Diary studies can offer a rich, unique view into a participant’s life over time. No longer confined to paper and pen, digital diary studies have become possible as more people have access to and use smartphones. As researchers look to expand their remote research methods, they’re a way to get deeper insight into the lives of those you care about from afar.

But running a diary study, even a digital one, takes work. From finding the right participants to designing your questions for the medium, setting up a digital diary study can be intimidating. That’s why we made this quick how-to guide based on the top questions we’ve seen and included a few of our own studies. Read down below to get your diary study up and running!

Design the participant experience

Your participants are everything, so make sure to set them up for success.

Create a diary study research plan

Don't fall into the survey trap—diary studies aren't meant to be surveys delivered by text. Here's how to simplify your plan and unlock deeper insights.

Manage your diary study effectively

Sample diary study plans

Sometimes, it's easier to see a whole plan to help imagine what your diary study can do. Here are three we've run during the pandemic.

Invest the time in planning and organizing your study, and you’ll be rewarded with rich, thoughtful responses from your participants. A digital diary study takes work, but the insights you'll get are worth it!

Want more inspiration on remote research? Check out our co-founders article on remote research methods here.