if they are not recorded. It can be as easy as tweeting, but the idea of recording something fast is something that is common to both.

What is your favorite or most-used feature in Day One?

Hands-down it is the ability to access one repository from numerous devices. That alone is the most important thing to me. I wouldn’t be able to record thoughts like the one above as much if I didn’t do it digitally.

I’m guessing that by the way you say your journal you don’t follow any journal organization rules?

I don’t. I don’t have any structure other than making sure what I put in my journal is something of value. Simple as that.

Have you ever relied on Day One for something unexpected, or used it to recall details about a specific event or date?

Not really. For me, my Day One journal is something with a very specific focus. I like the features in Publish, but it might take me a while to warm up the idea of sharing some of my entries in public, much like it took me a while to start journaling on the computer.

Mentally I don’t want to mix things up. Day One is a private tome of my life, and Twitter and everything else can take care of my other experiences—what I’m doing, who I follow, where I am—all of that. For now, I’ll use Day One like that: To capture thoughts, memories, and experiences valuable to me.

Thanks for your time, Cameron! People like you really inspire us to keep building great software.


About the Author


Tulio Jarocki is a student, design aficionado, and journaling enthusiast. When he is not writing about the rewards of journaling for Day One, he can be seen drinking coffee, running, or just out and about in Boston.

The Way I Journal: Chris Bowler

Chris Bowler

[Day One] Who are you and what do you do?

[Chris] I’m Chris Bowler and I’m a bit like the other folks you’ve interviewed to date; what I do differs from moment to moment. By day, I’m a member of the amazing support team at Campaign Monitor. I also write for my own site and tinker away on design and educational projects for my business. Before that I helped run a web advertising company.

When and why did you start journaling?

If memory serves, it would have started in January, 2012.

Yes. It was pen and paper for the first year or so. There were two purposes to getting started. First, the actual activity is cathartic, whether the end product is useful down the road or not. Just sitting still, taking stock of things, and the act of writing are all beneficial on their own and journaling makes use of all three.

Second, I had hoped to mimic my wife. She had always journaled through our entire marriage. I was seeing how this benefited her when we would reminisce about a particular event; she would often refer to her journal to get details we had forgotten. They weren’t always included, but, more often than not, her journal helped her remember some little details that time had clouded.

What is your journaling routine?

It changes. But basically, I don’t have one. I wish I did.

I’ve had times where there was a routine. I’ve tried making it a regular exercise at the beginning or end of the day. I’ve tried it right after lunch. Nothing has stuck.

So it tends to be sporadic and spontaneous. The end of the day is too tiring and it’s my time with my wife. The middle of the day is too busy, and probably too caffeinated. So most of my journaling is in the morning, but I would like it to be a little more regular.

And that is my goal as is it fits well at this time. I’m more focused and reflective in the morning because it’s my spiritual time. I spend my time in devotions and studying the Bible or preparing lesson plans for the classes I teach. Journaling fits well with these things … if only I could get by on 4-5 hours of sleep 😉

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Do you focus on longform writing or capturing small memories of life?

Both. I tend to have two types of entries; short narratives on the events of the day (or several days), or longer summaries of an issue that occurred or significant event. The latter tend to be after my wife and I have discussed at length a topic of importance or a big decision to be made.

These longer ones are what I enjoy more when it comes to reading entries from the past.

Do you have a favorite spot you like to journal from?

No. Although that is probably a part of the problem when it comes to making this a habit. If I had a routine, the space would be critical! I hope to have a firm answer to this at some point.

I do tend to have a reading/writing spot in each home we’ve ever lived in. It tends be somewhere with good lighting and warmth. By the fire, or my rocking chair. With a place for a beverage. But I haven’t yet made a place to be the “one spot” for this activity.

What was your first entry in Day One?

Since I started using Day One primarily as a work journal, it includes some details of the work day. A few notes of the progress I made and the meetings attended. Nothing magical!

How many entries do you have in your journal?

576, currently.

What is your favorite or most-used feature in Day One?

Good question … in no particular order.

  • good typography: this is vital to any app that I enjoy a lot. iA Writer is a good example; I enjoy writing in that app more because of the nice type. Day One is similar, especially how a saved entry looks.
  • markdown support: writing itself is more enjoyable with markdown and Day One does a great job with markdown preview
  • tags: all those longer entries I referred to above … I tend to mark those with a specific tag for revisiting later

Day One

Do you write mostly on the iPhone, iPad, or the Mac?

