It is always nice to find like-minded individuals around the interwebs and I’m excited to have recently bumped into Ramy from Narrato (okay, he bumped into me but… whatever). He and his team are not just creating a journaling service but an entire lifelogging service! This means that you will be able to track and quantify many aspects of your life automatically and privately…cool!
As you know, as far as journaling goes I lean more to the capturing life side of things and less on the improving life side of things. That is why I am excited about what Narrato is doing and how they are doing it. They also recently conducted a survey asking about many of the topics we discuss here on EJ including “What device do you use to journal?” and “What do you like to attach to your entries?”
Ramy has graciously allowed me to share this information but feel free to head over to his blog for the full survey results with more detail and analysis than I am giving here.[...]Click here to continue reading...
We write a lot more words than we typically give ourselves credit for. Not only am I constantly writing blog posts on this and other sites, but I frequently write detailed emails to close family and friends. Throw in social media, commenting on other websites and personal journaling and I average probably a four digit word count every day.
I wouldn’t be surprised if you do too.
When it comes to my digital journal word count, I cheat. I’m bad. I steal, plunder and plagerize.
But it’s all okay! I’m not stealing someone elses words and calling them mine, I am stealing my own words and calling them mine. With a quick ctrl+c and ctrl+v (command for you Mac folks) I grab text I have already written and slap it right into my personal journal entries.[...]Click here to continue reading...
…and so on.
As great as these sound and as wonderful as it is to capture your life in such a variety of ways, I argue against using most multimedia features that digital journals offer these days. The exception?[...]Click here to continue reading...
I’m a stat nerd, so to be honest, I’m not sure why I haven’t done this before. It all started with a simple question I had the other day:
How much have I really written in my journals?
It wasn’t the sort of question that has no answer or is not quantifiable, it was a very clear and direct question that I knew I could find the answer to. I turned to the tool that I have become oh-so-familiar with as an aspiring engineer- a spreadsheet.[...]Click here to continue reading...
The more I have gotten to know the journaling community the more I have realized how diverse it is, which is contrary to what I initially thought. When I first started Easy Journaling I was sure that most people who kept a journal where similar to each other. Call it stereotyping or call it demographics but I was sure I knew what types of people were most likely to journal.
Obviously I was wrong as I have come to the realization that there are journalers of every age and stage in life and from every country and nationality in the world. This diversity has given the EJ community a unique flavor and voice.
I’ve also noticed that everyone has their own reason to write a journal. There are many reasons, as I have recently documented in 101 Reasons to Write a Journal, but these can actually be boiled down into two broad categories. That’s right, there are only two main reasons to keep a journal, coming from the guy that wrote about 101.
So here it is, you either journal to improve your life or to capture your life.[...]Click here to continue reading...
Let me be clear, this post isn’t necessarily for regular Easy Journaling readers. You understand the basics and many of you are consistently leveling up what you do with your digital journaling abilities.
No, I’m talking to everyone else. Not just everyone who comes to this site but everyone who has downloaded a journal or diary app.
This is a letter to the entire world of anyone who has even thought about downloading a journal or diary app for their smartphone or tablet.
Ever.[...]Click here to continue reading...
Not only does keeping a journal on your favorite device have incredible benefits over the alternative, but it is usually very affordable as well. While I typically encourage the serious digital journaler to eventually pay for a premium service, free alternatives are a great choice if you are just getting started. To help you out I have compiled a list of the top 5 free ways you can get started on your digital journaling adventure for free.[...]Click here to continue reading...
The benefits of keeping a digital journal over a classic, hand-written journal are clear and growing every year. It is now more secure, private, convenient and enjoyable to keep a digital journal than the more old fashioned methods.
As I speak to you through email and social media, however, there is one aspect of hand-written journals that many of you aren’t willing to fully let go of- the hand-written part. For some reasons there is a perception out there that there are fewer benefits of journaling via your fingers on a keyboard than using your wrist with a pen. I’m not sure where this came from but I’m fairly confident that it is false. I am many times more distracted writing by hand than when I type because it flows so much better.
But do you know what? This concern is essentially irrelevant because of one important fact:[...]Click here to continue reading...
-Eddie Yu of DiaryMemo.com
The benefits of keeping a diary has been widely researched, written and blogged about, and we all know that it’s a good thing to do. It’s a way to record your own personal history and heal yourself at the same time because as we all know, self healing in its highest form is being reflective and self aware of what’s going on inside our own heads.
Since we already know all the benefits of writing, what’s the difference between that and recording it on video?
Well, there are plenty of apps and websites where you can go to create a written diary, but as yet there are only a few which use video as the main format of recording.
Firstly there is a difference between ‘vlogging’ and creating a video diary, in the same way that blogging is different from writing a diary. The difference is that vlogging and blogging are predominantly public activities with the purpose of sharing, whereas diary and video diaries are private for personal storage and use.
It’s important to make that distinction since if you were looking to make a video diary for public sharing, for whatever reasons, then platforms like YouTube and Vimeo are perfect for the job, after all that’s their purpose!
One of the newer platforms for private video diary recording is DiaryMemo, but first let’s discuss what makes video different, perhaps even better than writing.[...]Click here to continue reading...
Visitors come to Easy Journaling for a variety of reasons but the most popular is to find the best journal app for their favorite device. Just type “best android diary” or “best iPhone journal” into any Google search bar and you will probably be directed to this website.
