How to Write a Diary

How to Write a Diary & Why it’s Important

Have you been thinking about how to write a diary? A diary is usually a collection of private entries that report what happened throughout your day. It usually includes experiences, thoughts, and feelings you have on a daily basis. 

For the most part a diary is very personal in nature, and often meant to only be read by the writer.

Infographic with navy blue background turquoise icons showing how to write a diary and 10 benefits to keep a diary

The Purpose of a Diary

The main purpose of writing in a diary is to document what happens in your daily life. It gives you a safe and private place to capture your thoughts. It can also provide great insight into a person’s life after they are no longer with us.

Top 10 Benefits of Keeping a Diary

Many experts say that keeping a diary has a long list of benefits.  Here are the top 10:

  • Great for Mental Health

    A diary offers you a safe place to vent about things and reflect back on them. You don’t have to worry about how anyone will react to what you’re saying because it’s personal and just for you. You can record your thoughts and your feelings without censoring yourself.

  • Helps Improve Writing Skills

    They say practice makes perfect, right? If you’re writing on a daily basis, your skills are bound to improve. You don’t get caught up in making things perfect for anyone else, so you learn how to be more creative with your writing.

  • Jogs Your Memory

    When you learn new skills or life lessons, a diary is the place you can write them down. Then, if you need reminders along the way, you can go back and read about those things. You can share your hard times, as well, and make sure you don’t make the same mistakes again.

  • Boosts Self-Esteem

    Just think about all the good things that happen in your life. If you write them down, it’s a great way to feel good about yourself and think positively.

  • Helps You Hit Your Goals

    Everyone has dreams and hopes for the future. By writing them down, you are reinforcing how important they are to you. It gives you the chance to hold yourself accountable.

  • Improves Emotional Well-being

    A diary is a safe place to pour out your emotions and deal with them. Understanding your own feelings helps you better understand the feelings of others.

  • Promotes Self-Discipline

    You’re setting aside time each day to write in your diary. That requires discipline. You commit to doing one thing, and that can lead to you forming better habits elsewhere in your life.

  • Sparks Creativity

    There are no defined rules on how to write a diary. There is no structure. You can write whatever you want, whenever you want, and however long you want. This causes you to be more creative because you’re not bound by any rules.

  • Relieves Stress

    Writing down your frustrations, fears, and anxieties can help reduce and release stress that can build up over time.

  • Ideas are Recorded

    You might think of a way to solve a problem or come up with a great business idea. A diary gives you a place to jot it down and remember it for the future.

BEST Tips On How to Write a Diary

You might want to start writing a diary, but you don’t want to start because you fear you won’t keep going.

Here are some of our best tips to get started & keep you inspired:

  • JUST WRITE - The hardest part is just getting started. Remember, there are no rules on how to write a diary. You can write whatever you want. Don’t be afraid of what you’re saying, just start writing.
  • BE CONSISTENT - If you develop a habit and set aside time for something, it will become part of your routine. Maybe set aside a specific time to write in your diary. That way, you have time built in for it and you won’t get distracted and forget, or make excuses.
  • PRETEND YOU'RE WRITING TO A FRIEND OR YOUR FUTURE SELF -  This helps you keep things informal. You can feel like you're sharing your deepest feelings and thoughts with a close friend. Don’t hold anything back.
  • IT'S NOT ALL WORDS - If a drawing would better capture what you want to say, make a sketch. You can also save tickets, magazine clippings, and other special mementos in your diary.
  • DON'T FORGET TO BE POSITIVE TOO - Some people tend to think a diary is full of your innermost thoughts and feelings that you never want to share with anyone else. That might be true, to some extent, but don’t be afraid to share the everyday things, too. Remember to write down things that make you smile, things you’re grateful for, times you cherish, etc.
  • READ OLD ENTRIES - Looking back can help you appreciate how far you’ve come and show you what you’ve learned from your past experiences. 

Which is Better: Paper or Digital?

As technology has advanced, many people have found alternative methods to keeping a handwritten diary. There are a variety of diary apps available, as well as note-taking apps, and you could always write your entries in Google docs or Microsoft Word. If you really want to put yourself out there, you could turn your diary into a blog.

Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of paper and electronic diaries:

Paper Diary

Pros

  • Handwriting is powerful - If you write something down, you’re more likely to process it and remember it.
  • Lowers screen time - Writing your diary on paper takes you away from the screen for a while.
  • No electricity or internet - The only thing you need is paper and a pen

Cons

  • Irreplaceable - Your paper copy of your diary is the only thing you have. If you happen to misplace it or it gets destroyed in a fire, flood storm or by someone being malicious, there is no backup copy.
  • Access limited - You don't have the flexibility of writing in your diary anytime, unless you carry it around with you, which often isn't practical.
  • Difficult to make changes - Writing on paper is difficult to review and edit, in order to order your thoughts and correct mistakes.
  • Privacy - If you have a secret hiding spot, you’re all good. But, if you forget to put your diary away or hide it, it could be seen and read by someone else.

Digital Diary

Pros

  • Capture everything - With a digital diary you aren't limited to text or adding physical things that have to be printed and may degrade over time.
  • Easy to add content - It's easy to insert images, scanned documents, audio recordings and videos (depending on the type of digital diary you choose to write).
  • Less clutter - If you have a paper diary and you’ve been writing for a few years, you probably have stacks of diaries taking up space. With an electronic diary, your entries are all online and can be saved to the Cloud.
  • Access anytime - Because you can be online from almost anywhere these days and always carry your phone, you can make an entry or voice recording into your diary anytime.
  • Automatic backups - Since everything is online and saved to the Cloud, it wouldn’t matter if you lost your computer or phone. You would always be able to log back into your account and retrieve your diary.

Cons

  • Feels impersonal - You’re writing down your innermost thoughts on an electronic device doesn't seem as personal as using paper and pen.
  •  Can be more expensive - Depending on what platform or software you use, the costs can be more compared with buying a poor quality diary to write in.
  • More screen time - We know it’s more healthy for our eyes to take breaks from looking at electronic screens. 

How to Keep a Digital Diary or Journal

My LifeJars makes it easy to write in a journal or keep a diary digitally.  Here's how to use the Memory Jars to journal your life.

How to Write a Diary & Make it Accessible After You’re Gone

Listen, we know a diary is a very personal record of someone’s life. When most people start a diary, they don't consider if they'll want to share it with people in the future. However, it is something you may want to think about. After you're gone, it could give your loved ones some insight on the thoughts and feelings behind the decisions you've made. 

If you went the paper route when you started your diary, it’s pretty easy to turn it into a digital format. You can scan the pages using your printer, or you could take pictures of the pages with your smartphone. Then, you could upload those files securely using our My LifeJars app.

If you still aren’t sure how to write a diary, you can use My LifeJars to create your digital diary. We have a simple guide you can follow to get you started, just in case you’re not sure where to begin. We give you prompts and ideas on what moments of life you should think about preserving.

With My LifeJars, you choose who can access your digital diary and when they can access it. You have control over whether your friends and family can see and share things now, or you can wait until after you’re gone.

The My LifeJars app also makes it very easy to add photos to go along with your diary entries. You can upload the photos via the app and designate which entries you want them to go with. It’s an easy way to keep all your cherished memories all in one place, and make them easily accessible to your loved ones.

Storing Your Important Documents in One Place

As much as we don’t like to think about dying, it’s important to make sure everything is in order for the family we leave behind. That’s where we step in to help. My LifeJars offers you a safe, secure online place to store everything your family needs when you’re no longer with them. It’s the safest place to keep a digital copy of your diary, so your life story is protected and accessible to your loved ones.

Our app is the perfect place to organize and share all of your important documents, like your last will and testament, your advance care directive, your health care proxy, your enduring power of attorney, and your enduring guardian. We make it simple for you to give access to all the people who will need this information in the future.

What Are the Benefits of My LifeJars?

My LifeJars offers a basic account that is free forever and never expires, as long as you are active and assign a My LifeJars Guardian.

With this basic account store 24 memories, 24 things, 16 passwords upload file sizes up to 10MB and access 2GB of data storage. Create a life profile for yourself as well as for 4 other family members or friends and 4 legacies. 

Only switch to a Gold paid account if you want to add unlimited memories, things & passwords, unlimited life profiles & legacies, upload file sizes up to 500MB including videos and store 200GB of data across all the profiles and legacies you create.

The My LifeJars app offers the following benefits:

  • Encrypted data - very advanced and multiple layered cryptographic protection.
  • Safety & security - access and review your information anywhere in the world with secure authentication.
  • No advertising - You will not be shown any ads from third party platforms while using the app.
  • Supports giving - My LifeJars donates 10% of annual subscriptions to our Partners, which you select to support.

Create Your Forever FREE My LifeJars Account Now. It’s easy to do, offers you peace of mind and control of WHO can access your diary, vital documents, important information and passwords - and WHEN they can access them, NOW or in the FUTURE.

Are you finally ready to...

ORGANIZE YOUR LIFE 

 & CAPTURE MEMORIES

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