Not the iPhone, never the iPhone. My iPad probably gets the most entries, but the Mac is also used a good bit.

Do you follow any journal organization rules?

Just tags. There are a few things that I want to be able to refer back to easily. A good example is home maintenance: there are a few items I have to change around the house on a regular basis. But these instances are months apart, so I like to have that record in my journal.

And when I enter in the more important journal entries, items requiring a decision at some point or habits I want to form, I tag them as “review”. Every month or so I look over the various entries that have this tag and give each some consideration.

That’s about it in terms of structure.

Have you ever relied on Day One for something unexpected, or used it to recall details about a specific event or date?

Yes. As I’ve touched on a couple of times already, I use it for home maintenance items like changing water filters or smoke detector batteries. It’s so comforting to be able to have the exact date for when I last changed these items rather than a vague recollection that is most likely inaccurate.

Apart from that, the entries that matter most to me are less about specific events and more about points in time where I was trying to make a change or a decision.

You mentioned in your Grounded & Steadfast journal that you often track your work progress with Day One? How and why do you do that?

It was originally all I used Day One for. I had a simple habit of throwing in an entry at the end of the day that gave a high level overview of what I had done. I tend to do that more on pen and paper these days however.

But one change in regards to Day One and my work is that I use it to track technical details on certain projects. For many projects, I use GitHub for my version control. But if I have to move a smaller project to a server, I track higher level changes in Day One. Because of its lovely formatting and Markdown support, the code samples look great. Using tags, I can review what changes I’ve made and why I made them.

It’s certainly not proper version control, but it does allow me to keep a high level view of what I’ve done for various projects.

You recently tweeted that you now plan to use Day One for all your writing purposes. Why is that—why do you see Day One as “more than a journal”?

Again, due to the look and feel of Day One, as well as the great search and tag support, it’s a good environment for multiple types of writing. I’ve already described some, but I’ve also thought about using it for meeting notes and draft blog posts. I currently keep these types of items in Simplenote, but Day One is a slightly more attractive environment.

I must admit that there is some hesitation for making this app an “everything bucket”. Because journaling is an inward focus, I do have a sense that I don’t want those thoughts intermingled with external items or simple “tracking” entries.

In the end, because of the ability to search and filter entries, as well as the fact that journals are often filled with both historical information as well as introspective thoughts, I’ve ignored this hesitation. And because Day One treats your data as your data, I can always change my mind at some point in the future.

Enjoying this app as I do, that most likely won’t happen 🙂

Thanks for you for the great talk, Chris—It was a pleasure!


About the Author


Tulio Jarocki is a student, design aficionado, and journaling enthusiast. When he is not writing about the rewards of journaling for Day One, he can be seen drinking coffee, running, or just out and about in Boston.

The Way I Journal: Matt Alexander

Matt Alexander

[Day One] Who are you and what do you do?

[Matt] My name is Matt Alexander and I’m the founder of Need, a refined retailer and lifestyle magazine for men. I’m also the co-host of Bionic with Myke Hurley on 5by5.

When and why did you start journaling?

If we’re truly looking back, I suppose I was really rather young.

As you’d expect, I never wrote consistently, nor did I have too much fun. Instead, the allure of journaling resided solely within the novelty of having a private—sometimes secretive—document of some kind.

In that light, I frequently bought different books to serve as repositories for my thoughts, but I did little in the form of useful, cathartic reflection. Naturally—without an emotional connection—I steadily grew more-and-more distant from the prospect over the years. Whether for lack of time or interest, journaling stopped coming to mind as an outlet.

It wasn’t until I began writing online—many years later—that the prospect reasserted itself. Writing OneThirtySeven, my sometimes-active weblog, shared many characteristics with journaling. It was an intensely personal outlet for my thoughts—albeit one with a present audience.

As I was engaged in writing and sharing, I became increasingly conscious of precisely what I did not want to share. I tested the boundaries of comfort and public accountability and, in doing so, illuminated the topics and ideas that were best suited for a more private medium.

It was around that time, poetically, that Day One was originally released.

So, in other words, I started journaling properly because I needed a place to confront my innermost thoughts. I could share my opinions regarding business and the like on OneThirtySeven or Twitter, but I realized I was in equal need of a repository for myself and no one else.

What is your journaling routine?

As with so much else in my life, I have little structure or routine around my journaling.

I frequently skip several days without a thought. In the aftermath, though, I’ll find myself committing 2,000 words to an entry.

