Using the Day One Journal App

Are you someone who journals? I used to journal very regularly in my childhood and teens, and now somewhat sporadically in my adulthood. Having a regular social media presence means that many milestones and events in my life are still being documented, but sometimes it’s nice to record your more private thoughts. Sometimes it’s nice to have space to just dump out what’s cluttering up your mind so you can sort through it better. I’m a fan of journaling, I just don’t always find I have the time or energy to keep it up the way I would like.

Overall I think I do prefer journaling in a paper notebook. It’s a break from screens, you can connect a little bit better with yourself, and it can be interesting to look back and see how your phrases and handwriting change at different points in your life. But I also realized awhile back that I got out more thoughts faster if I had an online journal. Something digital I could access throughout the day to add to. At one point I was doing really well with the JRNL app, which will publish your entries into a book for you. But once again journaling has been a little stagnant for me.

A friend of mine posted on Facebook recently that she had been journaling regularly by using the Day One app, and how nice it’s been and what a blessing. Getting a recommendation from a friend like that is sometimes all I need to try a new thing, so I signed up for an account and for the past number of weeks Day One has been a great addition to my routine.

For one, you can set it up so the app reminds you every day at a time you determine to write in your journal. For better or worse, my life runs on push notifications. I have a lot in my calendar, a lot in my to-do list, a lot of projects in my life I’m working on. Even for something small and regular, having a reminder on my phone or smartwatch is a HUGE help in me remembering to do it. So now I have a regular reminder for me to spend just a few minutes journaling.

I can set up multiple journals for different aspects of my life. I have my regular, everyday journal on the app for things going on in my life, and I decided to start a writing journal as well. I’m trying to be more consistent with my blogging and fiction writing, and being able to trace my progress and put down other writing-related thoughts is very helpful to the process. “Brain dumping” can do so much to clear your head of all the extra thoughts and ideas roaming in your head so you can put the focus back on your current project.

I also was able to import my Instagram feed, an app I’ve used for years, so I already have another “journal” that the app can show me memories from, and can help document my life in my journal. The app continues to sync my Instagram feed, and I can add photos and other media to my forthcoming journal entries as well.

If you don’t feel particularly inspired, it has a daily prompt you can use to get some thoughts down. In the very least, the prompt allows you to change up your focus, and start developing the habit of writing in your journal every day. It can also have you thinking about memories or habits or preferences you wouldn’t have pondered otherwise. Makes for some interesting self-reflection!

All in all, Day One is a really great app for those who, like me, have their life centered around their smartphones and would love to better get down their thoughts and document their memories in a more detailed or private way.


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