Kyle Weirauch just crossed the impressive milestone of 4,100 consecutive days of journaling. Kyle works as an analyst in Missouri, and has been writing everyday for over 11 years.
In this interview, we asked Kyle 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 started using a journal after participating in an Alzheimer’s Walk in honor of my grandfather in 2008. I know that I have a higher than normal risk of getting Alzheimer’s and I thought it would be important to document my experiences in case I can’t remember them as clearly in the future.
What makes journaling important to you?
I like “brain dumping” the events of the day right before bedtime. I gives me the space to allow myself to forget about what has happened in the past. I’ve recently gotten into meditation and it teaches the importance of non-attachment since everything will be gone someday. When I’m feeling nostalgic, I can use the search function to remember an experience that brought me joy.
What do you usually journal about?
My journal entries are generally just a list of the activities that I did during the day. I usually don’t include a lot of emotions, just facts. It reads almost like a news story of my life.
When do you journal each day?
I journal right before I go to sleep on my phone app. I don’t have any problems failing asleep after looking at my phone, so it works for me.
“Journaling gives me the ability to forget minor details and focus more on the present. Since I have a record of my past events, I simply use the search function to remind myself what I did. This clears my memory and gives it more space for more significant ideas. I also like the idea of someone in the future from my family using the data to get a better understanding of my life.”
What tips or advice would you give others who want to build a journaling habit?
It’s ok to miss a few days at a time. I just use the calendar function to see what days are missing. Sometimes if it’s more than a few days, I might have to look at my bank account to recall where I went and what I did. Sometimes I ask my wife and she usually remembers. It’s kind of a group effort.
What have you learned from keeping a journal?
I love using the “On this Day” feature and seeing all the different things I’ve done over the years on a particular day. It usually sparks a fun conversation with my wife that begins with, “remember when…?”
I’ve learned that even when my life seems dull or too routine, I remember that I have done some fun things in the past and I hope to continue to more in the future.
What is your favorite thing about the Day One app?
I enjoy using the search function and remembering a specific memory. It has given me the ability to forget dates and other brain fillers so that I can live more in the present. If I start ruminating, I can use the app to help me quickly find a memory and move on.
How has Day One helped you journal more consistently?
I don’t use any of the Day One prompts to get me to continue. I’ve just been doing it for so long that it’s like brushing my teeth. If I go too long without writing, I can tell that my mind is holding onto too many facts and I need to get them documented.
What else you would like to share about your journaling streak?
I create a “Year in Review” entry that I post every December 31. It’s a quick list organized by month of all the entries during the year that I’ve marked as a favorite. It’s a fun and quick way to review the highlights of the year and see everything that I thought was important.
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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.