Streak Stories

5,000 Days with Ian Colquhoun

Ian Colquhoun

From the picturesque shores of Cape Schanck on the Mornington Peninsula, to the bustling environments of his on-set job, Ian Colquhoun has been weaving his narrative tapestry, one entry at a time. Venturing back to 2008, Ian’s journey with journaling speaks of consistency, adaptability, and the pivotal role that modern technology has played in documenting life’s minutiae.

With over 5,000 journal entries spanning various aspects of his life—from work to personal travels—Ian’s story is a testament to the power of persistence. But what drives a person to maintain such a commitment? For Ian, it’s about memory preservation, documentation, and a love for an app that has made all the difference.

How long have you been keeping a journal?

My journaling now goes back to mid 2008. I started using Day One in 2018 and gradually worked backwards from there, using work records, photos and diary entries to get me back to where I started my current job.

What makes journaling important to you? 

I like having a record of daily events, even trivial ones just for my own satisfaction.

What do you usually journal about?

I have kept journals on and off for many years but could never sustain the effort until Day One and a mobile phone made it so easy.

Previous attempts were usually very personal but tended to the long-winded and I had to have a functioning pen, the actual journal and the time to make notes. I found it was hard to keep that up for any length of time.

When I discovered Day One I wanted the ability to keep a work journal as a sort of protection – a record of what I had done and the equipment used and so on in case there were questions at a later date, but it very quickly expanded and I now maintain some 20 journals for various reasons. The main work journal streak stretches from 1 August 2008 to the present (5,292 days as I write).

As I just noted, I now maintain multiple journals—a daily diary, a journal noting activities relating to my family history clients, a couple that relate to some overseas trips taken for medical treatments and many more

When do you journal each day?

At work, my journaling is an absolute. Once I have set up my camera and any alarms that I need for critical events on the shoot and I’ve checked in with the crew I’m responsible for, the next thing I do – without exception – is to journal the day so far. I have multiple templates set up for common circumstances and I use an appropriate one to give me consistency. Then, as the day progresses I can update the entry until the end of the day, when parts of it can function as a report, if needed.

When not at work, I usually trigger an entry first thing in the morning using a template and then make notes as needed.

What tips or advice would you give others who want to build a journaling habit?

That’s simple. Consistency. As I noted above, I have made journaling each day a strict part of my routine. It’s the only way that works for me. It takes me just a few seconds to make the initial entry, using a template, then I can add details as needed. Tags are a great help too.

What have you learned from keeping a journal?

My journals act as a memory aid. It doesn’t take much – even just a brief note or a photo – to help in recalling more events from a given day.

What is your favorite thing about the Day One app?

Where do I start? At the risk of sounding like an apologist for Day One, I simply love this app. I love that it is searchable. I love that it allows me to have multiple journals. I love that it allows me to have multiple templates. I love that it is cross-platform.

“My journals act as a memory aid. It doesn’t take much—even just a brief note or a photo—to help in recalling more events from a given day.”

I use journaling primarily as an aide mémoire. As such, I need it to be searchable. I have devoted a deal of time to setting up consistencies in format and wording to aid in those searches. For example, all of my work entries are titled by location so if I refer to a different location in any given area the spelling is altered so it doesn’t affect any searches for that location

I have 13 custom-made journal templates that cover most situations and provide me with an initial framework for each entry. After that, it’s just a matter of adding details as required.

How has Day One helped you journal consistently? 

Ease of use. Day One simply makes it easy to journal. I can add information so easily, be it text or photos or audio that it promotes, at least for me, that consistency that means I canjournal consistently, at long last.

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