More recently, with the launch of Need, a good friend encouraged me to begin journaling much more. She explained that these memories would prove to be extremely important as my life progressed. That these early days of pursuing a passion would inform much of what I do in later life.

So, I’ve been actively trying to write at least once per week. Or, failing that, whenever I feel something important has happened I’ll immediately seek to commit it to Day One.

Do you focus on longform writing, or in capturing small memories of life?

Typically longform.

As I’ve said, the allure of journaling comes in the form of catharsis. Rather than reflecting on inconsequential elements of my day, I often use Day One to parse my way through the complexities of a relationship or a discussion.

When I was raising money for Need, for example, I used Day One as a means to review discussions I’d had with investors. In doing so, I’d turn over the quality of the various personalities, their business leanings, and, ultimately, I’d be able to uncover whether they were genuinely interested in an investment or not.

There’s obviously value in capturing small moments, but, for me, I’m typically focused on more therapeutic conversations with myself.

Do you have a favorite spot you like to journal from?

I’m writing this early on a Sunday morning—fresh coffee at my side—in my dark apartment. My girlfriend is reading quietly in the next room, whilst I’m sifting through some early-morning thoughts.

I’d say that precise scenario is broadly indicative of my typical habits (i.e., early, dark, and secluded).

The only variable that changes is the precise location, which oscillates between my apartment and my office. For the former, as with today, it’s exclusively early in the morning. For the latter, it’s exclusively late at night.

What was your first entry in Day One?

It was, apparently, August 3, 2012. (Although, upon reflection, I think I may’ve started and restarted—literally wiping the slate clean—several times prior.)

I was in London—my home—visiting my friends and family. I was going through a fairly tumultuous year and, at the time, was meeting with various different companies about ongoing relationships.

On this particular date, I was reflecting on two projects I’d been approached to run and, later, an evening out with friends. Sadly, it wasn’t anything particularly remarkable.

The following day’s entry—more interestingly—was my reflection on my visit to the London 2012 Olympics with my family. I was resoundingly hungover—likely from the aforementioned “evening out with friends”—but documented much of the emotion and pride of that day.

How many entries do you have in your journal?

Not too many given the time I’ve been using the app. Roughly 100, I believe.

Today, it’s increasing rather rapidly, though. (And, fortunately, the average length of entry is decreasing.)

I’m currently writing about three entries per week.

What is your favorite, or most used feature from Day One?

The integration of photography is what first made Day One invaluable for me.

I’m not much of a photographer, but I do take quite a few photographs of inconsequential aspects of my day-to-day experiences—the vast majority of which are not up-to-par to be published anywhere publicly. They are, however, useful indicators of what I’d been doing on a particular day.

Day One allows me to provide context for those fleeting moments. And, these days, I often find myself looking back over former entries and seeing the photographs I included. That’s, more often than not, my most favorite part of the experience.

I’ll stumble across a photo of the exterior of a restaurant before a meeting and then read about the details of that discussion. Or, I’ll happen across a photo of a coffee I had on a quiet, reflective morning.

I truly love that aspect of Day One.

Do you write mostly on the iPhone, iPad, or the Mac?

Almost exclusively on the Mac.

I love the notion of writing on my iPad, but that’s used for little more than some light reading these days. Equally, I have Day One on my iPhone’s home screen, but don’t often think to write with that form factor.

With my Mac, on the other hand, we’re rarely apart. It’s the medium through which I feel most comfortable writing and working and, in that instance, I’m only a click away from Day One at any given time.

Historically, I’ve always had the menu bar icon switched off. More recently, however, I’ve found that to be a great means for logging quick thoughts and reflections. That has really made a big difference.

Do you follow any journal organization rules?

Again, as with so much in my life, I love the idea of rigid organization and structure, but I’m more realistically living in some semblance of mild chaos at any given time.

For those who are familiar, the best explanation I can provide is the feeling when you visit a Container Store—an American shop for organizational products—and suddenly feel an infusion of confidence that you can become so much better and more efficient by simply seeing (or buying) these products. That’s precisely how I feel when I think about applying some sort of structure to my journaling and productivity. In reality, though, I cannot function in such a fashion.

So, no. There are no rules to my journaling whatsoever.

Have you ever relied on Day One for something unexpected, or used it to recall details about a specific event or date?

As I mentioned, I’ve been using Day One to keep track of my various business relationships. From investors to photographers, I often reflect on various personalities within Day One.

So, recently, I was approached with an investment offer and used Day One to remind myself of the particular gentleman’s personality before accepting anything. (I ended up not accepting the offer as I’d remarked to myself that I ought to never go into business with him several months ago.)

