FORGET the meticulous detailing of 17th Century life by Samuel Pepys or the frantic fictional scribblings of Bridget Jones – a Scottish technology entrepreneur is aiming to bring journal-keeping into the 21st century through a ‘self-writing’ diary.

For those who make a New Year resolution to record their everyday life – but never manage to find the time – a new mobile phone app which requires no effort has been developed.

The ‘Codi’ self-writing diary automatically keeps a day-to-day record of all the user’s activities – such as how long was spent commuting, where was visited and how much time was spent exercising. It can also draw in information from elsewhere, including what the weather was like, local news reports and photographs of the area.

For users who feel like making the effort to add in some more traditional diary elements – such as noting down their thoughts and feelings – the app has a ‘scrapbook’ feature which can be used to make additional notes.

Gordon Povey, CEO and founder of start-up technology company Trisent, said the idea of the self-writing diary was first trialled a decade ago, when it was used to demonstrate the effectiveness of mobile location technology, but following the explosion in the use of smartphones it has now become commercially viable to develop.

He said: “The core of what we have at the moment is the ability to have a self-writing diary – most people have at some point tried to diary, but I think it is really the time factor that gets in the way.

“Most people recognise the value of having a record but they find they don’t really have the time to sit and make a journal of what they have been up to.”

Povey said the digital diary format would enable the user not only to look back and see what had happened on a particular day, but also analyse different aspects of their own lives over time.

“When it comes to things like New Year’s resolutions it would be quite useful – you might say I am going to be more active this year and you can measure it and encourage yourself by seeing if you are on track," he said.

“You might want to figure out how much time you waste commuting – and if you try a few weeks of going in earlier or later, you can start to measure the differences.”

The first version of the diary is currently being tested and it is hoped the app – which may look different in its finished form – will be ready to launch in late summer 2017. The idea has been backed with a grant of £100,000 from Scottish Enterprise.

Povey said it was planned to make the app free for users, before looking at ways in which to make money from it – but an important aspect was keeping the data private. He said: “We know there are multiple ways we can generate revenue from this, we just haven’t made the decision on what it is. I could foresee it being free but with another business model on the side – most likely not advertising.

“If people want us to back up their years of data and keep it in the cloud service and make it secure, we may well want to charge for that, for example.”

He added: “Our policy is going to be it is your data and you own it – we as a company don’t actually own your data and we wouldn’t sell it to anyone. I think it will be popular simply because it is an app which gives you value but you don’t really have to do anything.

“You can just run it in the background and it records things that people find surprisingly compelling and interesting in different ways.”

Diaries have been a popular form of writing for centuries, with the earliest examples of the modern format dating back to the 11th Century. But a recent report by the National Literacy Trust, which aims to improve literacy levels in the UK, found the a noticeable drop in the number of children writing in a diary over the past five years, from 24.5 per cent in 2010 to 20.3 per cent in 2015.

However, it also highlighted that pupils who keep a diary are almost twice as likely to write above the expected level for their age, compared with children who don’t.