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The Advantages of a Digital Journal in a Digital Age

Day One

Do you keep a journal? I do.

And it’s for much more than just documenting my terrible handwriting. Starting in my teenage years, and all through my 20s and now my 30s, many of the major milestones of my life have been documented in a journal. Most of those years were documented in a paper journal of some sort.

However, because journaling wasn’t a daily habit for me, most of my journal entries are in chunks, and primarily center around the most extreme high and low seasons of my life. What is predominantly missing are the little milestones that seemed inconsequential at the time but no doubt played a significant role in shaping my character, interests, and beliefs.

It is what it is, of course. But after several years of keeping a journal — regularly, though not daily — my stance on journaling is that quantity begets quality.

Which is why I find Day One to be so fantastic.

It’s an app that effortlessly accommodates both extremes of journaling. From the long-form introspective stuff, to the super-short update.

* * *

As time passes, the clarity with which we can remember and recall certain events slowly diminishes — conversations, milestones, special moments, experiences, facts, feelings, and more. Even for the most vivid of memories we hold, we’ll often forget the context in which they happened, other events that happened around the same time, and even when that memory took place.

Capturing both the big and small events of our lives in a journal can be done in a few short minutes here and there. And the return on that small investment can be incalculable. As time passes, we’ll be able to look back and remember what our children’s first words were (and when they first said them), what we were feeling the day before our wedding, what happened the week after we lost our job, that awesome baseball game we went to, the super-cute moment our toddler son hugged a goat at the petting zoo, and more.

Not only does the journal serve the purpose of reminding us what happened, but it reminds us who we are and where we’ve been. It is an instrumental tool in the journey of growing and maturing in our emotions, thoughts, opinions, and relationships.

The advantage of a digital journal are many. 

To name just a few:

  • Always Nearby: Chances are, as you read this, your iPhone is within arm’s reach, and that’s assuming you’re not reading this on your iPhone. Which means — thanks to the Day One iPhone app — you can create a new journal entry pretty much any time you have a free moment. Creating a new entry in Day One is just as easy as writing a tweet or a shooting a new Instagram post.

  • Always Backed Up: Because your entries are backed up to the cloud and stored locally on each of your devices (iPad, iPhone, Mac), it means your journal entries are safe. (Next week I’m going to share a tip about how to back up your backup — a little nerdy, I know.)

  • Easy to Search: One of Day One’s greatest assets as a journal is the ability to search through its archives. Entries can be tagged and starred for easy access to important dates and important information. Entries are also automatically stamped with the time and date as well as the actual location you were at, creating both a timeline and geographical archive of your entries.

Speaking of search, tomorrow I’ll be sharing some clever ways you can sort your Day One’s Timeline View.

A Place for Everything

In an ever-expanding digital world, is there one spot to keep and archive the little moments and the big? Yes.

As I shared in my article yesterday about how I use Day One, this app can serve as an ideal holding place for photographs, quotes, stories, ideas, inspiration, travel destinations, and more.

Instead of having our most important moments dispersed across Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Email, Tumblr, and a drawer in our office. Why not have a single, central repository for everything? (Not that you would put every single social media update into your Day One, but you could put the ones that mean the most to you.)

These are just a few of the advantages of a digital journal in general, and more specially, the advantages of using Day One.



This article is pulled from our in-depth video screencast course that will teach you everything you need to know about the award-winning journaling app, Day One.