Is writing diary good or bad ? ( full guide )

Is writing diary good or bad

The answer is so complicated , because writing diary has good benefits but in the some time can also cause some inconvenience , and that what we will explain it here

Some of the most influential people in history kept detailed diaries throughout their lives . The task of journaling served at least two purposes: a permanent record of their experiences, which was left to us for posterity, and the cathartic liberation that it probably brought to each of them at the time.

Even if you don’t think it is necessary, keeping a journal has great benefits that you can enjoy from the first moment. There are plenty of reasons for you to consider stopping regularly to jot down your thoughts, feelings, and experiences .

Perhaps you want to leave your children a legacy of your history or your achievements. Maybe you are more practical, and you simply want to take advantage of your creativity. Perhaps what you want is the cathartic release that regular writing brings us .

Whatever your motivation or your need, these are all great reasons to encourage you to journal. Let’s look at each of them, and why they are so important.

Journaling has mental health benefits

Writing regularly can do wonders for your health. Beyond keeping your creativity alive , regular writing can be a necessary escape valve to cushion the stresses of daily life.

We have already discussed the mental and emotional benefits of expressive writing in other articles . Not only does it make you feel good, it also helps you re-experience events in a safe environment, where you can process them without fear or stress.

In fact, there is so much data on the mental and emotional benefits of journaling that it is increasingly common for coaches, psychologists, and therapists to encourage their clients to do so, whether in therapeutic or personal settings.

In this study published in the journal Advances in Psychiatric offers a solid overview of current research on the subject . In it, the researchers conclude that just 15-20 minutes on 3-5 occasions was enough to help study participants process traumatic events , improve their stress, or neutralize other emotional imbalances.

Of course, just writing might not be enough. What is written and how it is written also plays an important role . The key seems to be to focus on what is thought and perceived by the senses, and not just on the expression of emotions.

And most importantly, you get the greatest benefits from journaling when you are telling your own personal story , and not a simple narration of ideas or a description of the events that happen around.

Keeping a journal helps harness your creativity

The creative benefits of journaling are well documented, too. Surely you have heard that the best way to learn to write is to do it on a regular basis.

That’s true, but the benefits go beyond becoming a good writer. For example, regular writing can help you process and communicate complex ideas effectively .

It can also help you memorize important information, and of course generate new ideas. In other words, writing about your experiences will not only help you process them, it can also help you see opportunities that have not been apparent at first glance .

How many times have you started to write about something that seems opaque on the surface, and in an almost imperceptible way it has been dragging you towards other thoughts, ideas or memories?

Writing a journal opens the door to new opportunities that you could not even guess, and helps you break complex experiences into smaller pieces that are more affordable and easier to organize in a coherent way.

Regular writing has practical benefits

Writing a journal on a regular basis can also be very functional , and serve for example as a reminder of mistakes you have made, achievements of which you are proud or great moments that you want to remember.

For example, keeping a work journal can serve as a hit and miss history . This record can be useful later in times of uncertainty or when making decisions.

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It will be especially useful for looking back and selecting a pattern of things that you want to repeat because they turned out especially well. Or on the contrary, visualize what went wrong at some point in order to minimize future errors . Documenting achievements and mistakes will become an excellent tool so they are never overlooked.

This functional writing can also be applied outside of the workplace with great results. Keeping a journal is a great way to build better habits , as it forces you to be aware of your actions and behaviors.

If you are thinking about going on a diet, for example, keeping a food diary is a good way to pay more attention to what you eat and consequently to eat more healthily.

Where to write your journal and why

I guess you’ve already decided to keep a journal. Your next decision now is which medium you are going to use for it. You have a ton of options, and what works for one person doesn’t have to work for another. Here are some.

Notebooks and paper diaries

If you like the feeling of physically writing down your thoughts, a paper notebook may be the best option . There is really nothing like writing on a pristine blank page.

Keeping a paper journal will give you full control over what you write, and it will also provide you with the most privacy , as there is little chance that your journal will be “hacked” or “lost” when a certain service is compromised.

By contrast, the paper journal means giving up backups in case something goes wrong. A simple lost backpack means that your work is gone forever.

Mobile and desktop applications

If you are one of those who cannot separate from your phone or laptop, there are plenty of applications that promise privacy and security in addition to a comfortable writing environment. Some of the ones we have tried are:

Penzu : In addition to a password-protected journal, it also allows you to share specific messages. You can search the previous entries, add photos, customize the design and appearance of the diary, and if you are willing to spend a little money you can opt for the Pro version with many more features.

