Ellen Feagin just passed the impressive milestone of 1,700 consecutive days of journaling. Ellen, who is retired, lives in metro Atlanta, Georgia.
In this interview, we asked Ellen about the importance of keeping a journal and for advice on how to build a meaningful journaling habit that lasts.
How long have you been keeping a journal?
I downloaded Day One on November 20, 2013 because I read about it in a magazine article and decided to give it a try. I had tried sporadically to journal before that but could never get into the habit of journaling.
What makes journaling important to you?
I like seeing a highlight of every day and, recently, a detailed breakdown of what I’ve done every day.
What do you usually journal about?
When I started using Day One, I mainly used it to track the books I had been reading. Until I started my current streak, I mainly journaled about vacations I took with my husband.
Since September 2018, I have written something everyday—a book I read, a movie that I watched, or just a picture that caught my attention.
In January 2021, I went on vacation with my husband and created a detailed entry of each day. I liked this even though it was just mundane minutiae of my day. I have enjoyed reading it when it comes up “On This Day.”
“I keep filling in entries in the past as I think of events that happened while I was growing up. These entries don’t contribute to my current streak, but they do fill in gaps about my life history. Overall I have 7,200 entries spread over 2,200 days and I love going back and reading them.”
I also use a Daily Summary template asking about highlights of my day, what I’m reading and watching, what I had to eat, what the weather was like, and my sleep schedule that day.
When do you journal each day?
I journal throughout the day so I can make sure to include any important information. At night, I go through that day’s entry and add anything I missed.
What tips or advice would you give others who want to build a journaling habit?
When I was determined to include interesting information about my day, I went through my photos app and shared pictures to the appropriate day. The enjoyment of seeing these fill out my journal motivated me to add more entries.
The best advice I can give to someone that wants to start a journaling habit is to write something … anything … even if it’s only a short sentence. That’s how I started. From there, I got more confidence in my writing and I include longer entries now.
Answering the Daily Prompt is also a simple way to increase your streak.
The more you journal, the easier it gets. Especially since you are the only one reading it.
What have you learned from keeping a journal?
Keeping a journal can be fun and extremely useful. Hardly a day goes by that I don’t use Day One to research when something happened. My husband is amazed at how quickly I can access information about when something happened.
What is your favorite thing about the Day One app?
Without a doubt it’s the “On This Day” feature. Each day, I look forward to learning what happened on this particular day throughout the years.
The other thing I like about Day One is the search function. Whether it is a particular tag or just a keyword, I can find all entries pertaining to it.
I also ordered my first book from Day One. I’m enjoying my book very much and it’s very beautiful.
How has Day One helped you journal more consistently?
It’s exciting to see my streak grow each day. I just passed the milestone of 1,700 days.
What else you would like to share about your journaling streak?
I keep filling in entries in the past as I think of events that happened while I was growing up. These entries don’t contribute to my current streak, but they do fill in gaps about my life history. Overall I have 7,200 entries spread over 2,200 days and I love going back and reading them.
Start Your Journaling Streak
with Day One
The Day One journaling app makes it easy to build and maintain a daily journaling habit. Daily reminders, daily writing prompts, and journaling streaks are designed to help keep you motivated and consistently journaling.