How to Start and Secure a Diary

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Before starting a diary, consider the security and privacy aspect first. A diary is very personal and anything written in it should not be given out all willy-nilly to anyone. These are your personal thoughts, opinions, ideas, etc. No one should be allowed to look at your diary without your permission.

When you start out, consider whether you want to write in a digital format or a physical format. Each has its own strengths and weaknesses.


Typing things out is much faster and easier than writing, especially once you know the keyboard layout. Although writing things out has its benefits, digital formats are more secure and portable.

If you go digital, I recommend Cryptee. It is an E2EE (end-to-end encrypted) photo storage service, but you can also store your writing there. E2EE means that your data is encrypted when it is sent and stored on Cryptee servers. They also have an excellent WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) editor in Markdown. When you sign up, you will have to use 2 passwords (login and encryption password or a Google account and an encryption password). These can be stored in a password manager like Bitwarden.

If you don't want to store your diary in the cloud, you can store it on a USB stick and encrypt it using tools such as Veracrypt. Make sure you keep backups of your diary.


Physical diaries are harder to secure. However, you can keep them in locked compartments. Some diaries do come with locks, but they can be picked. If you intend to keep a physical diary, make the diary as inconspicuous as possible and hide it. You can also create fake diaries that reveal very little about you. It may help deter intruders.

You may also want to consider learning a new alphabet (such as Cyrillic, Greek, Arabic, etc.) while still writing in your native language. Adjusting the phonetics to fit your desired language can be difficult, but possible. I may write about this at some point in the future. You can even make your own alphabet!

An example with the Greek alphabet. > English: Go over there.

Greek: Γο οβερ θερ.

This system is not perfect, but it prevents others from reading your diary. Ensure you choose an alphabet that very few people know.


Formatting should not start out complex. Start your entries off with the date and the time you're writing it. For instance: > 6-7-22 10:20pm

would suffice. Just make sure that all entries have a consistent date and time.

For those going digital, I recommend ISO 8601 (yyyy-mm-dd) for easier sorting.

What to Write

Anything! Feelings, thoughts, opinions, events, etc. It doesn't matter. This is your diary after all.

If you want to start out easy, bullet point anything interesting that happened during your day. For instance: – went to work – saw an accident. many police officers. I hope no one was hurt – random guy cut me off. made me mad, but I am calm now – at work – worked on projects – talked to co-workers about politics

Don't fret over grammar or spelling. Just shoot for being able to be understood.

Why Start One

Starting a diary helps get thoughts in your head out onto paper, text file, whatever! It helps see what you were like and how you changed and grew.