Posted on Jun 14, 2013 | 5 comments

Photo Credit - Rahul Rodriguez

Photo Credit – Rahul Rodriguez

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My relationship with Penzu has been well documented. It started as a nice online journal that I hoped to use someday to something that I used daily for more than a year. It went from something that I was infatuated with to something that I was ultimately frustrated with. To read more about Penzu, click here.

It has been nearly six months since I started using Diaro 3 for Android (and PC) as my daily journal and I still love it. The mobile application is one of the best I have seen and the online version is similarly consistent, attractive and functional. I hope to use it for a while longer before I move onto something else. Remember, when you are in control of your data, journal applications are only interchangeable tools.

But while I love Diaro, there is something I miss terribly from Penzu. More accurately, there is something I am going to miss terribly from Penzu.

I added the future tense to that sentence because I am still enjoying this feature of Penzu. It greets me almost every day and not only brightens my day but also reminds me why I am so consistent with this habit.

So what is this feature?

Old entries emailed to me.

I don’t know if that is the exact name, but that is what I will call it because that is exactly what it is. If you wrote an entry a year ago today (possibly two and more years ago as well, I’m not sure), you will automatically get an email in your inbox that will give you a preview of what that entry was from 365 days ago.

The email only shows about two lines of the entry and then you have to click through to Penzu to read the rest. I rarely click through because the title and first few lines are all that I need to be reminded about what I was doing during that phase of my life. It instantly brings me back to that point in my life.

I will still get these emails for a while because I wrote in Penzu for most of 2012. I very much look forward to these, but it kind of bums me out that Diaro doesn’t have this feature. Sure, I can always go through old entries whenever I want, but the automation of these Penzu emails are so convenient.

Is it enough for me to go back to Penzu? No, it isn’t. The mobile interface is just too clunky, among the other issues I had with it.

Still, I very much enjoyed that part of the service and hope that all of you Penzu users out there are taking advantage of this feature.

Editors Note: Everyday Timeline for iPhone and iPad also has this feature (called Blast from the Past). Write in the comments if you know of any others.

  • ElaineReads

    That is the exact reason I have stayed with Penzu. I love what I call the “flashbacks.” I have received them from 2-3 years ago which is as long as I have used the program.

    I have let my online journaling slide though. I need to get back to it.

    • http://www.easyjournaling.com Sam

      I wish that more journals would include the Flashback type feature although I know many don’t because it is probably expensive to provide. That is good to know that it continues even past 1 year.

      Here’s to getting back to Penzu Elaine!

  • ndench

    Hi Sam. Does Diaro’s web app offer an RSS feed? If so, you should be able to hook it up to email using IFTTT and roll your own Blast From the Past.

    • ndench

      (perhaps … getting hold of an old entry from the feed, rather than the latest, might be the tricky part, now that I think about it.)

    • http://www.easyjournaling.com Sam

      I haven’t seen any sort of RSS feed and would be surprised if it had one. I like your thinking, though. I’ve used IFTTT and RSS feeds for several things including receiving a text anytime I sell a book on Amazon :D