Documenting Your Life's Story: 4 Ways to Keep a Diary | Gabie Rudyte | Skillshare

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Documenting Your Life's Story: 4 Ways to Keep a Diary

teacher avatar Gabie Rudyte, Life + Mindset Coach, Content Creator

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

9 Lessons (58m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Why Should You Keep a Diary?

    • 3. The 4 Ways

    • 4. Written Paper Diary

    • 5. Written Digital Diary

    • 6. Video Diary

    • 7. Audio/Voice Diary

    • 8. Putting It Into Practice + Class Project

    • 9. Closing Thoughts

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About This Class

I started documenting my life over a decade ago. I committed to keeping track of all my experiences - good and bad - as they unfolded. Raw, honest, unfiltered. For me and my eyes only.

Dozens of paper and digital journals, video entries, and audio files later, I've been able to learn so much about myself. Not only that, but I'm able to remember so many of my experiences that I otherwise would've forgotten. As time goes on, we forget things. More importantly, we forget theĀ detailsĀ of our everyday experiences.

I designed this class to share the 4 different ways in which I keep a diary and show you how I document my life - and how you can, too!

Your life stories and experiences are invaluable. Keep track of them all because as the years go on, you'll be glad you did.

Meet Your Teacher

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Gabie Rudyte

Life + Mindset Coach, Content Creator


Hey there!

My name is Gabie and I'm a certified Life + Mindset Coach, Content Creator, and Curious Human! I'm passionate about, fascinated by, and curious about all things psychology, personal development, spirituality, and creativity.

My work, and these classes, are devoted to helping you explore your inner world.

- We will question ourselves: why we are the way we are, why we do what we do & we will become researchers of our own self. Grab your curiosity here!

- We will understand ourselves: no more 'this is just the way I am.' There is a reason why you think the way you think, why you believe what you believe, why you see the world a certain way, why you can't change your habits, and so much more. You are a complex human being, and I want you to have ... See full profile

