We’ve been talking alot about journaling lately and the benefits that it can bring to your life, as well as the lives of your loved ones. But, what if you could turn your digital journaling into an awesome, automated digital tracking and logging system? Well, with a little geekery, the new Slogger 2, and Day One for the Mac, that automated digital logging system can be yours.

So, what the heck does this do?

You can go check out Brett Terpstra’s site (the creator of Slogger) if you want the in depth explanation, but Slogger is basically a command line utility that allows you pull all of your data from different social networks and services like Flickr, GoodReads, Instapaper, Pinboard, Twitter, etc. and have it easily and beautifully imported into your Day One journal. If that sounds too good to be true, then you are in for a great surprise.

With just a little bit of setup and execution (you will have to get into the command line) you can make Slogger start slogging it’s way to logging all of the stuff that you do online and is important to you. Something else to mention is that Slogger 2 has a plugin architecture that allows developers to add their own type of automated logging to the Slogger system.

Setup

You need to be running a Mac with Day One installed on it. You can either be syncing your Day One journal with Dropbox or iCloud; Slogger 2 works with both. Next, go to the Slogger 2 github site and download the the archive and extract it. Once you have the files extracted to wherever you downloaded them, you can either keep them there or better, move them to your home directory in a folder called ‘slogger’.

After moving all slogger files to my user directory

Next go through the README.md file that Mr. Terpstra provides. It will give you some detailed instructions on how to make this work. I’m not going to reinvent the wheel here, just follow the steps inside of the README and you will be up and running in no time.

After doing the minimal setup and running Slogger you can go to your Day One journal and take a look at your well-formatted publicy accessible data.

OK, so now what?

It’s never good to just “hack” something together for the sake of hacking it together. So, what does this necessarily give you that can benefit your journaling habit?

  1. A log of your online interactionsBeing able to log your Twitter interactions alone with Slogger is something that I feel is totally worth the entire setup process and continued use. One only drawback is that you can’t see the other end of a conversation (at this point). But, you can at least see what you have posted and favorited in the past, what music you were listening too, stories you were saving to read later, etc. This can be something very useful to look back on and link it to what you were thinking and writing about at that time.
  2. Track your development workWith the Gist logger integration, developers that use Github can take advantage of having a nice list of their commits in their Day One journal. If you don’t know what that means, then it isn’t for you :)
  3. Use the power of RSSOne of the best loggers that is included in Slogger 2 is the RSS logger which allows you to take any public RSS feed and have Slogger write out the day’s activity to your Day One journal. There are a lot of cool things you could do with RSS integration like log NASA’s photo of the day, log your completed tasks with Remember the Milk, keep all of the posts that you have made to your own blog, or even log all of your starred items in Google Reader. When it comes to the RSS integration with Slogger, you are limited to only to what you can come up with (as well as public RSS feeds).
  4. Logging it all automagicallyWhat I find to be the best part of Slogger is that all of this logging can be done automatically with little to no effort or work on my end. This is exactly what I want when it comes to logging and/or journaling my day; as little resistance as possible.Because of this automatic type of logging I get a very nice image of what I was thinking and doing on any specific day when I look back in my journal. To be able to see what you were doing, pictures you were taking, music you were listening to is a powerful and fun way to reflect.

Slogger 2 is a very useful and awesome tool, but will prove itself to be even more useful the longer that you use it. As time passes it will be nostalgic to look through all of your data and see how it changes through the months and years.

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