Journey® Digital Journal [A Review]

Inspired by the founder of National Journal Writing Month, Bakari Chavanu, who talks about his enjoyment of digital journal writing, this month I journaled using an app on my phone.

I used the Journey® brand of digital journal, which is for Android.

You type as you would a memo. (In fact, Journey  resembles the Memo Pad which comes automatically with your Samsung, but with a more aesthetically-pleasing interface.)

You insert video, photos,  stickers, etc., should you prefer to do so. I did not find an audio feature (other than whatever audio is on your video); I’m surprised since even Memo Pad allows for voice-only attachments to your entry.

There are other features which you access with an upgrade, however, there are plenty features in the free version to keep a simple digital journal.

Journey automatically dates the entry; the date and time remain even if you update. There is an option to change the date and time manually. (So that’s one up on the Memo Pad, which automatically updates your date and time when you change an entry and you cannot alter it.) When you start a fresh entry but use an old image, Journey asks whether you want to change the date from the current date to the date on the image.

journey digital journal - screenshot - Deborah Observes

To read the next journal entry on Journey, you can easily click the arrow at the bottom of your journal post (or use the timeline feature to have a big picture glimpse of your little essays). Journey, of course, comes with standard tag features and the ability to search. These features spark the feeling of creating a personal mini blog.

Journey is great for those moments when you do not have your paper journal with you, or when you need to add text to that image you have just taken so that you do not forget details of an event.

It’s a serviceable journal app to capture moments, but not so great for lengthy, soul-searching, life-altering journaling. For me, Journey would supplement my main journal writing, but not replace it.

I prefer the intimacy of a hand-written, paper journal; I’m accustomed to it. However, Journey’s ability to allow you to search for specific entries and categorize by tags is selling me on digital journal writing in general.

Ultimately, Journey is a less-clunky, journal-dedicated version of Memo Pad.

Journey digital journal might be for you if…

…you like an intuitive, streamlined, user-friendly app for journal writing.

…you need a journal app that can be used with a desktop or laptop keyboard.

…you need an Android app to capture moments while you are out and about.

…you would like to store journal entries on Google Drive.

Journey digital journal might NOT be for you if…

… you prefer to use your iPhone for journal writing. Journey is currently only for Android users.

…you prefer to journal exclusively on paper. (However, there is an option to export as a WORD document or a PDF, among other formats, should you prefer to print it off  into paper form.)

… you already use Memo Pad for digital journaling and are ok with not be able to sync the text to other devices.

Click here to view the specifics of Journey brand digital journal on Google Play.



Wreck This Journal [A Review]

Dedicated to perfectionists all over the world, the Wreck This Journal challenges book lovers and journal writers not to hold every book as precious and un-fool-around-able (or, at least, not this book).

Wreck This Journal is an art journal with prompts. With page-by-page instructions, such as “Rip it up,” “Drag it,” and “Climb up high; drop the journal,” this book seeks to make you uncomfortable enough to become creatively destructive. “You may begin to live more recklessly,” it promises (or threatens, depending on how you view such a thing).

You are writing (or stomping, or placing sticky things) on 224 pages of a lightweight, travel-friendly journal that is small enough to fit in your purse, but not your pocket or clutch.

This review is of the 2012 black edition. Apparently, there are several other editions with different covers, and, presumably, different prompts.

My casual perusal of others who have used this journal, including the reviews on Amazon, suggests the people who love this journal, REALLY LOVE IT! They proudly showcase finished Wreck It Journals tied with rope and stuffed to the gills with who knows what kind of adventure.

I purchased this one back in 2015. My memory of it was that it was not for me. I struggled to find a purpose for it in my journal writing life since it did not encourage introspection, recording history,  and other things that I do with journals. I remember it as being pointless. I did not pick it up again after a couple of days.

However, after reading my main journal from back then, I see that the Wreck This Journal had its purpose in my life, even if it was only for a couple of days. It influenced me to think outside of the lines in my usual journal. According to my main journal entry, I credit the book with influencing me to draw in my journal (Gasp!); trace the outlines of other journals in my main one (What?!); ignore the lines (Horrors!). All of that ultimately led to being open to changing date headers, and including more pictures of my family.

