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10 Ways to Start Journaling

I have resisted journaling. That is mainly because I write all the time for professional purposes, and so the idea of doing a journal without getting paid for it irritated me on some level. But in recent years I've been doing more speculative writing without a guaranteed payout, and that has led to much more use of writing as a thinking tool. In other words, I've recognize that I can receive value for writing in some form other than cash. Only one of those ways is journaling, but it is a way.

So I have started, at least in minimalist form. I'm not spending a lot of time on it every day, but I think I'm using it enough to get some therapeutic value. Here is a mix of ideas for how I started, how I could keep it going, and maybe how I could start in an alternate universe if I had not already started.


Image by Pexels from Pixabay

    1. Use NotePD's private list option.

    This makes me just a little nervous. I remember reading somewhere that a bug with the mobile app would make a private list public. I think they've fixed that, and I almost always write on the computer app anyhow. (Update: Paolo confirms issue is fixed. Yay! ) Typing on the little mobile keyboard drives me nuts, and while I can dictate on the mobile device, I can only do it when there's no one else around, so I default to the computer. I just have to trust the developers that they won't let private stuff go public. :)

    But this is convenient and it keeps things where I won't lose them. As long as I'm consistent with the titling convention, it will be easy to use the search function to find previous entries.

    This is what I'm doing now, and a bonus is that while I'm on the site for journaling purpose I also create a "creativity list," and I'm also developing lists that will ultimately turn into a book for my great-grandkids years from now.

    2. Take a notebook everywhere.

    I do this anyway. If nothing else, I can jot thoughts and ideas and then develop a more involved journal entry later.

    3. Use Evernote to keep everything together.

    Easy to make a Notebook or a tag to organize everything. If I were not using NotePD and private lists, this is probably the best way for me to be organized and keep up with everything. If you're looking at this and considering, any of the notetaking apps can help with this. Honestly, I just trust Evernote more, or even Google docs, since there is some question regarding the continuing existence of OneNote. Whatever you use, make backups.

    4. Journal in the evening around supper time. Or....

    End of day, looking back over what happened.

    5. Journal just before bedtime.

    Same as previous item, just later in the day. The challenge is whether you will remember your day, so take notes.

    6. Find a dedicated journaling app for my mobile device.

    There are a bunch out there. But don't let finding the perfect app keep you from journaling.

    7. Do an audio journal.

    Record impressions and keep them in digital form. You have a phone, right?

    8. Do a blog in front of God and everybody.

    I'm not brave enough to do this. Maybe you are. That's essentially what @JamesAltucher did in the early days of his comeback. He blogged and exposed himself completely. I remember those early posts. Very brave, and very successful. But also very vulnerable.

    9. Do a YouTube journal in front of God and everybody.

    Same as above, but on video.

    10. Get a leather-bound, fancy, personalized journal and write in it.

    If you paid that much for it, you're more likely to use it. Maybe that would work better than the generic spiral-bound notebook I started with. Maybe you would keep up with it, so it would be better than making use of NotePD private lists. Maybe the satisfaction of thumbing through it rather than using an electronic search function to zero in on a keyword would be better.

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