Posted on Jul 19, 2011 | 8 comments

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Online/web journals are great. They offer virtually unlimited room for you journal- today, tomorrow and ten years from now. They are secure and backed up constantly. They have proven long life spans. Oh, and you can access them from any computer.

But unlike the iOS or Android app stores, your best method of finding these journals is through a series of Google searches and questionable user testimonials. It can be overwhelming, especially if you are like me and want any journal you start to stay with you for at least a few years.

So I roughed up the internets a bit and these three gems dropped out. I have verified each through more than one source and can attest to their soundness and legitimacy. Each offer a free package with basic features and at least one paid tier for more goodies.

Similar to the 5 Android journals I clustered up a few days ago, I plan on giving all of these (plus some) more fleshed out reviews. But if you can’t wait until then and are just itching to type that first entry, I present three of the best.

1. Penzu Penzu

Breakdown: Previously featured in the form of an interview with the founder, Penzu is perhaps the most well known and popular option for a web journal. Their military grade encryption along with customized pads and backgrounds are a few of the selling features, but the free version offers unlimited space and the ability to add pictures as well as prompts, printing and search. An upgrade ($19/year) will give you a ton of features including export to PDF, import from Live Journal and RSS feeds, multiple journals, spell check and tagging.

Killer Feature: In the paid version you are given mobile access so it is literally like you have a journal with you on any computer in the world plus your phone that you have with you all of the time.

More Info: This link gives you a full breakdown of the features between free and pro.

2. LDS Journal LDS Journal

Breakdown: Originally started for the LDS (Mormon) crowd, this deep and well developed online journal is now popular with thousands of folks from all faiths. Not only does it offer a high level of security and backup, LDSJ also offers a unique form of prompts called “All About Me” that asks specific questions you can answer about your life. You are also given footnotes which can be things like pictures, links or scripture verses. LDSJ also gives an in depth look at how much you have journaled by giving full stats including total number of entries, words, pictures and All About Me’s. You can also create entries via text and there is a (limited) mobile entry method. The Gold version ($29.95/year) offers substantially more storage, email entries, print to PDF and more.

Killer Feature: LDS Journal has one option that I have yet to see with any other service and it alone almost makes the whole trip worth it. You now have the ability to order a professionally printed and bound version of your journal for a realistic price. You can just have the text or you can include the pictures, even in color.

More Info: You can go here for a tour of the features of the journal.

3. My Union Journal Update: Looks like My Union Journal is down now. My Union Journal

Breakdown: Similar to how LDS Journal was started for LDS members but now welcomes all, My Union Journal was started by a union software development company that realized that there were many union members unserviced by a good online journal. Now they welcome non-union members as well and offers an astonishing 5 tiers of upgrade packages. The free version offers text and picture entries and then higher paid tiers offer additional storage options. The interface is clean and well organized, diffusing confusion.

Killer Feature: MUJ is the only online journal I have found that doubles as a file storage medium. The highest tier ($27/month) offers 10 GB’s of storage for any type of file. These files also get the encryption treatment for your security.

More Info: This pricing page outlines all of the levels offered. (link doesn’t work anymore)

Do you know of any other great online journals?

  • Pietimesthree

    I use 750words.com It’s penzu.com’s competitor. I like this site because like penzu it’s 100% private. Very easy to use, Keeps charts and graphs and awesome stuff like that, to keep track of writing, thoughts, feelings exciting I think you should check it out and see. I searched for it on this site and didn’t see anything on it. 

    • http://www.easyjournaling.com Sam

      Good work. I hadn’t even heard of 750words, but I like the idea, especially the stats part. I am huge sucker for stats :)  I will look into possibly doing a spotlight or review on it.

  • http://www.myunionjournal.com/ Jcecil

    Hi Sam and thank you for including MyUnionJournal.com as one of your reviews.  I am the creator/owner of the site and it truly has changed lives.  If you would like to write a more involved review of the site, please let me know and I’ll provide any information you may need.  One other important benefit of MUJ is that it’s encryption is so that not even my developers can view the clients’ private data.  If a user forgets a password or user ID, we can simply provide a hint they set up when they created their journal.  We have no way of seeing their data as it is encrypted and can only be decrypted by their unique user ID/PW. 

    Thank you kindly and many blessings in all you do!

    Best,

    Justin Cecil
    MyUnionJournal.com

  • Bgreeson

    Looks like MyUnionJournal is MIA… I clicked on the link to check it out and it’s just…. gone.

    • http://www.easyjournaling.com Sam

      Thanks. I’ll update it to reflect this!

  • Lu_angelina

    :D Penzu is the best!

  • Angela Skabelund

    LDS Journal is shutting down April 30, 2014. Soooo sad. I loved it. It was so very awesome. Feeling lost. :(

    • http://www.easyjournaling.com Nathan

      Angela, thanks for taking the time to share your sadness about this. You are not alone. I’ve heard from a few others, including the founder of this site, Sam Lytle, who were very big fans of the LDS Journal. Your heartfelt expression caused me to write up a special blog post (www.easyjournaling.com/2014/04/ldsjournal-sunsetting) about this that I hope will be a place for people to share notes and tips for which software might be ideal as the replacement for LDSJournal. I’ve also sent a note to Nick Jones, the founder of LDSJournal, to share his own suggestions on this topic.