For the past 2,000 days—a staggering span of over five years—Aaron Thomason has not missed a single day of journaling. This journey has not just been about maintaining a streak; it’s an exercise in self-accountability, an archive of personal evolution, and a vault of day-to-day trivia and philosophical musings.
Whether he’s dictating into his phone during a morning jog or hastily typing out thoughts on his iPad before bed, Aaron has built a habit that is as flexible as it is steadfast.
How long have you been keeping a journal?
I started journaling in the early 90’s and have been consistent with it for the past fifteen years or so.
What makes journaling important to you?
Journaling is a great way for me to keep from being bottled up, and it’s an even better way to try to be honest with myself and to hold myself to account.
What do you usually journal about?
I write about whatever’s on my mind—whether it’s reflecting on the mundane or the grappling with philosophical questions. Some days I ruminate, some days I vent, some days I rant. Some days it’s asking as many questions as I can. I shoot for anywhere from 800-1,500 words, and I take a picture almost every day.
When do you journal each day?
I really don’t have a set time. Sometimes I will write first thing in the morning and sometimes I write after lunch. I might do a voice memo on my phone while walking, running or bike riding, or I might do dictation in the parking lot before work. A lot of times it’s writing on the iPad right before bed.
What tips or advice would you give others who want to build a journaling habit?
Just put *something* down—it doesn’t matter what it is. Don’t judge it and don’t try to edit it, just type or talk and watch the streaks grow. And create different journals! I keep a journal for my running, one for my music practice, one for novel writing ideas, one that I keep great quotes in, and I also keep a Sun Journal that keeps track of whether the sun comes out or not!
What have you learned from keeping a journal?
I’ve learned that I love writing, but more than that just putting my thoughts down. Some days I’m extremely lucid and some days I make no sense at all and it’s all good. I’ve also learned that my memory can play tricks on me and having a record of what happened and what was on my mind at the time can be really mind-blowing!
What is your favorite thing about the Day One app?
I love everything about Day One, but I think the convenience and ease-of-use are my favorites. It’s extremely easy to get an entry going and the interface is simple and beautiful.
How has Day One helped you journal consistently?
Just knowing that my streak will end if I don’t create an entry, lol!
Living the Examined Life Through Journaling
Aaron’s unwavering dedication to journaling serves as both a therapeutic outlet and an analytical tool, and why he believes, in the words of Socrates, that “An unexamined life is not worth living.” From the convenience of the Day One app to the lessons learned about the fallibility of memory, Aaron’s narrative unfolds as an inspiring testament to the impact of one small, daily act of introspection.
Start Your Journaling Streak
with Day One
The Day One journaling app makes it easy to build and maintain a daily journaling habit. Daily journaling reminders, daily writing prompts, and journal streaks are designed to help keep you motivated and consistently journaling.