Whether it’s to clarify your thinking, understand the context of your life, increase your EQ, or many other advantages, researchers have said that keeping a journal is therapy for your soul. And since we produce it continuously and regularly in the form of written words, it also improves your communication skills, sparks creativity, boosts self-confidence, and strengthen your self-discipline. Some have even said that journaling help speeds up the physical healing process.
The question is with so many benefits to keeping a journal, why doesn’t everybody do it? The most obvious reason is that it’s a tedious task. At least, if you look at it as just another task to be done. But what if you add pleasure and fun to the activity? It could turn into something that you are always looking forward to each day.
Day One is a beautiful journaling app that can make you look forward to writing a journal regularly. And as a bonus you don’t have to stack years of your written journals in the bookshelves to collect dust.
Writing the First Word
Day One is available in a few versions: Mac (US$ 19.99), iOS devices and Apple Watch (US$ 4.99). They can sync to one another using the Day One cloud server, but to do that you need to register and log in to your Day One account. You can do so by going to “Day One -> Preferences -> General” menu and clicking “Sign In.” If you don’t have an account, you can register there.
Note: Both of the apps’ prices are valid at the time of writing, but developers tends to change the pricing of their apps.
If you already have an account you can use your login information to sign I n. The app will sync your journal data regularly to the server, so you can always keep up with your journal on whichever device you use.
Now comes the hard part: writing your first word. Some experts have said that you don’t have to think too much and should just type in words, repeating the process every day. Pop science says that you need to repeat the same process for twenty-one days to make it a habit, but real science says it depends on how hard the process is. The more challenging processes take more repetition to become a habit. Hopefully, Day One can make journaling fun, and it will become your daily routine in no time.
Keeping the Journal Alive
In the Mac version the app will stay quietly in the menu bar. Click on the menubar icon or use the shortcut key to open the small quick entry window and write your journal. The shortcut keys combination is customizable via “Preferences -> General.” I’m using “Control + Shift + D” in my Mac to summon the quick entry window.
By default, Day One will remind you to write your journal once a day. You can add a new reminder or edit the existing one(s) from “Preferences -> Reminders.”
In the new version of Day One you can add multiple journals, each linked with a different Day One account and protected with a password. This setting can be very convenient if you have only one computer at home but several iOS devices, one for every family member. Manage the multiple accounts via “Preferences -> Journal,” and the password setting via “Preferences -> Security.”
Another thing that you can customize on the Preferences windows is the “Font” style from the “Appearance” tab.
Let’s not forget the iOS version of the app. It is a similar app designed for smaller screens and mobile usage. The two most stark differences between the desktop and the mobile version are that the mobile version has the feature to add photos using the device’s camera, and its interface will adjust itself to the orientation of the device.
Sharing the Journal to the World
Social media, in general, has turned our generation into the sharing generation. People’s private and personal matters are now open to anyone who cares. Sometimes you can even find menial unimportant things about your friend’s life from social media, such as what he/she had for breakfast or what your friend’s honest thoughts are about another friend’s outdated swimming outfit.
If you belong to this sharing generation, Day One makes it easy for you to share your journal entries with popular social medias like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or other applications that connect to Mac’s sharing option.
For me, Day One is an elegant way to make journaling part of my daily routines. What about you? Do you keep a journal? Why or why not? Share your thoughts using the comment below.