On the journey of self-tracking, sensors in your smart phone, information from your social networks & even newer data from your smartwatch are all useful. Even a manual log works for some people. While studying Journaling apps, the number of people who found it useful was intriguing. Journaling is more than storing data and measuring statistics out of it. Journaling is so much more…
– Emotions: Writing about experiences can capture the persons emotions. Apart from text even photos & videos are being used. Even all the sensor based contextual information can’t compete with this rich content.
– Memories: Going back over journals, is a really nice way to cherish to memories. You can go back to a day or a place and relive it with a good journal. Quite a few people use a journal with vacations or while travelling too.
– Thoughts: Since journals are mostly private, it reflects a person’s real thoughts. On social networks a person is more likely to project his or her ideal self. With journals people can store more genuine thoughts.
– Ideas: Creative individuals use journaling for notes. To store all kinds of ideas. Journals are a good way to keep track of ideas.
– Gratitude Journal: People also use journals to reflect on positivity. It is a diary of things for which you are grateful. Gratitude journaling is a great tool for positivity. It has gotten lots of good attention in the field of positive psychology since it is good to combat depression.
– Context: With all the contextual data available with sensors & personal information on social networks, journal apps blend that in with the user’s journals. Parameters like location, steps, weather, etc are great to attach as a memory. It makes the data so much more valuable for the user.
Compared to blogging or sharing data on social networks, journaling is a more personal and intimate way of storing information. It can be seen as a personal & private blog. A journal can be seen as an evolution of a personal diary. It can even be a useful technique for mood tracking. I really think sentiment analysis can be applied to journaling for really effective mood tracking.
At Emberify we just launched Loca, a location context based journal. Keeping track of places, time spent there and photo memories would be great for travelling & even day-to-day activities. It is available on the App Store for the iPhone.