Export Your Day One Journal to PDF On December 31st

I’m always confident that my Day One journal is automatically backed up on my Mac on  a daily basis, and likewise my journal is synced to Dropbox each time I use it. I’ve even set it up to retain the last 10 backup files just in case something goes wrong. I also know exactly where to locate those backups, because the button is right there in Day One Preferences.

Why Export to PDF

But I also export my journal entries to PDF, two or more times a year, and especially at the end of the year, for two reasons: to have one more backup and archive of my journal, and to later browse and read through my journals as I do a book. I also filter selected tagged journal entries (e.g., entries tagged “jazz”, “emails”, “online comments”) and export them to individual PDF journals.  After adding a cover to the PDF file, one copy gets saved to my hard drive, and another copy gets added to the Kindle app on my iPad.

IMG_2170.PNG iPad 8.1.2, Yesterday at 11.38.54 PM

These are not time-consuming tasks, especially compared to the amount of time I have taken to write in my journal on an almost daily basis. The PDF versions of my exported journals are treated like paper journals that I can cherish for years to come.

Reading journal entries in PDF format also allows highlighting with the Kindle marker passages that I want to perhaps do more reflection on.

Exporting iOS Day One Journals

Day One makes it very easy to export journals. On the iOS version, open Preference settings, and tap on Export PDF. Set the date range for the journal entries you want to export.


Notice in this setting that you can tap on “Only Tagged Entries” and filter one or more tagged entries for exporting.

After you’ve made your selections, simply tap Create New PDF. Next, tap on the PDF file, and then tap the Share button on the top-right to save it to a supporting app, such as Dropbox, or a supporting PDF reader such as GoodReader, iAnnotate, iBooks, or the Kindle app.

Export Mac Day One Journals

To export to PDF on the Mac, click on the top-left button that filters and displays journal entries by year, and select the current year.  Notice also that you can click on the Tags button and filter one or more tagged entries for export.

Finder Finder, Today at 10.14.52 PM

After the entries are filtered, select the arrow icon on the top-right, to select Export, Print, or Open PDF…. to save the PDF to your computer.

Finder Finder, Today at 10.15.26 PM

If you like, locate or create a cover design for your exported journal. Open the exported journal in Mac Preview, and then select the Thumbnails view. Drag and drop the cover image file above the first page of your journal, and save the PDF file.

Journal_2014.pdf (page 1 of 371) Preview, Saturday, December 13, 2014 at 7.11.27 PM

That’s it, you’re done. Backing up your precious memories can be done less five minutes.

Note: this and other Day One tips, features, and journal writing projects are covered in my forthcoming book, Starting From Day One-Using Digital Journaling to Enhance Your Life, due out in January. Click on the title of the book to be taken to the book landing page where you can provide your email address to be notified when the iBook book will be released.

5 thoughts on “Export Your Day One Journal to PDF On December 31st

    1. Bakari Chavanu says:

      Sandy, sorry I’m just now seeing your message. If you’re not seeing your entries, you need to connect to the Day One support page on their site. They are really good about responding to users’ questions.

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