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Online day journal?
August 26, 2010 11:51 AM   Subscribe

Looking for a specific type of online blog/diary/journal..

My dad has, for the past 25 years or so, kept a sort of mini journal. Each year, he'll buy a small datebook; if something interesting or of note happens on a given day, he'll jot it down. Never more than a sentence or two. Dinners with friends, birthdays, holidays, etc, make up the majority of the entries. There are a decent number of days where nothing will be recorded (he's not the type to write 'work as usual' or something similar, just to create an entry.

Several years ago, he wanted to condense the literally dozens of small notebooks he had accumulated, so he bought a big spiral ring notebook. Across the top of each page is a day (so, page 1 is 'January 1st,' page 2 is 'January 2nd' etc.). Going down the left hand side, he writes in the year and the entry (assuming there is one). If there were no entries on that day for a given year, nothing is written. Therefore, if you open the book randomly, you might see a page like:

April 14
1986 - Dinner with the Smiths -- lasagna
1987 - Doctor's visit for John -- ear infection
1992 - Mary had a playdate at Sally's
1995 - Going upstate for the weekend
2001 - Coldest day in April since 1972

If you opened to a 'big' date, such as Christmas or a family birthday, there would be entries for basically every single year.

I'm looking to replicate this as closely as possible online. Are there any blog or journal type sites that have a similar setup -- or any that would allow me to customize it to be pretty similar? In my mind, I visualize having each day as a separate page, with forward and back links to the appropriate ones (i.e. so you would see all the entries for April 14, and then be able to click forward to April 15).
posted by Kattiara17 to Computers & Internet (7 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
 
You could set up WordPress (or anything else really for that matter but I know how to pull it off in WordPress) with every date being a post. To get things in order like you want you'd have to go in and edit the post to add another year.
posted by theichibun at 12:01 PM on August 26, 2010


you could use tagging in wordpress too. instead of editing posts, you do a new post each day and then use two tags- "month/day" and "year". then clicking on the month-day tag would give you all of the entries for April 14 (as desired) and clicking on the year would give you all the entries for 2001 (similar to his old single-year books).
posted by noloveforned at 12:10 PM on August 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


Now that is a really cool thing. So it's a blog with 366 pages, basically. You could do it with a little bit of php and text files named like 2001.04.14.txt - basically the php page for each date would read for files with the correct format. Do you have these saved in something? If you were to format all of it in an excel spreadsheet with the correct dates, any programmer (even me!) would have an easy time turning this into a quick website. You could then slice and dice the information however you wanted to - all posts in 2001, or all posts in April, etc etc.

You could absolutely do this in WordPress, using the dates, and your archive pages would require custom queries to pull the correct posts per day.
posted by artlung at 12:36 PM on August 26, 2010


You can also do this in Evernote - it's how I write diary entries. I made a notebook "Diary" and I tag each entry with Month, Day, Year, and Day of the Week. So then later I can see what all my Saturday entries look like, or what all the April 12th entries look like, etc.
posted by msbutah at 12:47 PM on August 26, 2010 [2 favorites]


I agree this sounds like a really cool idea. But I would avoid a solution that forces you to manually append posts like theichibun suggests, just because it limits flexibility in how you can display this (and if it is going to be digital, might as well give yourself future flexibility).

I imagine that you (or a Wordpress hacker) could basically rewrite the index and post templates to do this, but it would be a bit of mucking around.

Another possibility would be to use an existing plugin like "On this Day", so that the post page shows previous posts from the same day (and with some tweaking/modifications, could show the excerpt, or even the whole post if you want)
posted by misterbrandt at 12:53 PM on August 26, 2010


How about http://www.ohlife.com/ ? It works via email and is pretty simple.
posted by dominik at 1:38 PM on August 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


Thanks all -- looks like I should be checking out Wordpress, I'll have to poke around there a bit.

@msbutah: Although I use and like Evernote already, I'm aiming for a blog type setup because ideally I'd like the entire family to be able to access the finished product.

@dominik: Same thing, I want something that's shareable, not tied just to me or my personal email.
posted by Kattiara17 at 6:22 AM on August 27, 2010


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