The Way I Journal: Kelly Hodgkins
For Digital Trends writer Kelly Hodgkins, Day One is invaluable
Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Kelly Hodgkins. I am a journalist covering the outdoors sector and cutting edge technology for Digital Trends. I also work part-time as the Program Coordinator for the Western Foothills Land Trust.
When and why did you start journaling?
I started journaling a year ago when I started the Maine Master Naturalist program. This year-long program trains individuals to become naturalists — teaching them about the bugs, trees, plants, animals and more that are found in Maine. The overall goal of the program is to produce trained naturalists who can share their knowledge with the community by leading nature hikes, writing blogs and so on. The 12-month-long class required me to keep a nature journal — I had to document flowers, identify trees, and track seasonal changes at a natural site, which for me was a local pond. I ended up using Day One for everything — I used it to log more than 50 flowers, identify 30 trees, and record the seasonal changes I saw at the pond. I even used it to do my homework exercises and to create study guides for each quiz in the course.
What is your journaling routine?
I write in my journal at least weekly, sometimes more. I often use my iPhone to record in the field and then finish the writing at home on my Mac.
Do you focus on long-form writing, or in capturing small memories of life?
It’s a mixture — it’s mostly catching the little things and then doing some long-form writing when I have the time. I also do a lot of sketching on my iPad and import those sketches into Day One as well.
Do you have a favorite spot where you like to journal?
Yes, anywhere outside that is quiet. In the forest, in the fields or at the edge of a pond.
What was your first entry in Day One?
My first entry was a photo of a tree growing on a rock. I used this photo to illustrate and describe the ecological layers that created such an unusual place to find a tree.
How many entries do you have in your journal?
Over a hundred.
What is your favorite or most-used feature in Day One?
The ability to import a photo quickly and easily. I also appreciate the location and weather information. These can be handy when trying to figure out why I saw a bunch of deer one week and none the next week.
Do you write mostly on the iPhone, iPad, or the Mac?
I use a combination. I use my iPhone to capture photos for Day One. I use my iPad to draw sketches that I import into Day One. And finally, I return home to do most of the writing on my Mac.
Do you follow any journal organization rules?
Not really, I write when and how I feel in my main journal to keep it stream of consciousness. I do add tags to help find entries more easily. I also use more than one journal — I have a journal just with flowers, one with just trees and so on.
Have you ever relied on Day One for something unexpected, or used it to recall details about a specific event or date?
All the time! It’s great to be able to look back and compare last year to this year. For example, I first saw the Indigo Bunting bird in April last year according to my journal, but this year, the Indigo Bunting didn’t appear until Mid-May due to the colder weather. I also use it to look up passages that I had written — one time I wanted to recall a detail about an otter’s behavior that I learned in class. I searched and found the answer in an essay I wrote six months ago. Invaluable!