How I made journaling a habit and use it to improve my life



September 19, 2015. This is the day that I started journaling on my phone. I’d kept a journal before. In the past I had done so in an actual, physical journal. I’d had some cool ones. One had a Japanese bonsai tree theme– an orange, open bound style book. I did OK with this before I was married and in college. But ultimately my hand would either start hurting from writing so much, or I would get frustrated that it would take so long to get my thoughts down on paper. So I switched to typing my journal. This worked OK as well. I used My Publisher for a while and even printed out and bound a year of my journal. The problem here was that My Publisher’s processor for typing couldn’t keep up with me.That’s not a compliment to me, that’s more of a diss against My Publisher. If I didn’t use My Publisher and tried to just type on a Word document, then I’d need to keep my journal documents organized in some location–which never happened.  This method of journaling also had the difficulty in that I felt like I needed to sit down at a computer to write in my journal and I didn’t always have a computer with me when it was convenient to journal. Hence, I didn’t journal as often as I would have liked.

Sometime in September of 2015 I came across a friend from church who was using a simple, free note taking app for keeping a journal. I was intrigued and thought that I would try it out. I looked on the app store for the best journaling apps and ended up deciding on a different app. The app I chose cost a couple bucks, but as far as I’m concerned, it’s been money well spent.

I chose Day One. Day One allows you to easily type in an entry. You can add a photo if you want. You can do voice entries. It documents the date and time of the entry and even includes the weather. One thing I’ve really enjoyed is the use of hashtags in my journaling.

January 28, 2016, I finished reading Shawn Achor’s book The Happiness Advantage (great book, I highly recommend it. Take Home Message: Happiness is less about peoples’ circumstances and more what they think about their circumstances). Since then, I’ve used the hashtag #3GoodThings and have sought to write down 3 Good Things that happened that day. Perhaps its something I’m grateful for or maybe it’s just something awesome that happened that day.

Then I read an article from Henry B. Eyring and he mentioned that he had started trying to notice the hand of God in his life. So, I’ve also sought to notice the hand of God in my life and document it in my journal with #GodsHand.

But perhaps my favorite hashtag has been #FindTheFunny. I listened to David Nihil’s book, “Do you talk funny?” And decided that I needed to look for and document the funny that happens in my life. I wanted to do this so that I would remember these times, but also because I wanted to share them when I speak in public or just to share funny stories with my friends.

Here’s one I’ll share here:

One night after a Christmas concert at my son’s school, my son Wyatt (8 years old) was explaining who in his class spoke other languages, “So-and-so speaks Russian and so does someone or other. Adekami and I are the only ones who can speak Spanish besides counting (that was news to me 🙂 ).” And then as though he didn’t want me to think that he’d been outdone, he remarked, “And Gio and I are the only ones in the class that can speak Minion.” #FindTheFunny

I love it! It’s pretty cool to be able to just search through all my journal entries by hashtag and read all the funny occurrences that have happened.

Since I’ve started I’ve made 414 entries on 332 different days! I’m keeping a journal again.

Best of luck in your #HashtagJournaling!




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