Auto-export Day One entries into .md files for Obsidian

Hi folks,

I love journaling on Day One. I love making sense of my thoughts in Obsidian. Each tool is, in my opinion, the best at what they do; none of them is excellent at doing the job of the other.

So I had this idea today: what if I could auto-export all of my Day One entries in MD files into my vault’s folder in Obsidian? Then, I would have my journaling data available in my sense-making App while I could keep on journaling in my favorite journaling App.

The problem is that I have found plenty of ways to get data into Day One, but none on how to automate the getting the data out of it. There seems to be no Shortcuts action for it either… I am aware of these solutions, but I am rather looking at something that keeps on running daily or I can trigger with a click

Any idea if this would be possible and how?


I’ve used Day One some time ago, and if I’m not mistaken it always stores creation and modification times in the metadata of each notes. That means that with some programming it should be doable to adapt either of those scripts to pick up where it left and migrate those notes it hasn’t done yet.

You’ll not be able to go the other way easily, I think, and due to potential modification on any note in Obsidian you’d need to consider what to do with modified files in either system. The simpler approach would be to just transfer new notes to Obsidian, and only do edits (not creation) on those notes in Obsidian.

But do you know any coding at all? Are you able to adapt either of the scripts to match such criteria?

Thank you @holroy,

The approach makes total sense, unfortunately I have no coding experience :frowning:

It’s too much work for me to help you code such a solution, but I came to think on another idea which might be feasible for you to pursue. Lets build a little case scenario before expanding about that idea.

I’m assuming your vault is in <vault>, and that <dayone> is the folder of your Day One entries. Now let us create another <temp> folder, for which the use will be explained in the following.

The “normal” way to do such an export is to make it a one-time operation, so that you export stuff from <dayone> directly into <vault>. This is nice when you’re abandoning DayOne, but you want to keep using it. So then a new export would come into conflict with the older export. So you’d need an extra script to keep exporting the extra stuff into your vault, which I’ve talked about before. But what if you do that export from <vault> and into <temp> ?

That allows you to compare stuff between <temp> and <vault>, and given a proper tool, it should then be easier to synchronise these folder to each other. I’m personally using Free File sync on my Mac to do such a comparison between the vault files locally on my Mac, and a Dropbox folder (which I sync directly to my Android phone).

Using such a tool allows one to see the differences, and act accordingly. One can choose to only sync one way, like from <temp> to <vault> only on new files, so as not to overwrite any changes done in the vault already. And one could choose to see the differences, and choose actions accordingly. An example could be where you changed an entry and want those changes to transfer from the <temp> entries.

The point being that using this third intermediate folder of <temp> allows for you to semi-automagically transfer any news or changes into your <vault> when appropriate. Such a tool will usually also allow you to ignore files and set up some rules related to the synchronisation. This could help you ignore the update of that one file which always shows up, which you don’t want to sync and so on.

That’s a pretty smart approach! I’ll definitely investigate this option. Thank you @holroy !

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