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Life Technology

Build a Daily Journaling Practice with Day One and TextExpander

Here’s an idea for something you might actually stick to

The benefits to journaling are vast and largely personal. I enjoy looking back occasionally to see what I was up to a year or a few years ago. Mostly though, I use my journal as a place to talk about my feelings and more importantly, talk through my feelings.

Day One has helped me journal about my life since 2012. While my usage of it has changed over the years, the constant has been its involvement in helping me chronicle my life.

It all starts with a straightforward TextExpander snippet. Day One seems to have support for templates, but I unfortunately haven’t figured out how to create them from the Mac app.

Screenshot of TextExpander
Day One supports Markdown, so I format my template accordingly

I’ve modified the standup format to ask three questions:

  1. What did you do yesterday?
  2. What will you do today?
  3. Anything else?

That’s not a ton of information, but this is working for me right now. I find that the biggest barrier to regular journaling is the expectation of detail. Sure, some days you’ll have lots to say. But let’s be honest here, sometimes life is boring and instead of writing nothing, this template lets me highlight the small things in life it’s easy to forget.

Screenshot of a journal entry in Day One
The final result

Whether the information you want to capture is more or less than mine, I hope you’ll at least give journaling a try. It’s been extremely helpful for me.

By Timmmmy

A human hoping to be empathetic and kind with all. I'm a geek, coffee drinker, stoner, maker of things, and forever an optimist. Brightly-colored clothes weren't enough, so I dye my hair too (he/him)

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