Day One for Family History

family history journal in Day One
My Family History journal in Day One

I am a big fan of the Day One journal app [Mac – $39.99 & iOS – $4.99]. It’s great for capturing both the special moments and the common ones. It’s also a great place to capture your family history. The latest version (desktop and mobile) supports multiple journals.

In addition to my personal journal, I now also have a Family History journal. I do not use it as a research journal to keep track of my research efforts. Instead I use it to tell the stories of people, places, things, events and special moments. In the sample above, I’ve documented finding the grave of my father’s first wife and told the story behind a painting our landlord in Germany gave us.

Since I am my family’s unofficial archivist, I’m the one who gets all the “stuff”. Unfortunately, many of the stories about those treasures are lost. Since their original owners are gone, I only have questions. Because of this, I am working to tell the stories of the things I do know something about so that future generations won’t be as lost as I am.

It’s not just about old stuff either. We’ve collected our own treasures and most of them have a story too. You can’t miss the huge piece of driftwood in our living room. It’s more than decoration but who will know its significance if no one tells its story. They will when they read my journal.

Which brings me to one last point. For all the many features Day One has to make journaling as easy as possible, there’s one that rises among the rest. Day One saves my journal entries as plain text using the Markdown standard.

This means that my journal files will be readable long after today’s technology becomes obsolete.

If you would like to learn more about Markdown, journaling or Day One, click the appropriate tag at the bottom of this post or in sidebar’s Tag Cloud.


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