Day One : It has versions for iOS and OS X, and is one of the most popular applications for keeping a diary on Apple platforms. In your posts you can use formatted text and images, as well as maps with specific locations.

Journey : Undoubtedly the best alternative to Day One. With a very similar interface and features but with a web, Android and Windows version, as well as being compatible with OS X.

Of course, you don’t need to use apps to keep an online journal. You can simply host an encrypted text file on Dropbox, use  Evernote or Trello, or any other application that allows you to take notes.

Use whatever type of tool is useful to you, but keep in mind that the more you automate the process, the less involved you will be in the task and the benefits will no longer be the same.

Maintain a blog (blogging)

Blogging is another great way to reap the benefits of a journal. Regardless of your initial goal, maintaining a blog opens the doors to the widest possible audience .

If that is the alternative you prefer, you have at your disposal a wide range of tools to choose from, both free and paid. They all offer a different look, cater to different audiences, and are designed for different types of people.

Without a doubt, maintaining a personal blog is the best option if your goal is to share your story with the world .


Regardless of how you decide to materialize your journal, there are clear benefits to doing so. You don’t have to be Isaac Newton, Andy Warhol, Leonardo Da Vinci, or any other relevant figure to make your thoughts and experiences worthwhile.

In any case, writing a journal will always be an enriching task for you in a personal and intimate way , and it can be really illustrative for anyone with whom you decide to share it.

Of course, it is not always easy to keep a journal on a regular basis. It requires consistency and can be a really tedious task . It is often difficult for us to start a journal precisely because we see it as an obligation, something that must be done the “right” way.

To make it easier for you, we propose below a formula devised by the addiction expert Indra Cidambi , which according to her own experience will allow you to write a diary dedicating two minutes or less of your time each day.

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How to keep a journal in two minutes or less

It starts from the idea that a diary does not have to be a complete synopsis , but rather a reflection of the conflicts that affected the person during that day. Thus, the effectiveness of the newspaper has to do with the ability to identify the relevant issues that occurred in that period.

Dr. Cidambi proposes to spend a couple of minutes each day completing four columns that must respond with a single sentence to the following questions:

  1. That bothers you? 
    Identify the problem that bothers you and write it in a single sentence. Sometimes it is as easy as recognizing the subject in question. We often feel so caught up in our emotions that we lose sight of what really makes us feel bad.
  2. How you feel? 
    Examine your feelings associated with this problem. Are you feeling angry, sad, happy, disappointed, guilty, or resentful? It is convenient to write down any feelings that occur during this process.
  3. What measures have you taken? 
    Did you do anything to address the problem? If so, write it down in one sentence or less. If not, make a note of it too.
  4. How do you plan to solve it? 
    If you haven’t taken action yet, what do you plan to do to resolve the problem? Write down your action plan in one sentence. It’s a good way to pause to examine what you did or didn’t do in the moment. Writing it down will help you visualize the situation, and evaluate how you reacted or how you would react the next time the same situation arises.

This simple strategy will help you stay consistent in your daily writing without too much effort at first. It is true that in a very short time you will probably need to explore further into your own thoughts, desires, feelings and vital goals, but by then you will already be an expert in the task of keeping a personal journal.

At least I hope so.

NOW, LET’S GO WITH THE BENEFITS OF JOURNALING:

1. It is the therapy to lose weight, to remove the load from the backpack, the cheapest that exists and has similar effects to doing a therapy accompanied. You only need paper and a pen or pen, a moment to be with yourself and a relaxing environment where you feel safe.

2. You will exercise the presence, the here and now . In fact, although you could do it digitally, it is much better that you write on paper to get in touch with the sensations, the feel of the paper, the weight of the pen, the way the ink glides on the page. If you like pleasant smells, it is a good time to light a candle and also to accompany the experience with a cup of tea or something you like. It is your moment of enjoyment.

writing diary

3. It is a way to practice something you are missing, handwriting.

4.  Helps you put your ideas in order. If you need to make a decision but consciously find it difficult to clarify, write and see what happens. It is possible that at first it will be difficult for you to find the answers but keep writing, deepen, go inside yourself and you will see how writing your journal will help you to know yourself better, to understand your priorities.

5. In addition to being cheap, it is a very flexible exercise , a paper therapy that fully adapts to your schedule. You can practice it as often as you need, either once a day, a week or a month. As in everything, I recommend that you be constant, not from self-imposed but from enjoyment. If you do not enjoy it, if you do not live it as a pleasant moment, it is better not to do it.

