Journaling: 5 Online Tools to Bring Your Practice into the Modern Age
Journaling has long been recognized as one of the most effective personal development tools. It helps us process emotions and experiences, work through internal conflicts, and improve our self-awareness. Furthermore, keeping a day-to-day record of our lives is valuable in tracking progress and noticing patterns. Traditionally, journaling has been done using pen and paper, but the expansion of consumer technology has enabled journaling to go digital. Here are five online journaling tools you can use to bring your practice into the modern age.
Created by Buster Benson, 750words is a free online journaling tool based on the idea of “Morning Pages.” The concept is suggested in Julia Cameron’s creativity course, The Artist’s Way. She advises aspiring creatives to start each morning with three pages of stream-of-consciousness writing. This helps clear away the mental clutter, leaving you with a clearer mind to face the day. 750words is the digital equivalent, where each morning, you receive a prompt asking you to write your 750 words. The site keeps track of various statistics associated with your entries, such as emotional content, mood, and most commonly used words. 750words is simple to set up and ideal for anyone who finds it challenging to maintain a consistent journaling practice. The site uses a number of incentives to motivate users, including animal badges awarded to journalers who complete a certain number of days in a row, leaderboards, and opt-in monthly challenges.
Designed to make online journaling as easy as possible, Ohlife sends you an email each day asking “How did your day go?” Once you reply to the email with as much or as little detail as you like, your response is stored on your account, ready to view next time you log in. Ohlife’s appeal lies in its simplicity; no stats, no social sharing, no complicated organizational systems. Ohlife provides you with a private, online space to journal. Simply respond to the email each day (or skip the days you’re busy) and Ohlife does the rest.
Oneword is a fun online tool that provides you with a single word as a prompt and gives you sixty seconds to write about it. The concept’s aim is to help writers learn how to flow, and the prompts range from the everyday mundane to the profound. If you sign up, your answers will be published on the site’s daily blog, which contains a stream of users’ answers. However, you can still use the tool for fun without giving out any personal details if you’d rather keep your answers to yourself.
Penzu is a journaling tool that allows you to store your notes online. The service also offers mobile apps for iOS, Android, and Blackberry, so you can journal on the go and save your notes to your account. The basic service is free, but you can upgrade to Penzu Pro for additional features, including military-grade encryption and the ability to save and sync data through your mobile. With either version, you can insert pictures, add tags and comments to entries, and search for older entries. You can set your posts to be private and viewable by you only or share them with others.
While not a purpose-built journaling tool, Evernote’s features make it perfect for keeping your journaling notes in one safe place. With the ability to keep separate “notebooks,” tag your entries, include pictures, audio, and web clipping, Evernote will appeal to journalers who want to include more formats than just text in their entries. Available online within a web browser and as a stand-alone desktop app, the service also has mobile apps covering almost every device available. These allow you to make notes on the go and sync between the mobile and browser versions of the app. For additional features, including text recognition and the ability to collaborate on notebooks, you can upgrade to Evernote’s premium service, which costs $5 per month.
In conclusion, journaling is an important tool for personal development, and these online tools make it easier and more convenient than ever. Saving your journaling entries online enables you to access them from anywhere, without having to carry a notebook and pen around. Moreover, the tools provide you with digital features, like tagging and search functions, to help you organize and analyze your journaling practice. Whether you choose to use a dedicated tool or a more general one like Evernote, the important thing is to find a tool that works for you and to make a consistent practice of it.