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1. Introduction: For more than a decade, I've kept some sort of a diary. I committed to documenting my life and my life experiences. So as the years go by, I can go back to it, learn from it and reflect on it. But most importantly, remember it, if not my commitment to keeping different types of diaries. There are so many experiences and thoughts that I've had that I otherwise would have forgotten. We forget things and especially as the years go by and we forget the details of our experiences. We forget the details of the day-to-day thoughts and feelings that were once so important to us. Hello everyone. My name is Gabby and welcome to documenting your life story for waste to keep a diary. I'd like to introduce myself. I am a coach creator and a very curious human being, and I've been documenting my life, aka keeping a diary for over a decade. It started just with an old school paper diary. This is the one, my first ever diary, but since then it's evolved and now I use four different methods to document my life. I cannot imagine not documenting my life because it's been such a great source of information and inspiration for me. I can go back one year, three years, six years and know exactly what was going on, how I was feeling and what thoughts were running through my mind. This is what I tell everyone that I encounter. Become the researcher of your own self. Investigate yourself, question yourself, reflect on your experiences and what better way to learn and reflect on your life than keeping a real and honest diary of your life. In this class, you will learn four different ways in which you can keep a diary. It's not just pen to paper anymore. This is very old school and your class project is going to be to try all of these methods, see which one you like the most, maybe all, and share your experience with the community. Thank you for joining me. I am so excited that you're here and I will see you in class. 2. Why Should You Keep a Diary?: Why should you keep a diary? Why not? As I mentioned, I've kept a diary for over a decade and it's become such second nature to me that I can't imagine not keeping track of or documenting my thoughts, my feelings, my experiences. Because not only am I able to learn from all of these things and gain better insight into myself? But as the years have gone by, it's been so fun and it's brought me so much joy to be able to have all of these memories and to be able to really read or watch all of these experiences that I was going through. I can go back to, let's say 2013 and know exactly what was going on in November of that year. Sometimes what I'll do is that I will look at what month I am in right now. So as I'm recording this class, It's May 2021, and then I'll go back to, let's say May of 2017 or 19 or 14. And it's crazy how much things can change without you even realizing how much things can change. And right now I can't remember what was going on in, let's say October of 2018. But when I go back to my records and I look back at it, I have this feeling of Oh, right. I remember what was going on. And a little note on the way memory works. We have these triggers. We have these little hooks that trigger a specific memory. It's like breadcrumbs that help you recall information. So when you don't have that hook, you might not remember something, but when you get a little prompt, like a sentence or two, everything starts flooding back in and it's really pretty cool. So as you are documenting your life, you will see that you will also be able to remember more of those experiences yourself later in life. Your life experiences are so precious and interesting and you should keep track of it all. As the years go by, you'll be glad that you have all these incredible stories from your life in first-person. You are narrating your life as you go. And when I talked to my mom about something like this, She's always been so fascinated that I've kept a diary for such a long time. And she tells me, I wish I kept a diary, how cool would it be if I can go back to a diary from when I was 18 or 20 or 25 and remember all of these stories. So you don't have to keep a diary. But let me tell you if you start, I'm pretty sure you'll be glad you did. 3. The 4 Ways: So the old school way of thinking of a diary is like this. Like my first ever diary, pen to paper. Maybe not with the butterflies and all. But you get the gist. You probably think of little girls sitting on her bed writing, Dear diary. Well, nope, that's not what we're going to be doing here. I left paper diaries, but throughout the years I found four different ways to keep a diary because sometimes I just don't feel like sitting down and writing pen to paper. And the four different ways are a written paper diary or written digital diary, a video diary, and an audio slash voice diary. Because I believe in the importance of authenticity and vulnerability and truly sharing our experiences with one another. As I teach you each of the four ways, I will also share with you my real entries for every single method. This should be fun. And I will give you real life examples of how I document my life and how you can to. In the next lesson, we will talk about how you can document your life with a paper diary. 4. Written Paper Diary: Documenting your life using a paper diary. We are starting with the old school way with the original way to document your thoughts and document your life. And that is a paper journal. Now, I am using this notebook right here, and it's pretty self-explanatory that for a paper journal, diarrhea, you're going to need a paper journal and the pen. You can also use a pencil, but honestly, I prefer a pen simply because it doesn't fade as much. You can also write down your thoughts on separate pieces of paper. However, I took to lose track of separate pieces of paper. So maybe you might want to put it in a binder, but I find it very, very easy when you have everything in one place and it goes in chronological order. Like I mentioned in the beginning, my documentation journey, my diary keeping journey started with this diary right here. I still remember so clearly where I bought it and how excited I was to buy it because it has butterflies, it has flowers, it is so cute. And inside it is a decade's worth of stuff. A decade worth of my thoughts, of my tears, of my middle school drama and all the worries I had an old the excitements I had. And it's just so nostalgic honestly in a way. But before we get into keeping a journal diary, I wanted to share something with you that I think might make your paper diary keeping much more fun. So one of the things that I started doing in 2012 is that I started keeping little physical items that tie me to the past and let me explain what I mean by that. So for example, one of the things that I have in the xylem is this thing right here that I glued in and a good this in, in 29th of June 2014. This was my number for a model casting. Essentially I went to Amsterdam for this casting and I had to walk down this runway in front of the judges because they were looking for I don't even know what there was some kinda like yeah, like a model casting and this number was on my clothes. And for some reason I thought it would be fun to just glue it and stick it into my diary so I could keep it forever. And I still have it to this day. And I absolutely love it because there is something so special that I love about having little physical items. And really I'm not so much of a person to, you know, by vases or really big