CLTT Episode #6- Modern Journaling- Part 1

Posted on May 27, 2015 | 0 comments

Modern Journaling Kindle2Episodes 6 and 7 of the Capturing Life Through Technology Podcast are going to be a little different and (hopefully) a little special. Soon after I finished Modern Journaling in late 2011 I recorded an audiobook version and sold it along side the PDF for about a year. Eventually Easy Journaling went through a redesign and I got a new computer and the Modern Journaling mp3 got lost somehow in the shuffle. Okay, it wasn’t lost but I was having a hard time finding it.

Fast forward to about a week ago and I found a flash drive I had been looking for. Luckily it had a fresh copy of the Modern Journaling audiobook and I was left with the decision as to how it would be most beneficial to you, oh Easy Journaling reader. I thought about just making it available for download on the website for free, but ultimately decided against it as my web host would probably frown at a 40 MB file being downloaded over and over. The next best option was to just release it as a podcast (podcast hosting is separate and set up for multiple large downloads). Thus I decided it to release it as a podcast and since it was too long for one, I am splitting it up into two. 

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Secure Journaling on

Posted on May 1, 2014 | 0 comments

monkkee_logoThis is a Feature Summary of a new journaling app I found called I discovered it just as I was updating the BJAT (Best Journaling App Tool) that was started over a year ago to help people find the best journaling application for their preferences. We’ve now added this and about a dozen other new apps that have gained some internet attention. Thanks to Christina Wieling for the guest post. I have added my own commentary at the end. monkkee is a new online journaling site with a special focus on privacy and data security. The name refers to the term “monkey mind”, a metaphor for the restless mind, which is to be tamed by journaling. Whether it is used as a personal journal, web notebook or to capture ideas – on writers can give their creativity free rein. This article provides an overview of monkkee’s key features and should help you get a taste of what monkkee is capable of. Tame Your “Monkey Mind” With This Secure Online Journal monkkee takes data security very seriously. To protect your journal from prying eyes, it uses password protection and a technology called client-side encryption, which means that your data is encrypted before it leaves your computer. Not even monkkee employees can ever access your data. With this approach, monkkee brings a completely new product to the market, since no other journaling or notebook service offers this feature. encryption_process It’s 100% Free – Keeping a private journal on monkkee is free. There are no hidden costs, upgrades or downgrades. You’re also not being hassled by blinking ads. Unlimited Storage Space – Write as much as you want to. monkkee does not limit the length of your texts and has no MB upload limit. Accessible from Anywhere – Since monkkee is browser-based, it lets you journal from any device with an Internet connection. Whether you are at home or on the move – if you have a sudden urge to write, you can access your data at any time and from anywhere. The responsive website also looks great in mobile view. monkkee is currently in beta for mobile devices. The monkkee team is constantly working on further optimising mobile support for monkkee so that the complete range of functions can be used on a smartphone or tablet PC. No Sharing –  The use of monkkee is private only. As a matter of principle, the application does not offer any social or share features. There are enough sharing platforms out there already, but your private journal should be just that – private. Upload Pictures – You can add images to your journal entries. Just like your texts, your pictures will be securely encrypted, so that no one except you can see them. Tagging – Tags can be assigned to categorize and easily find entries. The tagging function also allows you to keep several journals for your ideas, travels, or dreams. Powerful Search and Navigation – With monkkee you can reduce the time spent on finding a specific entry as it offers full-text search and a calendar that will make it easier for you to locate the entry you are looking for. With the graphical editor you can conveniently customize your entries using headlines, font colours or lists. The monkkee crew has taken time to create a simple and clean interface that allows you to easily navigate through your journal. Autosaving – monkkee’s auto-save function ensures that no data is lost. Each entry is automatically saved while you are editing it. Auto Logout – You forgot to log out of your account? Don’t worry – monkkee will automatically log you out if you remain inactive for more than 10 minutes. You can manually adjust the auto-logout period. Safely Backed Up – Since monkkee is an online application, your journal is not saved on your computer, but in the cloud. Even if your computer gets damaged or stolen, your data is always safely backed up online. Printing – Use monkkee’s print function to print or export individual or multiple entries at a time. Back-Dating – The back-dating function allows you to change the date of any entry. Language – Write your journal in a language-matched user interface. monkkee is currently available in English, German, French and Portuguese. easy_journaling_with_monkkee ** From Nathan: This isn’t the wildest, fanciest, or most feature-rich journaling tool; but if your goal is simply to write and record your  thoughts in a safe, convenient way, this is a super-easy app to get started with. You can try now with your free secure online journal here – it takes less than a minute!

