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I have been in one form or another keeping a journal/diary for years. I have tried using a Moleskine notebook, Evernote, Springpad, a saved draft in Gmail, a text file in Dropbox. The common thread is that I need my journal to be easily accessible for me to write, but private enough to feel confident it won’t be read by prying eyes. I trust Gmail with all my private emails, and Google Calendar with all the events in my life. So, why not use the password protected service that I know and love to keep a journal?

With a bit of monkeying around, I figured out a new way to simply set up a daily journal using some of Google’s services and the power of IFTTT! If you don’t have an IFTTT account, you need to get on board now! It is the bestest thing ever. No lie. I’ve written before about the power of IFTTT.

This is the idea behind my new journal experiment…

First off, I create an event within Google Calendar. To make the IFTTT trigger work, you need to put in a time for the event. Just select a time in the future (like 10 minutes from the time you will be writing the entry).

Calendar

Next, I create the trigger in my IFTTT account.

IFTTT   My Recipes

You will need to activate your Google Calendar and Google Drive channels. If you are familiar with IFTTT, it is REALLY easy to do…

I customized my recipe to look for a calendar entry with the keyword “Journal”. That way when IFTTT has the recipe look, I don’t get all my other Google Calendar entries inside my journal. Who wants a back up of ‘garbage day’ or ‘pay day’??

IFTTT   Recipe

What this recipe does is look for the keyword Journal, and it creates a new text document within my Google Drive account. I have the title of the entry be “Journal with Today’s Date and Time”. That way I can go back in time via a search to read my past journal entries.

Once the trigger is set up, and you have done a journal entry, here is what you will see within Google Drive.

Journal   Google Drive

If there is one thing I want in a journal, it is that I don’t have to think about it. With this new recipe, I have Google Calendar keep a record of my journal and now I have a text document backup within Google Drive thanks to IFTTT! Isn’t that what they call a win-win?

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