Image for post
Image for post

Journaling Together to Build Relationships and for Self-reflection

This post is part of a series where we’ll explore how technology can change our perspective by writing and designing novel products every week this year.

Ournal

Ournal helps you learn about yourself and connect with others by providing a space for intimate reflections through writing and responding to journals with a partner which reduces loneliness and prevents burn out.

1:1 Relationships

The hardest thing about keeping a journal is taking time out of your day to reflect. Ournal makes journaling a habit through human accountability via relationship.

Image for post
Image for post
App design pays homage to conversation bubbles. The bubbles overlap to look like collages, pointing to the collaborative nature of relationships. Color surrounding the entry expresses the entry’s mood. Emoji in the response expresses emotional reaction.

Natural Growth in Time

Length of time spent with another is one of the strongest indicator for relationship strength. Your relationship with your journal partner is persistent for at least a week, but can be extended indefinitely. Ournal start with a week since it’s important to get to know someone before writing them off. At the same time, people understand each other at different levels — making sure you have the right partner increases the likelihood of an honest conversation.

Image for post
Image for post
The concept of journaling can be overwhelming. By creating a restriction, the user feels more free.
Image for post
Image for post
As the relationship matures and the journal partners become more comfortable, entries naturally get richer and a deeper bond is formed.

Response

More than just hearing each other story, it’s important to respond. Just as active listening encourages speakers to share, responding to another’s journal encourages the writer to write more and foster the relationship. For the writer, the reader’s response can give the them an outsider’s perspective. For the reader, responding helps them build empathy. It’s easy to breeze through a story, but it takes longer to appreciate and take it to heart.

Image for post
Image for post

Further Considerations

The digital nature of the relationship built in Ournal makes it less visceral. It would be interesting to explore how this relationship can be visualized to substantiate the intangible relationship, similar to how an old photo album visualizes a friendship and deepens the relationship when reminiscing. For example: marking down significant moments in the their life can help show how much the two partners have been through together.

Image for post
Image for post
Users can tag certain days with life events that can be retraced later.

TL;DR

As the perceived speed of life increases, the time we feel we have to reflect and make real connection disappears. Journaling encourages us to reflect and find meaning in our life. More importantly, sharing our story with another not only keeps us accountable, but also helps us create deeper bonds. Relationships are meaningful when we can truly hear each other and grow together. In doing so, we remind ourselves the meaning of our lives, reducing loneliness and burn out.

“Anima Technica Vacua” — Hans Urs von Balthasar

Written by

@jssolichin | http://jssolichin.com

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store