Keeping a journal for dummies

Diary Journal Notes

Keeping a journal for dummies

Diaro Tips

“Take care of all your memories, for you cannot relieve them”

Think about your food memories: we all have that memorable cake that mum used to bake for us, don’t we? Food has a way of transporting our minds back to the past, like a very basic time machine that makes us feel the way we felt back then. It is almost magic. Yet, there is another way of doing that, and that is to keep bits and pieces of our life, our thoughts, our dreams and our hopes stored. Some call it a journal, others prefer to call it a diary: it’s a collection of our thoughts made by us, for us. Somewhere where we can go back down the aptly named memory lane and retrieve a string of words, a picture or a song that will trigger some distant emotions and feelings again, if just for the shortest time.

Where were you in the past few days? And what were you doing, and feeling, a few years ago? In this everchanging world of Facebook feeds and Instagram profiles all we are left with is a projected image of ourselves, that does not portray what we really feel. A journal is the best way to set your own rules and write down what you really feel, in a confidential, effective and unobtrusive manner. By writing down your thoughts you achieve both the creation of a digital backup of your inner thoughts, but also a mental exercise that is proven to help rationalise the good and overcome the bad situations in life. Everyone’s life is a book worth reading, especially for the owner of the feelings within it.

1. How to start a journal?

The best way to start a journal is to… just do it. All the questions, and all the answers to them, will come natural to you. There is no set rule when writing a journal: you don’t need to write things perfectly, or worry about the spelling of a name. This is YOUR world, where nothing is wrong if you say so. Having said that, let us try and point out the “how to” on how to start a journal, effectively.

2. Do I need a schedule to write my journal?

Especially in the beginning, it is very important to try and stick to a time schedule for writing your thoughts down. Over time, you will effortlessly turn this into a habit with no time constraints, but reminders are the best way to “educate” your mind to do just that at a certain time. Remember that you are doing it for yourself, so in due time it will be the same thing as “taking a break” and you will be looking forward to it!

3. Should I have a special place where to write?

Especially in the beginning, it is very important to try and stick to a time schedule for writing your thoughts down. Over time, you will effortlessly turn this into a habit with no time constraints, but reminders are the best way to “educate” your mind to do just that at a certain time. Remember that you are doing it for yourself, so in due time it will be the same thing as “taking a break” and you will be looking forward to it!

4. So, what happened in your life today?

Maybe nothing immediately springs to mind, and that’s ok. Not every day is special, and they don’t have to be. But what was really happening during the day beneath the surface? Did you have a romantic dream that made you feel happy and bubbly? Or did the rain make you blue and feel like staying at home? And what about that random act of kindness you witnessed that warmed your heart? Was that worth remembering? In the end, you are the only one who knows what mattered, and why: so look for those visions, emotions, feelings in your heart and just let them flow while you write them down.

5. What to write on a journal entry?

Some say the best form of keeping a diary is to begin every entry with the word “today”. Others argue that making a bullet journal is the quickest way to effectively keep your thoughts organised, but the truth is that there is no right or wrong way to write a journal. One day an entry could be a poem, another day it could be just some initials or a coded word that only you could ever understand. No day is like any other, and no thought can be categorized logically into something that must be recorded one way or another. These moments were, and still are, yours: express them accordingly.

6. How long should I be writing for?

Unless you are writing your memoirs, you might want to give yourself a reasonable time frame, from a few minutes to half an hour is ideal. Of course you can write for longer on an eventful day, or skip a day entirely if so you wish. Timing yourself is probably the best way to keep the motivation going: if you know you have problems focusing make your effort very simple by forcing yourself to write for just 5 minutes. Once you feel more comfortable with it you can double or triple the time you dedicate to writing: as usual, you set the rules instead of just following them.

7. Should I check what I wrote?

Most definitely yes, you really should. Analysing your own words is crucial for you to understand yourself. You might want to also write something about your own entry at the bottom of it, expressing the feelings that it brought back and giving your future self an extra key to interpret those memories.

8. Should I Sign-up for Diaro or use a physical journal?

This is entirely up to you. Some people will always prefer pen and paper, and considering that the ultimate goal is to make you feel comfortable we will definitely want you to choose what your heart feels is best. Diaro offers you an easy way to get started in no time, quickly set a schedule and automatically get reminders, as well as taking care of security, storage and device independence issues. Signing up for Diaro will enable you to write from anywhere, all you need is an Internet connection. Just write: everything else will be seamlessly taken care of.

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