I wanted to share the fact that I have recently fallen back in love with the process of journaling (writing down your thoughts) as well as a tool to do this.

We've all got issues.

Now, I never grew up writing about feelings. I mean, wasn't it enough that I had to persevere whatever perceived trauma or fun/happiness that I was experiencing, but now you're telling me I have to write about those feelings afterward?

No thanks. Sounds like homework.

However, as things in my adult life have gotten increasingly more demanding and complicated, not only do I have to live by my task list, but I have also found it important to “journal” (a word that I used to think was a noun, but apparently is a verb these days). Journaling helps to parse your emotions and to give you greater clarity around what your experiences have been, of course, after externalizing them and writing them down.

Common myths about journaling:

  • Your journal has to be done within a paper-based diary.

  • People are going to be able to read your diary/journal.

  • Good journaling is just about writing down secrets.

Allow me to elaborate. I prefer having a low barrier of entry if I am going to journal, so my diary is pretty much going to have to be with me at all times if I am going to consistently write in it. To address the first point here, I recommend getting an electronic journal setup. To that end, the level of security is far greater than a paper journal because typically you can password protect your information through a journaling app. Oh, and journaling is clearly not just about secrets at this stage of the game. In fact, I made a quick cheat sheet that I refer to from time to time, to remind myself about the benefits of taking a few minutes each day to contemplate and reflect :

When I Have journaled When I Have not journaled
Feelings clarity, centered, cathartic confused, chaos
Benefits Super productive, compartmentalize emotions None

Write about those issues.

Needless to say, I have found the need to journal lately. There are many great journal apps and tools out there. If you're to be going paper-based I really think you should look no further than a classic, trusty Moleskine notebook.

However, if you're going to take my advice and go the digital route, I have a recommendation. I use Day One. The Day One app, which is a very powerful Markdown-accommodating journal app for the Mac and iOS (even the Apple Watch) is superb. I had version 1, and have just paid for the (well worth the wait) upgrade to version 2, and am really glad that I did!

Day One
Day One is a wonderful journaling platform for Mac and iOS

The new version of Day One allows for syncing between your iOS and Mac devices via Day One's sync service. When making a change, say, on my iPhone, I watched as the rock-solid service updated the changes to reflect on my Mac, nearly instantaneously.

Bloom Built, the company that develops Day One, have included a nice set of features:

  • Sync between devices
  • Font control
  • Export and publishing options
  • Password protection (including fingerprinting recognition for newer iOS devices)

I obviously really recommend that if you're going to be writing , and don't mind for your journal to be securely stored in the cloud that Day One is a viable contender for your innermost thoughts/feelings/dreams/rants.

You can grab a copy of Day One here.