Freud might have been the originator of psychoanalysis in the classic couch setting, but a team of contemporary psychologists has evolved the idea into a personal writing assignment about your past, present and future. Self Authoring ($29.90) invites you to identify your highest goals in life and helps you make an actionable plan to see them happen (called Future Authoring). But before you throw yourself into the future, you may want to make peace with thoughts and memories from the past by writing about the negative and positive experiences that have made you who you are today (Past Authoring). To make the whole exercise even more philosophical, a self-discovery journey wouldn’t be complete without trying to answer the big question: Who am I? (This is the recommended starting point: Present Authoring.) Yes, we know — it's all a little too much to take in at first. But no one ever said that truly understanding ourselves and designing our dream lives would be easy.
"Today I am grateful for my friend for giving me her creamy tiramisu recipe." Have you ever wondered how your thoughts affect your health, happiness and the way other people perceive you? With Gratitude 365 (iOS, $1.99) you can start and end your day acknowledging, noting down and locking with a password whatever you cherish in your life, both big and small. Researchers have found that grateful people and those who keep daily gratitude journals are more enthusiastic, helpful and loving, are more resilient to stress and illness, sleep better and exercise more frequently. Gratitude is vitalizing. And there’s always space for improvement. Being grateful isn’t only about seeing the kindness and generosity in others or in nature, but giving it back as well. And if you're serious about mastering gratitude, consider looking for the bright side in the darkest periods of your life. Life is a gift. How grateful are you for it?
There are two things we value highly while traveling: good company and a travel diary. The first comes from the heart, the latter from Travel Diaries, a free digital journal that lets you record your travel stories and upload maps and your own photos. The upside: It’s designed in the format of a book, which you can customize with a cover, layouts and styles, and then create a hard copy to display on your bookshelf alongside Hemingway’s and Kapuściński’s travel stories. The downside: For the time being (and until the mobile app is released), you can't use Travel Diaries offline. Whether you choose to keep your journey private, share it with the world or turn it into a book, it will loyally support you during your extraordinary adventures out in the wild.
A bustling and hustling lifestyle requires a tool that helps you collect and organize your personal, professional and social lives into one place — while being creative, too. The JRNL app (iOS, free) retains the simplicity and sentiment of the traditional lock-and-key diary, but with extra tech features (e.g., you can add images, share entries and create multiple diaries) that help you easily and beautifully capture your meaningful moments. Ever since we discovered JRNL, our bound journal has been collecting dust and the world has become our diary.
Penzu Food Diary
Your boss and colleagues appreciate how proactive you are at work. Your friends admire your independence when it comes to blazing your own path in life. But staying committed to a new eating plan is a project you could use some help with. Penzu (iOS, Android, free) helps you hold yourself accountable for all the food choices you make by tracking your meals, counting calories and adding up nutritional info. And yes, you can mislead it by not recording unhealthy snacks or sugar binges, but what’s the point? If you want to make a healthy change, Penzu can help you achieve it anytime, anywhere in a secure way — as long as you don’t write "a bowl of strawberries" instead of "four scoops of chocolate hazelnut ice cream."