{January Topic: Journaling} My Journaling Routine

I’m not one to long form journal about my life. I tend to capture all the silly, sporadic events that happen each day through some combination of posts on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Most of these posts are pulled into Day One, my journalling app of choice, automatically with the use of Giftttdy. The things that aren’t automatically fed in are focused on personal reflection.

Each morning (or at least weekday mornings) I try to reflect on the morning went. With the help of TextExpander, I can quickly pull up Day One on my Mac, type my snippet (.morning) to fill in a template, and jot down some thoughts. The template includes questions things like what I hope to accomplish for the day, how I’m going to do it, more importantly why I’m doing it as well as things like how I slept, how I felt when I woke up, and whether or not something happened to throw my morning routine off. Occasionally, I’ll also jot down some random thoughts about what’s on my mind too. Reflecting on my morning is something new for me, so I’m still tweaking my actual format, but in general, it’s a nice way to start the day. It also forces me to not only see what I need to do for the day, but really determine why I’m doing it and how I’ll get it done.

Before bed, I usually open Day One on my phone, and thanks to another TextExpander snippet (.grateful), I get a nice little template for jotting down 3 things I’m grateful for, what I accomplished, one thing I could improve, and what I learned. Recording three things I’m grateful for each day has forced me to really appreciate everything in my life. Even on my worst days, I can still find something that made me smile.

So that’s all folks – why I journal, what I use (and have used in the past), and how I journal (today’s post).

I’d love to hear how you journal or any tips you might have to share.

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{January Topic: Journaling} Journalling Tools

Today’s post is going to be about the tools I use to journal.

Last week, I briefly mentioned my OCD about paper journals. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a sucker for new notebooks. Put me in an office supply or stationary store and watch out. I just hate the feeling of ruining a perfect, new journal with my handwriting that seems to change by the minute. (Think I’m kidding? My handwriting changes so much, I actually got in trouble once because a teacher thought someone else was doing my homework.)

Momento (iOS, $2.99)

Given my inability to stick with paper journals, it should be no surprise I went digital, and I started that journey with Momento. The thing that drew me to Momento was that it automatically pulls my social media posts into the journal. I’ve found a few apps that do this, but none worked as well or looked as good as Momento. You can also, of course, add your own entries, and they even had a section to give a 1-5 star rating to the entry. I liked to use this to rate my days. Momento is lacking in a few areas though. First and foremost, it’s only on the iPhone. I don’t use my iPad for journaling so that wasn’t a big deal, but it’d be nice to see or add to my journal it on my Mac. Another feature it lacks was TextExpander support. (Tip: When I used Momento, I worked around this by using Launch Center Pro to add snippets into my entries.)

STEP Journal (iOS/Android, Free)

After Momento, I flirted briefly with an app called STEP Journal. Unlike what its name imply, this doesn’t track steps (it does, but it tracks more). Like Momento, it pulls in data from various social media sites, but also pulls in events from your calendar, photos on your phone, and even fitness information from Jawbone or Fitbit. Personally, I felt this app just wasn’t ready for prime time. I was spending more time making things pretty and consistent than entering anything worthwhile, and just like Momento, there was also no Text Expander support or Mac version either. It does look like they’re in the process of developing a web app though.

Day One (iOS $4.99, Mac, $9.99)

And this brings us to where I’m at now, my journal app of choice – Day One. When it comes to journaling on iOS or OSX, Day One is the top choice for most people I’ve come across. I actually ended up with both apps at some point, but because journalling was never really part of my day, I never used them. Aside from being gorgeous, Day One offers both native Text Expander support and a Mac client but it doesn’t automatically import social media posts. A few solutions have popped up including Brett Terpstra’s wonderful Slogger, but even the nerdiest side of me got overwhelmed with just reading how to set it up. Currently, I’m using Giftttdy which uses IFTTT and Dropbox to pull content in.

Next week’s post will feature what I’m actually journalling about and how I do it.
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