Journal encryption isn't a luxury if you want to get the most from your expressive writing and journaling. It is absolutely essential.

Writing a journal can be an amazing self-help tool, but without journal encryption you are not getting the full benefit.

If you keep a journal, or do any kind of expressive writing, encryption isn’t a luxury it is an absolute necessity.

Yes, if you are just writing down a few ‘what I did today’ style entries or some humourous thoughts on life then journal encryption isn’t a must-have, but for general purpose journaling, and particularly if you are using a journal for self-help, writing therapy or expressive writing then professional-grade journal encryption needs to be right at the top of the list when choosing which journaling tool to use.

Barton David Gellman, an American journalist and bestselling author known for his reports on the September 11 attacks, and an expert on global surveillance disclosure says:

“You don’t need to be a spook to care about encryption. If you travel with your computer or keep it in a place where other people can put their hands on it, you’re vulnerable.”

I used to be pretty relaxed about journal encryption and other writing, but then someone shared with me how easy it is to access the data stored on the cloud and on remote servers located all over the world. So much of what was stored was in plain text anyone could read with no special tools or knowledge. I am a pretty laid back person so don’t mind if someone reads much of what I write, but when I am journaling, I’d like to think nobody will ever be able to read what I write unless I give them specific permission to do so.

This is particularly true when you are writing from the heart. There are three reasons why that is the case.

1. You need to be able to write freely

When you are writing for self-discovery or therapeutic reasons, you need to be able to write freely. People often call this getting ‘into the zone’. The problem is that it's impossible to get into the zone when you are worried what someone else will think if they ever read what you are writing.

Many of the benefits of journaling and expressive writing come directly from the free-flowing not just of the pen or the keyboard, but of the mind too. It can be a challenge for many people to reach this state of free-flowing thought at the best of times, but when you add in the worry of someone else reading what you are writing then it become pretty much impossible.

2. You don’t want to spend the rest of your life worrying who will read what you have written

Even if you manage to cast aside your worries of someone reading your ramblings during the period you are writing, and so get into the zone, you still have to face the ongoing concern that someone might discover and read what you have written. This is a genuine concern. Would you feel comfortable that someone was getting a glimpse into your deepest darkest thoughts?

3. You need the peace of mind that your writing won’t get into the wrong hands

It doesn’t matter whether someone intentionally tries to find what you have written or just stumbles upon your innermost thoughts whilst cleaning up, the repercussions can be just as devastating. Imagine if your spouse read how you hated them and sometimes wanted to kill them. It doesn’t matter how fleeting and untrue these thoughts were, your partner may think this is how you really feel. How will you convince them that this was just an expressive writing exercise and that the reality is that you love them deeply?

Hopefully, by now you understand the implications of not using some form of journal encryption.

  • Will that Word document you are using on your laptop never be opened by anyone else, and will you always remember to remove it from your ‘Recent Files’ list every time you edit it?
  • Might a family member struggle to resist the challenge of picking the lock on that leather-bound journal you bought yourself last Christmas.
  • Will your free online journal really keep your inner-thoughts secret when everything is stored in plain text
  • Will nobody ever, out of curiosity, read the indentations made on the sheet below the sheet you wrote on and ripped out and burned
  • Might someone decide it would be fun to piece back together those ripped up pages of writing, just to see what you are writing about

The chances are you can probably trust your friends and family to never be tempted to read what you write, but the peace of mind that comes with knowing that nobody, near or far, can ever read what you write without your express permission really is worth ensuring that you have top-class journal encryption at all times - not just for your journal, but for all your expressive writing. This is why a fully encrypted writing tool such as Writing Therapy ( is recommended.

Privacy is a fundamental human right. So much so that it is written into the US Constitution. In days gone by it was a challenge to be able to write freely knowing that nobody would ever read your innermost thoughts. Thankfully, those days are long gone. Today, the technology exists to ensure everything you write is encrypted to the same level as agencies such as the FBI and MI5. It seems crazy not to make use of it.

If you want to find out more about data encryption here’s a few recommended resources to get you started:

and if you want an ultra-secure online journal make sure to checkout: