Have you ever considered keeping a dream journal? This is a way to write down everything you remember that your brain came up with while you were asleep.
There are many benefits to keeping a dream journal on the phone or on paper, but today, using the best dream journal app makes the most sense. Most of us keep our phones readily available, so access is easiest this way. A great app also allows you to tag posts so that you can search for patterns in your dreams. It’s also a way to keep your entries securely in one place where you can always access them.
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What Is Dream Journaling?
Dream journaling is a practice where you write down as much as you can remember from a dream. It’s typically done as soon as you wake up, even if you wake up in the middle of the night.
It’s sometimes called a dream diary instead of a dream journal, which gives you a better idea of what it traditionally is. Like with any journal entry, you’re writing down every thought you have. Except instead of letting those thoughts be about anything, you’re purposely trying to explore as much as you can remember from your dream.
How to Write in a Dream Diary
Many people approach these entries by quickly and messily writing down every single thought they can recall from the dream. Once they have the rush of memories down, they then slow down and better recall the details they can remember more slowly, letting their minds explore and dwell more on the individual moments. This way they can better remember everything that’s there.
We tend to forget our dreams minutes after waking, so journaling as fast as possible is often an important part of the process for many.
The Pros and Cons of Keeping a Dream Journal on Your Phone
When it comes to emotionally free writing journal entries, many people recommend paper. There are a lot of reasons for this. Some of them are that you won’t be able to edit, that you won’t have the distraction of notifications on your phone, and that there is a greater sense of connection with what you’re writing.
The biggest cons of dream journaling on your phone are:
- The brightly lit screen is in your eyes as soon as you wake up.
- There are notifications distracting you when you need to write as quickly as possible.
- If you’re using a dream journal app, you’ll likely need the wifi to be working or your cell to have a signal.
- You’ll have to keep your phone near the bed. While many of us do this anyway, some people try to keep their phone out of the room so they start their days without it. Dream journal entries need to be written down as soon as possible, so you’ll need the phone at the ready.
However, for a dream diary, journaling on your phone is often the better scenario. This is because of the many features that a dream journal app provides. For example, the ability to tag your posts. If you want to find patterns in your own dreams, you can start tagging every post that features tooth imagery, or every dream where your partner shows up.
You can also often rate negative experiences, rate how lucid you were, or tag the posts with your emotions. The ability to easily hunt down patterns in your dreams in this way adds a lot of value and fun to dream journaling. It’s all about the organization.
When you write in a paper dream journal, your entries will eventually be in multiple journals over the years. When you write in a dream journal app, they’re all accessible in one place.
A great app will also work on a cloud, so then you can log in to your dream journal from a new device when necessary. You will likely always write your entries on your phone, but if you want to access them during the day to revisit your memories, you can do so from any device this way.
Ideally, you will want to find a dream journal app that also allows you to download all of your entries. This way, if the app ever goes away, you will have them in an accessible format so you can use them in a new app, keep them on your computer, or even print them out.
If you want to know more about the pros and cons of keeping a journal on your phone vs. on paper beyond dream journaling, be sure to check my article here.
Knowing What You Want From a Dream Journal On Your Phone
So, what are your needs?
This is a question that gets asked whenever deciding on any product in your life. What are your needs? What are your end goals? In the world today, we have so many options for any product we decide to bring into our lives. This is because creators are making things to solve needs they’ve seen people have. Finding the product that was made for your needs is the best way to find a happy result. So it makes sense then that the first step to choosing anything is getting clear on what your needs are.
Dream Journaling for Lucid Dreams
Are you trying to have lucid dreams? This is a common reason many people start a dream journal.
Lucid dreaming is where you can have a greater sense of conscious control over your dreams. So, you can take action and control your own thoughts while you’re dreaming. You can observe the dream world and interact with it as if you were already awake.
Some people occasionally have lucid dreams naturally, while others don’t. For either person, the key to lucid dreaming for many has been keeping a dream journal.
When you write in a dream journal, you force your mind back into that dream state. You recall what you observed, what you felt, and what you saw. And you do this with your conscious mind. It is believed that keeping a dream journal helps people become able to lucid dream because while writing in a dream journal, you are visiting that dream state with your conscious mind and practicing traveling that route as you write.
Dream Journaling For Mindfulness
Do you want to be more aware of your own thoughts? Sometimes even when we analyze our dreams, they’re just nonsense. Our sleeping minds are looking at things, connecting things that are maybe not actually connected, and just sorting through our days. However, sometimes they can provide a lot of insight into what we’re thinking.
Maybe we find truths in our dreams and clarity on moving forward. Maybe we discover that we’ve been thinking something in the background that isn’t really true, and by noticing and being mindful of it, we’re able to see it for what it is and let it go.
Dream journaling can give us a greater ability to see where we’re at.
Dream Journaling To See Next Action Steps
That mindfulness can then help us direct our own lives a little better. This goal really goes hand in hand with the mindfulness goal. What should we do next? What do we really want? These are things we might be able to discover through a journaling practice, and a dream journal can be a fun way to approach that more specifically.
Dream Journaling For Fun
Sometimes, we dream wild things. We dream that we had dinner with three talking bears who gambled with squids. We dream that we could fly, hung out with Superman, and became total besties with Lois Lane.
Dreaming journaling can be a fun way to remember these things and to look back on them later. It’s silly and adds joy to our lives. There’s always more room for that.
What Is the Best Dream Journal App?
While there isn’t one best dream journal app necessarily, let’s look at two of the top options to choose from.
Dream Catcher is an app on both Apple and Android. This app has tags, ample room for journaling out your descriptions, and a secure password lock to open the app at all. This means that even if someone gets on your phone, they’ll have to do a password or fingerprint again in order to access your dream journal, so you can feel safer that your dreams aren’t seen by prying eyes. It has great tools for tracking patterns in your dreams and getting the most from your journal.
This app is again available on both Apple and Android. The app has a lot of really great features. It has the passcode lock on the app itself, it has tags and search filters so you can go through your entries, it has a calendar so you can get a peek at what days you’ve used your journal on, and it has a wiki all about lucid dreaming.
If lucid dreaming is your goal, this app is particularly geared toward that. However, even if your goals are mindfulness or just fun, the features here are rich and you can ignore the lucid dreaming features and still find this app to be particularly valuable.
It also has a solid import and export feature, so you can download all your entries.
There is a free version of this app with ads and then a paid premium version. It’s important to note here that the premium version is a fair amount better. It has a dark mode, which lets your eyes more easily adjust when you first open the app, and you really want that feature. It also lets you record audio entries if you don’t want to open your eyes first thing.
Keeping a Dream Journal On Your Phone
While there are many benefits to doing this, hopefully fun is one that will work its way into this practice for you. Keeping a dream journal is an interesting way to gain more insight into your thoughts and feelings and notice how creative your mind can be.