Overcoming Tech Barriers in Journaling

Journaling. Many people hate journaling because of the limitations they feel in creating a book of thoughts. Perhaps you like to speak rather than type or write. Perhaps you like to hand write rather than type but would prefer the end product to be a printed book. Will you let those factors prevent you from preserving your life story a piece at a time?

Over the past few weeks, I’ve shared with you several ways you can preserve your story. Just to review the top three categories of journaling for busy people, they are:

Journaling With Apps 
Journaling With Blog Books
Journaling Through Social Media

All of these options require you to input your thoughts into an app or a computer program. But, what if you don’t type or text quickly? Are you out of luck? No. You have two options to help in your journaling.

First, you can use a voice to text option. Day One Journaling App has a voice to text feature. You can simply say what you want about your day, your goals, your eating habits, or whatever you wish to record and Day One will turn that speech into words on your screen. You can then edit your speech for grammar and punctuation as you see fit.

If you’re on a desktop, you can use Google Docs to type your voice. Here’s a link to the help file. After you have generated your content, you can copy and paste the text into any of the services you see above. Or, you can keep your journal in a Google Docs file and then export the text to a PDF file. Then you can upload that text to Lulu.com or Blurb to create a printed book!

Second, you could use a special pen that will type your text after you ‘write’ your thoughts on a special dot paper. According to the company website, “Livescribe 3 smartpen uses Bluetooth Smart to send everything you write to your smartphone or tablet.” A ballpoint pen like smart device can let you have the feel of writing but transform the doodles and the script into content for your personal history projects.

The technical barriers to keeping a journal or diary have been removed. You can go old school and use a pen and paper, or you can go tech crazy with a variety of options. The key is to write often so your story is captured and shared long into the future.

If you ever get stuck on what to write about, google “Journaling Prompts.” There are hundreds of thousands of blog posts to help trigger ideas of what to write about. Here is a list of a few that caught my eye:

– 119 Journal Prompts
30 Journal Prompts for Self-Reflection and Self-Discovery
– Journal Prompts to Tickle Your Funny Bone
Write Your Story (Weekly Instagram Prompts)
52 Stories Project from FamilySearch

Devon Noel Lee

Devon Noel Lee

Devon Noel Lee is passionate about capturing and preserving family stories so no one alive today has to be researched, or forgotten, tomorrow. She has authored 6 how-to books, a memoir, two published family history biographies, and over 60 family scrapbooks. She's an enthusiastic speaker who energizes, encourages, and educates at the same time.

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