I’m an out and proud fountain-pen-and-notebook-aholic. I might have written about these addictions a few (hundred) times, like here and here. I love inking up my pens, opening a pretty notebook, and journaling for days. In fact, I’ve been keeping handwritten journals forever, well, since I was in middle school anyway.
But recently, I made a big change and, so far, I’m really liking it. I switched from keeping a physical journal to using a digital one. There are many choices out there for digital journaling, something for all kinds of computers, tablets, and phones, but the one I’m using is called Day One. (There’s a version for Mac, iPad, and iPhone, and yes, I have them all!)
So why switch to a digital journal?
One reason I made the change is, when I kept a handwritten journal, I always felt there was no reason to open the journal unless I had something to write about, something important-ish. And the prettier (and more expensive) the journal, the more pressure I felt to make each entry meaningful. Last year, I bought a journal in Paris that is so adorable, I’ve NEVER written a word in it.
With a digital journal I never feel that way. Hey, it’s just words on a screen; there’s no need to be fancy. And if I ramble on and don’t make any sense, I can just delete the words and rewrite it. No need to worry about marring my beautiful journal!
Another thing I like is that digital journals seem to encourage quick entries. Of course, there’s no limit to what you can write, but with a digital journal it’s nice to just pop open the app on your phone and write a twitter-length entry, just a line or two about what’s on your mind. I also really like how easy it is to attach photos to your post. These make the journal entry beautiful to look at, and I’m sure in a few years, when I look back over this journal, I’ll be glad to see all those pictures, too.
Digital journals also let you tag entries to help you find them later, save your location and weather information, and if you’re the kind of person who likes to share entries with other people (do people really do this?), you can export your journal as a PDF, which looks great, especially with all the pictures.
Does this mean I no longer use my fountain pens and notebooks? You would have to pry them from my cold, dead hands! I just don’t journal with them anymore. Now, when I want to do my so-called deep, introspective writing (ha ha), I reach for one of my devices instead. And I can say without a doubt, I’ve written way more entries now than before. It’s just so easy. And so beautiful.
There are so many people who want to keep a journal but never seem to find the time to get started. If that’s you, try keeping a digital journal instead. They’re fun, as easy as posting something on Instagram or Twitter, and totally private (and password protected.)
Keeping a journal is so important, especially for writers. If you’ve been hesitant about taking the leap into the world of journaling, try one of the digital journals out there. You might find it more fun than you thought it would be.