As nice as the ‘best journal app‘ posts are that you will find here, they aren’t really that helpful because each user has such different criteria. The top 5 apps for Jack won’t be the same for Jane. Everyone approaches digital journaling differently and a simple list cannot appropriately serve unique individuals.
I have tried as often as possible to give personal journal app recommendations to those who have bothered to ask. And as much as I enjoy the challenge of taking the differing criteria and using several years of app research to give the best journaling solution, the Easy Journaling community is getting to the point where it isn’t practical to serve everyone in this manner.
There was a solution to this problem all along but it took me over a year to finally pull the trigger and automate my journal recommendation process. Thanks to a paid developer, an online researcher and a skilled friend, we have built an entire journal app recommendation tool from scratch and I am excited to announce that it is now available… and it is free. It will always be free.[...]Click here to continue reading...
Using a folder system for organizing is so, like, five years ago. Right? Kids nowadays are keeping things together using tags which are similar to folders… but oh, so different. Gmail is the most obvious example. I used to use Yahoo email (you probably did too, once upon a time) and I remember having some elaborate system of folders and sub-folders to keep track of my most important emails. Once I made the switch to Gmail I had withdraws for a while because my beloved folder system had been replaced with a foreign method of tagging. Fast forward a half-decade later and I’m pretty sure that I would never go back to folders.
Twitter has expanded on this idea by implementing #hashtags. These are just basically text in your tweet with a # (pound) sign to indicate that it is a keyword, not actually part of the sentence. This has spawned an entire subculture based on following the most popular #hashtags of the day with such stunning examples of #aintnobodygottimeforthat, #coolstorybro and #endoftheworldconfessions. Any user can simply type one of these terms (as is, with no spaces) into the search bar and instantly see the conversation on that topic.
If you use a journal/diary app on your smartphone or tablet, chances are that it will have a built-in tagging feature. This basically means that instead of adding tags as text inside your entries you can click on frequently used tags and that entry will be grouped with all other entries with the same tag. It’s kind of cool in theory and even in execution, but unfortunately this system has a flaw.[...]Click here to continue reading...
I know that I am the one that is usually behind the posts here at EJ, but I had to turn this one over to my better half. She has done some incredible things with our pictures turning them into priceless printed books using Shutterfly and has offered to share her experiences with you. Put your hands together for Tiffany and her first post! -Sam
You might feel sometimes like the only way to keep a journal is by creating entries in a journal book or digital app. Maybe you haven’t kept a journal in a while and feel like all of those memories are lost. I’ve found, however, that there are other methods of recording my families life that fit my schedule and my style better. Better yet, this way to journal allows you to collect the pictures and words you have been writing down and combine them into beautiful printed journals with years of memories.
The best website I have found to create these special picture books is Shutterfly.com. This service allows you to upload pictures and text and combine them in creative and attractive ways. When you are happy with your creation, you can order as many copies of it as you would like. You can create picture books, baby announcements, stationary, mugs, t-shirts and even a custom case for your iPhone.[...]Click here to continue reading...
If you receive the Easy Journaling updates, you recently learned that I have just released my latest book, 101 Reasons to Write a Journal. This ebook goes in depth on over a hundred different reasons why you should pick up journaling (if you haven’t already) and mixes some suggestions, stories and inspiration to go along with the motivation. It turned out better than I could have hoped and I am grateful for all of you that helped me on this project. The following is the story behind 101 Reasons which you will find in the forward of the book. -Sam
For more information on this ebook, go to www.101reasonstojournal.com
The little one was finally snug in his crib, and the newly expecting wife had crashed after a long day of chasing him around. I was left with a few rare hours of peace and quiet. Quiet except for the constant swishing of cars on pavement that had become a mainstay ever since we had decided to rent a place right next to a minor arterial roadway. The cars didn’t bother me, though. Not anymore, especially not on this night.[...]Click here to continue reading...
Proper digital journaling is not an application, it is a process. It isn’t something you can buy for $0.99 in an app store, it is something that is learned and developed. How do I know this? Well, five years of keeping my own personal journal digitally has taught me many things and I have learned even more hearing the horror stories of those who poured their lives into a cheap application only to have it lost forever. For all of the benefits this newer form of journaling offers, poor preparation can bring out the worst that any computing machine can offer– insecurity, lost data and frustration.
Luckily, I have started to perfect a system for keeping a personal journal on a smartphone, tablet or computer (or all of the above). This post outlines the first fundamental that forms the foundation of this system: taking control of your data.
Imagine how you would feel if a tornado came through your house and all of your photo albums were lost forever. Pretty traumatic, right? The worst part of this kind of loss is that there is no amount of time or money that can replace this sort of treasure.[...]Click here to continue reading...
We’ve all been there. February comes and you can’t even remember your New Year’s resolutions, let alone accomplished them. Maybe it has something to do with the calendar. Perhaps there is a magical spell that is cast upon us when we move it from January to February.
This year it all changes.
Well, probably not for jogging or eating right. I can’t really help you with spending less either.
But for journaling, this is the year that you will finally break through. How can I be so confident? Now you have a secret weapon you never had before: Easy Journaling. Way back in 2011 and even in 2012 keeping a personal journal and diary was mind-bendingly difficult. Now, though, it is as easy as a snap. Probably easier.[...]Click here to continue reading...