So thanks, Wreck This.

You might like the Wreck This Journal if…

  • …you like journal prompts.
  • … you have enjoyed (or would like to start) an art journal.
  • …you are a perfectionist when it comes to books, and you want a way to stretch out of your comfort zone without ruining the books you care about.
  • …you don’t mind your fountain pen bleeding through (which you won’t because you are meant to ruin the journal).
  • …you wish to take your journal with you. (It’s travel-friendly.)

The Wreck This Journal might not be for you if…

  • …you cannot stand when anyone dogears a page.
  • …you find prompts unnecessary for how you journal.
  • …you want more meaningful, introspective journal prompts.
  • …you don’t like the idea of wasted paper (some instructions include ripping things and tossing them away).


Do you have a Wreck This Journal? What do you think?



P.S. You might also find useful this double review of the Q&A 5-Year Journal and the One Line A Day 5-Year Journal.


The Q & A a Day 5-Year Journal and The One Line a Day 5-Year Journal [A Double Review]

Yours truly started writing in both the Q&A a Day: 5-Year Journal and the One Line a Day: A Five-Year Memory Book back in October of 2015. I committed to writing in them for just over a year before putting them to rest. They did not work for the way I journal, but they might work for you.

Both of the 5-Year Journals use the same principle – they are each a “condensed, comparative record for five years, for recording events most worthy of remembrance,” according to One Line a Day.

Each page has Month and Day printed on it; it also has five sections on it. Each section is comprised of a space for a year date and a handful of blank lines.

Additionally, Q& A a Day gives you 365 one sentence questions to answer, such as ” If you were a literary character, who would you be?”

One Line a Day comes with a ribbon page marker. Q& A does not.

Both The One Line a Day Journal and Q&A Journal might be for you…

  • … if you prefer a small, hand-sized journal that can fit in your purse (But not your clutch. I have tried it.)
  • …if you have little time but want to jot something down in a journal
  • …if you do not need much space for writing all your thoughts
  • …if a larger blank page is intimidating
  • …if you would like to have notes from 5 years of your life on one page (That’s the most awesome feature.)

Additionally, the Q&A a Day Journal might work for you…

  • …if you need a random prompt every day
  • …if you are just getting started and you don’t know what to write about yet

Additionally, The One Line a Day 5-Year Journal might work for you…

  • …if you want to note a few ideas for a specific topic (e.g. This journal might be great for guests to leave a note about their stay in your rental space; it might also be a great health progress journal – just enough space for a few stats; it might be your gratitude journal.)
  • …if you want to give it as a present to a child. (The other journal, the Q& A Journal, assumes that teens or adults are using the journal. The questions reflect this audience.)
  • …if you prefer a ribbon bookmark already in the book.

Neither journal might be for you…

  • …if you prefer leather journals. They are made of some kind of heavy cardboard.  (You can have them rebound in leather.)
  • …if you feel like you’re about to explode from all the things you didn’t write because there is not enough space to contain your genius!
  • …if you prefer wide journals.
  • …if you prefer to journal with a fountain pen. (My fountain pen bleeds through both.)

I love the idea of seeing 5 consecutive years of the same day on 1 page. Seeing your progress (or lack of it) is fascinating. The concept is great. I just need more space to write; I like to write anywhere from  2 pages (average) to about 10 pages a day.

Because I was also writing extensively in my main journal, the 5-year journals became a brief summary of something I had already written. The redundancy really burdened me. I began skipping days in the 5-year journals, then writing in them retroactively. It was a mess.

If a 5-Year Journal was my only journal, of the two, I would go for the One Line A Day version. There are no prompts to ignore, so it’s a miniature version of my main journal.

I also feel a little sick to my stomach that I recorded pretty much the same activities on the same days of the year – I had not altered my life one bit. My lack of progress was staggering. And the year had gone by so fast! I might return to this journal one day, just for that kick in the pants.

Peace Be With You,


P.S. You may purchase  the Q&A a Day: 5-Year Journal or the One Line a Day: A Five-Year Memory Book by clicking on the titles.

P.P.S. Have you used one of these journals? What did you think?