Day One Shared Journals

Day One just introduced a new, interesting feature: Shared Journals.

The idea is that you can share a journal. Multiple people could contribute. An individual’s entries are not editable by other participants, but it’s an excellent way to build a journal among friends and family.

This goes against the grain of journaling in that journaling is usually a very private thing. However, I see a use for this. I’ve already set one up with my wife, where we’re journaling our trips to Disneyland. It’s a way for us to create a record together, and it will be enjoyable. It has the added benefit that she is now regularly using Day One and is now doing more personal journaling that isn’t shared with me.

Overall, it’s a nice new feature, and if you’ve got loved ones also using Day One, I recommend giving it a try.

Paul Mayne on Day One and Apple’s Journal App

Day One’s creator wrote a blog post about Apple’s new journaling app and its relationship to Day One. It’s too early to tell exactly how deep the Journaling app will go, but I doubt it matches the Day One feature set, which has been growing for years. I generally agree with Paul in that I don’t think the Journal app will “Sherlock” Day One. Indeed I could see many folks starting with the Journal app and then moving up to Date One once they get it about journaling.

The Morning Routine Journal Template

A few months ago, I did a webinar about how I journal. Since then, several folks have asked for copies of some of my templates. The first one I want to share is my Morning Routine template. I look at, and fill in, this one nearly every day.

My Morning Routine Template

  1. Daily Priority
  2. Morning Gratitude
  3. Daily Meditation
  4. What’s on My Mind
  5. How will my actions today show my character?
  6. Morning Checklist
    – AM Meds
    – Meditation
    – Journal
    – Blog Post Up
    – Weigh In
    – Brush/Floss

Daily Priority

I’m a big fan of the idea of a daily priority so the first thing I write down is the one thing I want to get done during the day … my daily priority. You’ll be tempted on occasion to write down two things here, but don’t do that. It’s “priority”, not “priorities.” Forcing myself to pick just one thing is a great way to inspire some focus. I usually pick the one thing the night before, but if I didn’t do it the night before, this prompt forces me to do it first thing. Very rarely do I fail to get the one thing done. I think it is this process of writing it down is where the commitment becomes real for me.

Morning Gratitude

Getting caught in a negative loop any more is so easy. I try to avoid that trap with gratitude. I find taking a few minutes to think about something I’m grateful for every day really helps me start the day right. For bonus points, try to never repeat a gratitude entry. Find something new each day. You’ll surprise yourself.

Daily Meditation

Every day I find something inspiring to mull over. For everyone this is different. I have friends that will use a bible verse. For me, the daily meditation usually arises from my morning review in Readwise, my spaced repetition system.

I don’t just block and copy, though. Instead, I’ll take a passage and try to summarize it in my own words. I’ll also go back and read it throughout the day. I try to get it to stick for me. I also will journal on it for a few sentences (or paragraphs) on why it is important to me.

What’s on My Mind

This is the actual journaling part of this template. If I’ve got a problem or concern or something I’m particularly happy about or something special planned for the day, I’ll take this time to brain dump it onto the page. This is the section I’m most likely to dictate in this particular template.

I find the process of emptying my brain into the journal gives me a way to examine my thoughts from a different angle. It also helps me let go of anything I’m obsessing on so I can get focused back on the daily priority.

If you wake up with worries or concerns, use this journal entry to work through them. Then when you set down the pen (or keyboard), they have much less of a hold on you.

Some days this section is just a few sentences. Other days it is a lot more.

How will my actions today show my character?

This is in my morning template for a few reasons. First, it’s a reminder that my character will come out in all of my actions. It is too easy to forget that. Second, it gives me an opportunity to keep myself honest. The older I get, the more I realize that moral ambiguity is bullshit. There is a right and a wrong. The more I can be clear about that in my own head, the more I can make a difference everywhere else.

Morning Checklist

I used to keep a morning checklist in OmniFocus but about a year ago I sent it into my morning routine template. These are a few items that I want to make sure to get done every morning. I don’t keep a database or track streaks with any of this stuff. This list is just a gentle reminder to brush my teeth, take my pills, meditate a bit, and get rolling.

