Let’s end 2011 with a simple and amazing tip for your smartphone journal or diary app, okay?

Photo Credit – Sam Lytle

A few months ago I made a goal to include a picture with every entry I wrote, which is usually every day. This has improved the experience several-fold and also had the residual effect of forcing me to take more pictures of my life and record the early years of my son’s life. Sometimes, however, I come to the end of the day and begin to write my entry only to find out I hadn’t taken a picture for that day, *gasp*! Even if it wasn’t dark, I still wouldn’t want to take a picture of myself or my bedroom at 10pm. What’s the point of that?

One of the first few times this happened, I had an epiphany. I simply found a website from a popular news outlet on my smartphone and, since I do this sort of thing, I took a screenshot of the page. I attached that screenshot to my entry just like I would have any other picture. Now it is there forever with that entry as an interesting anecdote of what happened on that day in history. I have since done this several time, but not only of news stories.

I have found that screenshots are an incredible way to capture tiny snippets of my life and store them for future enjoyment. Unfortunately, the experience isn’t consistent for all smartphone users. Palm Pre and iPhone users will have the easiest time with this as it is as simple as pushing a combination of buttons. Blackberry screenshots require an app to be installed first, but taking a screenshot with Androids requires you first to root your operating system so it is the most difficult. For more detailed instructions on how to take snapshots with your smartphone, click the link below:



Palm Pre


Photo Credit – Sam Lytle

Here is a brief list of screenshots you can take to give your entries a little extra spice:

  • text messages of the day
  • icons on your homescreen
  • news feeds from your RSS feed
  • an important email from a friend
  • an entry on your blog
  • thumbnails of pictures in your camera roll

Any other ideas? I really want to know how this works for your guys, so sound off in the comments below!

Oh, and while this post is focused on smartphones, the same trick is just as easy with a PC or Mac if you want to insert a screenshot into an online journal like Penzu or LDS Journal.


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