items from different moments in time. But when I have something like this, something from an event or a time in my life that wasn't even that big. It's like, oh yeah, this thing happened but then I have like a physical memory of it that this number was on my clothes and right now, six years later, seven years later, it is still in my notebook. I find it so cool and I absolutely love it. The other thing that I have is I went on a trip in June of 2014. I went on a trip to Italy, Sorrento. And I have some items still glued in my journal from the trip. So one of the items is actually this yellow schedule. So this paper was actually the schedule from the hotel. It was for like a shuttle bus from the hotel into the city center. And I don't know, I glued it in because I thought it was good. The super nice for me to still have it. The other thing that I have is a bracelet from a campsite, from a music festival after I graduated high school. So this bracelet in 2015 was on my risks so I could get into the camp site for this music festival. And I still have it to this day six years later, I still have it in my journal. So this is what I really enjoy about keeping paper journal. It's almost like on top of everything that I'm documenting. I also get to keep these cute little small items that are not even that important, but they just really make my diary keeping that much more fun. And the fact that I can look at an item and touch and an item that I held and I actually had six years ago, seven years ago. I find it very, very special. So this is just in case you would like to do something like this because I think it is very fun. And I really, really enjoyed doing that. But now we're going to get to the nitty-gritty off paper journaling. Now, when you have your paper journal, I start my paper journal, my digital journal. Audio video journals in the same wave. So the way I start it is by writing down the exact date. So for example, we write down May 30th, 2021. Underneath it, I write the exact time. So lets see, it's three 35 pm. And then on the other side of the page, I will write down where I am. So I usually write down hole. And underneath whole I write the street and the number. So like the street address and then the number of my house or my apartment. The reason I do this is because in the last years, my definition of home has changed so much. I mean, in New York City alone, I've lived in four or five different apartments, so we're home was it constantly changed? And even though if I look at the year, let's say 2021, Okay. I know exactly where I live. And then I think back about 2013, I remember where I lived as well. But I really like to write down the exact street, name and the apartment or the house number because I really like to keep track of these specific little details. Because my first apartment in New York City where I lived, I did not write down the street address in my journals. I completely missed that out. And even though right now I could find that house and that apartment. I know where it is. I just don't remember the street the street address, and I don't remember my apartment number, which sometimes bothers me a little bit because I really like to keep track of the details. This is just food for thought in case you would like to be as specific as I usually M If you've never kept a diary before, if you've never written down your thoughts before, I know that it might be a little bit intimidating because you're thinking, where do I even start? What do I write about? Now, there isn't a specific structure. I have another Skillshare class where it is all about paper journaling. And I have four questions that you can follow to keep a paper journal, but it really doesn't have to be just those four questions. The way I've kept my diary throughout the years varies. So, so, so much really see what resonates with you the most, what in the moment that you're feeling of what's going on, where you are going through, what seems the most appropriate. So the most common way that a journal is that I tell a story of my life, right? Hence why we're doing this class to document your life. So you have all these incredible stories that you can remember. And I will start by writing. Today. I am so angry because or okay, I have so much on my mind. This is what's going on. And then I'm going to be writing down my thoughts and my diary as if I was telling it to a thread. So I would say, Okay, so today I went to work and this thing happened. This is how I felt. This is what the person said. This is how I responded. This is how I feel right now. Okay. I understand that I could have approached this situation differently, but this is how you would speak to friends if something was going on, if you wanted to vent. And this is exactly how I speak into my paper diary. The other thing to consider when you are journaling is that you have to be completely wrong and completely honest, like with any of these entries, this is for you and your eyes only. So please don't hold back. You could swear, you can write in capital letters. I mean, sometimes when I am very angry, I will write in huge capital letters and my handwriting gets so messy, I barely understand it, but you know what, it actually makes me feel better. So as long as it makes me feel better and I am putting things down on paper that later I can look back on. I'm totally fine with it. So as you are journaling, as I said, you can start by just saying, Okay, this is what's going on today or this is what's been going on in the last week or month and tell it as a story. Other times if I've missed out on paper journaling for a while, like a couple of months. What I'll do is I will write, okay, I haven't written here in a while, so I'm going to summarize what has happened in the last couple of months. And I do so in bullet points. So I will just literally bullet point what has been going on without going into too much detail. And this is also where you actually have to just see, do you want to go into the details of events or you don't if I have something like an issue that's very personal or it feels very intense at the moment, I am going to journal in so much detail. I am going to write everything, every, everything down. But if it's something not as important or something that I think, you know, it wasn't that big of a deal. I'm just going to summarize it in a couple of sentence with a bullet point. Now some of the questions to keep in mind as you are journaling are. How are you feeling? What is currently going on in your life? What is your emotional state like? What is something that you think about the most currently? What is something that you worry about the most currently? What brings you the most joy? What is your focus right now? What are you focused on? What are you working towards? What is going on in your external environment? Work, school, relationships? What is going on in your internal environment? What are your thoughts like? What are you believing? How are you going through life? How are you carrying yourself? And last point, what is the theme of this day, this week, or this month? This is a very interesting thing that I've been able to see as I go through my entries, whether it's video entries or paper diary entries or audio diary entry, it's any type of entry. I see that there always is a theme and a theme can last a couple of weeks, it can last a couple of months, or it can last a couple of years. However, I always see that there is a theme. There is a theme, for example, when for me the relationships are the most highlighted