Posted on Aug 17, 2012 | 1 comment
This may sound far off, but with a new app called Everyday.me, it is closer that you imagine. The thing that gets me even more excited is that I have been thinking about taking journaling in this direction recently- a direction I call the automated journal.
This new way of journaling hinges on the fact that in this day and age we are constantly leaving notes and pieces of our lives. Tweets, Facebook posts, emails, Instagram pics… and so on. We are leaving more of this personal information out there, usually for sharing with our friends and family, but why not collect it for personal use as well? What if we could collect this digital footprint and store it privately?
I know you may be saying that this is crossing a line of privacy I previously set with personal journals on one side and blogs and social media on the other. This is different. This is collecting information we have created and putting it INTO our personal journal, not sharing our deepest, innermost feelings with the world. And the best part is that we don’t have to just settle for collecting these digital pieces and calling it our journal. What makes the automated journal work is combining this information with personal, individual entries that never see the light outside of our personal journal.
As I mentioned, I have been trying to make this happen in my own journal (we’ll get to that in a bit), but Everyday.me combined all of my ideas (idea stealers!) into a fancy schmancy app that makes it even easier. All you do is sign into your Facebook, twitter and Instagram accounts and it will pull all of your tweets, status updates and pictures into your Everyday.me journal. Even better, each individual tweet, status update or picture gets its very own, dated entry. But it doesn’t end there. You can additionally create bran new entries and even edit automatically generated ones from your account. Everything is also backed up online and you can search your entries, tag and add emoticons and videos. Oh, and this journal is also accessible from any browser by going to everyday.me. It works splendidly and now pulled entries for me as far back as 5 years. Hundreds of entries are already in my day old Everyday.me journal.
And let me reiterate- Everyday.me is a one way street. It pulls information into this secure journal but nothing goes out to your social networks. Thus you can stay private and still get the added benefit of easier and more full journaling.
Oh, and the first implementation of the automated journaling movement that I am claiming that I started. Okay, maybe not started but I am claiming that I at least coined the phrase and truly started to build the excitement.
So remember when I said I had already started implementing these ideas before Everyday.me had launched (and before I had ever heard about it)? It started a few weeks ago when Iwas introduced to something crazy called IFTTT- or If This Then That. Prepare yourself, it is about to get a bit geeky in here.
IFTTT allows you to connect web services and automate exchanges between them. For example, you can say ‘if CNN tweets #breakingnews, then send me a text message’ or ‘if a friend tags a picture of me in Facebook, then save a copy in Dropbox’.
When I first got started into IFTTT I naturally thought how it could improve my digital journaling. I set up a few ‘recipes’ as they are called and was soon having my tweets and Facebook posts stored in Dropbox along with my Instagram pics (my Instagram). Now that all of these pieces of my digital life were automatically being stored, I could easily copy and past them en masse into my Penzu entries. And for those who say why don’t you just copy and past each individual entry from Facebook or twitter into your journal, I think this is much easier because they are all clumped together.gs me in a Facebook photo, then save a copy in my Dropbox’. Do you see where the If This Then That comes from yet?
Of course Everyday.me makes it easier because it takes care of that step of copy and pasting into entries. A trick that Penzu can pull off is a handy email address that automatically creates entries with anything that you send at it. With this email address and IFTTT I can also have emails from certain people automatically be turned into entries (especially emails that I send which are very similar to journal entries).
Do these automations excite anyone else or is it just me?
Now if you will excuse me while I go trademark ‘Automated Journaling Movement’.
Editors note: Momento has also implemented some of these features allowing you to pull from your social media accounts but it wasn’t as automated when I tried it nor nearly as smooth.
Editors note 2: Fate is on our side, my friends. On the very same day that this post went live, LIfehacker also wrote a fantastic piece on how to use IFTTT with Evernote to make an automated journal. Journaling will never be the same! [some sarcasm]