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Privacy Mode: One Advantage of Digital Journaling

Posted on Apr 26, 2014 | 0 comments

Bakari's Private JournalThanks, Bakari Chavanu, for this guest post:

In age of Twitter, Facebook, smartphone apps, and even the NSA, very little seems private anymore. Many of us seem to want to let others know what we ate for lunch, who we recently befriended, and what video we starred on YouTube. Some people even confuse Twitter for a daily journal or diary.

The tradition of diary- and journal-keeping is centered around privacy. But is there a case for allowing others to read our private writing?  Our journals or diaries may not be the historic coming of age tragedies of Anne Frank. They may not contain details of secret love affairs like Anaïs Nin. Still, they might be of the Go Ask Alice flavor, revealing much more about ourselves than we would like others to know while we’re alive. So, are there reasons for when our journals should not be kept private?

Thomas Mallon, author of A Book of One’s Own: People and Their Diariescontends that if one keeps a diary long enough, it will eventually find an audience. We journal keepers, he says, want to cheat death by allowing our secret writings to keep us alive to those who read them.

I must confess, that in my older years, I’m wrestling with whether my box of journal notebooks should be buried before before I am. Do I delete my Day One digital journal entries before I die? This is a quandary for me and other journal writers. But I think I have a solution.


Enabling and Disabling Privacy Mode

Much of what we write in our dairies and journal are snapshots and portraits of who we are and what we experienced. What we write is a gift first to ourselves, like old photographs relished decades later when our thoughts, experiences, and confessions start to fade from memory. While there are parts of our journals and diaries that should never be revealed, there are recordings and pages of gratitude we may at least want our love ones to read after we’re gone.

I recently published through a personal book of over 450 pages of journals exported to PDF from my Day One app. I was very pleased by the printing of the book. The front cover is not fancy, but the printing format matches exactly the font style format and layout of the journal entries in the app.

The title of the book is simply, “Bakari’s Private Journals,” and on the back a message to potential readers: “This is my private journal. If you happen to find it, please respect my privacy and don’t read it.” Ah ah, how funny. How could my children ignore that message after I’m no longer alive? I know I couldn’t. Even if they don’t read the book from cover to cover, there are entries I would not want them to read. There are passages I wrote in a time anger and grief as a parent in which they are not the intended audience, though they were indeed subjects of some those journal entries.

On the other hand, there are plenty family-friendly entries in my journal book—such as what I wrote about birthdays, my personal bucket lists, favorite lists of music, copied-and-pasted text messages with my daughter when she was off to school on the other side of the country. There are beautiful unsent letters to my wife and children which they may never read if my journal is trashed before I die. (“I never tell you enough of how proud I am of you.”) And there are plenty of lessons in my journal entries my children could learn from, even after I’m gone.

But I have decided that my first published journal will not stay around for more than five years. Currently it can’t be easily found, but sooner or later I will throw it out and replace it with an edited version.

However, because I keep a digital journal, it’s easy for me to tag entries as “publishable”, then filter and export those entries to PDF for making my next journal book, which I can leave for my family to read if they choose to. Publishing my journals would be harder to do if the entries were handwritten. It would mean transcribing them all, which I would never get around to doing.

That’s the beauty of digital journaling. It’s safer and more feature rich than the pen and paper notebooks. And if we always backup and maintain a way to export our journal entries to another format, then we can decide what we want to keep private, and what we want to reveal to a wider audience.


Bakari Chavanu is a writer and blogger. He is currently working on a forthcoming book, Starting From Day One: Using Digital Journaling to Enhance Your Life, about digital journaling and the Day One app.

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LDSJournal is Sunsetting – Its Replacement?

Posted on Apr 12, 2014 | 0 comments

Today I posted a letter from the founder of LDSJournal to its users on the Easy Journaling Facebook page. This is a very sad announcement for many people because LDSJournal was such a trusted and reliable system for journaling. The letter is written with sincerity and a brief explanation. And I know that the hundreds or thousands of users are probably trying to figure out where to go next!

I’m curious to know how many people have already exported their journals, and what they plan on doing next.  We’re getting some emails from people expressing they feel lost and abandoned, and asking for some advice on how to replace this wonderful tool that many were using for free.

Please reply here, or on our Facebook page with any comments or ideas. Especially if you have made the leap to a new software, such as Diaro or Penzu, which several people have mentioned they have done successfully.

