Much of social media is like keeping a journal or diary. We use Facebook and Twitter and personal blog sites to share our thoughts and opinions, daily activities, goals, and observations. But there are many things in our life that we want to keep relatively private. And this is where a still relatively less known website called 280Daily can be very useful for what I call “micro-journaling.”
Why Micro Journaling?
I recently wrote about how useful keeping a journal using a software or online application like Penzu can be over the traditional paper method. But quite frankly, what’s often most intimidating about journaling is that it can consume a lot of time. 280Daily is designed to be used like Twitter, but it is private – with an additional 140 characters for writing. 280 characters is about 50 words on average.
I look forward to journaling in 280Daily because I can get it done in less than 5 minutes. Micro-journaling methods keep me from writing long, rambling paragraphs that I may never read again. With this short form journaling you get to the point and capture those most important moments of the day.
There is certainly a place for longer reflective writing, but 280Daily can be used for different types of journaling, such as a food and exercise diary losing weight, the backwards to-do list of what you accomplished each day, a travel diary, or keeping track of your professional life.
The short form journaling method is not the only thing attractive feature about 280Daily.com. The developers put a lot of thought into the design of the site, and it includes features that can inspire you to write on a daily basis.
280Daily will notify you by email to link to your account and post an entry. By default the notification arrives at 4 PM each day, but you can change the time to fit your schedule. I like to write my journal entries in the morning.
You can view all your entries in a grid or linear layout. Seeing the number of entries I have previously written inspires me to keep writing on a daily basis. I can scroll down entries, displayed like a wall of memory, and read any post without leaving the page .
You can add one photo to each day’s entry, which I think makes your account visually attractive.
Day Of Note
At the bottom right of each new entry there is a “day of note” box that, when enabled, highlights that entry on your Overview page. You can change the “Day of note” to whatever you like, such as “Amazing day,” “Spent too much money!,” or “Reached a goal.”
However, the note label you use will be applied to every entry you have previously marked. So if your journal has a specific use, such as journaling losing weight, you might change the note label to reflect that purpose, e.g. “a pound lost today.”
280Daily also provides you a single page overview that includes information about the total number of entries, characters, and words you have written up to the present date; the number of photos you have posted, as well as a presentation of your two most recent entries, and a randomly selected entry.
It also includes a search feature, and you can link to a graphic layout view of your account. Simply click “More stats…” in the Account Overview box.
You can of course change many of the settings for your account, including the time and frequency e-mail reminders, the date format for entries, and enable an option to see your account status as soon as you log in.
Need More Characters?
If you find yourself needing to go beyond the daily 280 character limitation, you can receive 250 extra characters per month each time a person you refer to the site signs up. You can send a referral directly through e-mail, post to your Facebook or Twitter account, using a unique referral code (shameful plug – my code link is http://280d.co/u3abu).
Back in January, the developers of 280Daily released a new service which allows you to turn your journal into a professionally printed book, which can include between 30 and 800 entries, plus your posted photos. The cost of the book varies.
However, for free you can export your journal into PDF format for instant download, or to CSV for viewing and spreadsheet applications like Excel and Google Docs.
280Daily.com doesn’t yet have a dedicated smartphone app, but the site is optimized for mobile web browsers.
For other short form journaling ideas, check out, 5 Quick & Simple Ways To Write Your Life Logs With These Minimalist Online Journals.
The developers of 280Daily are very interested in getting your feedback and ideas. If you already use a public micro-blogging site like Twitter, Tumblr, and Facebook, you will find 280Daily of similar use for private micro-journaling. Let us know what you think of this site.