Digital journaling: Should I make the effort?
Let’s face it. None of us has any real spare time, do we? We all have the same 24 hours each day in which to work on projects, do for others, market, create, take care of our families and ourselves — I’m sure you’re thinking, “Where do I possibly fit something else into my day?” Well, if it’s important enough, you will find the time to spend on digital journaling. I hope by the time you finish this post, you will see the importance and adopt the habit of daily digital journaling.
Why Daily Digital Journaling
Creativity all begins in the mind, with your thoughts. Those thoughts, lead to various emotions and actions. In order to be at your very best as an artist, creative, or any human being on the planet, you need to be balanced, centered, in touch with your creative side.
Now that you have your blog all set up, you will begin to work on various projects and blog post topics that you want to share. Having a clear and balanced mind, body, and spirt will take you far as you begin to undertake the task of being a serious blogger.
For another thing, journaling can be your “safe place.” The only place you can go to vent, write down what may be considered by others as silly or crazy thoughts, goofy jokes that no one else gets, and you can find your “true voice.”
I know that when I journal, it helps me improve my writing skills, helps me to stay focused, and I improve my overall mood and attitude.
Journaling helps clear the mind, lets you review and make sense of difficult and stressful life situations, and it gives you a go-to place to review and uncover any unhealthy thought patterns. What better way to learn and or improve your own creative process than by digital journaling?
It’s been quite some time since I was actively involved in journaling. So, I began to research to see what is the best technology today for digital journaling and what seems like a good fit for me.
My first thought was to have a go-to diary-type app that was easy for me to access so when I’m out on a shooting project as a photographer, I could track the weather, my camera metadata, and write my thoughts about the image right on the spot. Yes, there’s an app for that! Several good apps it turns out.
What To Look For In A Good Journaling App
Look for an app that lets you easily and quickly add a snapshot or a quick note about an important or memorable event. For me, each photograph that I choose to keep becomes like “my baby.” I take good care of it, give it what it needs to look and feel its best, cherish it over time, and definitely feel emotional about it if I sell it.
Think of all the things you can track through journaling, photos, and videos, that many years from now will be brought right back to the front of your mind so you can relive them. Isn’t that a worthwhile endeavor?
I suggest you look for an app that allows you to easily backup and restore your journal. Are you into design? Then look for apps that allow you to customize your journal in creative ways so that you enjoy logging in and creating entries on a daily basis.
Another useful feature is being able to print to PDF. Then you can share the file easily with your network. Oh, and make sure it includes a spell checker or else you will have to find one to use.
I look for apps that are free with the ability to upgrade to a premium version if I really like it. This is usually a good sign that the developers will continue to add new features and benefits if they have a premium version to upgrade to.
What App I Use For Daily Digital Journaling And What To Expect
Since I am an Android user, I have found through much research that Journey for Android is the best journaling app available at this time. It is available as a free app in the Google Play Store for Android and iPhone. Also install it on Google Chrome from the Chrome Web Store.
If you are an iPhone/Apple device user, I say give it a try. If you don’t like it, my recommendation would be to try Day One or Penzu. There’s a good overview here of these apps.
For those of you that prefer video, here’s a step-by-step view of what to expect when installing Journey on an Android:
10 Reasons Daily Digital Journaling Is Worthwhile
After committing to journaling again, I remembered just how much it helped me on so many levels. When you find something to do that’s both powerful, healthy, and possibly life changing, it wouldn’t be right not to share it.
I know that some will resist the idea of using a digital method for journaling, but maybe after you read my list you just may change your mind.
- It’s just plain easier and faster to enter notes and information digitally than using pen and paper. I’m sure I’m not the only one that likes things neat and organized. It’s easier to accomplish this via digital entries versus looking for a pen and paper and hastily scribbling some notes when you’re on the go and in a hurry. Plus, you won’t lose your notes, they are backed up. It’s also easier to edit, add-to, and make changes.
- It forces you to focus on some “me time” each day. Once you get into the habit of taking time each day to recount your thoughts, ideas, and activities, you will find that daily journaling is therapeutic. If you are a blogger like me, each day is filled with “service” activities such as researching new blog topics that my readers want to know more about, reaching out to my community through social media, emails, and phone calls to make sure they get the best service possible, and strategizing new marketing campaigns. Many people have “jobs” as well, small children, families to take care of, perhaps disabilities that challenge them… we all have challenges. It is important that you find the time to deal with you, your growth, your goals, and your personal development on a daily basis.