Meanwhile, here are some additional ideas:

  • Don’t forget about the BestJournalApp tool.  After answering a few quick questions, we query our database of over 70 different journaling apps to bring you the five most relevant, given your preferences.  Please bear with us as we get this database even more updated on a quarterly basis going forward!
  • Knowing how unique LDSJournal was, the only other application that seems as robust, with as many interactive features, that I could find is called LifeJournal Online. There is a very modest subscription fee, but the interface and all the flexibility are well worth it.
  • The Easy Journaling founder, Sam Lytle, often talked about the Five Levels of Digital Journaling. This is a perfect time to pause for some reflection about the next step for your journaling, and to consider carefully your “exit strategy” before leaping into another electronic journal. Don’t rush. Do some investigation, and think about your long-term journaling goals.

I hope to be hearing back from Nick Jones soon, and perhaps he will provide a few more ideas on which platform would be an ideal replacement.

The important thing in all of this is to keep a positive outlook and maintain a long-term view. There are several great opportunities in this change. I know for me, it has been a great way to start connecting with and planning for some of the real issues that are part of any digital journaling solution.

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Why You Should Keep a Gratitude Journal

Posted on Oct 31, 2013 | 0 comments


Photo Credit

Photo Credit

In today’s world, it can be very easy to focus on the things we don’t have rather than pay thanks to the things that we do have. Indeed, that’s when keeping a gratitude journal comes in to play. Not only does it take the focus off our unnecessary wants, it gives us a reason to reflect on all of the good things in our lives. And you shouldn’t limit the project to just yourself. Instead, involve the whole family and let the gratitude journal your children keep become a way to show them what is truly important in their lives.

Keeping a gratitude journal makes it easier to focus on priorities. It shows us how our past wants were achieved or dismissed and it gives us an idea of what areas of our lives are good and which areas need improvement. For example, we may have created a good career, but haven’t kept the friends from our past as close as we would have liked to. The gratitude journal can help us find a way to reconnect with our old gang and find ways to let them know how much that part of your life meant to you.

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My Diary – Private Journal… Just a “Plain” Average App

Posted on Oct 15, 2013 | 0 comments

mdAfter reviewing several really good journaling apps, My Diary – Private Journal was quite a letdown.  In all fairness I must state that I am a bit of an App Junkie and I enjoy apps that are feature rich as well as apps that are highly customizable.  My Diary – Private Journal is neither.  What you see is what you get, and you don’t get much.  Nevertheless, how can one complain when the price is right… it is free.  When an app is free what could you lose?  All you invested is the time it took you to determine whether you like it or not.

Before moving on, let me make it clear that this review is on My Diary – Private Journal (MDPJ).  There is another app called My Diary that has an icon very similar to MDPJ.

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Orange Diary – More than just a Diary/Journal

Posted on Sep 10, 2013 | 0 comments

Orange_Diary (2)Orange Diary was quite a delight to use.  One could call it the Swiss Army Knife of diary and journaling apps.  Not only can it do many different things, but it can do them well.  It is a great tool for someone who, in addition to making journal entries, has projects and task to keep track of.  For instance you can add an entry that is a project and within the entry you can add a task list.  This will show up in your timeline and you can choose a specific icon of your liking to identify your non journal entries.  In addition, you can have folders appear in your timeline that contain many different diary entries, project entries or task lists.  It is quite versatile when it comes to how you can structure your entries.  This would be a great tool for someone who is writing a book or articles in addition to keeping a daily progress log.

The app can store photos, videos, audios, files, tasks and expenses.  You can manage your entries through the use of icons, tags, templates and attachments.  The app also has the ability to set reminders which can be a huge help when working with projects and tasks.  In addition, it is highly customizable as to colors, text size, and format for date time and currency.  It has the capability to use templates so that frequently used information does not have to be entered repeatedly.

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Are You A Level 5 Journaler? Find Out Now!

Posted on Jun 9, 2013 | 0 comments

In an effort to better measure and track the progress of myself and other digital journalers, I recently developed a method called ‘The 5 Levels of Digital Journaling‘ (you can see a summary here or get the full version here). This was my attempt to quantify all of the things that make great journalers great and reveal the signs and symptoms of those who have a long ways to go.

Along with the 5 levels I developed, I also created a quiz that you could take so that you instantly knew where you landed on the spectrum. As nice as this analog quiz is, it is asking a lot of you to print it out and manually answer each question.

