Instagram collage, photo collage
photo: dese’rae l. stage

We recently discovered Instagram, one of the hottest photo sharing/social media apps for iPhone and Android. It’s a GREAT way to maintain a visual journal/daily diary on-the-go for the sporadic or time-restrained journaler or, alternately, the more visually-oriented person who wants to document their day-to-day. It’s quick and easy: you snap a picture with your phone and apply filters at will for a retro film “feel”. If you like, include a caption or the location where the image was captured, and share it across various social media platforms. You can also choose to maintain a public or a private feed, and follow your friends’ Instagram feeds. Or just keep the images as a personal journal on your phone or computer.

What we like the best about Instagram is that it’s a great hand-held improvisational tool for creatively exploring the world around you.

Instagram, street art, graffiti, Brooklyn
photo: dese’rae l. stage

It helps you to really take note of the little beauties in your every day surroundings, be it a vanilla sky or provocative street art, or even a portrait of your kids playing in the sprinkler on a hot summer afternoon. Each image shared is infused with meaning and evokes a tangible sensory memory, but the narrative can remain private to you unless you choose to share it with your followers, like the spent fireworks, below, spotted on a Brooklyn Street late on the Fourth of July.

Instagram, street, headlights, fireworks, detritus
photo: dese’rae l. stage

Take your phone out into your neighborhood. Fire up Instagram. What can you show us about the world you live in?

Dese’Rae L. Stage

Related posts: keeping a dream book
inspiration journals: walls, books, software…
more on inspiration and other visual journals + scrapbooks
postcardly: send a real postcard via email

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4 replies on “keeping an instagram journal

  1. I love instagram, but don’t know how to make an instagram journal. It’s probably easy and obvious, but just in case there’s a trick, can you tell me please?

  2. Hi Peggy:

    There are three ways you can do it.

    1. You can let your feed of images within the app itself function as your journal.
    2. You can import the images from your phone into iPhoto and create an Instagram folder on your computer.
    3. You can share your images on social media (Facebook/Tumblr/Twitter) using the app. You can also view your Instagram feed online at

  3. I love the idea of gathering these signs in one place! I am not yet ready to commit to Instagram but this makes it very tempting. Will there always be a link to SignLaboratory on the IL post?

  4. Hi Ellen, You’ll see each new posting on the sidebar. But seeing the whole signlabortory instagram is really fun, so I recommend you check it out.

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