Today we will step outside of the box. Sure, there are dozens if not hundreds of software applications created specifically for keeping a personal journal or diary. But today, we will ignore that. We will imagine that we have to create our own personal, digital journal using other resources not specifically made for the purpose of journaling.

So, if you are feeling brave (I know I am), we will begin.

1. Video Journal/Log

You might think that you have a face for radio, but I’m here to tell you today that you have a face for a video journal. This simple way of recording and enriching your life experience is simple but often goes unnoticed. All you need is a webcam, smartphone, video camera, tablet or anything that can record your pretty mug. Spend a few minutes now and then talking into this recording device and over time you will begin to see how fulfilling this can become! Make a folder on your computer where you can store these video clips and name them by date. Password protection is also a nice edition if you really want to open up knowing that no one will see these videos.

Plus, Jake Sully did it on Avatar and we all know he is cool!

This video is for Skype interview tips but the same principles apply to a video journal or log.

2. Gmail Journal

As I discuss in Modern Journaling, simply using a journal account can be one of the cheapest and easiest ways to keep a personal journal. If you use a cloud service such as Gmail it is already password protected and secure and you can also include pictures and other media! Oh, and it’s free!

Of course this just doesn’t work with Gmail. Yahoo, Outlook and many other email clients are browser based (or at least have that option) and work the same was as Gmail. But seriously, what sounds better than Gmail Journal?

My advice would be to start an entirely new account for this purpose. The nice part about this is that you will now have a special email address that you can send or forward emails to and they will instantly become entries! This works nicely when your work blocks Gmail (like mine does). You can just send an email from your work account to this special Gmail Journal.


 3. JPG Journal

Similar to the video log, this journal will essentially consist of a folder full of date-named files (.jpgs or picture files to be exact). This journal is a unique way to record your life by capturing as many parts of it as you can through pictures files. I say ‘files’ because it just doesn’t have to be pictures of your life taken from your camera. Also include web clippings showing your blog, email, Facebook, daily news/weather and so on. You can also hand write entries or draw doodles and take pictures of these to include in this journal.

The end result will hopefully be a creative and varied reflection of your life. A benefit of this type of journal is that you can easily print out a picture book from a variety of online services which you could use to free your JPG journal from its binary prison.

 4. Speak it Journal

Not only can you use your hands, fingers and face to keep a journal but your voice as well. This is often the best choice for those who spend a lot of time on the road or on walks.

There are actually two ways to do this: audio files and speech to text. The audio files method is simply recording your voice and saving it in a folder like the video journal and JPG journal in a format such as .wav or .mp3.

The speech to text method takes your spoken word and converts it into editable text using software. This can be accomplished using software on your Mac, PC or even mobile devices. Once it is in text you can throw it into a Word document or even journaling software such as Penzu or LDS Journal.

 5. Touchscreen Journal

Yes, you will need a touchscreen for this. That’s okay because most of us have these around these days including smartphones, tablets and all-in-one PCs.

For this type of journal you just need an application that allows you to draw or write on the touchscreen. Then you can hand write your entries using your finger or a stylus and add goodies such as doodles or drawings from your kids.

You can usually save these as picture files but it would be best if you can save them as a single PDF. This will allow the most portability and usability in the future.

This app is also a good place to start.


So, there you have it. Anyone else have a clever or unconventional way that you keep a journal or diary? Please let us know!