We are all different and this Morning Routine list has evolved (and continues to evolve) for me. I hope it gives you a nice place to get started building your own Morning Routine list.

Journaling Webinar Now on YouTube

Last week I did a free webinar on how (and why) I journal. It came out great, and I’ve got a lot of positive feedback on it. I usually add the webinar content to the appropriate Field Guide after I’ve finished it. In this case, however, I don’t have any Field Guide where adding a 45-minute journaling webinar makes sense, so I’m posting it to YouTube. Enjoy

There are a few links I mention in the video. Here they are.

Sparky’s Journal Prompts Page

Day One

Obsidian App

Craft App

Roam Research

Also, if this sort of thing interests you, please subscribe to my YouTube channel. I’m going to be posting there more regularly going forward.

My Free Journaling Webinar This Friday

One of the things that has been most helpful to me throughout this transition is my journal. Stopping to collect your thoughts and writing them down during times of significant change can help. First, it’s a way to record what you are going through. I can look back on those entries in years (or decades) and get a window into that prior version of me. More importantly, journaling helps me clarify my thoughts and ideas about what I am feeling and thinking in the moment. I learn a lot about myself in the process of journaling. The last few weeks have only reinforced that for me.

Also, when it comes to journaling, I’ve experimented with everything from fancy pens and paper, to custom scripts and software. I’ve made all the mistakes, and I have the scars to show for it. This Friday, I want to share a little bit of that wisdom in a free webinar all about journaling. I’ll share my thoughts on the process and some of my favorite workflows. Whether you want to go analog or digital, I’ll have some ideas for you. I would love for you to join in.​

Sparky’s Journaling Webinar

Date: January 21, 2022

Time: 10:00 Pacific

Here’s the Sign-up Link​

If you can’t make it, no problem. There will be a video replay link available for a short time after the webinar for anyone that signs up. See you there.

Year-End Reflection Prompts

There is something therapeutic and hopeful about hitting January 1. While I’m not one for new year resolutions, I’m a big fan of year-end reflections. Before the year ends I always try and stop and collect some wisdom from the year prior. For me, this involves some journaling. You can do this with fancy pen and paper or in a text file. The important thing is to get these thoughts out of your head and on a screen or piece of paper so you can examine them closer and from different angles.

Here are my year-end prompts in no particular order:

  • What went right this year?
  • What went wrong this year?
  • Where did I make progress?
  • Where did I fall behind?
  • What should I have done differently?
  • Where did I stand in my own way?
  • What gave me the most energy this year?
  • What took the most energy from me this year?
  • What was my biggest mistake?
  • What was my best move?
  • What brought me the most joy?
  • How did this past year show my character?
  • Summarize this year in a sentence.

You don’t have to answer all of these. (You don’t have to answer most of them.) But spending some time thinking about the ones that resonate with you may help you head into 2022 with just a bit more wisdom.

GoodNotes Journaling Files

I wrote up my GoodNotes journal pages a few months ago. Since then, I have found myself increasingly using a paper journal for much of this data, but I know a bunch of readers wanted to modify my forms. Links are below in OmniGraffle, PSD, and PNG format. (I built all of these using OmniGraffle.) 

These differ from the versions I made for myself in that I used a custom flavor of Futura that I purchased years ago. I changed the font to a system font for these downloads and changed some of the titles specific to me, such as working on a Field Guide every day, to something more generic. Enjoy, and let me know if you make something amazing with them.

Once you complete customizing your form, export to PDF, and you can then import and edit them in GoodNotes. You can leave them right in GoodNotes or, if you are a fancy Day One user like me, export the completed page as an image to Day One. Sort of related, Tom Solid made his own forms that are far superior to mine if you want more detail.

Regardless, click below to download:

Daily Diary Forms

Daily Plan Forms

Week Scorecard Forms

Week Review Forms

Go nuts!