Similarly, people frequently ask me about the genesis of Need as a concept. And, truly, much of what Need has become was committed to a Day One entry in December 2012—one that has proven to be invaluable for the past year or so. I often find myself returning to that entry to remind myself about the early moments of the concept and the values that informed its inception.

You recently said that you went through a long period without journaling, only to miss it immensely. What made you come back to writing in Day One?

The reason is twofold.

The first—and much less poetic—reason is that Day One is fundamentally a beautiful piece of software. I’m drawn to quality products—particularly those that are able to instill an emotional connection—and Day One is at the forefront of that pack in my digital life.

The second reason is that I felt out of touch with myself.

2013 was a whirlwind. I went from deciding between two job opportunities to raising funding in a matter of two weeks. Similarly, I went from working quietly from home to being apart of a community at WELD. My schedule changed, my friends changed, and I was suddenly being drawn to go to far more events, meetings, and parties.

I rarely found a moment to reflect about what it was, exactly, that I was doing with my life.

So, somewhere along the way, I started committing huge chunks of my day-to-day life to Day One once again. And I’ve stuck with it since.

Thanks for your time, Matt—It’s been a pleasure talking with you!


About the Author


Tulio Jarocki is a student, design aficionado, and journaling enthusiast. When he is not writing about the rewards of journaling for Day One, he can be seen drinking coffee, running, or just out and about in Boston.

The Way I Journal: John Carey

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[Day One] Who are you and what do you do?

[John] My name is John Carey and what I do can be a bit unpredictable. To some, I am a live audio engineer. Audio engineering is an industry I grew up around and takes up most of my time. To many others, I am a photographer and writer who has been sharing online since somewhere around ’99.

Currently, I am best known for my work on fiftyfootshadows.net, a site dedicated to sharing my photography along with stories, commentary on the world of photography, and a bit of great music for good measure. It’s a lifestyle blog at its heart, but it is slowly evolving into more as time goes on and I explore new ideas. It is most widely noted for the wallpapers I share, often inside posts using my photography as source material and cropping them for desktops and iOS devices.

I also post daily on a photo diary of sorts. It was started as a means to get away from using Instagram so I could share day-to-day photography. It can be found at yesterdaywasonly.net.

When and why did you start journaling?

I have kept journals on-and-off since high school actually. Back then I would use blank books which I often failed to fill up before moving on to new ones. I have always enjoyed writing both creatively and as a means to record parts of my life as they happen—sometimes a modest photograph is not always worth a thousand words. Memories have a funny way of playing tricks on me and journal entries give me a unique perspective on my past.

What is your journaling routine?

My life as an audio engineer leaves my life and freetime fairly unpredictable. My work hours are far from your average 9-5. One day I may have a 5 AM call and others I am up till 3 AM working late at a local music venue. Because of this, I take what time I can get and do my best to cram writing into the breaks between other tasks at hand. While this does leave some entries a little messy, I still find myself able to revisit these ideas later, if they end up being worth revisiting.

There are, of course, slow days and I often take advantage of the calm by letting myself revisit ideas jotted down on busier days and expanding ideas into articles or more coherent statements. Some of my best work comes when an idea strikes me like a flaming arrow and I can’t help but push other things aside to write it all out of my mind. I typically find myself writing until I feel I have wrung every last word out of my head and leave the result to edit later.

Do you focus on longform writing or capturing small memories of life?

As I mentioned above. I often take whatever time I can get when it comes to writing, so a large percentage of my personal writing starts—and sometimes ends—at these shorter statements. My writing is at times less about personal stories such as “I at the BEST apple a few minutes ago” and more observational writing about the world around me. A lot of the time I try to simply get down those “ah ha!” type observations before they manage to slip out of my mind forever.

Do you have a favorite spot you like to journal from?

I enjoy writing in places that give me the least amount of familiarity. Places where I can feel a little lost within. Coffee shops, hotel rooms, park benches, or anywhere that surrounds me either with unfamiliar people or an unfamiliar place. Ideas always flow more naturally when I don’t have the comforts of home surrounding me. I think this stems from my addiction to travel and the emotional high that comes with being lost somewhere where no one knows who I am or why I am there. It gives my mind undisturbed freedom to be anything it wants to be and really get lost in what it is trying to communicate in the written form.

What was your first entry in Day One?

