Journaling, or the art of keeping a diary, is an activity that has been with us through time. We have always been inclined to record our activities.
In the past, we have had few techniques for doing this and of course when you think of a diary one immediately thinks of pen and paper. Thus, the paper bound diary has stood the test of time over and over again. And rightly, it has stood this test of time successfully.
Now though, as the digital age blossoms and it’s flexibility applied to improve our techniques, nothing has been as well applied as the diary. The digital diary has been perfect as a tool to replace the paper bound diary and with great success.
The Original Metaphor Applied
Not only has the original way for writing a diary been easily applied to the digital with great success, but new modalities are being conceptualized for writing a diary due to the flexible nature of digital but so too to the power of the chips that power our computers.
We have thus been able to apply the original metaphor of pen and paper book to the digital diary easily. One of the Mac’s most successful journaling applications, Day One, uses the traditional metaphor though enhanced to have created an award winning product.
However, the question arises is there a better way of keeping a diary. As with all things digital, the answer is yes. So we can continue to write our journal almost as if it’s a paper document or we can put another spin on it.
Moment by Moment
One style of journaling that is just making its appearance is journaling a moment at a time. The concept and application is so simple. As we progress through our day, we have moments in time that sometimes stand out or are very routine. Regardless, diarizing the moments is a very effective method of journaling.
You might journal about your morning and how that went or something very specific about an event that took place in morning which requires its own space.
Journaling moment by moment has a major benefit. Rather than trying to journal about your whole day at the end of the day, you journal as you go a long, more or less in bite size chunks. This makes journaling not only easier but fun also. In essence, it is a method that puts you at great ease as there isn’t all this pressure at the end of the day to write your journal. Things are more manageable this way and easier at the recall.
Two Moment at a Time Journals which stand Out
Journaling, as we’ve seen, has been an important activity for a long time. There has generally been one style of journaling and that’s the day at a time approach where you break things down as they happened throughout the day. However, there’s another style that is showing itself and it is very useful and in a way much easier to deal with. This approach is to write your journal a moment at a time. It is a journal which is made up of moment at a time components that, in the end represent your day.
There are two journals that stand out that use this approach. There’s Flava, a moment by moment journal which is cross platform.
Another Journal, which is moment by moment but which only resides on your iPhone is Momento. This journal only runs in your Apple environment on the iPhone which presents problems. Yet, it is a beautiful journal more so than Flava.
There is no more of a personal decision about which journal to use that your personal preference. In this article though, I’ve tried to relay how the digital world is changing the way in which we can journal and further how it makes journaling more fun and compelling.
You can journal a day at a time just on your Mac. You can journal across platforms now, with your work being available in more than one environment. Dayly is a first class BlackBerry application that is making it’s way to other environments. You can now use Dayly on your BlackBerry, iPhone or Android phone with all your information portrayed on any phone. There is tremendous benefit to this approach in that you aren’t locked, hardware wise, to a vendor. Further, the information crosses platforms which frees you from lock in.
There is also the diary approach that sees a moment in time as an entry during the day. All the entries, for different points for that day, make up your days journal. Yet, it simply makes up aspects to your journal. For many, this approach has with it ease of entry as it doesn’t take long to write a moment as an entry where sitting down at the end of the day to write your diary can be a bit demanding.
Again though, these approaches are all personal in scope but enabled by the technology, in this case your Apple system. Yet, as I say that, is it your Apple system or is the Apple system now just a player in systems. For the sake of understanding, we’ll refer to it as your Apple system that might include a BlackBerry, Android or Windows phone. The system, simply as a result of evolving technology, now is more than just a Macjournal, Day One, Dayly, Flava or Penzu. These are the apps enabled by technology, a technology that shifts somewhat our relationship to such things as our journal.
The choice is yours and it is increasing in scope. The important thing about journaling is just to keep at it. Consistency is key to externalizing thought and feelings and being able to pull those memories back with context.
Journaling is a powerful activity. It is rewarding and it is one of the aspects of the information revolution we’re going through that still has its rootedness in time. Choose your journal carefully and ensure it is one that works for you. The rewards are certainly there but they are not quantifiable as are some things around our Mac.