Does the written side of your visual art business give you nightmares?
Writing artist statements, exhibition descriptions, residency and funding applications, to say nothing of blogposts, newsletters, and press releases can consume a large chunk of time and make us feel stressed.
Yet artists who journal regularly have a huge advantage. We have a ready-made source of written material to draw on!
The Day One journal app for iOS and Mac is my go-to tool for documenting my creative practice - and it could be for you too.
Why journal digitally?
Our best writing is done when we're not censoring, not trying to 'be' our public persona. Having Day One on your iPad, iPhone and Mac makes it super-easy to write whenever and wherever you’re inspired.
I know journalling digitally might seem like a bit of an anathema to artists who so love the feel of a tactile page.
I still remember with nostalgia, the thick hardback diary with the year embossed on its padded leather cover, in whose ample pages I began my journalling journey. But I can fill a lot of writing space when I have a mind to and there’ve been times when I’ve regretfully consigned a pile of journals to the bonfire or the recycling bin.
Day One saves you from those difficult decisions regarding space. Your journals are synced between devices via Day One Sync and you can automatically create a daily back up to iCloud and restore from any back up. (In the near future, Day One Sync will also include private-key encryption for increased data security.)
The beautiful, portable, distraction-free environment for writing means I feel the same excitement and pleasure when I open Day One as I did with my adolescent diary - without worrying about baggage!
How journalling helps with the written side of your art biz
Another significant advantage of using a digital journal digital journal to document your your art practice is searchability.
When you need information for your art marketing materials and funding applications, you don’t want to spend hours looking for relevant text and images.
The ultra-flexible search functions in the recently-updated Day One (2.0) app, make finding what you need a snap.
The simplest and most visual way of organising different themes in Day One (2.0) is by creating multiple journals and assigning each its own colour. (12 colour choices.)
There are infinite ways you could use this according to your particular needs such as separate journals for:
The great thing about these journals is that you can choose to see - and search across - all the entries at once and Day One neatly organises all the entries into date order. Or, if you want to focus, you can just look at one journal.
The wonder of tagging
The next best way of finding your written material quickly requires a bit more work on your part but it certainly pays dividends.
You need to get into the habit of always tagging your entries. Tagging means that no matter how diverse your subject matter, and how many years of journals you write, you’ll easily be able to find any topic you've written about.
On the desktop version, Day One’s powerful search function always you to select multiple tags and date ranges at once. So I can search for every entry tagged ‘Poem’ in 2015 and - tadah - there they all are.
The new version of Day One has finally introduced multiple photos per journal entry (Hurrah!) so there’s no excuse not to keep a visual record of the progress of your art projects, snapshots of the crowds at your latest exhibition or glimpses into your studio.
When you need a photo, you can switch to the image-only view and whizz down your photos until you find what you’re looking for. Images can easily be exported to Apple’s native photo app for use elsewhere.
Different views for an alternative perspective on your creative output
Day One’s standard view is a Timeline of entries down the left hand side with your latest entry on the right.
But as well as this Timeline - and the image and tag views - you can also visualise your journal entries in Calendar and Map views. These could shed some interesting light on your productivity patterns!
(You can also see your entries grouped by Year but you’ll have to search for this as it’s now hidden in the extras menu which you get when you click “...”)
Sharing your journals
So you’ve compiled a wonderful journal on your studio practice and you decide it’s just the thing to give away to your blog readers for Xmas. Day One makes this a no-brainer! Just export your journal as a PDF and share however you like.
Using the tagging/date range selection functions, you can even create a PDF of entries with very specific parameters.
This would be great for, say, amassing all your material on the progress of a particular project, or everything you’ve written about your creative objectives in a given date range - whether for your own information or for sharing.
But I'm still going to miss a paper journal
So if all that’s just a shade too digital for you, you can still take advantage of all those features AND have a paper journal.
Just print your PDF...
It's now possible to print custom selected entries as Day One Books (currently US only). Just select Book Printing from the settings menu. Prices start from $14.99.
So with the Day One journal app it seems you really can have your cake and eat it. A taggable, searchable journal to reference for all your art business writing and give you new insights into your creative practice - which takes up no physical space but which can be printed any time!
Day One is currently only available for iPhone and iPad and Mac. Although the developers have talked about Android and web versions, so far they haven't materialised.
The price for Mac is $39.99 and iOS (iPad and iPhone) is $9.99. There’s no trial version so you’ll have to take my word for that it's good!
Hint: This is NOT an affiliate link.
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