Advanced Journaling Tips & Tricks

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6 months, 3 weeks ago.

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  • #1139

    ADVANCED JOURNALING TIPS & TRICKS: We know that some of you are understandably concerned about keeping your journal private, so here are some additional tips that you may find helpful:

    • Use Different Solution From Email – If you use Gmail for your main email, you might want to use hotmail for journaling, so you can keep your accounts separate.
    • Don’t Use Your Work Email Account – Every company is different, but it is best practice to not use your work email to keep any personal information as your company does have access to it. And it is also best practice to not access your journal from your work computer.
    • Log Out Every Time – When you are finished writing in your journal, log out before you close the browser. That way if someone opened the browser, they won’t be able to use cached credentials to get to your documents.
    • Browse Anonymously – You can browse in what is called “incognito” mode with Google Chrome and “private” mode with Microsoft Internet Explorer. The benefit of browsing anonymously is that it won’t be saved in your browser history and once you close the browser, it will clear your credentials automatically.
    • Use Different Browsers – Using multiple browsers can save you time and confusion. For example, if you are familiar with Gmail and Google Docs, you can signup for a second free Google account. Then just use a different browser to log in to that account, so you won’t have to log out of your main account all of the time. Some free browsers include Google Chrome, Microsoft Internet Explorer and newly released Edge, Apple Safari, and Mozilla Firefox, but there are all kinds. Also different browsers can let you keep your data better organized.
    • Name Your Journal Document Something Different than “Journal” – Your document name could be something more generic or boring, so even if someone read the title they wouldn’t be likely to open it. At the top of your document, mention that this is a private text and that if someone is reading this you would appreciate that they stop reading it and ask for permission. Believe it or not, many people really don’t want to read your private journal, so including this disclaimer at the beginning can be useful.
    • Lock/Hide It – If you are using a physical journal, find one that has a lock so that someone will have to go out of their way to open it. And putting it out of sight will reduce any temptation for someone to pick it up.


    I will continue to add more journaling ideas to this list as they come up. Also please feel free to reply with any additional thoughts or ideas.

    Dave Andrews

  • #5499


    I am using blogger. I have it password protected so you have to log in to see it or post. I like that I can keep it all on my computer in an anonymous place.

  • #5531

    Great idea, thanks for sharing!

  • #5824


    I use Penzu. It is available on your PC or as an app. I use the free version and really like it.

    • #16448


      Thanks for that suggestion. Just signed up and think it will work fine. I usually hand write my journaling but this is a way to feel less exposed and allows me to be even more honest. Someday I might want to share this journaling but not today…to raw and exposed to want to share …. it might drive me back to drinking before I have had time to get into solutions. Blessings on your journey soberstrong…

    • #82839


      Just downloaded the Penzu ap. Thanks for that info. I was going to have a paper journal, but decided on the ap so I can write in it where ever I am. (Unless I leave my ph at home!)

  • #6289


    I’m happy with Evernote. Used it earlier. Works fine.

    • #6365


      Ditto. I keep everything in Evernote. And I have for a very long time.

  • #7461


    Hi All New to this but why use any of these programs vs just Page or word?

    • #7588

      Some of these other programs are password protected. Some people feel anxious about writing so openly in a journal that others may be able to access. If that’s not a concern of yours, Page or word work perfectly well, as would any sort of notebook.

  • #7772


    In WORD you can encrypt document with a password to protect it. That’s what I use for my journal. I googled the method, and it’s really easy.

  • #9605


    Question for the admins – Yesterday I decided to start a blog about my 30 day solution journey (on day 2) – it’s anonymous. Blogging helps me to gather my thoughts. I would find it personally helpful to have other people read it to help keep me accountable (and maybe it would be helpful to others?) I am doing a mix of my thoughts and feelings + the daily assignments. Am I allowed to share the link to the blog in the forums? I’m not sharing it with people outside the group. Thanks.

    • #10523


      I went out to read your blog & it’s great! I am just beginning, so I hope that I can have the same experience you seem to be having. I did like the entry where you had to vent – I have had this experience before when I’ve stopped drinking entirely for periods of time. Everyone wants you to drink . . .makes it very difficult, so I get it. Keep writing – it was helpful to me to read about your experience so far. Wish me luck!

