Day One

On Monday I grabbed one of my old handwritten diaries off the bookshelf to look back on ‘this day in history’. As I began reading, I had the brainwave of inputting all that data into Day One. Then I thought I could add in scanned concert tickets. Then I thought I could go through my old hand-written calendars. And how about photos? And could I finally get round to getting Slogger to work with my tweets, and a bunch of other social services?

Of course, the danger is that I’ll get caught up in this project and lost myself in the past to the exclusion of the present.

Well, I’ve addressed that. I’m going to ensure that I write at least one long-form entry for each day that I put in historical data.

While I was waiting for my flu jab yesterday, I added a picture to Day One from my iPhone and it asked whether I wanted to make the entry for the day on which the picture was taken AND add the location data! That’s a KILLER feature!

I shared about my new project at last night’s AA meeting and, as I did, it dawned on me that this could be part of some Step 4 work, possibly even sharing some of it in Step 5. Imagine doing a Step 5 all with Day One on an iPhone!? Cool!

I’m extremely excited about this project. It’s the kind of thing that I would have loved back in the day. One of the historical entries I copied last night was from a typed entry done on my old Smith Corona electric typewriter. At the time I was excited about being able to store diary entries on a data card for that machine! That was 1996.

So Excited!

Shawn Blanc reviews Day One →

As a writer, I believe journaling on a regular basis is critical. It’s writing that will never be judged. It’s writing that doesn’t require an editor. It’s the only place where I am completely free to write for my truly ideal reader: a future me. I have my own inside jokes, my own running story arc, my own shorthand. I love the freedom to write whatever I want, however I want, with no need to make it tidy or clear or concise. And I have no doubt that it makes me a better professional writer.

I totally agree.

Shawn’s writing shows that it works; his work is short on typos, has no grammar mistakes and, most importantly, it has style and voice. So the writing practice for him is obviously working!

I’ve been using Day One for a while now, on and off, just on the Mac, not on iOS. I kept journals for years, writing long hand into a school exercise book or A4 refill pad. Some of my best moments are recorded in those pages, along with some of my worst.

As part of my Step 4(1) of the Alcoholics Anonymous 12-step programme, I read through my old journals and it was fascinating stuff. Particularly the entries I made whilst, shall we say, not entirely sober. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t all drunken ramblings; some of it was actually quite good. But the overall picture was enlightening to say the least.

And now, as part of my recovery, writing helps me a great deal. I even toyed with the idea of setting up an anonymous blog to write about my daily recovery or lack thereof. I may even still do that, so I’m keeping the URL just in case.

Writing helps me in so many ways, so when Andy Ihnatko recommended Day One on MacBreak Weekly, I bought it and gave it a whirl. All the things Shawn so eloquently describes in his review are why I carried on using it. It’s such a nice-looking app and it’s a joy to use.

I’m not sure that the new features will be of particular use to me. I think of my Tumblr / Google+ / Twitter as my public journal for photo-sharing and suchlike, but I suppose there could be room for photos in my journal. Certainly not weather reports though. I couldn’t(2) really care less about what the weather was when I wrote something.

(1)Make a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves
(2)US English variant: could care less (wink)