While I had used earlier versions of Day One in the past, it was not until its recent(ish) overhaul that Day One really started to settle into my writing routine. I decided to switch from keeping a blank book around to using Day One when my wife and I went on our honeymoon in Bali after getting married in Seoul. This was back in April 2012. Here is an unedited clip from that first entry:

“As we are taken away by cab I can’t help but remember being with YoungDoo In a hired car on the way to the Taj in India then to New Delhi once again before she left. So many similarities among smell, chaotic roads, people and overall emotion. I’m curious to see how far that feeling extends as we dive deeper into our short stay here…”

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How many entries do you have in your journal?

At the moment it’s around 250, but quickly growing these days because I have moved to using it more regularly for quick notes and ideas that I once used a note-taking app on my iPhone for. I have finally started tagging entries with a series of simple tags to help me organize the things I write. It has been great because I no longer need to export and import text from other applications to get started with a longer-form version of an idea, I just bump down a couple of lines and go to town fleshing out the rest of the topic at hand.

What is your favorite, or most used Day One feature?

My favorite thing about Day One is the way it stays out of my way, yet still manages to keep everything so perfectly organized. I have piles of documents in folders on my laptop from old writings in other apps that I always dread digging through. So many ideas and writings would end up getting forgotten or lost over time. With Day One, everything is in one place where I can easily browse through, and because of this, I find myself being a lot more productive not having to waste time fiddling with file management.

Also, it’s gorgeous. The simplicity of its design, approach, and aesthetic gives me a wide set of tools and information while staying out of my way when I don’t need it. I really love the welcoming, worry-free writing environment it creates.

Do you write mostly on the iPhone, iPad, or the Mac?

I am most comfortable on my MacBook these days and it is where I do most of my longer writing and editing, but I love the single-task approach of the iPad for writing. I have a feeling that, once I inevitably pick up an iPad mini this year to replace my aging iPad 2, I will revisit writing more on the iPad with an external keyboard.

I can’t count how many times I have pulled out my iPhone to write in Day One. It’s proven to be invaluable as a means to lay out ideas quickly and you will often find me sneaking it out while standing behind a mixing console or lying in bed late at night with that one golden idea that I just have to get down.

The fact that all of my writing is anywhere I need it, at any time, on all of my devices, has truly spoiled me.

Do you follow any journal organization rules?

I love the idea of scheduled times to sit down and reflect on life but it’s too hard for me to afford the luxury of staying organized with the process. When I write I more often than not am writing to preserve ideas and thoughts as they strike me. For me, inspiration comes from all sorts of unexpected places, so I really have no idea when the need may strike.

Have you ever relied on Day One for something unexpected, or used it to recall details about a specific event or date?

Yes, quite often actually. Because I am able to jump back to a date or time period and quickly browse through entries, I am often discovering bits of wisdom that may have otherwise gone forgotten. Being able to reference past writing easily is starting to become more and more valuable to me as I start to work on developing my style as a writer.

I see that in your site fiftyfootshadows.net you usually couple gorgeous photography to your posts. Is that something you also often do with your personal entries in Day One?

When this feature was added I really loved the idea and I have been using it more and more lately. When I sit down to write about a photograph for a post on 50ft it’s great to be able to have it right there with the writing at its source. It feels akin to pasting a polaroid into an old hardback paper journal. I love that.

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For our readers who are curious about what Mr. Carey writes in his journals, here are some of his public entries on fiftyfootshadows that he remembers using Day One to write, or at least where the ideas started to take shape:

About the Author

Tulio Jarocki is a student, design aficionado, and journaling enthusiast. When he is not writing about the rewards of journaling for Day One, he can be seen drinking coffee, running, or just out and about in Boston.

The Way I Journal: Shawn Blanc

Shawn Blanc

[Day One] Who are you and what do you do?

[Shawn] I’m Shawn Blanc, I run three websites: shawnblanc.net, toolsandtoys.net, and thesweetsetup.com, the newest one. I work from home–for myself–managing these websites, doing some writing and editorial direction on them. All of it is focused on software and cool stuff like that.

When and why did you start journaling?

I’ve been keeping a journal for probably twenty years or so now. I started when I was pretty young, about 12 years old. The reason I started journaling was to have an outlet for writing—it was a way to chronicle the things that I was doing throughout my day and keeping a log of events. I’ve had seasons where I focus more or less on that. I’ve always focused on processing life, recording memories or feelings that are interpersonal. Usually it is stuff that has to do with what I’m going through: relationships, work, etcetera. I’ve always enjoyed journaling as a way to process life as I’m going through it and as an outlet for doing writing that is personal.

