Dear Diary, today I ate one kilogram of meat and I feel great about it… Ok, this or something like this is the first thing when I heard about journaling or writing a diary. A fat little kid sitting on his bed writing about his dreams or his day into a paper book. Nah, that ain’t me bro, I thought. Further on I read about journaling and listened to advice from people that do it actively and wanted to give it a try myself. And here is my experience on it.
A few reasons for doing it
Personally I think a lot about productivity and efficiency. I try to get a shit load of work done every day. I have goals. I try to develop new habits and get rid of bad ones. I am moving at the moment. Besides all of that I like to go to the gym and meet with my friends. So a lot of stuff to do.
But what all of these has to do with journaling? Simple, I can keep track of everything and reflect later on, how everything is connected.
Have I worked 14 hours a day, but stood out of gym for a week, do I feel sick because of this. This is only one example. By writing down how you feel and what you have accomplished every day, or multiple times a day, you can reflect yourself in a more honest way.
When was the last time you tried to remember what you have done on Thursday last week? Not me, I keep track of these things.
What to put in there?
Whatever the fuck you want. Easy as that.
I take a lot of photos with my phone. So they go into my journal every day. Photos of friends, cool things I saw, notes, bad things I experienced and so on.
I write down what I have worked on that day, what other activities I have participated in. And even what I screwed up that day.
If I was in the cinema, I write down my opinion on that movie, and if I’d recommend it. Did I eat healthy? Did I try something new?
Do not edit
The most important part. DO. NOT. EDIT.
Your journal don’t needs to be edited, it needs to be raw. There should be your raw thoughts and not something polished for anyone else. If your brain is cluttered and you cannot write something nice in you journal, perfect! You will see it next time you read through your journal and ask yourself what was wrong that day and hopefully find the answer there.
I began to write my journal in fall 2016. At the start I used Evernote and just wrote down what happened that day. Not nice, but it worked for the beginning. I haven’t put in pictures, I haven’t done any formatting.
The next step in my diary evolution was Grid Diary, where I read about in a german blog from Lars Bobach, because I didn’t know what to write about all the time. Grid Diary asks you predefined questions, about how you feel, what you did that day, if you did sport, eat healthy and so on. A great solutions, where you also could put in pictures and more stuff. Another cool thing is, that you easily can track your mood and the weather on that day (which doesn’t work automatically, but everybody prefers different weather 😉 ). So you can easily see the relation between weather and mood, which has a huge impact in my opinion.
But also Grid Diary didn’t make me that happy (yes, I am an app diva). I wanted free text again, but with features like Grid Diary, weather, location, pictures and so on. So research again. And I stumbled across Day One and fell in love from the first second. The simple interface, the powerful features, the look, just everything.
It automatically downloads the weather report for today, or the day you set the date of your diary to. So you have that correlation between mood and weather.
In Day One you can also add photos, give locations a name, for example home, and view your entries on a map, which will be awesome for some holidays. It has a ton more features, like reminders and stuff, but this shouldn’t be a blog post about Day One, so I will stop here. If you want to get a real deep dive into it check out Day One in Depth from The Sweet Setup.
If this makes sense to you why not try it yourself? Already doing it? Good, tell me more in the comments! And subscribe to my newsletter: