I’ve been on a bit of a journalling kick lately. It started in December 2014 when I decided that I’d try to write in my journal every day. I can’t really remember why I made that decision but now almost a year later I’ve only missed a handful of days all year.
I’ve been using the great Day One app to do all my journalling. It gives me powerful search options, makes good use of the standard iOS share sheet for photo journalling, and most of all makes my writing look pretty. I’ve been using this app on and off for a long time and after a year of using it every day I can say that it’s solid and makes journalling really easy.
Over the last week I have started to add a bit more structure to my journal. I’m doing this because I want to make my journal more than a record of what I’ve been doing. I want it to be where I make promises to myself. I want to use it to keep track of how I’m meeting my goals.
The problem with Day One [^1] for doing this is that you constantly have to re-write the structure and questions. After spending all year getting used to the fact that all I need to do my journal is my iPhone, I didn’t want to start carrying around a seperate piece of paper or reference material to help spark my structured journal. I need a template within Day One, but alas there is no way to do that.
A few days ago I realised that I could create a template using the Workflow app. I made it using rudimentary ‘ask for input’ dialogues, variables, and a text template. It’s a simple workflow, but it does the job of providing me a template. One benefit of doing it this way is that I am forced to focus on the answer each question as it comes up, rather than skipping ahead to easier questions if I’m struggling to come up with an answer. I call the Workflow my Gratitude journal and you can get it here.
Using this workflow has made it a lot easier for me to stick to my structured journalling over the past week. Focusing on one question at a time means that the journalling process takes less time overall.
Things I’d like to get better at
- I need to review my journal more often. In particular since I’ve started doing a structured journal, it’s important that I review those entries to ensure that I’m doing what I say I want to do. And if I’m not, maybe I can journal about why not.
- I’d like to have more photos in my journal. Capturing photos helps to remind me of a moment in a way that words
I’m really glad I started journalling a year ago. I’ve got a lot out of it and look forward to seeing where it takes me next year.
[^1]: or any paper notebook for that matter.