As I was growing up, I was always interested in keeping a journal to document my life. I tried several times to get into journaling. I still have those journals where I wrote somewhere between five and fifteen entries before either forgetting or losing interest. Never had I been able to journal consistently despite how much I wanted to or how many pretty new notebooks I got.
Then, in 2013, I discovered Day One, and that changed my journaling game.
Day One is an iOS and Mac journaling application. It syncs beautifully across all your devices and lets you add multiple journals, photos and tags to your entries, and create reminders for you to write. You can log your location, the current weather data, your step count, and even the music you’re listening to.
I’m all for the look and feel of a physical journal, but the convenience of being able to journal on-the-go with my phone and instantly add photos to document my day is unbeatable.
Let’s get into the meat of this post: how I use Day One.
First off I have five different journals within Day One. As you can guess, Daily Musings is where I write my daily journal entries. I have missed a few days here and there, but for the most part, I have been writing daily since the fall of 2013. Writing in Day One has become part of my routine and my day feels incomplete without doing it.
Some of these daily entries are only a couple of short sentences, but sometimes, but when I have more to say, I’ll write a few paragraphs.
I’ll write about what I’ve been up to that day, and about what’s on my mind. If any major event happens, I’ll include that. During the spring of senior year, I would write an entry as each of my college decisions came out and tagged so I could see them all together. I also had tags for entries with my track times, SAT scores (I’m such a nerd, I know), and snow days and delays from school. I even had a phase where I tagged what I wore to school on my daily entry so I could check that I wasn’t wearing the same top twice within a couple of weeks (I’m a little embarrassed about this, but I have to admit Day One served the purpose).
My next journal is Reflections. This is mostly made up of monthly reflections that I write at the end of each month. These personal reflections are pretty casual. I normally write about 300 words about the highs and lows about the last month and what I wish I would have done better. Some months I’m more insightful than others, but in some I end up just highlighting the things that have happened.
I also have a few school year reflections from high school and am writing semester reflections for college. In these, I’ll reflect on the goals I set before the school year or semester began, what I did best, and what I’ve learned for next time.
Writing reflections helps put my life into perspective and make me seriously think about what kind of direction I’m going in, so I’m really glad I started doing them.
I’ve only just started the last three journals recently. Reviews is for my thoughts in books, movies, and anything else I feel I want to write about. In Goals, I really just have some new years’ resolutions. In Notes, I currently just have blog post ideas, but I started the journal with the intent that it would be the place where I would could just jot things down there rather than opening up a Word Document or using stickies.
Most of the time I journal on my MacBook, but I also often journal on my iPad. I usually only journal on my iPhone when I’m traveling or super busy. I prefer to write my reflections on my MacBook since they’re longer and the physical keyboard makes it easier to type.
One of my absolute favorite things about Day One is looking back on old entries. Using its “On this Day” feature, I can quickly find all my entries that I’ve written on that day throughout the years. It is so cool to see what I was up to one, two, and three years ago.
Day One makes journaling more accessible and fun to use. I’d recommend it to anyone who wants to start journaling, but has a tough time doing it consistently. I would also recommend it to someone who already keeps a physical journal, but would appreciate the extra features of Day One like adding photos and your location. Additionally, you would never have the fear of losing your journal with Day One syncing your entries to your account!
Do you like to journal? Do you already use or would like to use an app like Day One? Let me know in the comments below!