How I’m Using Day One 2

I purchased Day One for both iOS and Mac years ago, but, admittedly, using it as a journal never really clicked no matter how hard I tried. I spent a lot of time perusing Day One’s Uses section, until at some point, I stumbled upon Giftttdy and decided I would use Day One as a lifelog. Fast forward a few months, and Day One had quickly turned into a jumbled mess of duplicated posts due to crossposting to various platforms and a long list of tags that made me cringe whenever I opened it. Don’t get me wrong, Giftttdy is a great idea. It just didn’t work out for me, and I eventually painstakingly deleted every auto-logged entry one by one. If only I had waited until Day One 2, which added the ability to edit multiple entries, came out, I could have saved myself a lot of time.

Nevertheless, it’s been about a month since Day One 2 was released, and despite my past troubles with journaling, both the Mac and iOS versions were “insta-buys” and also “insta-recommends”. Much to my surprise, the added features were exactly what I needed to fuel a new journaling habit. I was instantly trying to find new things to journal. Sadly, despite my countless searches, I’ve yet to find many people discussing how they’ve decided to take advantage of Day One 2’s features. I have, however, found quite a few people looking for exactly that that have also come up empty handed –> queue the rationale behind post.

Day One 2 now supports multiple journals (up to 10), and this may be the single most behavior-changing feature for me. As I mentioned before, I hated opening Day One to a jumbled mess. I had plenty of things I wanted to capture, but everything was lumped together. With Day One 2, thats no longer the case.

So without further ado, here is how I’m using Day One 2. I currently have 6 journals:

Journal list

  • Gratitude for logging 3 things I’m grateful for each night. This habit is something I continue to see recommended time and time again, and having done it off and on for a few years now, I can attest to its benefits. I don’t regularly review my entries, but on days I happen to see one, it’s nice to look back at what made me happy that day. I use a super simple Text Expander snippet for this that just puts “I’m grateful for…” followed by 3 bullets.
  • My second journal, Moments, is for recording any special moments I’d like to remember later. I tag them accordingly based on what type of moment they might be: conversations, dreams, something I feel the need to vent about. This journal gives me an outlet for my thoughts other than my boyfriend or best friend who I’m sure both appreciate the decrease in the number of rants I share.
  • I also have a Goals journal where I store my yearly list of goals I’d like to work towards. I used to keep text files for each year, but it’s nice to be able to look back at them in one place whenever I want.
  • Quotes is for, well, quotes. I’d always been envious of those people who kept a list of quotes. While I’ve highlighted or saved some over the years, I never really settled on a single place to keep them, so the majority disappeared, never to be seen again. Now whether I snap a picture of a quote I come across in a hardback book or copy and paste one I find digitally, they all can live in one place.
  • Reviews is probably my most favorite journal. Despite the picture below making it seem like I only eat at DuClaw, my boyfriend and I actually do enjoy trying new places to eat and drink, and this journal gives me a place to record what I love and, occasionally, what doesn’t love me back so that I know never to order it again. I also use it for books, movies, and music. It’s turned into my own personal combination of Yelp, Untappd, Goodreads, and Rotten Tomatoes. Plus it’s downright nice to look at. It takes 5 seconds to grab a photo and use Text Expander snippets to log what and by whom or where, along with a 1-5 star rating. Day One also tracks location and time so I can quickly see a map of where I’ve eaten and the calendar view provides a nice overview of when. I also tag these by type which allows me to filter the list based on type, location, date, or name.

Review List

  • My last journal is entitled TIL, “Today I Learned”. It’s the newest journal and came from a recommendation on Lifehacker which happened to feature Day One in the screenshot. I haven’t been noting something I learned each day like the recommendation, but it will be helpful for capturing tidbits of information that would be helpful to retain that don’t necessarily have a place to be stored (e.g. where to send that random support request that only comes in once every 2 years).

Tags haven’t really changed in Day One, but paired with multiple journals, they’ve become much more useful because they can be applied across journals. The minute this occurred to me, I was flooded with inspiration. Filtering by the tag “Book” pulls up entries for book quotes in the Quotes journal and book reviews in Reviews. Similarly, a search for the tag “work” might pull up entries in my Moments journal or TIL.

So that’s how I’m using Day One.

Update: See my latest post on how I’m using Workflow to automate logging food and drinks to my Review Journal


14 thoughts on “How I’m Using Day One 2

    • Andrea @ says:

      I just add a picture to the journal entry when I add it. If I didn’t remember to grab a picture, I found one online that matched the label or logo so I could find it again. I wasn’t expecting it to look nearly as cool as it did with the pictures so once I saw them all together it just made me want to add more 🙂

      • Todd says:

        It really looks cool, and your post is great. I, too, had a jumbly mess due to gfttd, but now I just dump it into a “social media” notebook. I picked up text expander based on your recommendation, and I’m getting to know it…..I’d love to be able to use the “workflow” app, to do something similar (but I’m not that talented).

  1. Shawn says:

    What kind of snippet do you use for your reviews? I’m just starting to use text expander and I have been trying to find a snippet to include the star ratings like yours.

    • Todd says:

      I’m so glad you asked that, because I’m in the same boat with text expander – I tried to do something similar and just put in the Thumbs Up and Thumbs Down emoji’s – but the stars look cooler!

    • Andrea @ says:

      My snippets for Day One are pretty straightforward. Most of my review snippets are in the format of [Item Name] by [Company/Author] – [StarRating]. Having short snippets to trigger 1-5 stars (for example, mine’s :1star for ★) has also been surprisingly helpful. Lately, when I’m on my phone I’ve been using Launch Center Pro in conjunction with that snippets to log things, but I’m in the process of converting those actions to the Workflow app. Workflow allows me to be a little smarter with the logging process (e.g. prompting me for a picture automatically so I don’t forget). Once I get the kinks ironed out, I’ll be sure to share them because a lot of people have asked for my snippets.

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