Journaling: the activity therapists, friends, and celebrities swear by yet you never manage to succeed at. You’ve probably tried in vain multiple times, leaving you with at least ten different empty notebooks with writing on the first few pages. Sure, journaling is great in theory, but who actually has the time or energy in their busy college life to write down their feelings every day?
I thought the exact same thing, until the day I accidentally found an iOS app called Perspective that changed everything (as of right now, the app is unfortunately only available for iPhone). I had started tons of journals without any luck, but ever since I downloaded Perspective, I’ve written something every day. After a year and a half of daily journaling, I can’t recommend it enough. It gives me space to write out strong emotions, document important events, and look back on where I was and how I’ve grown.
Perspective App Icon
None of this would have been possible without this app. It’s completely free, no ads or subscriptions at all. If you’ve struggled with sticking to a journal in the past and want another go at it, try Perspective. Here’s a list of some things that have made the app worthwhile for me.
The home screen is designed to put your life in perspective.
This was one of the first things that drew me into the app. As soon as you open the app, it shows you this screen of all the years of your life, past, present, and future. That little spot of color on the left hand side is this year. The home screen reminds you that right now is so small in the grand scheme of your life, which is something I personally always need to hear. As the name suggests, the goal of this journal is to put your experiences in perspective, and it definitely succeeds.
Perspective Home Screen
It lets you rate every day and week as good, meh, or bad.
Rating your days with a smiley face along with a color (green, yellow, or red) is a great way to evaluate your days and acknowledge how happy or unhappy you are at the current moment. Personally, this function has encouraged me to put more thought into how I see my life from day to day. I’ve approached my reflections with more positivity, and my goal is always to have more green than anything else. This color-coding is also helpful in seeing patterns in your life, such as certain days or months that always end up being better than others. You can then think about why that is and use that information to make other days better.
Track your “interests,” aka if you’re doing what makes you happy each day.
This is a nice feature if you want to focus on improving yourself or your general happiness. You create a list of goals you ideally want to do every day, then when writing in the journal, you swipe right or left to indicate if you did them or not. These “interests” can be whatever you want, physical goals (like drink water or work out) or mental goals (like compliment someone or think positive). Some of my daily interests include work hard, sing, and be nice. This feature makes me take a serious look at my actions and ask myself, “did I really work as hard as I could have today?” It also allows me to give myself credit when I do achieve these little goals.
Month View of June 2017
You can add pictures!
Adding pictures to your journal may or may not be your style, but I love that I can go back to last month and match my thoughts to pictures of what I was doing that day. It’s also nice to be able to write “I saw the most gorgeous sunset today” and then see a photo of what made your day.
Set reminders that work for you.
Setting reminders is especially helpful if you want to write in your journal every day. You can set a time, depending on what time of day you decide to write, along with what type of reminder you want. I set mine to remind me at 11pm with a push notification and a badge, meaning the little red “1” shows up next to the app icon. That way, even if my mind isn’t one journaling, I’ll see the glaring red icon and remember that I need to write before I go to sleep. The reminders have been super helpful to me, and I know that without them I never would’ve been able to stick to journaling for as long as I have.
Photo by Eye for Ebony via Unsplash
Basically, Perspective is an amazing app that will change your journaling habits if you let it. This app made my far off dream of journaling every day a reality. Along with all of these great features, the free app also includes an optional password lock and automatic iCloud back-ups. They’re constantly improving the app and tailoring it to what users want; there’s even a page where you can vote on new features you want them to develop next. I sincerely hope you decide to give Perspective a try, and I wish you all the best in your journaling attempts! Happy writing!