Journaling with Gmail

So today I was pondering electronic journaling, after being prompted by this post on stevepavlina.com. However, I move between multiple computers all the time and installed software doesn’t seem like a good fit for me. I want something more private than a blog, and preferably with decent search capabilities. That’s when it hit me: Gmail!

Here’s what I did:

  1. Setup a new contact with the name “journal” and my email address + journal. Gmail allows you to add keywords to your email address. For example, if your email is sam@gmail.com, you can also receive email at sam+food@gmail.com. In this case, you’ll be receiving your journal entries at sam+journal@gmail.com.
  2. Setup a new filter that looks for all messages to sam+journal@gmail.com and then applies the (new) label “journal” and archives the message.

That’s it! Now I simply go into Gmail and compose a new message to journal. I can search these journals with Gmail’s fantastic search capabilities or even apply other labels as well. An added benefit to this system is that I can journal from anything that can send email, such as a handheld, simply by composing my message to sam+journal@gmail.com.

Simple, but effective.