Did some specific event make you start journaling? Was it something you set out to do for the rest of your life?

It was never a specific thought like, “I want to journal for the rest of my life.” I was never trying to start a life-long habit. My dad has always journaled. I can remember for most of my life waking up in the mornings, going upstairs and seeing him on the couch, reading and journaling with his morning cup of tea. I definitely saw that from my dad. I don’t think there was a specific moment, person, or event that made me think: “I should start a journal.” I just have the memory, from years ago, of starting a journal and starting to write down the things I was doing that day. Maybe a Bible verse that was important to me, or an event that was meaningful that day.

What is your journaling routine?

I really don’t have one. I’ve had different routines off and on. I’ve had it where, at the end of the day, I’ll drop in a list of what I did that day in Day One. I’ve had it before where, in the mornings, I included journaling in my morning routine. But I don’t really do either of those right now. It really has been off-and-on—sometimes I have routines, sometimes I don’t. Now, I write when I’m interested in something, sometimes I feel the urge to write something down. It is a little more spontaneous.

Do you focus on longform writing or capturing small memories of life?

I’d say both. One thing that I really like about Day One, and this is where Day One really took off for me, is the ability to add images to my journal. You guys added this feature sometime in 2012. That was a huge thing for me because I felt like I could capture the small moments of life through pictures and easily drop that into Day One. Before I focused more on longform because I was writing in an actual journal with pen and paper. Day One has evolved quite a bit, so now I focus on both longform stuff and in the small details, whatever is important at that moment. Or, maybe if there is something heavy that I need to process by writing about it in my journal, I do so in Day One.

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Do you have a favorite spot you like to journal from?

Not really. Pretty much anywhere.

What was your first entry in Day One?

My first entry won’t be my actual first entry in Day One. When I started using Day One, I started importing entries from another service I used called Oh!Life. I was using that for a while, starting way back in 2005. Obviously, Day One didn’t come around until much later. There were some journal entries that I added to Day One from word documents and other digital files. All of my paper journals are still paper journals, but everything that I’ve done digitally I copied and pasted into Day One. My only digital location for things journal related today is Day One. My first entries goes way back to 2005, but 2009 was when I started doing more digital stuff. 2012 was when Day One added the picture functionality, so I started using it regularly ever since.

You mentioned previously that you journal both digitally with Day One and physically with notebooks. Why do you still keep a paper journal?

Yes, I do. There is something special about writing with pen and paper—I just enjoy it. Sometimes it’s just more healing, or even thought-provoking. Analog writing with pen and paper is something I still enjoy occasionally.

How many entries do you have in your journal?

I have 241 entries so far.

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What is your favorite or most-used feature in Day One?

I think my favorite feature is a combination of the ability to add photos and all the extra metadata that gets added to an entry along with the content—weather, location, date, and time. To me that’s super valuable. It’s a quintessential example of using iPhone technologies to add value to something without any extra work on my part. I can look at it later and see all the things surrounding the entry—it contributes to the memory.

Do you write mostly on the iPhone, iPad, or the Mac?

I probably use Day One the most on my iPhone or on my iPad. Most of the pictures are taken on my phone and most of the longform entries are done on the iPad, mostly because my Mac is on my desk in my office. I’ll usually just take my iPad to the couch, coffee shop, or backyard to get away from work and write my thoughts down.

Do you follow any journal organization rules?

No rules whatsoever. It can be work related, it can be personal, it can be statistics, it just can be whatever—anything that seems worthwhile. I guess for some people, having a focus or a set of rules might help them know what to write about. I find that I put more in my journal when I have no rules on what to add.

Do you tag your entries?

I use tags for family, kids, dreams, and work. If it’s an obvious tag, I’ll tag it right away. I’ve never had a problem finding things with Day One’s built-in search. The interesting aspect for me is not the tag of an entry, but its date. I always love to know what happened a year ago from today. That’s all the organization that I really need—dates.

Have you ever relied on Day One for something unexpected, or used it to recall details about a specific event or date?

Sure. Ideas, goals for the year, and things of that nature. It’s not just a journal of memories, or just a log of events—It is a container for anything that’s important to me and that I want to write down.

Thanks for your time, Shawn—It’s been a pleasure talking with you!


There is a lot more to come over the next few weeks. Stay tuned!

About the Author


Tulio Jarocki is a student, design aficionado, and journaling enthusiast. When he is not writing about the rewards of journaling for Day One, he can be seen drinking coffee, running, or just out and about in Boston.

Journal wherever you are.

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