Given that I write these blog posts fairly regularly, many of which disclose a degree of internal dialog, it might seem a little weird that I really struggle with the concept of keeping a journal. It's really quite hard for me to write to myself, which is the best cognitive grasp I have of the process. Day One is a journaling app that has something in common with applications like Evernote, in that it allows you to drop in images and text with tagging and search functionality.
I've always liked the look of the application; it is exceptionally well designed. In some ways it's design and popularity have driven me to find a way for it to be useful. I certainly wanted to feel like it was useful. Initially though I was just staring at the new entry screen and not really getting anywhere.
It was some time after my initial investigation that I realised that it's usefulness for me lay in it's ability to meaningfully collate what were otherwise unrelated, disposable moments. I'd often take a photo of something interesting that would never really belong in one of iPhoto's galleries. I'd hear something interesting and not really have anywhere to record it just for the pleasure of revisiting it someday. This was a great use, and it was going to be my 'in'.
So it started with those photos that were fun but didn't really belong anywhere and grew from there. It advanced to recording very specific events (such as my first actual hair cut in two years, with before and after photos!) and more recently I have been trying to capture a little about the most interesting event of the day on a nearly daily basis. It's starting to not only make more sense, but be quite enjoyable. I have a strict no-pressure philosophy; when it isn't interesting or fun I simply do not bother.
It's been quite satisfying to watch the timeline grow.