This blog got a huge traffic boost last week after Day One shared my last post, How I’m Using Day One 2. People really liked my Review journal for capturing my thoughts on everything from food and drink to movies and books. My process is straight forward. Each entry contains a photo of what I’m reviewing (if I remembered), what it’s called, who makes it, a rating between ★-★★★★★ and a tag describing the type of item. Day One automatically adds the location and time information. The result is a collection of journal entries I can narrow results by search or filter by tags (e.g. only show me books). I can also see my reviews on both a map or calendar showing me where I’ve been and when.
My process involved some combination of Text Expander snippets and Launch Center Pro actions, and a lot of people wanted to know more. With the update to Day One 2, I started having trouble with Launch Center Pro reliably sending my text to Day One, so I went back to just using Text Expander for a while. More often than not, I just typed out the 1 line of text on my own though. I wanted something better.
Workflow is one of those apps power users seem to love talking about. However it seems like most of the talk I’ve seen centers around figuring out what in the world to actually do with it in the first place. I’m no exception. Workflow was an “insta-buy” for me when it hit the App Store mainly because I was convinced it would be taken down and wanted a chance to try it. Miraculously, Apple has allowed it to stay in the App Store and even promotes it. Try as I might though, I could never find a use for it. Periodically, I would reinstall it in hopes of a new idea, but it always ended the same way – uninstalling it from my phone – at least until my Day One post came out.
Workflow for a Gratitude Journal
I have to give a lot of credit to reader Todd, who shared a workflow for a Gratitude Journal made by Ashley Theiss in the comments of my previous post. As far as Gratitude Journals go, this is a pretty darn thorough one. I still prefer the simplicity of capturing 3 things I’m grateful for each night. (Day One shows all three things in every entry without having to open up the entry allowing me to see everything I’m grateful for right away.)
I may have passed on using the workflow, but what was useful was seeing how it worked. Anyone who’s ever learned to code, knows that a big part of it is looking at code that’s already written and learning how it works. Understanding Workflow is a lot like that. Seeing how it worked, I was quickly able to modify the workflow to make a template for my own Gratitude Journal, and now I can launch it from my Today screen each night. You can find it here.
Workflow for Reviews
Tweaking the Gratitude Journal template got my wheels spinning, and I started thinking I could use it for my food and drink templates for my Review Journal. How hard could it be, right? Surprisingly, not too hard at all. After a bit of trial and error, I ended up with a Workflow that replicated my beer template, asked me to take a picture, and passed it all along to Day One tagged correctly.
Once I had the basics down, I just copied the Workflow and changed the wording a bit until I had one that worked for food. It wasn’t long before my Today screen started growing out of control though. By the end of it I had 4 separate Workflows just to add various types of food and drink.
Being a minimalist, I want my Today screen as simple as possible. Each of my workflows was fairly similar, and I’d already figured out the Menu action, so I took it a step further, and added one more menu. The result is the workflow you’ll see below – a single “Log Food or Drink” workflow fully capable of setting the tag based on what you want to log. I’m really happy with the results. You can find the full workflow here.