Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Just Simple Enough It Might Work: OhLife Journaling Tool

Life whizzes by in a flash, but journaling helps keep it from all fading into oblivion. There are countless ways to keep a journal, from an old school book, to a public blog like this one. If you still haven't found your medium of choice, you should check out: ohlife.com. From a recent CoolTools review:

Oh Life is the tool that helped me successfully keep a journal for the first time. Thanks to it, I now have a record of my life that is richer and more meaningful than I ever expected. Oh life is where I wrote about the birth of my first son, my decision to quit a terrible job, and my excitement about starting a new, better job. It’s where I wrote about my brother’s cancer diagnosis and where I chronicled the daily milestone’s of my son’s infant and toddler years. Now I can look back on those events with a clarity that I never had before. In short, given me everything that I’d hoped for in a journal.

What makes Oh Life different is the medium. It is entirely email based. Every day, they send you an email, asking how your day went. All you do is respond to the email, and whatever you write is entered into your journal. The system is completely private so your entries are only accessible by you. As a bonus, each email contains an excerpt from a previous entry, which is a great way to get a daily glimpse into your own past.

E-mail is such a clever mechanism, because the facility for sending it (Gmail, Hotmail, Outlook, etc.) is one you're already familiar with and probably use everyday. There are no new tools to learn or master.

If the e-mail concept sounds good, but you've got privacy concerns, you could always rig up your own system. Just create a new e-mail address, say: ben.journal@gmail.com, and send e-mail to it regularly. Your inbox will soon be overflowing with journal entries. As a bonus, you can hand out the e-mail to those you are closest to (say, your parents, children or BFF) and give them an opportunity to add to your journal.

Both approaches should work for kids, as well.

Can't get your teen off the computer? Put them to work journaling, and then you won't mind (as much).

Whatever you do, start keeping a log today, your future self will thank you.

For more info, check out this book.

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