What is Digital Journaling?
Digital journaling is… journaling digitally. That’s all there is. Thanks for stopping by!
Kidding. But it’s true. You probably have a pretty good idea of what journaling is, but instead of using a pen and paper, you use a digital device like a tablet or computer. I do a hybrid journal planner mix because I like to have everything in one place.
I use an iPad Pro with an Apple Pencil and the Goodnotes app, but there are so many other ways you can do this. I recommend checking out the app store for your device. PDF annotation apps are particularly great for this kind of thing.
The Benefits of Digital Journaling
1. Less waste
You can reuse, copy, or add pages to an existing digital journal. As a paper journal hoarder, this one means something to me. I don’t necessarily consider my paper journals “waste,” but I had already acquired hundreds of journals by my late twenties. At the rate I was going, I surely would have died – hopefully decades from now – surrounded by thousands of half-filled journals that I couldn’t have ever possibly thrown away because they were filled with super important information (only to be thrown into a landfill by my grandkids the day after my funeral because they were really just daily entries reminding me to take my meds and feed the cats).
2. No erase lines
I think messy journal pages are pretty neat. But sometimes, the ability to keep your page neat and avoid tearing a hole in your paper with a crumbly eraser is pretty neat, too. Having an undo button that I can use a thousand times is also really useful, especially when I feel overly indecisive. Rearranging words, images, and stickers is a breeze, and not a single piece of beautiful washi tape is wasted (see number 1).
3. Decorating without supplies
You don’t need to have tubs full of washi tape (can you tell what I miss the most about paper journaling?) and expensive pens to have a beautifully decorated digital journal. With digital journaling, you can access all of the colors and graphics you could ever imagine. You can buy (or find for free) digital washi, digital stickers, digital notepads, photos, graphics, and more. The list really does go on and on when it comes to decorating digitally. Being able to add all the images I want to is probably my favorite part. As a procrastinator, I always say I’ll get photos printed to add to my journals, but I never do.
4. Easy to share
Taking a screenshot or sharing your journal digitally when you want to share parts or all of your journal is so much easier than trying to find your journal and search through dozens of paper pages. There are even search functions in some of the apps to find exactly what you’re looking for in a matter of seconds.
On the other hand, maybe you don’t want to share any part of your journal with anyone ever. Now, rather than trying to hide your journal under your mattress like a love-struck teenager trying to hide her diary from her little brother and his friends, you can just put a password on it. You can put a password on your device and, in some cases, a different password on the app you’re using. Being able to safely and privately back up your journal to a cloud service or a hard drive is another plus.
Digital journaling allows you to sync between multiple devices (in most cases). For example, if you use Goodnotes, you can download the app to your iPad, iMac, and even your iPhone. This comes in handy when you need to access your journal but don’t happen to be around your iPad your computer.
I’m still madly in love with my paper journals and pretty tape, but having moved a bulk of my journaling to my iPad has given me a sense of peace and relief. I feel more secure, and I’m not afraid to dive in because I know I can always delete, add, or rearrange things if I want to.