Journal Without Journaling (Using Day One)

It only occurred to me at the beginning of the year, when I casually mentioned that I was printing a book of my Day One yearly journal ( Day One allows for multiple journals and I organize my journals by year), that I don’t really use Day One for journalling in the traditional sense. I prefer to do that by hand in a paper notebook. That’s where I may capture thoughts and feelings about the day or, in the case of my Daily Log, what I did and when I did it. I use Day One to capture all of those other things that are not journalling in the more traditional sense but, in a way, are as much journalling as anything else.

Lately, I’ve been thinking that this may be helpful to others — especially those that have struggled with traditional journalling, have desires to do so, but can’t seem get into the rhythm or make the time. Here’s what goes into my Day One:

  • Instagram — Do you use it to post photos of what you eat? Vacations? Pets? Selfies? Any or all of the above? Maybe you add a short caption. Well, these are snapshots in time. These are “here I am and what I’m doing”. This is journalling. And, instead of just leaving it on the doorstep of some Facebook owned silo where you are unlikely to go back and reflect on your days, you can hook up Instagram to Day One and have those photos automatically imported in. Now, instead of your snapshots being blasted into the ether, they can become part of a meaningful record of your life.

  • Twitter — I use IFTTT (If This Then That) to pipe every Tweet I post on Twitter into Day One. Once again, if you are using Twitter beyond posting links to news sites to own your perceived enemies and, instead, are posting what you are doing and thinking — that is journalling. Why not make it less ephemeral and more lasting, intentional, and meaningful by sending those Tweets to Day One?

  • Blog Posts — Everything I post to my blog, Rhoneisms, gets routed to Day One via IFTTT as well. Since I often use my blog in a way many people may use Twitter and Instagram, it makes sense in the context of what I’ve said above.

  • Tweet Without Tweeting, ‘Gram without ‘Graming — Maybe there’s a thought you have or å photo you take but you don’t, for whatever reason, want to post it to Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, your blog, etc. Maybe it’s too personal or not completely formed. Maybe you’re afraid it might get taken the wrong way or you just simply want to keep it to yourself. Well, why not “post” it into Day One? Not everything has to be out there for the world to see. Some things can be just for you.

Also, here’s another thing to think about while setting all of this up: How might it change what you post to Twitter if you know those things are going into a personal journal? One that you plan to print and maybe pass down to those you leave behind. How about what you post to Instagram or Facebook? Would it become more personal? More a reflection of what you did and how you feel about things? More like the old days of Twitter where the post box asked, “What are you doing?” and posting “Eating lunch” or “Stuck in a boring meeting” was not only OK but was what everyone did? Just some thoughts….

So, for the most part, my Day One journals are populated automatically. They capture those things that would otherwise be forgotten in a corporate silo. But, here’s another thing I do to make sure they are a lasting a permanent record…

Because I organize my journals by year (my current journal is titled 2021, for example), on January 1st I order a printed book of the previous years entries directly within Day One. Because, as many know, I’m a firm believer that if you really want something to last for generations, it should be on paper. Plus, I find it nice to randomly and occasionally pick up a journal from a previous year, flip through, and dwell in those memories.