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Tips to Start Your Digital Journal Journey

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Starting a digital journal is easy. It is a simple way to start laying down your life’s journey just like Albert Einstein, Marie Curie, Mark Twain and Thomas Edison. To go digital all you need is the right software and the device(s) to input the data from.

Only two things are really needed for a successful journal.

1. You need to be consistent.

2. The format you use needs to be easy to use and searchable.

Keeping a Daily Journal

Keeping a daily journal is a great way to log ideas, experiences, items of interest, and can be a way to look back at the progressive changes in your life.

You can start with the big things. Important dates, holidays, life changing experiences. Other item can include where you were, who you spent time with, how you feel.

Next, log some of the other items that today you might not find so important, but could be useful over time or in the future. Did you work out that day? You could log the details of your workout, miles you may have ridden to work on your bike, heart rate and other monitored health items.

Many people include in their digital bullet journals their favorite quotes, images, inspirational scripture, doodles, weather, meal planning, diet goals, bucket lists, travel goals and more.

The main goal in keeping your journal is to be consistent. If you choose to journal weekly, 3 days a week or daily, you need to be consistent. You may even find your short simple daily journal entries will develop in to full blogs on your life and experiences. You are the only one to limit how your personal digital journal will look.  As you look back at previous entries you may find that you are inspired to work out harder, love more deeply, be reminded to follow up with a friend or family member or take a day off!

Keeping it Simple

Having a simple, easy to access Digital Bullet Journal software like GoodNotes will increase your chance of starting and keeping a steady habit of entering data into your journal.

Having the ability to search for information you have written in your journal is key to finding benefits from journaling. You can look back at fitness goals, experiences you have had with co-workers, preserve events, travel time, and so much more.

Most people now can type faster than they can write with pen and paper. This will help your creativity flow! Before long you will find it very easy to jot down many items that you experienced during the day and you may even find it calming to write it all down and turn the page on a fresh new day and start over. Seeing that blank page can give you inspiration to start each day new!

Digital Means freedom

Digital Journals do not need to be stored, can be accessed from multiple devices, do not have to be carried around separately, pages to no wear out, stain or tear.

You will easily be able to search for items you have written about, links you have saved and photos you have included. You will be able to update your journal on the bus, waiting for a date, at your desk or on your sofa. Where ever you feel inspired – there is no need to let the opportunity pass by to log something you feel is important or inspires you.

Remember your journal is for YOU. It is not public, you do not have to sugar coat your feelings about a situation or worry someone will share your deepest thoughts. Your personal journey is for you. A consistent habit of writing in your journal will help you increase your creativity, it will help you get better at focusing on what you want to achieve and it is good for your mental health!

Journaling is not a “To Do List”

Yes, you can and should include items that you want or need to get done in your journal and if and how you accomplished them. Writing in your journal should not feel like a check list item. You will want to make time and find a place where you can unload from the day’s activities and reflect on how the day went. What changes could you have made? How do you feel about how your day went? Jot down your goals for tomorrow, next week, and next month. See yourself where you want to be and write that into your daily story.

Now to get started.

Once you have the software installed and have you basic information set up you need to set an alarm on your phone or desktop to remind you to take the time to write in your journal. It will take a couple weeks for the habit to stick. As with all things, it is harder to start a habit than to break one. If you miss a day, don’t beat yourself up over it. You can go back and enter your experiences, etc… or you can just skip it. There are no rules here. Being consistent will make your journal efforts not only more enjoyable but will provide you much more reliable to look back on when needing to search out something that you need from a past entry. It would not be very useful if you got back to an empty page…

Tools to get you started:

Having a table or smartphone accessible software that is searchable is most important. Check out some of these recommended favorites:

GoodNotes transforms your iPad into digital paper. It’s a single place for all your handwritten notes and formerly paper-based information.

Day One for Mac, iOS and Android is best for writing quick journal entries in a simple, intuitive interface

Diarium on Windows and Android platforms is best for dictating journal entries and seamless integration with Windows

Glimpses  a Windows based software is an option for free journaling.

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