Today I journal in one of the three devices I will usually always have at arm's length: my iPhone, iPad or MacBook. I used to have physical journals, but found that the benefits of using a digital journal far outweight having to carry an actual paper book. I would get frustrated having something great to write down but no journal anywhere in sight to capture the idea or the moment! Have you experience that? Or I'd use some random piece of paper only to lose it afterwards. And to complicate things further, writing on a piece of paper would get me distracted because I'd be really picky about my handwriting instead of actually focusing on writing my thoughts and ideas.
Don't let your journal be like the bottom drawer of your desk, with a mix of valuable items that you have collected over the years but none of which can ever be found when you look for them again because of how they were poorly stored. If you're new to journaling, here some insights on how to start.
Once I began journaling digitally I have never looked back. It adds so much to a journal. You can search across its vast contents in an instant. Plus there's a very powerful way to index posts with tags. I can not overemphasize how tags revolutionized my capacity for capturing things.
Here is a list of the tags I use, to help you get going:
- happenings: a general or specific account of events.
- explorations: questions I ask myself that I don't yet have an answer to.
- moments: special moments from life - a look, a smile, a hug, a laugh.
- quotes: great thoughts that I find along the way.
- psyche: my mindset at this point in time - a snapshot of my beliefs.
- insights: this tag is for great ideas or realizations.
- thanks: what I am grateful for.
- goals: things I want to accomplish.
- reactions: I am freaking out about something that I want to be different.
- sufferings: moments I am not present, worrying or looping in my head.
- desires: things I believe I need but I am full of crap because I don't really need them. I capture those so I can look at letting my attachment go.
- fears: what I am afraid of and why.
- learned: things I learned and lessons lived.
- given: how have I served others today.
Why this? Because it will create a simple way for you to review back in the future. I can look at my fears, desires, and how my psyche was at the time. The best part? I can see and measure more of my growth. In a few of these tags I make the effort of adding a daily entry, such as 'thanks' and 'moments'.
You obviously don't need to use the same tags. Create what best suits you, I'm sharing them here as a trigger for your own.
The Journaling App
My app of choice to bring all this together is Day One. It's a beautifully designed app and that uses iCloud to sync everything between devices and backups your very important content. It is available for both iOS & OS X.
The app cover all the basis. You can create your tags, post a picture, add a location and even show the weather for that day.
Advanced features such as having a passcode to lock your journal. Export entries. Write using Markdown. It's really well made. And absolutely essential for my life. All you need is to simply hit the + sign to start capturing.