Digital and analog dream journaling over the years.
Photo by WrongTog on Unsplash

I journal about nearly everything that happens in my life. That includes any dreams I have that I find interesting. Because my journaling methods have changed over the years from being completely digital to some hybrid approach, combining both analog and digital methods, my dream documentation exists in several places. One overlapping theme amongst them is that they are all easily searchable.

Dream Journaling in Day One

I’ve kept track of my dreams in Day One with two methods — dedicated journal sections and tags. Each of these methods has unique advantages.

Dream journaling examples in Day One

When I regularly used Day One, I had a separate journal section within Day One named “Dreams/Mornings” to capture my morning thoughts, especially my dreams, before I quickly forgot about them. Digital dream journaling is pretty cool because you can set up shortcuts that make capturing your dreams almost effortless. I had a shortcut that let me dictate my dream, automatically convert the dictation to text, and save it to my dream journal in Day One. It was pretty neat!

The second method I used to capture my dreams was with tags. I didn’t always want to open a separate journal section for my dreams, so I sometimes just tagged them. Any entry with the “#dream” text could be searched and easily sorted, allowing me to find all entries with any mention of dreams. This has a minor advantage over just searching for the text “dream” because I might use the word for other purposes (e.g., a dream to actually post the blogs I write) instead of my sleep-related dreams.

Dream Documentation with Backlinks in Craft Docs

Craft Docs is my primary note-taking app. I also have a journaling space within Craft. It is one of my external spaces, not stored on the servers of Craft Docs. I think of it as a minimalistic solution to combine my digital journaling and note-taking within a single app.

Overview page of dream-related blocks in Craft Docs

Within Craft, I document some of my dreams using a “dream” backlink. This lets me see each block of text with the dream backlink. I prefer this setup over Day One because of the block links. In Day One, any entry with a “dream” tag can be sorted, but I have to read through the full entry to see all of the text that involves my dreams. In Craft Docs, I can easily extend all of my backlinks to get a quick overview of the dreams I linked in my journal space in Craft.

Analog Dream Journaling With Scanned Documents

I have a lot of fun my digital systems, but I returned to the simplicity of analog journaling about two years ago. My partner gifted me a Traveler’s Notebook in 2022. These days, most of journaling starts using physical, analog notebooks.

Search examples of scanned analog entries with dream documentation

About every month, I scan my notebooks to the local storage on my iPad. This makes them searchable and (reasonably) secure. I can find all instances of the word “dream” in my scanned text.

Other ways of searching for dream document in analog notebooks include creating an index, adding page indicators, or having a separate notebook for dreams. Having a list of page numbers for each mention of dreams means that you can quickly find all of your dream entries. If you don’t want to do the work of creating an index, you could use page indicators. For example, you might have a blue tab for every page about a dream. Alternatively, you might write “dream” or “DRM” in the top corner of each page about a dream. A separate dream journal would allow you to nix the index and page indicators because all of your dreams are in one place. A downside of having a separate notebook dedicated to dream recall is having to keep up with and find another notebook every time you remember your dreams. However, small notebook inserts, like those for Traveler’s Notebooks, are nice for compartmentalizing content.

Although I do not keep a separate notebook dedicated to my dreams, I do document them. Documenting dreams is probably unnecessary for most people. But it is kind of cool. After having written this blog and reviewed some of my dreams, I’ve realized most of my dreams are random, but, some of them have been related to my fears. What’s your experience with keeping a dream journal?

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1 thought on “This Is How I Journal About My Dreams

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