Inspiration

As we head towards a future of information consumption and social media, it’s easy to lose sight of who we are. Journaling is a key way to learn about our emotions, thoughts, and well-being. With the rising of Journal Therapy and the increasing need for catharsis, keeping journal entries is a great way to increase mindfulness and improve mental health.

There are valuable insights to be gathered from our own writing, such as our fluctuations in mood, tones, and topics we’re drawn to talk about. However, this area has yet to be explored.

How we built it

Introducing Char.ly, a dynamic journal designed to visualize and facilitate reflection and self discovery.

To build Char.ly, we used the React framework Gatsby for the frontend and the Google Cloud Platform for the backend, with the user data stored on Cloud Firestore.

Char.ly utilizes Google Cloud Platform’s Natural Language API for both sentiment and entity-sentiment analysis to process the writing. The former determines the emotion behind a particular sentence, while the latter assesses emotion associated with different topics.

With Char.ly, you can make writing an engaging habit.

At every word and sentence, Char.ly changes to reflect your thoughts and mood. Significant topics are highlighted, giving additional insight into a particular entry that no paper journal could match.

While writing, you can even queue up a song on Spotify that matches your mood, helping to immerse you in your thinking and creative endeavors. Char.ly combines Spotify’s song data with the language analysis from GCP’s platform, building an algorithm to choose just the right song for each journal entry.

If you don’t want to type, no problem! Char.ly is compatible with both text and voice. Once you’re done with an entry, save it into your book. With a saved entry, both your thoughts and the analysis are stored and can be accessed together or separately, catering to our users’ privacy.

With the color calendar, you can view your previous journal entries [hit calendar journal button], and find trends in your mood over time.

There is a list of significant topics that have occupied your thoughts, as well as graphs you can toggle through to view your emotional trends.

Finally, if you want to see your thoughts in a unique, nonlinear light, we have a special data visualization that turns your journal entry into a graphical artwork [show anna’s data thing].

Ultimately, Char.ly aims to aid users with the power of a full-fledged journaling platform that fosters and reflects their state of mind. Made to relax, reflect, and motivate, Char.ly is both a tool and a friend.

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