In an effort to continually make Easy Journaling as useful to you as possible, I am excited to announce that the 5 levels quiz is now fully interactive! By clicking on the link below you can simply click on each answer and have your score immediately presented to you when you are finished.

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An Introduction to the 5 Levels of Digital Journaling

Posted on Mar 8, 2013 | 0 comments

Photo Credit - losmininos

Photo Credit – losmininos

Want to know what level you are? Take the free quiz now!

I’m not a terribly organized person, but I try to be. I like order and love to boil complicated processes into the most simple parts whenever possible. For this reasons I have separated all of the types of digital journalers into 5 different levels. Yes, this may be an over simplification of digital journalers the world wide, but I believe it will be very helpful to you so that you can know where you are and where you can go. It will also help me know how to get more of you into higher levels of journaling.

It has only been in the past few months when my personal experiences, conversations with app developers and communication with fellow digital journalers have combined to help me develop a near perfect process for keeping a journal electronically. It is a process that is application agnostic (it doesn’t really matter which app you use as long as it has the fundamental features), secure, optimized and fulfilling. It is a process based on simple principles that are flexible enough for nearly anyone from any background to use.

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Using Shutterfly as a Journal

Posted on Feb 18, 2013 | 0 comments

shutterflyjournalI know that I am the one that is usually behind the posts here at EJ, but I had to turn this one over to my better half. She has done some incredible things with our pictures turning them into priceless printed books using Shutterfly and has offered to share her experiences with you. Put your hands together for Tiffany and her first post! -Sam

You might feel sometimes like the only way to keep a journal is by creating entries in a journal book or digital app. Maybe you haven’t kept a journal in a while and feel like all of those memories are lost. I’ve found, however, that there are other methods of recording my families life that fit my schedule and my style better. Better yet, this way to journal allows you to collect the pictures and words you have been writing down and combine them into beautiful printed journals with years of memories.

The best website I have found to create these special picture books is This service allows you to upload pictures and text and combine them in creative and attractive ways. When you are happy with your creation, you can order as many copies of it as you would like. You can create picture books, baby announcements, stationary, mugs, t-shirts and even a custom case for your iPhone.

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5 Ways to Enhance Your Digital Journaling

Posted on Jan 31, 2013 | 0 comments

I’m proud to share some wonderful insight from my friend Hannah Braime. She is a growing voice in both the journaling and wellness communities and I am very much enjoying her book The Ultimate Guide to Journaling which is available on Amazon (more on it when I am done!) As you will see, she shares many of the same feelings I have about the benefits of digital journaling. I hope that her words will help you as much as they have helped me.

Take it away Hannah!


5 Ways to Enhance your Digital Journaling

The internet has changed our lives in a multitude of ways, including how we record our innermost thoughts and feelings. Digital journaling has been on the up over the past decade, to such an extent that you can now find numerous websites and software packages that offer one kind of digital journaling service or another.

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Guest Post: Dave’s 16 Years of Journaling Has Taught Him Many Things, Including Digital Journaling

Posted on May 5, 2012 | 0 comments

Journaling Start

 I’ve been journaling now for about 16 years.  It all stared when my son’s 6th grade teacher gave them a year’s assignment: Keep a journal.  My son was not at all happy when he came home that day. To cheer him up I agreed to also keep a journal with him that year with the agreement to write every day.  So we went down to the local stationary store looking for the smallest diary we could find. When the year was up neither of us could stop.

 My journaling has evolved over the years.  It stared with a postage stamp sized lockable journal and mutated to a larger 5 x 7 and then an 8 x 10 and then back down to the 6 x 8, which I think is the absolute idea size for a analog journal. By “analog” I mean a hand written journal.

In 2010 Buster Benson started and I started to write online with a 750 word goal of writing each and every day.  This introduced me to digital journaling. Buster’s site displays graphs and statistics about your entries over time. If you don’t mind putting  yourwords out there, its a great place to write.

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Methods of Journaling: An Introduction

Posted on Jun 25, 2011 | 0 comments

Recording one’s life events has nearly paralleled humanity in its entirety. Many of the religious books we use today, including the Bible, are a compilation (at least in part) of personal journals. As long as a writing utensil and medium have been available, humans have written down their history. Even today, many faithful journal keepers prefer the intimacy of a physical book to write in.

Journaling has only moved past ink and paper in the last few decades. The personal computer made digitally stored journals and diaries a reality in the 70’s. In the 90’s, the Internet was a major catalyst for the possibilities of how, when and where you could update your journal.

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