and something that's going on in my personal relationships and other themes, I see that it's mostly work-related, project related. So when I think back on something like 2017, I see a lot of personal project. I see a lot of things that I was just doing for my career and work and that was kinda like my sole focus. Then I look at other years or for example, a couple of months when I make a big change, when I moved from one country to another, when I moved from New York to the Netherlands, there were two months where I was just so lost and confused and sad. And that the theme of those couple of months was just confusion. And me looking for clarity and me trying to adapt to this new life that I'm about to build. So I think it's a really good question to ask yourself. What is the theme of either the week, the month, or the year? What kind of theme are you in right now? So paper journaling is pretty straightforward, really vent, right? In how, however you want to, in whatever form is most natural to you. Don't worry about spelling mistakes. I make spelling mistakes all the time. But again, it's not about it being clean. It's not about you censoring yourself. It's not about it's looking pretty. It's about you just letting whatever it is that you want to let out onto a piece of paper. So later in life you can remember it, you can reflect on it, you can learn from it. And this is a really, really fun way to document your life. And of course, if you want to make it even more engaging and more fun, if you have something like little scraps of paper or for example, sometimes what I've done is if somebody gifted me a flower, I will take one pedal. Pedal. I think that's a credit worth like 11 pedal. I think that's the correct English word, one petal. If it's not, I am so sorry, but I'll take a piece of that flower and then I will dry it and then I will stick it in my journal. So this is just a really fun way to kind of like add small physical objects into your paper diary. And now it is my turn to read an entry for you. And that entry is going to be from 2012. I thought I'm going to start it off in a very fun to note because the entry, honestly it's not that deep, it's not that thoughtful, but it is very funny. So 2012, April 25th, 1641, so it's 04:41 PM. Amsterdam airport. Boarding starts and 5, actually four minutes to New York City. It's unbelievable. Insane, big dream come true. I'm going to NYC. Flight is going to be eight hours and 15 minutes. I'm out of my mind. Happiness with tears, heartbeat fast. I was a little dramatic. Finally home, sweet home, New York City. Okay, I'll write a bit when I'm going to be in the plane. That's it for now. A very small entry. Honestly, I am not sharing some deep secrets here. I am not going into too much detail. However, just me reading this small paragraph, I remember exactly where I was sitting in that airport and I remember how I was feeling and this is what I mentioned in the beginning. The way memory works is that when you write down something like this, a couple of sentence, I am about to fly to New York, boarding a starting. I am so excited, I am immediately transported back to that time and place because my, my brain, my memory is speaking, picking up on these clues. It's like these little hooks, these little problems that actually evoke even bring about even more memories from that specific moment in time. So this was pretty self-explanatory. I was about to fly to New York City for the first time in my life. And I was so excited because ever since I was little, I always want it to go to New York City. I felt like it was my home. I was going to live there. And when I landed, I cried my eyes out. I was so excited. And of course later in life I ended up living there, which is also very, very cute because reading these entries from my first trip to New York and just how in all I was and in my diary, even in the next couple of months, I would write, I'm gonna move to New York. I know I am going to live in New York City and I did. So the little me, the middle Schooler me was and would be so, so, so proud of the fact that I kind of accomplish this goal that I set for myself when I was very little. And it is very, very fun to see entries from the time when I was still dreaming about it. So I hope you enjoy keeping a paper diary. And in the next lesson we're going to talk about how you can document your life using a digital written diary. 5. Written Digital Diary: Documenting your life using a written digital diary. This is a type of written diary that I use the most because in the last couple of years I've had to so much going on in my life that writing pen to paper simply wasn't enough. There was so much that I wanted to say, and there's only so much that my hand could handle. The other reason why I started looking for an alternative for paper diary journaling is that I started thinking, okay, what happens if my apartment gets flooded and my paper journals are completely destroyed? Or if I am traveling somewhere, let's say with a backpack. And then somebody says my backpack and I've had a journal there that has had records from the last two years, I would be devastated because that information for me is invaluable. I love the practice of writing pen to paper. It is almost meditative and a wave. But really, there have been many times in the last couple of years where I've wanted to write so much because so much has been going on and that I needed to look for an alternative. So I really looked at it from a point of view that I want a way to use words to document my life, but also that wouldn't make my hand hurts so much and wouldn't take up as much time. But also that would be a little bit more safe in case I lose my paper journals. I still have a backup method or another way that I've been documenting my life with words that it's a little bit more safer and I know that I can access it from anywhere. So for example, I wouldn't have to travel with an actual physical journal all the time. So right now, I'm going to be sharing my screen with you and I show you exactly how I document my life with a digital journal. So the website that I've used for the last four, almost five years is cold. Read see, now I am not sponsored by them or anything. It is simply the best website that I've found for keeping a digital journal because it has actually use for writers to write books. So as you'll see, it's very nice that every single entry essentially is a new chapter. So I'm going to go to the login page and login. But of course, if you've never worked with his website before, you are going to have to create an account, but it is completely free, like I don't pay anything. So I'm going to log in. And then here is the main feet, so to say. And on the left you can see your profile and there's a tab called my books. So we're gonna go to my books and you can already see that I have a 2021 journal. I have a 2018, 2019 journal. So actually I had a journal where it was two years worth of stuff and then a 2020 journal. And the order in which it shows up why 2018 is actually higher than 2020. It's because it's the last journal that I access. So a couple of weeks ago I just wanted to read some of my entries from 2018, so because I access it. And then afterwards I was writing in my 2021 journal, that's the order in which it shows up. But here we're going to be creating a new book and I'm going to name it Skillshare journal, just so I don't confuse it with any other journals. And then we're going to press creates and your book has been created successfully. Wonderful. We