Posted on Apr 4, 2012 | 16 comments
I’ve just gone through a big change in my journaling life. If you will allow me, I want to tell you the reason why and hopefully this experience will help you as you attempt to either find a new or better eJournal or else improve the one you are currently keeping. Think of this as a case study of the most personal kind and as we know, case studies are often one of the best forms of education.
So without further adeau, why I am switching to Penzu, probably for good.
I have spoken glowingly about Wonderful Days on at least 3 occasions here at Easy Journaling. I fell in love with it when I first laid my hands on it and within months was trying it out as my primary personal journal. Not only was the interface beautiful and customizable, but it had Evernote integration and PDF export- perhaps my two most desirable features. I always knew that online journals have more features to offer, but I use my iPhone so much as my journal, a good smartphone experience was essential for me. I had used both LDSJournal and Penzu to some extent and loved many things about them, but the iPhone interface was so clunky that I opted for and took the chance with an application that was mostly stuck on the device.
I was happy with Wonderful Days for months. It was so easy to flip it open practically every night and tap out an entry along with a picture or two. They were organized in several ways, backed up and searchable. Then, something happened. After months of using WDs and over a hundred of entries, I decided to try the PDF feature to see if the entries looked as great after exported. I went to the settings menu and found it but there was a problem.
It would only allow me to export a single entry at a time.
Now, this may not seem like a big deal to many, but for me it was. If I plan on using this journal almost every day for possibly years, that would be hundreds of entries to export. And if I am to meet my end goal of printing out this PDF into a physical book in the future, compiling hundreds of PDFs would be an unpleasant if even possible experience.
Luckily we live in a world where everyone is an email or message away and companies and developers are supposed to be responsive and helpful. The fact that I host a website that is growing in popularity focusing on the specific genre of Wonderful Days, I kind of hoped the developers would pay special attention to my concerns. So, I fired off an email. It wasn’t scathing, just a polite “I love your app and have been responsible for many others buying it and want to know if you at least have plans to address this PDF problem I have noticed”. I waited a patient few days. And then a patient few weeks.
Because I have had the experience that each of you have had of where you send an address to a wrong email and get a rejection email saying it didn’t arrive, I knew that the email had definitely gone to the right place. Someone had either read my email and not bothered to respond or they just aren’t in the practice of checking their support email address. Poor business practice in the least.
Now I want to point out that this was the worst case scenario for them. I had pointed out in my email that I wasn’t about to go delete all of my glowing posts or blast them for missing a simple feature, but I had not expected complete neglect. After I was fairly sure they weren’t going to respond, I emailed them again:
Wow, I didn’t even get a reply?
Penzu it is.
Nope, didn’t get an email for that one either and that’s why I don’t feel bad writing this post. Not everyone who comes to this website will read it and people will still read the Wonderful Days posts and buy it. That’s fine. It’s a good app, it just apparently has developers who don’t care.
Now, on to Penzu. This journaling service had been tantalizing me for months. I had used it, recommended it, reviewed it and often wondered why I wasn’t using it myself. Penzu Pro has so many features it is hard to find something that it doesn’t have that something else does. It has PDF export, is its own cloud backup, works from virtually any device and also has the ability to keep multiple journals which would allow me to not only keep a journal for myself, but for my kids as well. The only thing that was keeping me from daily use was that Wonderful Days had a better iPhone interface. Penzu has a dedicated iPhone app, but isn’t as polished as I would like and just has basic features.
When I had the falling from grace with WDs, I was much more willing to overlook this app weakness and started to get excited at the new opportunities that would open up if I started using Penzu consistently. Additionally, I could write in my journal via keyboard whenever I felt like it which results in higher quality entries for me personally. Actually, if you want to know a more detailed description of why I choose Penzu, I highly recommend his post I recently wrote (even before this whole ordeal) 37 Reasons To Switch To Penzu Pro For 37 Cents Per Week.
So once I decided I was going to make the switch, I didn’t look back. The conversion of my journal from WD’s to Penzu hasn’t been without issue, but I will save that experience for another entry since this is getting a little long. Just know it was more Evernote’s issue than anyone else’s.
Now, I am happier in my journaling experience and am actually grateful those emails never have been returned. If you are serious about journaling and want to do it from your computer, smartphone or tablet, I highly recommend Penzu. It is worth the very small price you have to pay for the additional features. (Note that Penzu has a great free service but if you want syncing with your device and some other features, you will need to upgrade to pro for 37 cents a week)
Anyone else had positive or negative experiences with Penzu or Wonderful Days for the iPhone? Please do tell!