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The start of a new year is a great time to begin keeping a journal or diary, but the challenge lies in keeping up your new daily journal writing habit. Sometimes you may struggle to figure out what to write about, or you might think that your writing is boring and not worth your time.

But as someone who has kept up the journal writing habit off and on for several years, I can assure you that journal writing can be just as useful as taking family photos, or posting your thoughts and experiences on Facebook and Twitter.

Today I would like to share a few ideas for developing a daily journal writing habit.

Why Daily Writing?

As opposed to writing on public or social network sites, journal writing can and should be more private, allowing you to write about experiences and topics that need not be shared publicly. Daily writing can be a reflective exercise which helps you process what’s going on in your life. It’s a useful coach for working through goals, and a personal psychiatrist for dealing with various challenges and problems in your life. Daily writing also builds your writing skills.

Your journal can serve multiple purposes, but if you want to write daily journal entries, you need a strategy. Let’s explore a few.

Digital Journal

Thanks to a wide variety of online web journals 5 Quick & Simple Ways To Write Your Life Logs With These Minimalist Online Journals 5 Quick & Simple Ways To Write Your Life Logs With These Minimalist Online Journals Read More  (including Tumblr, 7 Ways To Keep A Personal Journal 7 Ways To Keep A Personal Journal Journaling is an exercise for the mind and it has several proven benefits, but it can also seem difficult to do. This is primarily due to the overwhelming feeling of having to journal – it... Read More Twitter 7 Ways To Keep A Personal Journal 7 Ways To Keep A Personal Journal Journaling is an exercise for the mind and it has several proven benefits, but it can also seem difficult to do. This is primarily due to the overwhelming feeling of having to journal – it... Read More , and 750Words How To Inspire Yourself To Write At Least 750 Words Per Day How To Inspire Yourself To Write At Least 750 Words Per Day Read More ), mobile apps 5 Quick & Simple Ways To Write Your Life Logs With These Minimalist Online Journals 5 Quick & Simple Ways To Write Your Life Logs With These Minimalist Online Journals Read More  (including Day One Keep a Digital Diary with Day One for Mac OS X and iOS Keep a Digital Diary with Day One for Mac OS X and iOS Everyone has a story to tell. It's not always a story in need of an audience, sometimes a story just needs to be told. You may want to continue the journal you started when you... Read More and Everyday.me Turn Your iPhone Into A Journaling Tool With Everyday.me Turn Your iPhone Into A Journaling Tool With Everyday.me If you're anything like me, your iPhone never leaves your side. A great app that will come in handy on a daily basis is Everyday.me, which makes it easy to keep a daily journal while... Read More ), and computer-based journal applications, such as Day One and MacJournal, it’s a lot easier to maintain a journal, which can be locked for privacy.

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Tumblr Journal

While pen and paper are the traditional methods of keeping a journal, the digital method provides unique opportunities for daily writing, such as the ability to copy and paste email messages, social network posts, and quotes into your journal. On some journal platforms, you can tag entries and easily filter journal entries for review.

One Sentence Per Day

If you want to get in the practice of daily writing, but it stills feels too much like a school assignment, I suggest getting started with writing one sentence per day. Writer Gretchen Rubin came up with this idea as part of her Happiness Project.

One sentence per day is a manageable exercise in which you highlight one thing you want to remember, a goal you worked on, something your child or significant other said, etc. While this approach lends itself to posting daily entries on Twitter or Tumblr, I suggest using a private platform for personal entries. The apps, Everyday.me and Loccit Mix Your Diary Or Journal With Your Social Network Activity Using Loccit Mix Your Diary Or Journal With Your Social Network Activity Using Loccit Let's face it, for many of us, our Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram streams are our public diaries or journals. They may not expose much of our dirty laundry, but they represent a lot about who... Read More provide a way to post some entries publicly and keep others private. There’s also a website dedicated to keeping a one sentence diary.

Everydayme3

One sentence per day. I guarantee that once you get in the habit, there will be days when you write more than one sentence.

TextExpander Template Form

One approach I’ve started using for getting at least one journal entry posted per day is using a TextExpander snippet form. It consists of six questions with multiple responses I can choose from for each question, and the results get pasted in my Day One journal. I don’t use this form everyday, but when I do it sometimes leads me to writing a reflective journal entry about my day and how it went.

TextExpander form

5-Year Joural

If you want to become a truly ambitious diary keeper, you might consider buying a 5-Year Journal book. Each page includes a question, followed by 5 sections of lines, starting with 20_ (the year), for each day of the year. You start each new year over in the book for five consecutive years. Over the five years, you can see how your responses to the same question change.

5 year journal

If five years is a stretch, you might consider using Tami Taylor’s monthly list of journal questions. Keep these questions bookmarked or print them out for when you get stuck for something to write about.

iDoneThis

This online resource iDoneThis: Online Calendar To Log Your Productivity & Track Progress iDoneThis: Online Calendar To Log Your Productivity & Track Progress Read More and mobile app 4 Awesome Journal Apps To Write About Your Day [iPhone] 4 Awesome Journal Apps To Write About Your Day [iPhone] Journal and diary writing have a long rich history, and now thanks to very crafty software developers, there are digital shelves of seductively rich apps that inspire you to write down your memories and daily... Read More  are useful daily diary entry tools for keeping track of what you accomplished each day. Your daily entries can be as long or as short as you like, but the challenge is to make it a daily habit. This site is very useful for monitoring the progress of existing goals.

