The Way I Journal: Christine Chan

[Day One] Who are you and what do you do?

[Christine] I am Christine Chan (@christyxcore), a writer and editor over at I go hands-on with tons of apps and cover everything about them to let our readers know if something is worth checking out or not in my in-depth reviews.

When and why did you start journaling?

I started journaling when I was really young. I always liked the feeling of just having a notebook around with me, and just writing down my thoughts whenever I could. Of course, being as I was only a carefree kid then, I didn’t really have a lot to talk about, other than something like how my day went. I actually never finished using up a notebook as a kid, and I jumped around quite a bit from book to book. I started taking journaling more seriously when I was in high school and college, as this is when I would write down how I feel in my Moleskine notebooks that I discovered, and they soon became a favorite. I started journaling in these with my favorite pen (Pilot G2) because it helped me relax, and I really did enjoy sitting down, writing, and just taking the time to reflect on things in my life. As my life matured, I had plenty more to say. Journaling helped me keep all of that in one place to someday go back and look at. Then, when Day One hit the scene, I loved the simplicity of the app, and began using it as my permanent journal solution. With the addition of photos, I could easily record every little memorable thing that occurred in my life that I want to remember later on. I now journal every single day, or well, at least I try to, so I have a record of my life.

What is your journaling routine?

Well, I no longer keep a paper journal since Day One. I wouldn’t say I have a routine, but I like to journal whenever I have some time and something exciting to talk about, or even some thoughts that are flooding my head at the moment. Lately, I’ve been journaling what I’ve worked on right after I do it, so I have records of what I’ve written on AppAdvice or wherever. I like to take walks around my neighborhood, and on those walks, I enjoy taking photos. In fact, I am kind of a photo nut—I take a lot of pictures. When an image really strikes me, or it’s just something I want to recall later, I will throw it into Day One as a visual timeline of my day. But some days, I may not have worked on anything, or I didn’t take any remarkable photos. Then I just like to sit in the evening and just reflect on how my day went, what I learned or did, or just talk about how I feel, and other personal stuff. I try and make it a habit to have at least one entry in Day One each day.

Do you focus on longform writing, or in capturing small memories of life?

Every now and then, if there’s a lot going on in my life and I want to reflect, I will do longform entries. It’s just a way for me to express myself personally, and it helps when no one is able to read how I really feel at times. But I do mostly just focus on capturing small memories of my life as they happen, because that’s what I keep a journal for—a record of my life. As mundane as some parts may be, it’s still my life, and just nice to go back and see visual or written memories.

Do you have a favorite spot where you like to journal?

Not particularly. I basically journal whenever the mood strikes.

What was your first entry in Day One?

Apparently it was about some crazy dream I had. Crazy car chases were involved.

How many entries do you have in your journal?

As of right now, 1,430.

What is your favorite, or most-used feature from Day One?

Definitely the photo importing. It has made journaling much easier for me, and I love going back and looking at my photographic memories. It’s amazing being able to capture life and record it as it happens in your journal.

Do you write mostly on the iPhone, iPad, or the Mac?

I mostly use the iPhone version to import images, but I do some writing on it before I sleep if I forgot to do it earlier. But the majority of my Day One writing is done on my Mac, as it is much easier for me to type on my computer than the small iPhone screen, especially if I have a lot to say. Every now and then, I’ll use the iPad version, but my iPad 3 usually just sits around in my backpack. Maybe that’s why I don’t use the iPad version that often.

Do you follow any journal organization rules?

Nope. To me, journaling doesn’t really have organization or structure—it’s just thoughts that flow through you, memories you want to remember, and other stuff. You can’t really structure that, and I just journal as how I see fit.

Have you ever relied on Day One for something unexpected, or used it to recall details about a specific event or date?

All the time. You never know what will happen in life, so I like to record any significant event (especially the unexpected) in my journal. As I mentioned before, it’s a record of my life, and I want to remember everything that happened in it. I have also been using it to remember when big events happen that don’t affect me personally. It’s just nice to look back and be like “Oh, that’s the big thing that happened that day!” and see what you were doing at the time it happened. Little things like that are just fun to look back on, at least for me.

Thanks for your time, Christine! We’ve enjoyed learning more about you and how you use Day One.

About the Author

Tulio Jarocki is a student, design aficionado, and journaling enthusiast. When he is not writing about the rewards of journaling for Day One, he can be seen drinking coffee, running, or just out and about in Boston.

Journal from here, there, everywhere.

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