One of my personal goals for this fall is to take more time for regular writing and reflection. To get back in the groove, I've turned to some of my favorite free online writing tools. Each of them make getting the words out fun, simple, and relatively painless. Write long: 750 words.com On the face of it, this site is simple: log in daily, start writing, and don't stop until the auto word-counter tells you you've hit 750 words (approximately 3 pages longhand). Once you've accumulate several days worth of input, the site's algorithms kick in and you can take advantage some very cool bells and whistles. Based on your writing, the site offers you data on everything from your typing speed to your mood and mindset; you can even earn badges for consecutive days of writing.
Write quick: ohlife.com Ohlife is founded on the simple premise that keeping a journal doesn't have to be a time-consuming endeavor. Once you sign up on the site, you will receive an email each day that asks you simply, "How'd your day go?" Reply to that email with whatever you want to write about your day, and the site will archive your responses (which you can access on the site at any time). Collectively, your answers to this one question constitute a record of your days.
Write deep: doyou10q.com 10Q is an annual online reflection event that takes place during the 10 days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur -- but you don't have to be Jewish to participate or to benefit. Sign up and starting on September 28th, you will be sent one question a day to answer about your life, looking back and looking ahead. (Sample question: "Think about a major milestone that happened with your family this past year. How has this affected you?") Your answers are "sealed in the vault" at the end of the 10 days and - here's where it really gets cool - only become available to you one year later (time capsule-style). I'm going into my 3rd year of doing 10Q and can't wait to look back on my answers from 2010 and 2009.
BONUS - Write old school: (Non-virtual) Journal Online tools are great, but sometimes I just want to put pen to paper. My go-to sources for journals are Moleskine (when I'm feeling spendy) and Muji (where my favorite journal costs $1.50). Nothing beats a good old-fashioned blank page.
What are your favorite tools or prompts for writing and reflection?