just created a digital journal. Now we're going to write in it. So, right, so there is a tutorial if you want to take about the editing tools, but we're going to skip it for now. And this is, you can already see it says Chapter 1. On the left, you see the front matter. So because this website is used for actually writing books, you can have the front cover, the copyrights table of contents. And then like the back matter with like, you know, the closing chapters are the conclusions. I don't use any of this because I am not writing an actual book that's going to be published. So I always close the front matter and I am only focused on the body, so the main part of the journal. So here you see Chapter 1 and where it says Chapter 1, I write my headline and in my headline again, like with anything, is the date for the digital journal. However, I don't write the time, I simply write the date. So for example, I'm going to write June 15th, 2021. I do the I'm not sure what it's called, the double dots and then I write the chapter name. And now this is where I get to have a little bit, a little bit of fun because usually the headline that I use is like a summary of what I'm about to talk about. But I also use it just to add more fun into my entries. So for example, this is the kind of thing that I would write. I would write, roses are red, violets are blue. I'm feeling sad. But what can I do? I mean, it's pretty funny. It's pretty funny for me. Roses are red, violets are blue. I'm feeling sad, but what can I do? So these are the kind of headlines that I would write. Or if for example, I think the headline that I've used before has been, can anything else go wrong? Because there were a bunch of things that let's say went wrong in work in one week and then I was like, Can anything else go wrong? And then I use that as a, as a title. So really for me, this is a way to have a little bit more fun. And no matter what is going on, to think of a headline that would be a little bit funny. It's almost like if you think about a certain day or a certain moment in time, if you could assign a song to it like that song would be like the theme song of that specific day or that specific event. This is kind of how I do, is to add a little bit more fun and then begin writing here, this is our main body and then this is where I would journals. So I would say so much has been going on. Where do I even start? And then I would say, I am currently filming my second Skillshare class. I can't wait for it to go live. Yea. So really journal about anything and everything that you wanted. The other thing that I really like here is that you can images. So you go to Insert and you can insert images. So sometimes if I've had some social gatherings with my friends or there's something that I think would be nice to have alongside my text, I am going to put a picture there. So even though it's not a physical object, right? Like with the paper journal, you can still insert a couple of items that will make this digital documentation that much more fun. So the next time that you would sign in into this journal, you would just go to the left side where the column is and you would add a new chapter, and then it says Chapter 2. And here you would write, for example, June 23rd, this time 2021. And this is also why I really, really like this program because on the left, like my journal from 2018 to 2019, I believe has like, Oh my goodness, I don't even know, let's say a 150 different chapters. And then whenever I feel like I want to go and read an old entry, I can just go to the specific date so it's very clean and very well-organized and a chronological order that I see all of the dates and all of my journal entries and then I just press on it and I am taken to that chapter. So it is pretty simple, pretty straightforward. And the reason I like this is because I've gone on vacations and I didn't bring my laptop because I didn't want to bring my laptop, but something would happen that I wanted to journal about. So then I just take out my phone and I sign into my reads the account through my phone and then I can just journal through my phone and I have it on record. So that's why I like it, because it's very, very accessible. The other way that you can journal if you don't want to use an external website is simply by keeping a Word file. So if you just go and open a Word document, you can journal right there. So I would also keep one Word document as the journal itself rather than creating separate Word documents for the single entries. Because again, it can get a little bit messy to keep track of it. The most important thing, however, is remember to back it up. The reason why I like a website is that I don't have to worry about storing it somewhere or always updating it and putting it somewhere in the Cloud. This is really always online. And when you, let's say our finished with a digital journal, what you can do is you can export it as a PDF. So you can just export it as a PDF and then you can have it for your own files. And I've done that with journals that I've completed from different years, like 2017 journal or 2018 slash 2019 journal. So you can export it and then if you wanted, you can print it or you can do whatever it is that you want with it. But I do like it that it's always on the website. I don't have to worry about backing it up and losing the information. So if you are going to be using something like a Word document or something of similar sort that's going to be stored on your computer. Please make sure to back it up whether you are saving it somewhere on a cloud or if you have an external hard drive onto which you're regularly updating your records. Make sure to keep track of it because you really don't want to lose all of this information. So this is the way I do it. And also now it's time for me to read one of my real digital journal entries for you. So this entry is from February 19th, 2018 and the headline is following your passion, aim that easy. Living your passions, doing what you love, and that easy, do what you love and you won't have to work a day in your life. They say, Well, I say if you do what you love, you will have to work even harder. I find myself getting distracted and getting discouraged with what I want to do. I spend my time working on monologues and my personal training, and I feel like I'm a little bit stuck. I get incredibly frustrated and annoyed. And then I decide to stop doing everything that I was doing. Why is it so hard to just do what you want to do? Why is it so hard to actually work on your passion? Because there's no one else to push you, but you, you have to be disciplined, responsible, structured. If I don't write down a list of the things that I need to do or things that I need to work on, there's a higher chance that I won't do anything. It's sometimes so hard for me to hold myself accountable for what I need to do. Sometimes it's hard to be self-disciplined. Sometimes I get frustrated and annoyed and very, very upset. However, when I look product, product, after I completed my work, I'm feeling very proud. Really discipline is the key. I know I'm very hard on myself. I know that I have very high standards for myself. However, I have to understand that nobody else can push me but me. That, you know, I really haven't read this entry since I've written it. And you can see that in this entry I'm not exactly being too detailed about what's going on, but it was almost like this internal monologue that I've been having off like, you know, like working on your passions is not that easy because when you become an adult, right? You don't have a parent anymore that tells you clean your room, do the dishes, do your homework, go to school. You have to become disciplined yourself. And especially if you're not in a traditional kinda like work environment, like having like a nine to five and you're trying to build something for yourself. All the responsibilities on your shoulders. And when I was building up my acting career and I had a personal training business in New York City. Those years gave me such big growth because I had to be responsible for everything in my life. And the more I put in, the more I got out of it and I had to be disciplined and I had to be very diligent about my task somewhat I do. So this is actually very interesting to read. And yeah, so this is my digital entry that I wanted to share with you today. And in the next lesson we're going to be talking about how you can document your life using a video diary. 