August 25, 2019

Journal Export Feature

Matt Kandler @mattkandler

Today I launched an exporting feature for Happyfeed. Paying users can now receive all their journal entries in a CSV format via email.

I've been getting requests for an export option for years. At first, I wanted to make a fancy PDF option, but I noticed some similar apps offering a CSV format and decided to go that route for simplicity.

I had to learn a few new technologies to make sure my servers weren't getting overloaded by building export.

How it works:

  • Uses Heroku Redis to create a job queue for export tasks
  • Whenever a "backup" is created, an export job is queued
  • The job runs through all posts and builds a CSV line-by-line
  • Images are copied into a new folder in S3
  • The image folder is zipped and saved with the CSV in S3
  • Files are emailed to the user (I use Mailgun)


  • The additional cost of running worker dynos ($65/mo)
  • Free users might be upset that it's a paid feature
  • Concerns that CSV isn't the desired format (PDF preferred)

Potential Rewards:

  • Increased user trust, knowing they can back up their journal
  • Higher % of users signup for Plus subscription
  • Shows an interest in pursuing bigger ideals like a printed book

Really proud of this one and it was a lot of work!
Blog post: Journal Exports

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