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A lot on my plate

If we write to taste life twice, as Anais Nin once suggested, then why do we blog? Perhaps it’s to give others a little taste of our own lives. I wonder how many bloggers were active diarists before going online. I wonder, also, how many of those who made the transition from pen to pixel have quit keeping an offline diary.

I love blogging, but I also enjoy keeping an offline journal. I certainly write differently here than there. My offline diary serves many purposes; besides recording memories, it is a place for me to dissect and digest experiences. I don’t care if it makes sense or hops from topic to topic. I don’t even care if it’s whiny and boring. It’s been a lifelong friend, and we love each other unconditionally.

Do any of you keep diaries, either online or off? If you keep an offline journal, do you ever find yourself conflicted between writing it out by hand versus tapping away on a keyboard? I do! As I mentioned here before, I am fond of carrying little notebooks around with me. I love to sit in nature, or at a cafe and jot thoughts down. However, I also love a program I found a few years ago called iDailyDiary by Splinterware. It’s super snazzy! Not only is it easy to search through, but you can make it portable by putting it on a thumb drive.

One of my favorite things, though, are the sticky tabs you can make in iDailyDiary. They make it real easy to quickly file and keep track of ideas for various projects. (For instance, ladies, I keep track of my menstrual cycle in its own tab. Makes life less surprising, but in a good way.)

But enough about me; how about you? Are any of you chronic diarists, like me? If so, what’s your journaling style?

Tui Snider
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Published inTravel Photo Essays


  1. I have an offline diary. It is where I write all those thoughts that don’t need to be spoken. It is fun to go back through them at the end of the year.

    • mentalmosaic mentalmosaic

      Hi Susan,

      Glad to hear I’m not the only offline diary keeper these days.
      Actually, I have online and offline diaries, and notebooks full of random catch all
      ideas, and dream notebooks…

      I’m one big sloppy mess of words, with thoughts spilled all over the place!


  2. Thank you for reminding me I need to put together my new journal. I gave up trying to find one. I like for my journal to be spiral bound with blank pages on one side and lined on the other. I found a couple of them years ago and when I decided to use them I absolutely loved them. It gives me blank space to doodle and draw then lined paper to write the words going through my mind. My writing is too crazy to not have lines to follow.

    I too carry around a notebook just about everywhere I go. Love the iDailyDiary idea, I will have to check it out.

    P.S. I am drinking Hot Apple Cider. Something besides tea that I love also. :D

    • mentalmosaic mentalmosaic

      Hi Morgan,

      I really want to change up my journaling style and make it more mixed media… iDailyDiary is great software! Let me know if you
      try it. I sure wish they’d make it Mac compatible.

      Thanks for stopping by! :)
      p.s. Cider sounds good! I could use a warm cup of something right now, too…

  3. I have a notebook or journal everywhere I go. I keep a journal and pen/pencil next to my bed because if a thought wakes me in the middle of the night, I don’t want to forget and could never fall back to sleep if I thought I would forget. So, not really a diary, just a place for me to write down my thoughts or phrases. I usually will write a rough draft of my blog posts and ideas for postings on my FB page and Twitter feed. I pay attention to the details in what others consider the mundane and write them down. I love words… I love watching people and learning from them, even if never a word is spoken. I will be checking out iDailyDiary…thanks for the tip! So glad to find you again, through #FBF on Chasing Joy

    • mentalmosaic mentalmosaic

      Hi Victoria,

      I’m the same way! I feel naked without a pen and notebook. Friends and family know this, so I’m frequently gifted with little notebooks and pens and I’m always gleeful to receive them.

      Do check out iDaily Diary. I love it! Alas, Santa gave me a Mac for Christmas and it’s not compatible, but I still use it on my little netbook.

      I look forward to Chasing Joy’s #fbf each week, too. I’m happy to reconnect with you! :)


  4. In some ways my blog is a bit of a journal, but I have recently started keeping a written one…more of a thank you list or things that I are extremely important for me to remember as I come back from major depression.

    • mentalmosaic mentalmosaic

      Hi Charity,

      Sounds like you have created a very healthy habit. Plus, it will be fun to look back on. Thanks for dropping by! :)


  5. Literally hours ago I was torn between physically writing and typing my personal journal. I’ve traditionally been a pen and paper gal, but man my handwriting is getting bad without all the practice! I’m going to have a look at your suggestion…could be my answer :)

    • mentalmosaic mentalmosaic

      iDailyDiary really is a fun and easy to use program. Let me know what you think of it. I love being able to cut and paste pix into it, too.

      I know what you mean about handwriting! Mine has really gone downhill. Plus, I can’t write longhand for as long of a period of time as I used to be able to, either. My fingers get tired!


  6. woofmutt woofmutt

    After having journalized off and on from the 80s to the 00s I realized I hate diaries. Other than where I was and what I was doing at what point in time I don’t like to reread what I thought about it all. And, like Sheila O., I have piles of stuff I created but haven’t used. I don’t want anymore of that around. It’s a time suck.

    These days if I feel compelled to put pen to paper to record an account of the day to day I also add a bunch of drawings and scribbling and shove the end results into envelopes and mail them off to a few people. Then it’s someone else’s problem.

  7. I have kept both written and online journals but now it seems I only do the online blogging thing. It is hard for me to manage my time. I have a tendency to jot things down on paper. I have a box filled with scraps of paper. In my file cabinet is a whole drawer of things to catalog, discard or use. I seriously need a week all to myself with no grandkids, kids, friends, relatives or anyone. It seems whenever I take time off my time gets eaten away with social stuff and I feel selfish even saying that because it’s the relationships that are (or should be) the most important thing in our lives. I long to be a hermit, but then I wonder if I really do, because, obviously, I’m not.
    haha. Sometimes I look back at the thoughts and observations I had and wonder what the heck was I thinking. Do you do that?

    • mentalmosaic mentalmosaic

      Oh, Sheila… I know about managing time. I get overwhelmed at times, because there are so many projects I’d like to pursue on top of the have-to and need-to’s, y’know? I don’t think you sound selfish. It’s important to have a relationship with yourself, too, not just everyone else. But I fight the same inner battles as you, I must confess! ~Tui

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