Day One - My Evolution

Over the last couple of weeks, I have been diving in and out of Shawn Blanc's excellent Day One in Depth. Now, I'm not going to be extracting elements from the book to share - you really need to buy this book if you are in any way serious about journaling on iOS and OS X. Instead, I'm going to write about how my workflows have changed since reading it.

This is going to be an organic change, in that I don't have any kind of 'end game' in sight for how I use Day One. On the contrary, I feel as though I could realistically never use the application to it's full potential! There is so much that can be done.

One thing I HAVE changed within the last week is how I synchronise my data between devices. I had initially taken the path of least resistance and setup iCloud synchronisation. What I didn't realise, was that if I created a Day One account and used their own proprietary syncing engine to sync my data, I would open myself to lots of developmental bonuses as the product matures - not least of which, IFTTT support. I've been currently getting items into Day One using a combination of Dropbox and Launch Centre Pro however the ability to perform these kind of automated actions 'natively' is very attractive indeed.

Currently, Day One is my primary tool for creating a Daily Log for all project related activity, both for clients and socially. Being a 'tagger', I enter multiple entries a day and tag them with the relevant Project code so that I can retrieve information swiftly and easily. I log EVERYTHING related to the client work I'm doing - emails sent, conversations had, issues, risks, thoughts - the works. This may seem overkill, however I'm trying to train that part of my brain to always reflex actions directly to a journal. It's that muscle memory I'm trying to develop, the habit of journaling these actions, big or small. That way, I know I won't forget to write down something big in the future and miss it, because I'm 'out of the habit'.

Personally, my thoughts and feelings go in there when I wake and when I close the day. I review the day, what went well, what could have been improved and, just as importantly, what do I hope to achieve tomorrow. This helps me sleep, knowing that I've defined my MITs (most important tasks) for the next day.

I'm not a huge photographer by any stretch of the imagination, however when I pull my phone out now to snap a special moment, it goes straight into Day One. It seems the perfect place for it in my opinion, a formal record of my most important moments and if I've felt compelled enough to take a photo, sending to Day One with the built-in share extension is no effort at all. One thing I need to look at is the ability for Workflow to create Day One entries. I know there are opportunities in my day for this to save me a lot of time, I just need to define them.

I also record food we've had from different restaurants or take outs. How often have we had the conversation - "When did we have food from there last? Was it good? What did you have?" and I struggle to recollect. A simple example of how journaling can help save your brain work.

I have a recurring task in OmniFocus to spend twenty or so minutes a month looking online at new examples people have had for the use of Day One and combined with my own desire to utilise it more, I know that it can make a substantial difference to my life.