Publishing a Day One Journal as a Book

written in apps, lifehack

My wife and I keep a journal of notes to our twin girls in Day One. After a year of journaling, I wanted to print the entries in a physical book for my wife as a Christmas present.

final-book

It was a process to get exactly what I wanted, and this post will serve as a guide to anyone that wants to do something similar.

Day One → HTML → PDF → Blurb → Book


1. Day One → HTML

Update May 11, 2015

I recently developed a different approach to this problem. This should be much easier for most users. You don’t need to install anything. Just visit https://dayone.donnierayjones.com and drag-n-drop your Day One journal file. It does still require Dropbox sync.

I’ve removed links to my original version that was much more difficult for non-programmers to follow. If you want a link to that just write me a comment below.

2. HTML → PDF

Then I just used Google Chrome’s print to PDF feature to get the PDF I needed. I had to work out the print stylesheet a bit to get everything to fit nicely into pages and not waste too much whitespace.

Ultimately, I now had a PDF that I just needed to turn into a printed book.

3. PDF → Blurb

Blurb offers a PDF to Book service. I had to do some tweaking to the PDF file’s size and format (and it’s really too involved to include in this post), but once I got it all figured out it was easy to set up in Blurb. You upload a cover image and the PDF pages and that’s all there is to it.

4. Blurb → Book

A few days after submitting the project on Blurb I received my newly minted book in the mail. The quality of the book is outstanding considering the price (about $60 for 150 page hardback).

Here’s the final result.

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All images in this post are licensed as Creative Commons – Attribution.


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