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It feels like well-meaning people friends, family members and social media contacts bombard me with messages about the benefits of journaling these days – both online and in-person. I do really want to journal and tried multiple times. I even bought a beautiful journal with pictures of unique artwork sprinkled throughout the pages thinking it would motivate me. But I journal for a short time, then stop. The practice just doesn’t stick for me. However, I recently found some good journaling apps. For others who, like me, are more digitally minded, these apps may help you journal across all your devices so you stay on top of it. I plan to try…will you join me?
Benefits of Journaling
So what are the benefits of journaling? Why take the time to develop a practice? Here are some of the main reasons people tell me they journal:
PROMOTES EMOTIONAL WELL-BEING
I hear 15 minutes per day devoted to journaling is sufficient to reap many of the benefits. I am not one to talk or write out my feelings often; I tend to be the helper and like to project an image of strength, even to myself. I do know though that when I do get out the heaviness in my heart, I generally feel better emotionally which often leads to feeling better physically. In addition, I find that writing about my thoughts and emotions frees up space in my memory so I can better retain information that serves me better.
Best Journaling Apps
Most are free (with in-app purchases available)
Day One: This app allows you to add text, pictures, videos and music! You can tell your story with or without words. The password protected app allows you to tag and sort entries and customize reminders so they ping you at the time you choose. Available on both Android and IOS.
Penzu: This simple, user-friendly app is no-frills journaling at it’s best. Whether you want a tool to record your daily emotions and activities, keep a food diary or even record your dreams, this app has you covered. Available on both Android and IOS.
Diarium: Diarium is an intuitive diary created to help you keep precious memories. It pulls content from social media feeds or fitness trackers and allows you to rate your journal entries to help track how you’re feeling. Another nice feature is the voice dictation capability. This app syncs across cloud apps like google drive so you can easily access your date from anywhere. Available on both Android and IOS.
Momento: This app provides a smart private journal that stays up to date effortlessly. You have the option to collect uber history, saved Spotify tracks and YouTube videos and pull your social media posts into one place. In addition, Momento allows you to create albums based on different events. It also offers journal prompts to help you get your thoughts down. Available on IOS.
Five Minute Journal Practicing gratitude with the 5 Minute Journal app is the perfect way for the journal newbie to get started. The guided journaling offers bite-sized prompts that focus on gratitude and self-reflection. Available on both Android and IOS.
The bottom line
People journal for many different reasons and use different journaling styles. You may choose to use bullet points to describe your feelings/activities that day, a paragraph format to let your creativity take over. or perhaps a gratitude journal where you focus on specifically what you are grateful for each day. Whichever you choose, the benefits of starting some type of journaling practice seem clear. The hardest part is getting started and a journaling app may be just what I need to make the practice stick. I challenge you to join me in my efforts to begin today!
HI Arlene, that’s a good question. I don’t know what your current situation is or what you hope to achieve from journaling. For me, I started with the Five Minute Journal because it was quick and simple and I felt a good way to begin. It’s a great way to start your day to wake up and make a quick list of things for which you are grateful. The next step for me was Penzu, also a very simple app, but more involved in that you could also journal your emotions, keep a food diary and more. If it’s easier for you to use pictures, videos or music than words to get your thoughts and feelings out, then Day One might be the best place for you to start. It’s very personal! Hope that helps!
I like them all! But i can only choose one. Where do I start? What questions should I ask myself to narrow down my choices? Let me hear from you; 1-3 questions I need to ask myself to pick the app that will meet my need for this season of my life. Thank you.