GoingOK is a free online reflective journal web application that is designed to assist people in recording their reflective thinking during times of personal transition. The software is open source, and was originally developed by Dr Andrew Gibson as part of his doctoral research, in collaboration with Dr Jill Willis and other research academics. Both Jill and Andrew are active researchers at Queensland University of Technology (QUT) Australia, and GoingOK remains an integral part of a number of ongoing research projects. GoingOK is also used in a number of QUT units (subjects) for students to reflect on their learning.
Reflective writing can be helpful in working through challenging situations. Writing down your thoughts about recent events helps you organise them and make sense of them. It allows you to take time to process the emotions associated with significant events, but at your own pace and on your own terms. Often significant events are thrust upon you, you do not have the opportunity to choose how you will react. Mostly, in these situations you will react instinctively, intuitively, or in accordance with training or habits developed over time. If you lack experience in dealing with particular challenging situations, your quick decisions may not look as appropriate in hindsight. Reflecting on these situations and the decisions made, will allow you to consider what you might change next time. In other words, reflective writing helps you learn from challenging situations.
However, writing reflectively is not just about learning. Many studies have shown that personal wellbeing benefits flow from writing about difficult situations. The process of writing allows you to process things that may be difficult to speak about, or that you do not want to dwell on. It can give you an opportunity to express emotions but without the risk of making that expression to someone who may not understand you.