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.

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