I have been trying to write this piece about ten different times, during
the last two weeks. This is intended to be a text that explains what
journaling is, what I do, how to get started, and some of the tools I
What is journaling?
This is one of the questions that have made this text very difficult to
write. Journaling is what ever you want it to be. I know people that
write about the weather, while others is writing about how they are
feeling, and some are writing about what’s on their mind.
I often look at journaling like a private and unfiltered version of this
blog and my twitter account.
How to get started?
There are many things you can do. The simplest thing is to pick
something simple that you want journal. Like taking a picture of your
self every day, or just writing a few words about what’s on your mind.
One of the things that is important is to start with something very
simple, that you can keep going.
Don’t do too much, and don’t do it too often.
There are a lot of apps and tools you can use to journal. You can use
something like a simple document or text file, or you can use
Evernote, or you can use a dedicated app like
Day One or
Some people prefer to do it on their iPhone, iPad or Mac. Both Day One
and Mac journal is available on all platforms. I prefer Day One. But
both products are very good.
Other people prefer to do it old school, in notebooks. You have both
formal journals with some area of text for every day in a year, two
years, or even five years. This works great for some people. While
others, like me think this is a bit too strict, and just use any kind of
notebook and just write the date on top of the page.
What I do.
Let’s run through some of the tools first. I write most of my journaling
in a Field Notes notebook, or Moleskine before I transfer it into Day
One later. But I sometimes write it straight into Day One, if that is
the most practical way to do it.
The main reason I prefer to write things on paper first, is that it’s
often faster, simpler; it also gives me a last chance to edit and tidy
One of the reasons that I use Day One over some of the other great
alternatives out there, is that it’s designed way better than any other
journaling app out there. It makes it a joy to write journaling entries,
adding pictures and organising them with tags.
Things I put into Day One: – I take a picture of myself every morning
– I spend 5-15 minutes every morning writing what ever that happens to
be on my mind. – I’ll also write If I have something on my mind that I
don’t want to tweet or write about on my mind.
I never add pictures shot with my DSLR, funny or cool pictures from the
internet to Day One. I add pictures from my DSLR to Lightroom, and cool
pictures I find into Ember. But I do often add some of the pictures from
my iPhone to Day One. For example a few of the pictures from an event, a
party or when I was out drinking with some friends.
Journaling is about collecting things that is important to you, and
stuff that you don’t want to forget.
Some final tips.
Find out a few simple things that you want to add to your journal. You
can expand it later, when you can a hold on it.
Make it easy for yourself. Don’t get into a “workflow” where you need to
be on your iPhone, iPad or Mac to do it; or to use your overpriced
notebook or $3000 fountain pen. Make sure you can journal, if you feel
like it no matter if you are in your living room, office, the bus or
waiting for someone at a coffee shop.
I recommend everyone to get an app like Day One. It makes it easy to add
stuff like pictures and text. And you can add as little or much
information you want to any given date. But I also recommend to have
some pen and notebook you can have in your jacket or jeans. There are
times when you can’t use your phone, and they run out of power.