6. Video Diary: Documenting your life with a video diary. First of all, let's address the elephant in the room. There is a couch right behind me and yet I am sitting on the floor. There is a very good reason for this. First of all, I love sitting on the floor. I don't know. There's something about sitting on the floor that I really enjoy. But second of all, this corner right here on the floor is actually where I record most of my video diaries. I have a small coffee table here, so I usually take my phone or a mug. Wait, a phone or a mug Metronome. Sorry. That's not what I meant to say. I usually take a candle or a mug and I put it on my coffee table and I prop my phone against that mug or candle, and then I start recording my video diary. So this is like my little corner where most, if not all of my video diaries from this apartments that I am living in now are recorded. So I started keeping video diaries since I was 14 years old. Now there is one thing when you write down your experiences and what it is that you're going, going through, right? Whether it is on paper or digital. But there's a whole, another level of intimacy and fun and more emotion when you actually get to watch yourself back from a month ago or a year ago. And there's that kind of even stronger connection because not only are you reading the words on paper or on screen of what you were going through, you see herself from the past with all the motion, with all the emotion and facial expressions and your voice telling you in present tense what is going on right now. And this is one of my favorite ways to document my life because it is so intimate and it is so personal. And actually how I started documenting everything is by using a photo booth app on my laptop when I was 14, just like this. And I know that the quality is very bad. But to be honest, it was never about the quality because essentially I am the only person that's going to be watching any of the stuff. It was really just about finding the easiest way possible for me to press record and be able to document my life. So I started with a photo booth app on my laptop. And I think honestly, most laptops have some kind of a webcam recording ability. And, and yeah, the quality was pretty bad, but I did it this way probably for four or five years. So from the age that I was 14 till about I went I was 18 and 19, actually even 20. Like really I would be on my laptop and I would be frustrated or I wouldn't be happy or something was going on. That was the easiest way for me to press Record. So first things first, when it comes to keeping a diary, you want to make sure that you don't have a lot of different hurdles that you need to jump over in order for you to actually press record and document your life. Because the more complicated it's going to be, the less you will want to do it, right? Because it's going to require a lot a lot of effort. So the reason I'm suggesting something like a photo booth app on your Mac computer. If you have a Mac or on your other computer, is because it is very, very simple. However, in the last three years, what I've mostly used is my phone. That is the easiest way, honestly that I've been recording my video entries. Because sometimes if I am going to be, let's say staying in a different place, if I'm on vacation or I am somewhere where I don't have my computer. I always have my phone and my phone can always record videos. I am going to show you right now how I record my video entries and every single video that I make and that I've made since I was 14 or 15, starts in exactly the same format. So first of all, I'm going to go to my camera, I press record. And then I say, today is seventh of May 2021 and it's currently 1205 PM. And I am in my home here in the Hague in the Netherlands. The reason I specify where the home is is because in the last 10 years, since I've started any type of diary, my home, my definition of where home is has changed so many times, even if it's in the same city, like New York, I lived in four or five different apartments, so we're home was really different. So in every single video diary, I kind of say where I am. I am in my home. I am right now on vacation here, just so I have my bearings of the location. So I always save the date, the specific date, the day, the month, the year, the time, where I am, and then I go into talking about whatever it is I want to talk about. Today was a really rough day. Honestly, I was feeling super annoyed and frustrated with everything and everyone. I'm not feeling motivated to do anything. I'm feeling pretty sad. A lot of emotions are coming up. Any type of thing like this. I'm not gonna go into too much detail because really this is very personal. This is a very raw, honest, and personal experience. I've recorded so many videos so far in this apartment. Like I said in this little corner here of me being super happy because something exciting happened or me honestly being really sad because I am frustrated about something. I am going through something. A lot of emotions are coming up and I'm feeling very, very conflicted. I've gotten very comfortable in front of the camera. And I think this is something that takes practice when you begin making your video and treason and keeping a video diary. At first it's going to feel a little bit foreign because at the end of the day there is a camera that's being pointed at you, whether it's your phone or your laptop or a bigger camera like a DSLR. And it might make you feel like you have to censor yourself because you're like, Oh, I'm in front of the camera. I mean, later I'm going to be watching back. What if somebody finds the video? So I understand the hesitation and it really takes a little bit of time to kind of get comfortable with speaking your mind and you know what it is that's going on in your life. But this is also why I'm presenting you four different ways in which you can document your experiences. Maybe recording things on camera is just something that you're not very comfortable with and you prefer to keep a digital diary, are you prefer to keep a voice diary and audio diary. There are four different ways. So really experiment with every single one of them and see which ones sticks. But the most important thing, just because it is uncomfortable in the beginning, don't confuse it with, Oh, I'm not gonna do it because I don't like it. There's a difference between it being uncomfortable because it's outside your comfort zone and it being uncomfortable because it's really truly something that you don't enjoy and something that you wouldn't be able to stick with. So as