Comments 11

Digital Journaling or Pen and Paper?

I won’t debate about which journaling method is easier, smarter, better. Ultimately, I believe that every writer will have his/her own reason to choose one over the other.   I’ve been journaling with pen and paper most of my journaling life – I say most because for brief periods I tried digital journaling.

There are many journalers who are all praises for digital journaling.  That’s why I tried it. I journaled for a while in Penzu, but when it didn’t feel right, I thought of trying a private blog with WordPress.com.  That went well for a few days, but I soon got tired of it and something just didn’t fit. I read about OhLife – and tried it. It was great to receive an email everyday, reminding me of the day and date, and the question: “How did your day go?” My journaling stint with OhLife was short and sweet  – in time I felt railroaded by the question,”How did your day go?” When journaling became a mere act of answering OhLife’s question about my day, I knew it was time to stop.

I have since gone back to journal writing with pen and paper. But if you want to explore digital journaling, The Beginner’s Guide to Digital Journaling provides lots of information to get you started. It’s just one of the many blogs that explore digital journaling.

The digital world provides some gadgets that allow people to hand-write their journals, so it seems that digital journaling is really catching up. I think it’s worth a try, especially if your journaling needs a boost. That’s the reason why I tried digital journaling – I felt something was amiss and thought that a change would probably perk things up. But  a shift to digital journaling wasn’t the solution for my journaling blues.

As for handwriting versus using the keyboard, “How Handwriting Trains the Brain,” an article published by the Wall Street Journal is a good read, and will give you much to think about.

Here’s to journaling!


Photo courtesy of Morguefile


  1. A great article – and fascinating link re handwriting training the brain. As a young person I wrote out slabs of key information in order to prepare for tests and exams. Doing this meant I could rewrite the information almost verbatim. It truly is a terrific way of increasing retention. Oh and I much prefer to journal by hand thanks ! My eyes are strained enough using PCs all day !!


    • That’s true, it’s easier to check spelling and grammar when one blogs on a computer. Some journal writers however encourage disregarding spelling and grammar mistakes in journaling. Each unto his/her own, as they say. Thanks for dropping by!


  2. Pingback: Besieged by Writing Ideas | Writing on the Pages of Life

  3. TuiSnider says

    I’ve kept a handwritten journal for decades… For a while, I abandoned them in favor of a diary written on my computer. I can type so much faster, for one thing. But y’know what? I’ve since returned to a handwritten journal in the morning before hopping into my writing projects.

    p.s. I’m dropping by from last week’s #StoryDam blog linky. Hope to see you at #StoryDam chat tonight at 8pmET! 🙂


  4. Interesting post. For me, there does seem to be a distinct difference between digital and pen. I journal in with a pen and notebook, and do my book writing digitally. There is no way I could do it the other way around . The exception is when I’m brainstorming a book concept – for some reason that too has to happen in pen. Maybe because I can write in the margins and squeeze new ideas between the lines?


    • Thanks for sharing your ideas and experiences. You’ve got it neatly figured out! I just move from pen to computer when I’m blogging. The words seem to flow both ways though.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I haven’t worked seriously on a draft for a book yet, so my writing experiences are quite limited. I sometimes write in a digital, but notebooks are my favorite. It’s nice how neatly you’ve compartmentalized your writing habits!

      Liked by 1 person

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