Using Day One to scratch that Timehop itch

Over the past few years I’ve tried to curtail my use of social media. I’ve unfollowed a ton of accounts on Instagram and Twitter, deleted my Facebook account, and mostly lurk in general. I’ve also deleted all of my old posts – I know that stuff is still searchable for Twitter if you are so inclined but at least by default it’s not hanging out there.

But I’m still a person who enjoys looking back at what I was doing and thinking retrospectively. When I was a heavier user of social, Timehop notifications were something I always looked forward to and got a lot of joy out of.

What I’ve done instead is committed to posting daily in Day One. I’ve been using the app for about 10 years now but have really leaned into it in the past 3 years. My daily posts don’t have to be anything super deep or insightful, but just document what’s going on in my life or what’s in my head. The app has a really neat daily prompt feature that you can enable that will either simply say “hey remember to post”, or even tee up a post idea for you to get started with. You can create templates and tag posts to help for future discoverability as well. I also have configured a monthly retrospective notification that reminds me to reflect on my job, relationship, family life and more.

Once you start writing daily, you become more mindful of the world around you. When I don’t have anything super important going on day-to-day my fallback daily post is typically a gratitude reflection. Spending even 5 minutes thinking about what happened that day that I’m grateful for brings me immediate peace and balance but it’s also beneficial when I review them years in the future. And obviously, since it’s private and only I can read the posts, I can cover way more ground that I ever could posting on social and reviewing in Timehop.

For every day that you have a post from the same day in the past, you can get a notification to review all of those posts. I really enjoy going back through simple moments as well as family vacations I’ve taken. I try to capture the little moments that stood out from those days and they bring me a lot of joy. As a parent, I know my time with my kids is so precious and being able to reflect on those as they grow up is priceless.

I think there’s still a place for social media in your life if you are doing it right, but these days it’s pretty rare that I want to go there first. Obviously, writing on your own website has a similar “yelling into the void” aspect that something like Twitter does, but I like the pace of blogging compared to something like Twitter for the most part. I also realize I just spent a few hundred words telling you that journaling can be beneficial, but if you’re like me and get tremendous value from “looking back”, a digital journaling service like Day One will bring tremendous value to your life.

Ok, now what?

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