Monday, October 03, 2011

Migraine 101: Migraine Journal / Diary Options


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In Part One of this three-part series on Migraine Journals / Diaries I discussed five good reasons to keep a migraine journal. In this second part, I will discuss an overview of the options available for keeping a migraine journal, including paper options to print, journaling apps, journaling websites and other, more customizable options.

Paper Migraine Journals:

There are more paper journal/diary options available just by Googling "migraine journal" or "migraine diary" than I could possibly discuss here, but I'll share a few links to options I like in case this is your preferred method of keeping a diary.

Help for Headaches Migraine & Headache Diary Workbook (Includes three different diary options) (PDF download)
Chesapeake Neurology Associates Migraine Diary
DIY Planning Migraine Journal
eMed TV Migraine Diary
Berkeley Migraine Journal (PDF download)

Tips: I recommend getting a three-ring binder to store your pages if this is the best way for you to keep track of your migraine attacks. It would be smart to make a photocopy of your pages in preparation for doctors appointments so you can keep the originals as your own record.

Migraine Journal Apps:

There are a surprising number of migraine journal applications for smart phones. I'm going to focus on the ones I've used and like instead of overwhelming you with all the options out there. I only have an iPhone, so I can't speak directly to other smart phone options, but I have included the link to the Ubiqi website, which offers its app for Android, BlackBerry and other smart phones, not just the iPhone/iPad. Scroll to the bottom of their homepage to see links to these options.

Migraine Meter iPhone/iPad App - An account with Migraine.com allows you to log your migraine attacks online using the Migraine.com website or on your iPhone using the new app. (Note: Though I work for them, they are not paying me to write this post or promote their journal.)

Ubiqi iPhone App - I'm a big fan of the Ubiqi app, and not just because I've come to know the founder a bit and grown to appreciate her advocacy efforts. It's an honest to goodness useful application. It works similarly to the Migraine Meter app in that you can track your attacks both on the Ubiqi website and on the app. You can also edit your entries on the website and print reports.

Headache Relief iPhone App - I've been a fan of this app developed by the New York Headache Center since I first did a review of useful iPhone apps for migraine and chronic pain patients last fall. The only real drawback in my mind is the lack of an affiliated website for ease of use and retrieval of data.

Tips: Consider relying on an app (like Migraine.com or Ubiqi's) that allows you access to a website where you can print out your data. If you can't get the information off your phone that makes it hard to share it with your doctors. Also, try the free apps before you pay for one. There are some awesome free applications out there, so it doesn't make much sense to me to pay for one.

Other Migraine Journal Options:

Free programs like Google Docs and Evernote are perfect for allowing you develop your own migraine journal or diary format based on your unique needs. This way you're able to customize the fields you include and draw on the good ideas of others who have made diaries that you want to combine into one. The best part about using one of these programs is that you can access the information from any computer or smart phone. You could also add a PDF or Word file of an existing diary format to these programs and maintain them in the program rather than on paper. (For Docs, you would simply need to upload the file. For Evernote you would simply need to open the file with the Evernote program.)

In Part Three of this three-part series I will discuss what to include in your migraine journal and ideas for how to organize your information regardless of the format you choose. So stayed tuned!

Related Posts:
Migraine 101: 5 Good Reasons to Keep a Migraine Journal
Migraines & iPhone Apps: Reviews & Recommendations

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DISCLAIMER: Nothing on this site constitutes medical or legal advice. I am a patient who is engaged and educated and enjoys sharing my experiences and news about migraines, pain and depression. Please consult your own health care providers for advice on your unique situation.