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Think of the last time you hung out in your favorite café for a drink, dessert, or a delicious snack. Do you remember the heady scent of coffee? The calming music playing softly from the speakers? How about the unique way sunlight or streetlight poured into the room from the windows? Were people on their own or in little groups? Was the noise level gentle and intimate, or louder than usual and fun? Was everyone on their smartphones or laptops? Were any of them using a pen and paper?
Now hold on - let's be honest here. If anyone had a pen and paper on them and were using it, they would've been easy to remember. And why wouldn't they be memorable when most of us are on our electronic devices nowadays, eyes glued on a glowing screen? You'll be hard pressed to find anyone not tapping away on a keyboard, may it be analog or virtual - so anything that's the opposite of the norm is bound to stand out. For a lot of different reasons, harnessing technology is just easier and more convenient. But when it comes to the benefits of journaling, which one is really the best medium:
Is it digital or paper?
It's worth noting that journaling by paper has been done for thousands of years, one of the earliest accounts being a diary from the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius in the 2nd century AD. In contrast, the first digital diary was written between 1994 and 1996, called "Open Diary" and posted on the MIT Media Lab by Claudio Pinhanez. Undoubtedly, the analog form has been the top choice for a longer period of time, but is it only because technology wasn't quite as accessible then and more of a recent thing we've only really started to utilize? Given the chance, would Marcus Aurelius have used a cloud-based app on his iPad to bemoan the life of a Roman Emperor who was in the middle of campaigning and administration?
We'll never know of course, but here's what we do know: there are pros and cons to consider whichever medium you decide to go for. Depending on your preferences, let's take a look at how one or the other can make your journaling experience as fun and meaningful to your life as ever.
Who needs notebooks when you have your smartphone, tablet, computer, or iPad? You never have to run out of paper or ink, and you can journal wherever you want the instant you want to. Taking note of thoughts and ideas has become so much easier since the digital option came to be: no more struggling to remember what you were supposed to write about once you have your paper journal with you. But as in all things, there are two sides to a coin. Let's list down the reasons why going digital may - or may not - work for you.
Ah yes. Good old paper journals. With many years behind it that has helped in its refinement and development, no wonder traditional journaling has become a type of art on its own. It has evolved from simply writing down our thoughts and ideas down to keep a record of them into an amazing system that helps with therapy, productivity, and creativity, as well as a means to find our way to reach goals and form good habits. Unlike digital journaling, paper journals are special in the way they're unique and one of a kind depending on the owner. But is it worth the time and hassle when a time saving option has become available for everyone? Let's list down why you should - or shouldn't - stick to paper journaling.
At the end of the day, you get to decide which medium is best for you not just based on the upsides and downsides listed here, but also considering your own preferences. In fact, you can simply journal using both: digital and paper share a lot of good benefits that are too awesome not to take advantage of, so why not?
Our Field Journal can house not just your notebooks and refills but an iPad Mini or your smartphone, too. Or, if you want something a little smaller and easier to carry around, then consider our portable Pocket Journal; it can accompany any device of your choosing as you journal your way through life.
Which of these two have you been using for years, and how has it helped enrich your journaling experience? Do you prefer one over the other, or utilize both methods? We'd love to hear what you think! No matter which one you use the most, our only hope is for you to find the clarity, peace, and comfort that most of us enjoy out of keeping our own journals.
As always, happy journaling!