Please Print (A Journaling Rant) – Rhoneisms

Great little essay by Patrick Rhone, making the argument against relying on a piece of software to hold your journal:

The history of computing has copious evidence to back me up on that bold statement. The evidence shows that Day One (who I will note bills themselves as a “journal for life”) will likely be long gone in 20 years (Go ahead and bookmark this post and come see me then if I’m wrong).

Maybe when the company dies they’ll give you an exit plan to save your work or maybe they won’t.

Day One is a great app, but I’ve been wanting to move away from it for a long time. Partly to get out from under one more silo—right now, my journal is in their app, on their servers… it doesn’t feel under my control.

I’d rather have whatever I write be in plain text—like the source of this post that you’re reading. Even then, being able to read write I wrote decades from now depends on the bits that make up this post persisting, being available, being readable… and the history of computing has not borne out the likelihood of that.

Couple things I don’t have an obvious replacement for:

  • Ease of putting photos into Day One entries
  • Geolocation - I like knowing where I was when I wrote something down

Neither of those are insurmountable, even in a hardcopy journal! The lure of convenience keeps me tied to an app. Hopefully not until it’s too late to leave.