How to Keep a Video Diary

You know how to keep a diary, but do you know how (and why) to keep a video diary? Many find that keeping a diary on video is quicker and more spontaneous than keeping a written journal or diary. There is an immediate outlet for thoughts and feelings with the added bonus that your diary is in living, breathing color. Unless you are an extremely fast typist you can almost surely speak more quickly than you type. This is a huge advantage for emotional journal entries where you crave the cathartic experience of expressing your feelings as rapidly (and intensely) as they are experienced.

Not only do you have your spoken words to make your journal entry but you also have the use of facial expression, images such as photos (that you either can hold up to the camera or add later) snippets of video or other visual tidbits. It’s up to you and the amount of time that you want to spend.

Here are some further tips to keep in mind when keeping a video diary:

  • What will you make an entry about? For some there is no question – they *know* exactly what they want to express. Others are not as certain. Either place is great to start from. If you already know what you want to say – then go for it! If you aren’t certain here’s a chance for self-exploration. Consider the topics you feel the most passion for and then experiment with an entry. You can always delete if if it doesn’t feel right!
  • Don’t forget about image. The more important thing is to relax and express yourself authentically but remember to use enough light so that it’s possible to see your face. Even a desk lamp or open window will help immensely.
  • Don’t forget about sound. Watching your video journal a few years from now will be a bit disappointing if you must resort to reading your own lips! Make sure that you are close enough to the camcorder mic to be understood and that there is no background noise (such as very loud music) to drown you out.
  • Don’t forget about location. Of course quiet and privacy is a must, but consider also how the location fits with your topic. What will be seen in the background? Does it relate to your entry? This isn’t something to obsess about, but it is something to consider.
  • How private is your entry? If your diary is very private take extra special care to make sure that the footage remains secure. One quick way to do this is to ‘zip’ your video files or use video diary software (post on this coming soon). Zip is a freely available means of compressing files into a smaller size. Many people are unaware that you can also add a password to protect the data.

Finally, relax and have fun! There is no one way to journal whether keeping a written journal or its video cousin. Use your imagination. Some of the best video journals I’ve seen more closely resemble experimental films. Below is an entertaining ‘food journal’ video I came across recently that the user chose to make public:

Video Diary Software

It is not absolutely necessary to purchase video diary software, but 0n the other hand these tools can be very helpful in terms of organization. If you’ve kept a video diary for awhile you know that organizing all those videos of varying lengths can be a bit of a challenge. I talk about this in my book (and provide a system – you can learn more below) but sometimes it’s easier to let software take over. Below are two options, one for Mac and one for Windows.

Video Diary Software for Mac

Video Mémoires

This Mac based video diary system was created by a company called ‘Coding Robots’. It includes a very simple, easy to use interface interface and the ability to quickly catalog your videos by date (using the handy calendar on the right side of the screen).

The software features one-button recording and it worked for me as advertised. Within minutes the software was installed, I clicked ‘record’ and with no fuss, my camera was recording and I was making a quick video diary entry. Type in a name for your entry and it is automatically saved and linked to that date. In order to look back at a video, click on the calendar date and all the video diaries recorded on that day appear as icons. (See the screen capture below)

If you have a Mac, try out this software. There is a free trial so you have absolutely nothing to lose! If you decide to purchase the software is a quite reasonable $24.95. $14.99 – they recently lowered their price. Excellent deal!

Video Diary Software for Windows (and Mac)

The Video Diary

This  software has nearly identical features as Video Memoire. The interface is a bit lacking in style on the PC version (screen capture below). However, the Mac version of The Video Diary is well designed and pleasing to look at. The Mac version also offers some additional features such as the ability to export video diary files and change the library location.

The retail price of The Video Diary Software is $20.00 although occasional promos are available elsewhere as low as $15.00. The promo I found was at www.mupromo.com.

 

Video Diary Software for iPad/iPhone

My Video Diary

This five-star rated app organizes diary entries by date and syncs to iCloud so you can use it across more than one device (it works for both iPad and iPhone). Importantly, it includes password security to protect your entries from prying eyes. Incredibly, some other video diary softwares do not. They will not be included on this page until they get with the program.:) C’mon!

P.S. Want to learn how to use your video diary to enhance creativity, increase self-growth and expression? Check out “Naked Lens: Video Blogging & Video Journaling to Reclaim the YOU in YouTube”. You can read the first sections for free on Amazon.com or by exploring the main page of this website.

“This book can inspire even the most nontechnical readers to grab a video camera and begin the  8 week workshop that can change their lives.” Barbara Ganim and Susan Fox, Authors of “Visual Journaling: Going Deeper Than Words”

“Original, informative and Brilliant!” Tristine Rainer, Author of “The New Diary”

 

 

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