[App Fridays] New year, new resolution? Make journaling a lifelong habit with Grid Diary

Journaling app Grid Diary found place in Google Play’s Best App for 2020 awards. It combines diary and planner templates with reflective prompts to help you focus on specific areas of life, track them by day, week, and year, and flourish.
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A new year is synonymous with new resolutions. Most of us start out with a bunch of health, finance, and relationship-focused resolutions, and intend to stick to them.

But six weeks into the new year, 62 percent give up on their resolutions. By the time the first quarter ends, 86 percent forget all about them.

Why not set a new year resolution that you can stick to through 2021? Journaling. Numerous surveys show that regular journaling can help boost productivity, maintain wellbeing, develop new habits, and even set new goals.

Sticking to journaling is a breeze with Grid Diary, an app that combines your weekly, monthly and yearly diary, and enables you to build your own journal and planner system.

The art of journaling is not easy, and most of us find ourselves battling ‘writer’s block’ when we see a blank page. Grid Diary aims to help change your life and realise your dreams by becoming “the simplest, yet most powerful and effective personal growth tool”.

How? Instead of staring at that blank page every day, Grid Diary combines powerful diary and planner templates with reflective prompts to help you focus and think about the areas of life you want to track so that you can flourish.

In 2020, Grid Diary won a spot in one of Google Play’s ‘Best App’ awards of the year. The journaling app is available on Apple's iOS and Google’s Play store. It has crossed one million downloads on Play Store, and is rated 4.6 out of 5.

Get started with Grid Diary

You can start using the app without signing up, but creating an account is a good idea - it will help sync data in case you change your device.

The app makers claim that no private data is uploaded to their server. Data is encrypted and stored on their server only if users choose to use the Grid Diary Sync Service. But, it “never sells your data to third parties for profit”.

The Grid Diary creators also claim neither venture capital nor advertisers are behind Grid Diary. Long-term development is based on paid subscriptions.

For this review, we went ahead without a signup. The app starts by asking you about your goals: record life, goal setting, practicing self-care, work-life harmony, and more. It asks you a few questions to know more about you and takes you to “the hope page” to get started. There’s also a quick tour on how to use the app, if you need one.

The power of meaningful journaling

Before you start journaling, the app greets you with a motivational quote and the date. Tap on “my journal” on the screen and you will see a unique grid format with prompts. These are flexible prompts; you can edit them.

Grid Diary tries to focus on things that can be truly meaningful for anyone: today I am committed to, today I am grateful for, three things I must do today, how could I have made today better, and more.

The interesting thing is that you don’t need to journal every day; you can do it once a week or year. It will be interesting to maintain all three journals to keep your yearly goals in check. The rich time dimension can make your journal an underlying system for personal growth. The app also has a timeline tab, which helps you with insights about yourself.

You can also add more journals - for family, work, travel, and more.

Plan, explore, repeat

The app is not just a diary-keeping app; it also works like a planner.

Go to the in-app calendar in Grid Diary, the middle icon on the bottom strip on the home page. This offers date-wise planning, in multiple journals.

Grid Diary also has an “explore” tab, which allows you to search information and go back to your own records.

Prompts, quotes, reminders, and more

The app has many useful features, such as a prompts library, quotes library, reminders, templates, tags, file upload options (for photos), themes, sync services, passcode etc.

Access these by going to your profile section from the bottom strip in the homepage. The app is easy to use and understand, and all the features are just a tap away. 

The app runs on a freemium model. Many Grid Diary features are free to use, but some advanced features, including sync between all your devices, passcode lock, and more colour themes, can be unlocked with an in-app subscription. The membership subscription has two options, $2.49 monthly, which offers a three-day free trial, and $19.99 for annual, which offers a 14-day free trial.

Whether you are like to maintain a morning diary, success diary, gratitude journal, or bullet journal, or simply want to record your feelings, this is the app for you.

Rich tools such as a template library, habit check-in, and writing reminder help customise the journaling method that best suits your needs. Using the profound prompts can help you to record your feelings, days, weeks, and get useful insights. 

The verdict

We found the app a simple yet powerful and effective tool for self-care and personal growth. If you want to make journaling a lifelong habit, download Grid Diary and choose your own rhythm to plan, act, and review.

We agree with what the app makers say: “Your journal contains power you never thought of.”

So, build your own ritual. Break down and achieve your life goals, step by step. And make 2021 a “happy you year”!

Edited by Teja Lele Desai

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