If you are like most humans then you yearn to figure out what this world means and what it is made of. Call it the meaning of life, God, or whatever you like. But, there is some urge for us to figure things out about ourselves and our surroundings. One of the best ways that I have discovered to do this is through journaling and keeping my thoughts and daily interactions in a written form.
I used to keep a paper journal (I still use paper here and there for things), but ever since I re-started college in 2007 I moved my journaling to a digital medium. I journaled on and off for a couple of years until I ran across Julia Cameron’s idea of Morning Pages. The idea was to write around 3 long-hand written pages first thing in the morning to get thoughts out of your head as well as get your creative juices flowing.
Instead of long-hand I go digital. It ends up being about 750 words typed. This clacking on the keyboard (or tapping on the iPhone) every morning is like a ritual for me. It calms my mind down, helps me make sense of things, and keeps my mind somewhat sharp. If you don’t think you can write 750 words every single day, then try just for a week. And then a month.
You really only need a simple text editor to keep a digital journal. If you want it everywhere, you can then simply sync it with Dropbox. If you don’t like plain text editors, you can use some special applications for keeping a digital journal like:
- Day One for Mac and iOS
- Momento for iOS
- Penzu on the web
Evernote isn’t necessarily built for keeping a journal, but Evernote can really be used for just about anything and everything. I personally am using Day One for Mac and iOS because it’s simple and gorgeous; it’s just great to use.
Keeping the journal
Keeping a journal is tough. It takes perseverance. It’s a habit that you have to create. So, how do you do it?
I like the little saying at the bottom of the fullscreen text editor in WordPress:
That’s it. There is no special thing to do, awesome tip or trick to get you writing and keep you writing; it’s all about writing and getting your 750 words in every day. There will be some days that you don’t want to do it.
*Force yourself to get through the 750 words.*
What will happen is one day you won’t feel like writing and all of the sudden you will write about something you have been trying to figure out and get through it. You will find out something about yourself that is awesome or maybe even disturbing. Journaling is all about self-discovery and reflection and you will be surprised at what you will find out about yourself with consistent effort.
And that’s it. Keeping a digital journal isn’t a terribly hard thing to do. It just takes one word at a time, one day at a time.