    • #13736


      I think I would like this too. I like the idea of sharing with people.

    • #13737


      What is the link to the blog?

    • #122546


      9605 . How do I access your blog?

  • #10099


    If you are using a program like Word for your journal, it is useful to bookmark important actions as you go so you are able to find them quickly again. I am currently on Day 27 and by then there are about a dozen things you want to go back to review daily, that are scattered throughout the 30 days.

    Good luck everyone on your journey. Make sure you do all the actions and really take the time to put effort into them. It is worth it.

  • #10891


    I am on day 1 and just signed up with my usual Google account and went to my drive. I wrote my day 1 journal notes in google doc. Do I need to change that?

  • #13209


    Hi. I find this website a little Windows centric (from a Mac Fanboy) They don’t mention that Safari also has private browsing, or that Apple Pages allows you to password protect your documents and if you save them with iCloud you can open and edit them on your Mac, PC, iPhone, or iPad.

  • #13889


    good old pen and paper calendar journal. Been living by my calendar my whole adult life. I case of fire that’s what I would grab as I am running out. all 32 of them.

  • #16446


    i love the idea of privacy/anonymity with online journal but wonder if it will be more therapeutic for me to physically write in a paper journal (i run a business that is primarily online sales AND I work during the day at a desk job and am on a computer all day so feel it might be a nice change) any thoughts?

    • #16450


      Hi athenia1970
      Welcome to this 30DSS program. It’s one of the best IMO!
      I love to write in my physical Journal. I have different colored pens and can get very creative. I hope penmanship / calligraphy doesn’t become a lost art in this increasingly tech oriented world. I think, that as the Cone of Learning suggests, the more we bring to an activity, the more impact it has on being assimilated by our heart and mind. I look forward to coming to my little desk and working/playing and reading and writing in my Journal .
      Let us know what you decide ! Please continue to post in these will increase the positive experience! Onward, Sina

  • #17652


    Thank you all. I found every idea to be helpful.

  • #19655


    I never thought about browsing anonymously or using different browsers.  Can’t wait to try it.

    My tip:  Use a thumb drive and install the portable apps program from  This site offers free open source applications including word processors, browsers, and even an ebook creator (“Sigil”).  Everything runs from the thumb, so you can take both your programs and your data with you.  You wouldn’t need more than 4 gb.  My favorite portable apps are:
    – Balabolka
    – Audacity
    – Chrome Browser
    – Apache Open Office (same basis as Google docs)
    – Sigil (WYSIWIG ebook editor)

    For added security, I use LastPass so that I don’t have to remember so many passwords.
    For the personal touch, I convert the text to a handwriting font once I’m done.

  • #19835


    Penzu is the free journaling app I chose to use I on my tablet. It is password protected as well.

  • #20754


    I’m not sure if this is the proper thread for this but here goes.

    I’m currently on day 28 and I’ve read ahead to the Phase V overview. It states that journaling is the top priority going forward after completion of the book. My question is of what do I actually write about? Does it become a standard diary of my life? Should I attempt to write about how I’m integrating the action steps into my daily life? Should I bother writing about my relationship with alcohol or lack there of if it isn’t something that I’ve struggled with that day or week?

    Thanks in advance! Matt

    • #20756


      Hey @matt_39 . Congratulations on your continuing Sobriety !
      I think the 30DSS suggests that you continue Journaling as a way to stay in touch with your feelings. I use Journaling for lots of reasons I’m addition….for one thing, it helps me to look back and really remember events and what I was feeling.
      Overall, I think it’s a great tool to keep Growing in awareness and Thriving in Life
      ONWARD! Sina

    • #120798


      I agree with Sina, @matt_39 . I did a round of 30DSS a year ago and am starting it again. I just continued writing in my journal about daily events, how I’m feeling, and general thoughts/whatever may have been on my mind. It really is awesome looking back on a certain day and seeing what was going on and such (we forget so much). I also started incorporating daily meditations (Such “The Daily Stoic”) into it so I could reflect and write down my responses.

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