In unprecedented times, your story may be more important than ever before.
When we look back on our lives, we’re going to have a story to tell. Like those that have lived through the Great Depression, we can say we’ve experienced an unprecedented time that could forever change the way we live our lives. If you want to remember this time, the thoughts, emotions, and events, I suggest writing it all down. Keeping a journal will help.
Top 3 Reasons to Write in Journal
Your journal can be a best friend or even a therapist who is there for you at any time of the day. The journal is there to absorb anything you would not dare to say to another person. It is cathartic to write down any poisonous emotions. It can help you understand why you’re feeling the way you’re feeling and help you find the next steps.
I don’t think that I would ever allow someone to read my journal. I need to be dead and gone because I have a mighty temper that scorches the page, but once I’ve done it, it is over. I don’t aim the rage at another person. I get it out. I make sure that I note that it was just a temporary emotion that was solved by writing it out. And now, with the world shifting so much every day, I need a place to put my feelings of unease and fear without worry.
When you look back at your journal, you can often track patterns of behavior. Some help you achieve goals and respond effectively. Others allow you to see personal or professional growth and healthy relationships. By viewing these patterns, you can make smarter decisions or reflect on changes you might need to make in your life.
As someone with a bipolar disorder, this is one of the best ways that I can keep my psychiatrist and therapist informed. It is easier to discuss patterns and let them know my medication is or is not working. But outside of this, I can see my personal growth. I can see that three years ago, I was in bad shape and that the person I am now has grown and improved.
Journals can be a creative space. Writers like Virginia Woolf and Maya Angelou regularly wrote in journals. There are hundreds maybe thousands more that do or have done the same.
For me, journals can be a starting point for an idea. I can nurture it quietly until I’m ready to release it to the world. This doesn’t have to be just writing. I like journals without lines so that I can draw if I get the urge. Sometimes drawing is all I can do.
Apps to Help You Journal
Grabbing a pen and paper journal is not always the easiest method of journaling. In this day and age, we’re more likely to have our phone, tablet, or computer nearby. So it makes sense to find apps to help you journal. The following is a review of some apps that I’ve found to be helpful when trying to journal.
Daylio (FREE & PAID)
If you are a person of few words, Daylio may be for you. This app lets you track your mood and activities without typing a single word. The FREE version has a lot of features to track social activities, hobbies, sleep, food choices, mindfulness, and chores that are all editable so you can create your own. It has reminders, goals, and achievements you can earn as you use it. You could discover patterns or create some habits like “running, eating more healthy, or waking up earlier.” For someone interested in statistics and not a general overview, you will have to pay $2.99 monthly or $23.99 a year. It is simple and quick.
Day One (FREE & PAID)
Day One is always at the top of the list. The layout is gorgeous and has everything you need to type and format within the app itself. You can also include pictures, videos, drawings, and voice in the daily entries. It is easy to revisit any and all past events. The app can be secured with a password or fingerprint. It can be used on any Apple device. I just wish it let you sync across devices for FREE. The paid version is almost worth it at $2.92 a month billed annually. Additionally, with the paid version, you get unlimited photos, drawings, videos, and audio.
Momento (FREE & PAID)
Momento is what I call an all-in app. It lets you connect ALL your social media to your journal. Not only do you get written words, you get your Facebook, Twitter, Spotify, Uber, and many more posts in your feed. In the PAID version ($2.49/mo or $16.49/yr), they extend the number of services you can connect, number of photos, and password protection.
Grid Diary (FREE & PAID)
If you struggle with knowing what to write in a diary, then Grid Diary may be for you. Instead of wondering what to write about each day, it combines diary and planner templates with reflective prompts to help you focus on the areas of life you want to track. The grid layout is unique to the journal game and entertaining. Many of Grid Diary’s features are free to use. However, in their PAID option, they offer advanced features, including sync between all your devices, passcode lock, and more color themes. The membership subscription has two options $2.49 monthly or $19.99 annually.
These are the most basic apps that function like a journal without the bells and whistles. Very often, they are AD supported, but if you can overlook that, then you’re golden.
- Diaro — simple interface, limited use, but does sync using dropbox
- Daygram — the most straightforward app, if you don’t have a lot to say
- Longwalks — works if you want to short-form journal with a friend
- Diary-Journal with password — simple, customizable with a password
- Happyfeed — an easy app for gratitude journaling
Concluding, there are many apps on the market. I’ve tried many that I would not recommend, but everyone is different, so don’t give up if the first one you try isn’t for you.