Day One – Putting Tags to Work

Tags are amazing things. They add descriptive keywords to photos, blog posts and notes making it easy to find information when we need it. They make it easier for research cousins to discover us through our family histories. And, they can turn journaling platforms such as Day One [Mac – $9.99, iOS – $4.99] into travel journals, baby books, household inventories and more.

When adding content in Day One, don’t forget to click/tap the tag icon and assign tags to each journal entry. Add tags for special occasions, people and topics. Why is this important? Because you can then use those tags with Day One’s select feature to extract specific entries for other purposes.

What purposes?

  • Have a tag for each member of the family and assign those tags to any journal entry that involves them. You can then select and export the entries for a single person to create a baby book, commemorate a special anniversary or remember a relative.
  • Create and publish a travel journal.
  • Maintain an inventory of family treasures – old and new.
  • Identify journal entries to include in a Christmas newsletter.
  • Collect and organize research notes.
  • Maintain a timeline of events, treatment and results related to an accident or illness.

When tapping the tag icon, Day One presents a list of tags already being used in existing journal entries. This list also shows how many entries have been tagged with each tag. You can use this to select an existing tag – which helps insure consistency.

Day One Tag Panel

You can also create tags while writing a journal entry by adding a hash mark (#) in front of the word. When you save the entry, Day One asks if you want that hashtag turned into a tag. Just say yes.

As your journal entries grow, you can easily pull out specific entries using your tags. In the example below, you are looking at the timeline view on Day One for Mac. From this view, click the tag icon (shown highlighted in the icon bar) to display a list of tags, then select the tag (or tags) you want and Day One displays every entry containing that tag. Here there are five.

Day One Tag Search

From here you can click on the Share icon to display your options. You can print these entries, open them as a PDF or export them as PDF, HTML or plain text (includes Markdown codes) documents. When exported to plain text/Markdown, you will receive a single zip file containing a text file with all the entries along with a folder containing any photos from the selected entries. These files can then be imported into writing platforms that support Markdown such as Ulysses and Scrivener.

If you are like me, your tagging strategy will develop over time. This is where Day One’s tag list comes in handy. It keeps me from having repetitive tags like Florida, Fla and FL. In the example above, the Louisiana trip had a brief family history component – looking for a grave in one of the city’s old cemeteries. Notice the “cemetery” tag which is used to pull up any of the photos/notes I’ve included about any of the cemeteries we’ve visited.

Unfortunately there isn’t a bulk editing feature that allows us to add/change tags quickly. That could be very handy – especially when it comes to repurposing journal entries.

Day One isn’t the only journaling app supporting tags. MacJournal users will find it in the Information panel for each journal entry. Check with your app to see if it supports tagging. If so, put it to work to make your journal even more useful.

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