Idonethisapp

Bokeh Photo Journal

If you maintain a pretty active lifestyle, you might consider using the iPhone app Bokeh which I reviewed earlier this month Save Or Share Everyday Moments With Lifelog Bokeh For iPhone & Web Save Or Share Everyday Moments With Lifelog Bokeh For iPhone & Web Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram feeds are filled with photos of your friends' daily activities and adventures, but a new lifelogging service called Bokeh offers a slightly different and more personal or private approach. Read More . It enables you to quickly snap one or more photos per day and write comments for each entry. Your entries instantly get uploaded and posted to your account, which can be kept private or shared with others. While this app may feel like Instagram, it’s not. Bokeh is for personal photos and comments that you might not want to share on a social networking site.

Bokeh page

You Can Do It

I’m going on my fourth month of daily journal writing, and I will most likely keep it up for the entire next year, mainly by using a combination of the strategies described above. Some days I may only post a single sentence, while other days I write multiple entries about a book I’m currently reading, a jazz song I really like, or the routine activities and challenges in my daily life.

Dialy etnries

If you’re a dedicated journal or diary writer, share with us your tips or strategies for keeping up with daily writing.

  1. Youth
    May 26, 2016 at 7:08 pm

    RUBBBISH RUBBISH POO POO

  2. mahazaib
    May 25, 2015 at 6:17 am

    i always pray i m write adiary from computer

  3. mahazaib
    May 25, 2015 at 6:09 am

    my vest hobby write a diary

  4. Mark Maddson
    January 29, 2014 at 3:08 pm

    I have been using MacJournal for years and has been one of my most valuable apps. Daily journaling is all about dedication. MJ makes it easy to write.

    https://www.marinersoftware.com/products/macjournal/

    Mark

    • Bakari Chavanu
      January 29, 2014 at 8:18 pm

      Mark, MacJournal is a classic notebook that I started using about 10 years ago. If I didn't use Evernote so much, I think MJ would still be one of my favorite notebooks. Thanks for your feedback.

  5. Anonymous
    January 6, 2014 at 4:18 pm

    it is very very bad idon't like it we ask that diary entry on new year event (one paragraph)
    try to understand what we are asking pls........................ (and also iam sorry for saying this comment.....................!)

    THANK YOU

  6. Anonymous
    January 6, 2014 at 4:17 pm

    it is very very bad idon't like it we ask that diary entry on new year event (one paragraph)
    try to understand what we are asking pls........................ (and also iam sorry for saying this comment.....................!)

    THANK YOU

  7. Anonymous
    January 6, 2014 at 4:04 pm

    we ask that a diary entry on new year and you are writing how keep daily journal or diary entries for a year first you understand what we are asked !!!!!!!!!!!!!! idon't like (and sorry for saying this comment) ...........................................................!

    THANK YOU !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!.

  8. Anonymous
    January 6, 2014 at 4:01 pm

    we ask that a diary entry on new year and you are writing how keep daily journal or diary entries for a year first you understand what we are asked !!!!!!!!!!!!!! idon't like

    THANK YOU !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!.

    • Bakari Chavanu
      January 6, 2014 at 4:08 pm

      Sorry, I don't understand what you're saying.

  9. Eternal Noob
    January 3, 2014 at 9:54 pm

    I don't write daily, but write weekly; and also keep update reminder's for some interesting things... for example, if I have started learning a new language when I write that in journal I also keep a reminder in 6 months to update the status on it... that way I get to revisit my journal entry and can also the progress or regress. I use penzu.

    • Bakari Chavanu
      January 6, 2014 at 4:08 pm

      Eternal, sounds like you keep more a learning log and reflective progress journal, which I think makes journal keeping more practical. Good idea. Thanks for sharing.

  10. Ritzy
    January 2, 2014 at 2:02 pm

    I use to do this years ago. After reading the article I am encouraged to start again. This is a nice way to look back and make self improvements where they are needed, and have fun remembering the occasion.

    • Bakari Chavanu
      January 2, 2014 at 5:31 pm

      I agree, Ritzy. Even looking back on my journal entries from last year reveals some things that had slipped my memory, or that I'm glad I recorded. So I can imagine how interesting those recorded thoughts will be ten years from now.

  11. Ronnie
    January 2, 2014 at 11:19 am

    Year 24 of my journal so far, still use pen and paper.

    • Bakari Chavanu
      January 2, 2014 at 5:28 pm

      Oh wow, 24 years! That's amazing. Not sure if Samuel Pepys kept journals for that long. How many books do think you have filled? I'm totally impressed.

  12. Swetank R
    January 1, 2014 at 11:37 pm

    Bakari, What service you are using? From today I planned to start writing journal, I hope it will go great this year. Happy New Year!!

    • Bakari Chavanu
      January 2, 2014 at 4:13 am

      Swetank, I settled on Day One because it's multi-platform, at least for iOS and OS X. So I always have three different places to write entries. And the Mac version provides menubar access so I don't have to always open DO in order to write a quick entry. See this article: Power Up Your Journal Writing With These Day One Tips for more ideas.

      Which app are you thinking about using?

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