The first time I heard about mood tracking was in a bullet journal setup video on YouTube. I had always had the perception that bullet-journalling only consisted of drawing out your own personalised weekly diary spread, but I soon realised that 'monthly expenditure', 'habit/mood tracking' and 'brain dump' pages were a common feature of many of these personalised diaries. I have neither the creativity of commitment to manage a bullet journal, but I was interested in this idea of tracking your mood throughout the month.
So for the past month of March I have been trying out a mood-tracking app called Daylio. It is free to download on the App Store and Google Play, however, an upgrade to Premium is available for an additional cost of $4.49.
So how does it work?
The app will give you a daily reminder to go to the app and submit your mood entry for the day. The time at which you want the reminder to be sent can be edited in the settings of the app, or you have the option to turn off reminder notifications altogether.
When you click into the app, it will open up on your 'diary page' where your previous entries of the month will be shown. At the top of the page there will be a purple bar prompting you to add the day's entry.
When you click on the prompt, you will be taken to another page where you are given the choice to rate your mood for the day out of five options. This page will display the date and time at which you submit your entry. After choosing your mood, another page will open up where you can record the activities that you have completed that day. You can even add a written note about your day, which will show up in your entry after you have submitted it.
When you are done, you simply have to tap on the purple tick at the bottom of the page and your entry will show up in your monthly diary entry page.
What are the pros?
As you can hopefully see, the app is really easy to use and navigate. I found that the whole entry process only took about a minute, so it wasn't a massive inconvenience to enter every day. Even so, there were days when I would forget to add my entry, but the app accounts for this by allowing you to add your mood for previous missed days.
Apart from the ease of use, the statistic features are where the app really shines. On the calendar page, you are able to view your moods on a calendar layout - it was very interesting to see my mood represented this way throughout the month. You can even choose to see what days of the month a particular activity was done, and how often it was done. I feel like these features show the duality of this app as both a mood and habit tracker.
On the statistics page, you can see your monthly moods represented on a line graph (please don't judge my mood swings!!), and also your monthly mood count. You can also see which moods associate with which habits, which I found gave some pretty good insight on how particular activities elevated or depressed my mood.
Daylio also allows you to add new activities and has an extensive range of cute little icons which you can choose from, so there's little chance you won't find a suitable icon for whatever activity you are trying to add. You are also able to name your activities and moods whatever you like, which I feel adds a nice personal touch.
What are the cons?
At times I felt limited by the fact that you can only add one mood entry per day, as I feel like my mood can fluctuate throughout the day. For example, on the days where I chose 'Sad', I was not sad throughout the entire day; I most likely had some kind of event that triggered that sadness at the time I made my entry. However, multiple daily entries are a feature of the premium app, so if you are willing to shell out $4.49 you can make as many entries as you want.
Overall, what do I think?
I think Daylio is a really great app if you want to have a mood tracker but don't really have the time or creativity to make one in a bullet journal spread. In a way, the app doubles as a habit tracker as well, and gives some insight on how your mood can be affected by particular activities. I think keeping in tune with how you are feeling is very important, and being able to see how some of your habits associate with your mood can be useful in navigating a way to become an overall happier person.
- Written by Anna :>