Benefits of writing a diary

6. Journaling helps you connect with your subconscious, where your true self is. This may not be possible in the first session, but if you are constant enough, you will discover how writing your journal comes answers with which you cannot connect thinking, in fact, writing a journal has nothing to do with thinking, but with flow. How will you know that you have connected? When answers and paragraphs come out that surprise you.

7. Precisely because you exercise flow, it is a practice that helps increase creativity . Why are children so creative? Because they don’t think, they feel, they do. 

8.  It is your space of freedom , where you can allow yourself to be yourself, say what you want, be 1000% honest. And you don’t need to tell anyone, just yourself. In fact, not all newspapers are for rereading. Write with all the freedom in the world, as if no one was going to read you, not even yourself.

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advantages and disadvantages of journal writing
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9. While helping you every day as therapy, you are creating a very valuable memory , an emotional photo of how you are at a time in your life. It is very nice to go back to your old diary and see how you have evolved, how you have grown or sometimes discover with surprise that that person you were 10 years ago is very similar to who you are now.

benefits journal

10. It  helps to unblock emotions , to do cleaning, and that makes writing a journal reinforce your health and your self-esteem. 

Not bad, right? Has it made you want to try or re-journal? Hopefully you will, I am convinced that we can all live a little lighter. So far my post for today, if you liked it

Other benefits of journaling according to science

In addition to the cathartic, creative and functional value that have already been described as relevant contributions of journaling, we have been able to document some other benefits of keeping a journal on a regular basis:

  • According to a  study carried out by the University of Victoria (Canada), the regular task of keeping a diary can increase the Intellectual Quotient (IQ), thanks to the improvement of the verbal area.
  • A report published by the  University of Virginia suggests that the state of  mindfulness  provided by writing or drawing in a journal helps focus thoughts.
  • In this other study on ADHD it is concluded that writing your goals on paper makes your brain classify them as “important actions”, archiving them as actions that you must achieve.
  • As described in this article in The Wall Street Journal , journaling trains the brain to be more orderly, and allows better organization of ideas.
  • In this report from the  American Psychological Association , it is concluded that maintaining the habit of journaling helps train discipline for more important tasks.

And you, what benefits have you obtained or are obtaining from writing a journal?

The disadvantages of journaling

You sit down in front of that notebook that every night is your confidant and you start to write. Would you say that this habit can turn against you?

Like anything we do, journaling can also cause some inconvenience . Let’s see…

Your diary falls into the hands of others

This is the biggest drawback of all, especially if that person discovers an uncomfortable or sensitive issue.

But it is also annoying when you write about inconsequential topics, such as: The neighbor told me that I could grow tomatoes in the garden and I have decided to try .

Must need someone breaking into your life and become aware of your plans (tomato growers in this case) of what you think or what you’ve done, if you you fancy not give details (at that time, to the less)?

You find the diary some time later

Another downside. Something similar happens with personal diaries to when you find a photograph of yourself from several years ago: What hairs he had! And what tacky clothes!

It has happened to me to find a diary written in my adolescence and react as if one had seen a photograph (“inside”):

But what mental pie is this? How did I not realize that Fulanita was taking advantage of my naivety? How did I exaggerate so much with this problem?

Things like that… You figure… You feel nostalgia and shame, all mixed up .

The good news is that since you are the one who reads it after all, you can be compassionate .

You end up thinking that now, with the wisdom that the years give , you would have done everything in a different way … And it is likely that the same thing will happen when in a while you find what you are writing tonight.

Other drawbacks or disadvantages of journaling

Yes there are more. But they can be circumvented with certain precautions.

The same thing that you do not leave your diary in sight so that it falls into strange hands. Or the same that you are considerate of yourself for that way of thinking that you had years ago. The same … you can avoid the rest of the adverse side effects.Bask in guilt, fear, helplessness … or any negative emotion or feeling .

Let’s imagine, for example , that you feel terrible for not having a partner. That’s what you miss the most in your life.

And, every night, you tell your diary how lonely you are, how terribly bitter you live, how dark and bleak it is to wake up every morning and have no one to share the good or the bad that happens to you.

In principle, you let off steam by writing. But, you cross the line and you turn into lack and pain, as if your whole life revolves around that .Or anchor yourself in passivity .

Writing serves to vent and clarify ideas, but also to find solutions .

If you write only about what happens to you or what you feel, you dispense with one of the great benefits of writing a personal journal : Exploring further , including solutions and opportunities .

You see. The journal is a very useful tool. You just have to take certain precautions so that when using it we do not get our fingers caught.