I keep several journals on a daily basis. One, my Levenger 5-year paper journal, allows me to make comparisons across the past five years. I primarily use it to record mundane home activities but find it helpful and of interest to know what was happening on this day five-years ago. In a second paper journal, I record professional development activities: thoughts from a book read, progress in learning a foreign language or a new app, for example).
Since retiring, I have come to appreciate the value of my journaling habits across the years. Journaling helps me clarify my thinking, put events within a larger temporal context, reflect, and find direction. I particularly like how my Day One app syncs between my Iphone and my Ipad. It keeps track of journaling streaks, allows me to incorporate photos and videos, allows dictation, and provides ways of comparing entries for a given day across years. I find this latter feature particularly of interest because for several years I had my student research assistants document their work for me on Day One. It is fun to rediscover those entries.And now the “Parent” of WordPress has acquired Day1. This bodes well for some of my writing needs.
Here are some of my earlier thoughts about journaling.
I’m revisiting a number of journal entries I made across the past forty years. I just purchased a five-year journal that allows me to compare my thoughts across the past five years. How things have changed!
While cleaning the office I came across my journal notes from when I still was a graduate student at Ohio State. I had just returned from a two-day job interview at then-named Carroll College in Waukesha, Wisconsin. Much has changed since then!
I still use and keep journals now–some paper and pencil— though I now do most journaling using software dedicated to that function. Though I have explored the utility of many apps, my personal preference at the moment is DayOne. An excellent hour-long screencast tutorial is available from Screencastsonline.
I particularly use journaling to follow the recommendations of Jane Hart on the value (I would argue, the necessity) of reflecting on my workday accomplishments. This was one of many lessons I learned from Jane. What a pioneer, mentor, and virtual Friend she has been for over a decade.
What journaling software do you us?