Social media platforms like Facebook are great places to share information with your friends and family. But sometimes, people over-share. They document every cup of coffee, every baby photo, every holiday snap and every opinion or mishap. Some of these posts are interesting to the rest of us, but sometimes they are simply a form of “public journaling”.
Journaling has been proven to have immense mental and emotional benefits and the vast majority of psychologists recommend that their patients do it. In fact, a recent study concluded that journaling just 3–5 times a day helped participants deal with traumatic and stressful events.
Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms provide the perfect user experience for journaling too. They make it easy to provide small and short status updates, the ability to include photos and links to anything that you find useful and as they are available on every device they are incredibly accessible.
..suffer remorse when your social proof is disappointing
The problem, however, is that they are definitely not private. This means that you will censure what you write, suffer remorse when your social proof is disappointing (e.g. how many likes you get on a share), or perhaps risk offending a friend with your strong extreme views on politics or religion.
There is a solution to this called DayOne. This is an app for Mac and iOS devices (iPhone and iPad) that allows you all the features and benefits of Facebook, but is completely private.
If you can update your status on Facebook, then you can add an entry in DayOne.
This is not your usual “Dear Diary” sort of journal. You won’t need to write a long, single entry with your reflections on each day. If you can update your status on Facebook, then you can add an entry in DayOne.
As you can see, the interface is simple and clear but it provides the ability to enhance your entry with any number of features.
With each entry, you can:
- Add a location (this is done automatically by default) – including the weather conditions.
- Add tags – if you want to categorise your entries – e.g. “Holiday” or perhaps “Stress”
- Add a photo – DayOne currently only allows you to have a photo for the specific post. You can, of course, add any number of images for a single day – as separate posts. These are then combined when you look at the timeline or highlight a single day.
- Star or Favourite – you can highlight your best bits easily with this feature.
The basic idea is that you post multiple “status updates” during the course of the day – on whichever device you have available to you (the entries are kept in sync via iCloud).
When you click on a single day in the Timeline view, it will present all of the day’s entries as a single stream (Mac version only).
There’s some nice integration for iOS devices too. You can share photos on your iPhone directly with DayOne using the sharing extensions feature that was introduced in iOS8.
Finally, if you write something that you think – “wow, I bet other people would like to read this” – anything you write in DayOne can then be shared to others (including Facebook).
..anything you write in DayOne can then be shared to others including Facebook.
You can also export days or whole periods of time to an attractive PDF that works really well as a more permanent and more presentable record of your journal. If you have a new baby and want to document his or her life in incredible detail then use DayOne several times a day. On each birthday, export your entries to PDF and save those memories forever. You could even get this PDF bound and printed by any number of self-publishing services such as Lulu.com and turn it into a proper book to give them when they are older.
So if you are concerned that you might be oversharing on Facebook or if you simply want to start journaling with the ease of posting an update status on Facebook, then consider this app – it’s pretty great (MacLink / iOS Link).