How to build a Journal with the help of receipts?

I would like to journal myself back in time (I am the kind of guy that don’t remember what I had for lunch yesterday.) and try to document the days past.

To my help to remember I have lots of receipts that I have saved from shoppingtrips to those places I have been to. I think that I have those for a couple of years. That means, that I know where I went those days thanks to the receipts. Some time I will have help from photos I’ve taken at some places I’ve been to (thank God for GPS info)

To my help I have an Scansnap IX500 and my trusty iPad and Mac.

What would be the next step?
(I guess scan the receipts (and then recycle them) but they are in no order what so ever.) what would I use for kind of tools to achieve my goal, with the journal?

(English is not my native tongue, that’s why the strange grammar. )


I do that sometimes. I use Diarly to journal, and for whatever reason sometimes I don’t write anything for a while. I use photos, receipts, work notes etc to remind me. I then go back into the date in Diarly and write something - often it is quite reflective so works well.

I don’t scan or keep the receipts, just use them as a prompt.


1 Like

Which is the smarter thing to do… when you are doing the journaling with fresh “material”. It’s tricky when you have a bag with unsorted receipts, that has all the: where, when and why.
Thank you for advising me about Diarly, I didn’t know about that journaling software before looks really tempting.

Right now I am thinking about scanning the whole bag in my Scansnap, OCR:ing and then somehow asking Hazel for help, sorting the receipts in some kind of chronical order (I don’t know how at this time) - then is the trick how to work with them afterwards.

1 Like

I’d just pick some sort of note system and start with the pile of receipts. Pick one up add the date and time if availabel as the start of the filename for the note and add the info from the receipt that you have and then anything else you want to add.

Move on to the next one. Proper filenaming will get them all in odrder for you and no need to scan or sort first. When they are all in I’d go back and start filling in the gaps with the photos you have which should also have a date taken attached. Any othere EXIF data on the phots will also help, things like which camera etc.

I’m doing that myself as I move stuff into Obsidian. I have lots of misc notes and things in various systems and on paper. I’m just adding them in with a good date as part of the filename. As I link them I can build out a whole constellation of what I was doing and where I was at most any point in time. I don’t care when and given one is I gain nothing by sorting or scanning first it’s faster to just pick the top on on the pile and process it.

I think that I’ve got it, how to journal

  1. I will use my ScanSnap IX500 to scan the receipts with the ScanSnap Home software. It will find the dates OCR it and sort the receipts in chronological order (when I have finished with them)

  2. Google Maps remembers some places I went to

3 Apple Photos know some stuff, too/

  1. I have begun to collect stuff in DayOne from social media like Twitter and so on.

Have a missed something?

1 Like

@Bernt_Mansson - Thank you so much for this post. I have an embarrassing amount of receipts from my past that I have been saving for this very purpose that you described. I am unsure what value this will serve, but my receipt “hoarding” has never stopped.

Please keep us apprised of your progress.

1 Like

This is the only part I think is unecessary unless you want the images of the receipts as part of the journal. I’d just start writing and dating the notes and not bother with the arrangement first.

1 Like