In my cupboard drawer I have a despicably large hoard of blank, little used journals and notebooks. To think of all the observations, thoughts and doubts I could have articulated, but didn’t, fills me with remorse at my lazy former self. Not because I think the daily wanderings of my mind are of much importance, but because to me personally, it’s a really precious thing to be able to read back on previous versions of where your mind was at, whether that’s later this year or in decades to come!
Every year over 98% of atoms in your body are replaced – from Did You Know? #226
This intriguing fact is just a small reminder that who you are is constantly shifting in so many ways and is never one fixed ‘self’. As well this, our opinions shift over the years as we take on different learnings and perspectives from outside of ourselves.
In the spirit of documenting my life, I downloaded the ‘Day One’ app to keep track of things like my daily habits, quotes I’ve read, even observations I have when people-watching on the London tube! **Unfortunately it only works on my iOS devices, not my Android.. I hope they fix this asap!**
Here’s a round-up of how other people have pushed the boundaries of what a ‘journal’ can be in 2014 with the Day One app:
1) Ben Whiting’s article Remembering and Reflecting with Day One suggests tagging posts with ‘funny’. Whenever you’re feeling down, you can flip through a list of content that you already know is going to tickle your funny bone! I LOVE this idea.
2) Another simple but effective idea from Ben is to group together entries about larger life occasions e.g. a family trip/wedding, to help organize your thoughts.
5) You can set up a IFTTT recipe to automatically send your daily Fitbit activity to Day One, recording all of your steps and active minutes alongside your other journal entries (courtesy of GadgetComa)
7) Resilient Delight recommends great self-reflective tags such as Fears & Desires.
8) One of my favourite ideas is by Noah Liebman, which is to place ‘Day One’ as a kind of ‘tweet to myself’ tool, when you censor yourself from tweeting a particular thought. He says:
“So many of my “Ooh, I should tweet that!” moments I don’t actually tweet, either because I don’t think my audience would be interested, or because they just plain aren’t appropriate for Twitter (or anyplace else outside my own brain, for that matter). But with an outlet for them, those thoughts are captured”.
9) Medical Tracking. The Day One app’s Uses page shares examples of users who are tracking recurring headaches, as well as keeping track of your’s or a loved one’s medical treatment.
10) Dream log.
11) Quotes. You could even take it a step further and group quotes with additional tags such as the person you’re quoting or an adjective such as ‘uplfting’ or ‘career’ if they give advice on a particular area of your life.
12) Image log. You might think that this is easily done with other photo apps, but the benefit of Day One is that you don’t have to share each photo/image you save with anyone at all, and the fact you can view these in a ‘calendar’ format alongside text entries makes it even more powerful.
13)Simplicity Bliss believes feeling accountable to track your goals:
“Now I can reflect on my progress against my 12 weeks goals every day by recording in Day One what I have done that day that contributes to them.. What strikes me is that it really hurts if you need to write “nothing” under a goal for a few days in a row”.
14) Set reminders to write, helping you keep the words flowing – right now you only seem to be able to set time and recurrence, but you could perhaps designate different times of the day for different writing purposes, e.g. 8am = sum up yesterday’s events, 12pm = take a photo of wherever you are, and 6pm = write about your feelings and progress against goals.
15) Day One can also have great applications for your working day. For instance, Katie Floyd uses Day One to track billable time in a much immediate fashion. Because you can share files or export to PDF, you can easily get this to the right colleague to ensure all information is tracked easily.
You may not have tried this app out, or you may be wholly committed to your physical paper journal. But either way, using this app makes the future of journaling (particularly the ability to look back through past events and memories) a very exciting prospect.