I mentioned, I've been recording video diaries for so many years and the other day I was going through my hard drive and I found so many videos from my photo booth from like 2000 and 112012 that I found a bunch of videos before me moving to New York. And then when I just moved to New York, my first week in New York City, I have recorded and like I think four or five different videos. I have a video of me being in my first apartment in New York City, and then I have a video of my first morning in New York City when I was very jet-lagged, I was walking through Central Park and I was holding my phone and recording myself saying, Oh my goodness, I cannot believe I'm in New York. This is amazing. Like I actually moved to New York and this is going to be my home. It's ADM and on Central Park to hue because I will cook pretty early. So looking back at all of these memories and all these video diaries, it is so, so special. And the other thing that I want you to take into consideration is that if you are going to be creating video diaries, makes sure you have a space where you can store all of these videos. So it can be somewhere on a cloud, like a Google Drive or an outlook drive. And Apple, Apple way, we're worried, I Drive iCloud. There's so many different Clouds drives. So you can either store it somewhere online in a cloud or you can actually buy a physical drive. I use both options. The one thing, however, that I'm being very careful about is to not keep it just on my phone and to not keep it just on my laptop because I've never lost my phone. I sort of lost my phone a few weeks ago and I regularly back things up, usually when I film a video entry or if I film some video entries in a month, by the end of the month, I'm actually going to back it up somewhere because this is the most valuable valuable thing for me. You know, somebody could steal my dining room table or somebody could steal, I don't know, my favorite mugs. I would not be sad. I wouldn't be so sad if I have all of these incredible and trees that I've recorded for the past ten years. And then suddenly somebody steals my laptop or my laptop crashes or my phone crashes and I can't recover all of that data. I would be so sad because it is invaluable. All of this information is invaluable. Being able to look into your own eyes from five years ago or seven years ago and hear yourself speak about these experiences that were so important and big at that time. But right now you're like you either forgot about it or you're situations has completely changed and you're not in the same headspace. It is. So, so, so beautiful. So honestly really give this a try. And right now I am going to show you one of my favorite video entries that always makes me smile today is 2014, December 31st. It's the last day of 2014. And I'm making this video for myself because 2015 is going to be an exciting year. I will just shooting for Java schools in London and New York. Now before 2015 has even started, I'm going to say that I'm going to move to New York City. I feel it in my heart. I know it. I'm going to work hard and nothing's going to stop me. So indeed, I recorded this video before new years of 2015 saying I am moving to New York City and lo and behold, in August of 2015, I moved to New York City and I lived there for four years. So now it's been six years since, more than six years since I've made that video. And it makes me smile every single time I watch it because I was so confident and the fact that I recorded it on camera and I knew in my heart that New York City is going to be my home and I made it happen. It is so special. I cherish that video so much. And this is exactly why I encourage you to experiment with keeping a video diary. And like I said, it would have been one thing if I wrote it down on a piece of paper, I am going to move to New York City in 2015. It still would have been special, but being able to see myself, my baby, 17-year-old self, with my still cute Eastern European accent. And it is just so pure and so beautiful. And I really, really hope you give this video entry and documenting your life through video a chance. In the next lesson, we are going to be talking about how you can document your life using an audio slash voice diary. 7. Audio/Voice Diary: Documenting your life using a voice slash audio diary. Now this is an excellent way to document your life when you are on the go. So the way this method came about is that I was in a New York City five-years ago. And I remember so clearly that clearly that I was feeling very frustrated and angry and upset about something. I don't remember particularly what that thing was. I just remembered that I was feeling very, very frustrated. Now at the time, I worked as a personal trainer and I used to train clients all over Manhattan. So I was going from one client to another because it was very good weather and I think I had an hour break in between clients, so I decided to walk the distance. So I was walking from one client to another and I was so upset and I really needed to get it off my chest. But pulling out my phone and like filming a video of myself felt really weird and odd. And even though New York City already is a crazy place and you can do whatever you want. People mostly will not pay attention to you. I really didn't want to just take out my phone and, you know, be recording myself talking about my frustrations. So what I did was I got my headphones, I plugged them, plugged them in. I put on my your phones and I started recording a voice note. And I honestly just went through my a whole frustrations. And it was so wonderful because I was kind of like I wasn't talking to anybody else. I was talking to myself, but as I was talking about all of it, I just felt lighter and better. And after maybe 10 or 15 minutes of ranting, I was like, All right, well, that's out of my system and I have another thing that I've documented, but also I thought what a brilliant way to document what it is that is going on in my life in a, in a new way where it's not like I have to stop and pull out my computer or pull out my journal and start writing something down. It's not like, you know, I need to go off a little bit somewhere to decide and film a video. And this was really so simple and so effective because if somebody would have overheard me, they would they would have just thought that I am ranting to a friend of mine about what was going on in my day. So this is pretty simple and pretty straightforward. And like I said, this is so good to do on the go. Even let's say if you are in the car and you're stuck in traffic or you are going somewhere on a road trip and you want to document it. What you can do, just pull out your phone, press record on your voice notes, put the phone somewhere in your lap or put it on the seat next to you and just talk about whatever is that you want to talk about. And the way I do it is the same way how I structure my video entries is that I see the dates, so I saved the day, the month, the year, and then I say the exact time and then I will, depending, dependent with an audio diary, it depends. Sometimes I'll save where I am right now. Sometimes I won't, but most likely I will use the exact same details for the beginning of the voice note just for my records, I know where in the time I was, what place and of course what date. So this is very simple, very, very effective. And also, if you are not that comfortable yet, let's say in front of the camera or if a camera is not really your preferred way to document your life and audio diaries. Excellent, because