Day oneI have been journaling for many years now. I find it a great tool to help me unpack what I am think and how I am thinking. It's a place for me to process the events and circumstances of my life. It's a way for me to open my heart to God and listen for his voice of guidance. 

I used to use a paper journal, then a few years ago I switched to a computer word processing document. That enabled me to have my journal wherever I am, shared across devices, as well as search functionality. Earlier this year, my son Ashley made me aware of a really cool app designed especially for journaling. It's called Day One. Visit the Day One web site for full details or watch an online video review. [Unfortunately, it is only available for the Mac at this stage, but a Windows version is on the way. Windows users can benefit from a number of alternatives]

Why I like Day One:

1. I can have separate entries throughout the day – for general diary stuff, for spiritual prayer times, for reflection, and for recording insights. Dividing these up makes them easier to find later, and separates them into neater categories.
2. The ability to put pictures into an entry is cool too, as it gives visual reminders to clues to what is happening in my life.
3. Tags are very helpful too – for tracking down related entries.
4. Location works well, as it reminds me where I am when I write, including the temperature of the day.
5. Focused view enables me to put everything else out of my mind, avoiding distraction.
6. Having a live copy on my mobile devices is fantastic too (synced via Dropbox), enabling me to read what has taken place, add in new events or thoughts, and insert photos.
7. Automatic time and date insertion is helpful.
8. The formatting is basic but workable.

I also like the concept of a DAY:

* Each day is a new beginning – “day one” of the rest of my life.

* On each day, “one” thing is needful and that is connecting with God, then reflecting on that experience so that I change and grow. 

* The “day” was created by God as a segment of life. I can learn lessons from the creation week and how God lived out a rhythm of work and rest.

[Related BLOG posts: A few thoughts on seeing your journal as a listening book, 3 great questions to start the day]