Tech Tuesday: 6 Ways To Create A Digital Journal

You guys know me – you know I love to document. But as I thought about it this week, I think that’s why I love social media so much!

I get to post pictures/stories of everyday life and refer back to them at a later date AND I get to spend time in a community that’s just for me. It gets two birds with one stone. In this age of “no one should be social,” I still get a semblance of life before COVID.

And while I know it will never truly go back to normal, I know that when I look back on the pictures and videos I’m taking now, I will remember this time fondly. Our family has never spent so much time with each other and I think this time has really been a blessing in disguise for most families.

But if you’re not a social media poster and are more of a lurker, you may not be documenting your family’s everyday activities the same way! And that’s ok! We all do things differently. So today’s post is all about ways you can document/keep a digital journal for your family!

1) COLLECT

I’ve written a whole blog post about this app and I love it to keep memories. With the $1.99 version of Collect,  you have 1 album to build. If you want to upgrade (you can do all options for $4.99) you will get the option to build out multiple albums.

I have albums for 2017 and 2018. For the purpose of this tutorial, I got to work on my 2019 Album. You can create albums for events, holidays, specific children etc – it’s up to you! Then you have the options to print and create a slideshow – making your journal available everywhere!

2) Voice Memos

Maybe you’re not much of a picture/note-taker! No problem. The Voice Memos app is native to your iPhone and it’s FREE! You can

As you can see, this isn’t my first choice but I think it’s an awesome alternative for those that have a few moments each night to dictate their day. Here’s some things you can record:

  • Something funny that happened that day
  • A quote from one of your kids
  • each kid’s accomplishment/growth
  • Wins & Fails
  • What you learned
  • Milestones: braces off, breaking an arm, buying a new house
  • How you feel

The memo will keep your date and you can change the title to reflect that day’s audio journal entry!

3) One Second Everyday App

I love this app as an add-on to the other options here aside from Voice Memos. This app takes pictures/videos from your existing library with the dates attached and truncates them to 1 second each.

You can have it auto-select for you or you can go into each day and choose your favorite clip or image. I think it’s fun to do these monthly or quarterly just to capture what went on during your life during the month etc. And it’s amazing how many memories surface just by being reminded in a 1-second clip. Play them back for your family or create one for each kid each year on their birthday. At 18 years old you can give them all 18 videos and allow them to watch the moments that shaped them. Super fun and a great way to document moments.

4) Photos

This one is iPhone specific but I’m sure Google has an equivalent.

I love utilizing my photo app for so many different things. For starters, all of your photos and videos are stored here and will be utilized for every other app here. But if you JUST want to use the photo app, there are a ton of options for organization and features. My favorite feature is People & Places. This feature sorts your pictures by faces and by location. This allow you to build albums of just 1 kid or just of special places you’ve visited. From there, you can create slideshows, memory books, send to a printer, share with another individual, and it makes working in these apps, and trying to pull certain content SUPER easy. If you haven’t explored it yet, I encourage you to check out all the features of your native photo app!

5) Chatbooks

This is one of my favorite ways to turn digital memories into tangible keepsakes that my family and I can go back and look at. I’ve been doing Chatbooks for years and have a stack of books with not just my Instagram pictures, but so many other custom books I’ve made for special occasions or people!

What I love most is the automation of Chatbooks. You really can set it and forget it if you aren’t great at record keeping. You can have it pull from the place you post the most or just from your native photo library. Set the frequency, how many images, and you’re done! Set it and forget it. You’ll be sent a book any time your chosen platform has 60 new images! My kids pull these out all the time and look at them. I have mine pull from my Instagram and it’s been such a treat to be able to flip through the pages and see the progression of age, funny moment, and memories with my family. You can use code tarathueson20 for 20% off your first order!

6) Day One App

This app is similar to Collect but I love that you can collect memories in various mediums. You can record photos, videos, voice memos, and notes for a fully-rounded out experience.

The app offers a wide array of features—just about everything you might want or need in a digital journal. You can create journal entries in just one click on the Mac from the menu bar, use templates to make journaling easier, and automatically add metadata, such as location, weather, motion activity, currently playing music, and step count. You can also tag entries with hashtags, insert photos and videos, password-protect your journal, and format entries. Most other journal apps only send you one reminder during the day. But with Day One, you can get prompted to write, say, when you start the day, at lunchtime, and then at the end of your workday to keep track of your activities and thoughts throughout the day. It’s kinda cool and is perfect for that person who requires multiple prompts!

• • • • • • • • • • •

They say we need to be more present with our kids but I would urge you to take a photo a day. Start there. Then you can utilize so many different apps and features of your phone to turn it into a keepsake. Set reminders on your phone for yourself. If voice memos is your chosen app, set a reminder each night before bedtime to tell it those things you wish to remember most.

Keepsakes like this are magical. They allow your kids to go back and revisit times and places they may not remember. I think keeping a virtual journal isn’t just the best gift you can give, but I also think they provide perspective. It allows you to capture things in the moment as they happen. You can preserve your thoughts and feelings in the moment so when things in life feel vastly different, you can go back and look and see that they weren’t always that way.

I encourage you to start documenting your journey. You’ll never regret it!

Xx Tara

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