- Daily Digital Journaling helps you to quickly identify issues that otherwise might have remained hidden. I suggest a weekly review of your digital journal. Look for signs of things that are holding you back from progressing, moving forward, or reaching your goals. At first some of these may seem insignificant, watch for trends. If you are in touch with your feelings, moods, and habits each day, any negative issues or weaknesses can be identified quickly and decisions made on how to turn the weaknesses into strengths.
- Daily Digital Journaling can assist you in assessing your overall health. As in benefit number 2 above, since you are paying attention on a daily basis, you will also notice changes or trends in your physical, emotional, or spiritual health. How are you sleeping? What is your diet like? Are you staying hydrated? Are you taking regular breaks or mini-breaks throughout your day? Do you meditate? Do you take time for cat-naps? Do make sure you aren’t sitting in front of a computer for hours on end? Do you get daily physical activity of some sort? Catch issues early on. Everything is connected, our physical, emotional, spiritual and energy levels, moods, habits, and so on. Monitor your overall health by daily journaling and reviewing at least monthly.
- It builds confidence. As you journal and track your daily activities, you will also be recording your goals, strategies, ideas, and inspirations. As you review your entries, you will see trends and patterns. Pay close attention to what platforms, strategies, techniques, and desired outcomes are reached and what caused failure. As time goes by, you will see great progress. I find a digital journal review particularly confidence-building when I think I’m not getting anywhere. My journal proves me wrong!
- Adds Security and Privacy. Speaking of reviewing your digital journal entries, a digital journal is much easier to secure, archive, and review. Imagine years and years of digital entries means that you can protect, secure, archive and review to your heart’s content all from within a single application accessed by all of your devices and platforms!
- Imagine having photo albums, diaries, or journals and decades of history all packed placed in storage. All of that can be avoided with a digital record kept private for as long as you want it private. Use a passcode and no one can take a peek.
- No more worry about dampness, mold, fire, misplacing heirlooms or historic photos, or any other major “act of God” disaster. What about this suggestion: Interview your older relatives, capture their story on video forever. Then tell your thoughts and impression about the interview. Let your imagination run wild. 🙂
- Add Tracking Location, Date, and Timestamp. Sometimes you just want to jot something down really quickly, say an appointment and want to come back to it later. I don’t know about you, but if I use a pen and paper system, I may forget to go back to that note to finish tasks later on. I could use Outlook or another reminder service, but it’s so many steps! A digital journal can accurately date and time stamp entries. As a photographer, I like that if I’m out on a shoot, it can also stamp or geotag my location and current weather at the time. Using these options you can remember exactly where you were and what the weather was like when you took a specific shot. You can also choose to not include this information for privacy reasons.
- Digital Journaling allows you to tag and search. Even though you can come up with a system to search your pen-and-paper journals, it’s easier and faster to tag and search digitally.
- Print and export as a PDF. Since you are able to print and export as a PDF, it will be easy to combine journal entries or journal sections together to create an e-book project. It also allows for easy email or social media sharing.
- Backup your Digital Journal to Google Drive. You can also keep your Journey Digital Journal private but through Google Drive or Dropbox, you can work on specific projects with others. Journey backs-up to Google Drive but I would export as a PDF to Dropbox as well. This is a great idea for family history work or a business team project. The ability to backup and restore is a great feature. Backup your work regularly.
For all of the features and professional reviews of Journey, go here.
There is much scientific evidence that shows journaling is a healthy habit. Here is a good example:
My Therapy Journal states that, “Expectedly enough, scholars of various disciplines have studied the effects of journaling and found that it provides significant benefits to not only one’s psychological well being, but also one’s physical health and physiological functioning (Smyth, 1998). Several researchers for example (Greenberg et al., 1996; Spera et al., 1994; Pennebaker and Francis, 1996), have shown that people who journal report having significantly less distress (i.e. suffering, sorrow, pain), feeling less depressed, and having an overall better mood.
Additionally, individuals also report that journaling changes they way they behave towards and around other people (Pennebaker & Graybeal, 2001). Other studies have found that people who journal for extended periods of time (months) also report an increase in emotional well-being (Park & Blumberg, 2002), a better day-to-day mood (Páez et al, 1999), and fewer symptoms of depression (Lepore, 1997).”
In order to achieve the best results, whichever digital journaling app you choose, it’s important to stay consistent to see real progress and results. Need a little help getting started with digital journaling? Click for some ideas on what you might do to get in the habit.
You might find that digital journaling on a daily basis becomes the cornerstone of your overall health and well-being both personally and professionally.
If you aren’t currently digital journaling, do you think you might start after reading this post? If you are a journaler, can you add to the benefits I’ve listed above? Please share your thoughts in the comments below. I’d love to know what you think.
Thank you for visiting, reading, and sharing my post!
As always, wishing you prosperity and online success,