the reason why I love videos so much like I mentioned in the previous lesson, is that it has that more intimate connection. It has that sort of feeling that written words or reading words through your desktop just don't communicate as well, right? There's something about seeing your own face from five years ago, but there's also something about hearing your own voice at that time as you were going through something. So it is very, very easy, very special really adds that level of intimacy and more of an emotional connection to your past self. So this is something that I think you will really, really enjoy. And of course, like with everything, it is time for me to show you one of the voice notes that I recorded in 2019. Today is June 12th, Wednesday, 2018, and it's 1944 or am? I am right by the World Trade Center or because I'm going to meet this girl who's buying shoes for me. And I just feel so happy and filled with love and I don't know, it feels like a beautiful and to an era. I can't explain it yet, but I feel like with each day I just feel like I'm inching closer and closer to parting ways with New York. And last year, this thought really scared me and made me feel upset and the press. But by now, I just feel so happy and at peace because the last four years completely changed to me. I mean, I am such a different person, the amount of things that I learned and understood and the breakthroughs that I had. I mean, it's absolutely mind-blowing. So I don't know, I keep thinking about Europe. So I recorded this voice note on June 12th, 2019. And I had such a strong feeling like my time in New York City was coming to an end. I couldn't explain it. I wasn't thinking actively about moving. I wasn't making any plans to move at all. I could just feel like suddenly I was appreciating everything so much more because it felt like I might not be there for a long time anymore. And then actually on the 3rd of August, I decided that, you know what, I really feel such a strong pull towards Europe. I'm just going to pack my bags, get, sell all of my stuff, get rid of my apartment and move to Europe. And this is exactly what I did. And the reason why, again, I love this voice notes so much and there's something so incredible about, you know, looking back at how you were feeling of what you're dealing with is because beginning of June, I was saying I feel like my time here is coming to an end, but I wasn't really doing anything about it. It was just a feeling. And then August, I made the decision, I bought that ticket to move to Europe. And then at the end of August, I moved to Europe. And now like 20 years later, as I am, more than two years later as I am listening back to this voice note, I just see how everything panned out. I see how I had the feeling that New York was coming to an end. Then I made the decision. I bought the ticket, I packed all of my backs, and now I've been in Europe for almost two years and it feels incredible. So I really hope you give this voice note audio diary a chance because like with every other method that I've shared, it is so special and I truly truly believe that if you do it even a couple of times, even if you do it once a month and just record an audio diary, you will be so, so glad that you did that. 8. Putting It Into Practice + Class Project: So you'll learn the four different ways you can keep a diary and document your life. And now it's time to put it into practice in the next few weeks, find moments to document your life using these four methods. So as you commute to work in the car, you could record a voice memo talking about what's going on in your life when you're going through what you want, what you're worried about. Maybe you can also do it on a walk if a big event happens, press record and film yourself, express what is going on, bad news or good news. Explain what's going on. Be robbed, be authentic and let yourself feel all the fields. I have so many videos, so many videos of myself and just crying, worrying about things and it's beautiful to watch it now because I'm in a completely different place in my life. And in that moment it was so intense, it was so real. It wasn't my life. It was the biggest thing ever, but now things have completely changed. Also write in your paper journal, journal, journal, paper journal and your digital journal. And also if you need some help with prompts, I have another class talking about the three questions that you can use for the paper journal. Journal is not my words today. Writing a digital journal and a paper journal. You can also do it like I said, in more depth. So take an evening and, you know, Journal for an hour to put on some music. Really use it as a space to reflect on what's going on. So your class project tries four methods and then share your experience with the community. What did you like? What didn't you like? Is this something that you want to include in your life? Do you want to do with long-term? Will you keep documenting your life? And this is more than just a class or a project that you're doing for a week or a month. I want you to remember your life experiences and I want you to have all these beautiful and sad memories documented. You're the main character of your life. And it's really nice to have these stories on record. In the next lesson, I'll share with you some of my closing thoughts. 9. Closing Thoughts: So as I am recording all of these videos and voice notes and writing in my digital and paper journals. I have this very interesting relationship with my future self. Especially when I'm worried about something or something is not really going my way, I will record in my journal or I will say on video Gabby from the future. I know that you know how things turned out and right now you are really worried because you don't know what's going to happen. But the future you is going to be able to laugh and smile about this because you're going to be connecting all the dots. So weirdly enough, it gives me a feeling of not only hope but also certainty because nothing is permanent, things are always changing. Even when you are in the lowest blows and you're like, no, this is going to be my life forever. No, it's not. And it's incredible to have these changes recorded. You get to see yourself go through all these different phases. You get to see yourself change. And for example, like I said in my voice note, where I was in New York City, like I feel like my time in New York is coming to an end. Don't know when. A month and a half later I made the decision to move, but now being back in Europe for over a year now, It's really funny and sweep looking back, listening to my voice and feeling so undecided when now a future mean knows how things worked out at the end. So for example, the other thing when I look at a lot of my entries from my digital or paper, paper, paper, paper journal from 2017, I had so many worries about my career and my job and wanting to change careers and also relationships and 0 will I ever meet somebody that's going to match my values? And, you know, now it's funny when I look back on those entries because now in 2021 I have this really, the man who was behind the camera helping me record this class and enhance site. I just see how all the dots connected, but also how the uncertainty changed into actually certainty. So really give this a try. The reason I am so passionate about sharing all of this information and all of these tools with you is because they've made my life so much more interesting, fun, and memorable. And I hope you find value in this too.