Thoughtree for iPhone (iOS 7)

Posted on Sep 22, 2013 | 0 comments

photo 1You may have read on, our mid-summer review of Thoughtree (the Beta) but I’m pleased to reevaluate my recommendation now that it has hit the iTunes App Store, all tweaked and tuned for iOS 7 and free for the taking.

Developer, Jude Abeler, offers journalers his “personal thought network” for practical productivity, with a classic user interface in black, white and green. Its charming tree logo reminded me of my children’s’ book collection, which included The Giving Tree. Both are delightfully unfussy.

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Thoughtree for iPhone Review

Posted on Aug 11, 2013 | 0 comments

photo 1 Our introduction to “Thoughtree” was a beta version of a “personal thought network”, described by its award winning developer, Jude Abeler, as “drop dead simple”. That is an understatement. In its concept, Thoughtree is decidedly uncomplicated, and yet visually appealing. Its black and white design is the very essence of “simple”.

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Journal App Review: Day One- Among The Best Journal/Diary Apps Available

Posted on Jul 5, 2012 | 0 comments

Screen Shot 2012-05-06 at 4.58.38 PM

Among journal apps, there are features that matter and features that don’t. Of course it would be absolutely awesome (and entirely possible) to have pretty much all of the features from insignificant to vital, but I am yet to find that app. So instead it is important to find the features that are most important to us and make sure the journal we choose has most of them.

Day One has most of them, for me anyways. And the ones that aren’t available are on tap for inclusion in future releases. The proactive mindset that the developer Bloom Built has makes me feel more comfortable about Day One being “future proof” (or at least “future resistant”).

Instead of the more classic feel that Momento and Molenotes opt for, Day One chooses a clean and modern look. Styling is consistent and the different elements match well. Of course there isn’t an option to change the theme if you are into that (though the most recent update brought different font sizes), but the light blue throughout stays with the branding. Oh, and the icon is one of the best.

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Let’s Be Honest Here: Have You Ever Erased Something From Your Journal or Diary?

Posted on Mar 27, 2012 | 0 comments

Photo Credit - Vanessa

Photo Credit – Vanessa

I know I am tip-toeing in taboo land with this, but I know I’m not the first one to dwell on it. What place does erasing/crumpling/burning/ripping/deleting have in journaling? Many who preach this practice usually point out that true journaling is free and careless. It is honest, open and true. What is written is who you are and should remain.

A better way to understand this issue is to think of the opposite. What if your favorite way to journal was with a pencil and fat eraser? What if you thought about carefully crafting your words before writing them and editing them if you didn’t like them? It seems like that approach would be against the spirit of keeping a journal, but maybe it’s just me.

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How to End a Journal

Posted on Sep 25, 2011 | 0 comments

In the perfect, all electronic, digital journaling world that we are converging into, journals will not end. They will just continue on forever until the end of your life.

This is contrary to the world we have grown up in. Bound journals are finite elements. They have a set number of pages and when those pages run out, it is time to start a new one from scratch. Even those who use a 3 ring binder and individual pages eventually run out of space.

Additionally, when the time comes to switch from written to digital, or even one type of digital journal to another, there needs to be some sort of conclusion. In the words of a 90’s song by Semisonic “Every new beginning comes from some other beginnings end.”

I am at this point right now. I’m ready to make a switch but I can’t do it because I don’t know how to end. Do I just say “Well, today is Thursday and you know what that means… THE END!”

Do I wait for some big event? Do I not even bother and just cut it off cold turkey and pick it up tomorrow?

So in the history of blog posts that ask more questions than it answers, this one should be up there. No new content here, just some food for thought.

How should journals be ended?

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iPhone App Spotlight- Journal + Social Networks = Loccit!

Posted on Sep 13, 2011 | 0 comments

Fresh into the app store is a hybrid journal/social media application called Loccit. It utilizes the features I often preach about such as security and media import while also integrating seamlessly into your journal. When it is all said and done you can either make your journal from scratch, entry by entry; you can have Loccit fill your journal up for you by compiling tweets, Facebook updates and more or you can do any combination of the two into a unique social, but still private and secure (if that even makes sense) journal/diary. Oh, and that killer feature that I have only see one other digital journal (LDS Journal) have? With Loccit you can print copies of your journal!

Read on to see some of the features and be sure to catch the intro video as well.

  • You’re already writing it…

    Every time you update Facebook or Twitter, watch a video on YouTube, listen to or add an event, you’re telling the story of your life. We pull the story together for you and create your Loccit diary.

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I Have Shrapnel In My Journal

Posted on Jul 27, 2011 | 0 comments

If you have only put words in your journals, you are missing out. Doodles, pictures, receipts, movie tickets and much more can enhance the experience of a hand-written journal. I have letters, soda can packaging and addresses in a few of mine.

Photo Credit - Sam Lytle

Photo Credit – Sam Lytle

And every once in a while you have an experience where words just aren’t enough.

It was several years ago and I was on the Big Island of Hawaii. I had already seen most of the sites including Akaka Falls, Waipio Valley and Mauna Kea. But for those of you that have been (and many of you who have not), you know that perhaps the #1 must-see site is the Kilauea Volcano. To get the most out of the experience, we went very early in the morning so that we could see the lava in the dark. The glowing mass grew more defined as we drew closer in the hours it took to hike from the closest vehicle access point. The eeriness only increased when it started to rain on our adventure.

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Journal App Review: PlainDiary

Posted on Jul 22, 2011 | 0 comments

PlainDiary - ordinaryFactory

Some feel that features and usability are mutually exclusive. While this might be the case in some situations, I have seen many developers successfully present a beautiful and simple app while having a deep feature set beneath the surface. Apple is actually a great example of this. Their products are usually very easy to use but still have a ton of customization, options and utility if you look a little deeper.

PlainDiary is, in most aspects, the beauty without the brawn. The interface is clean and simple- rather like Day One actually- but the beauty is only skin deep. Even the nice aesthetics aren’t customizable, which is a shame, especially if you don’t like baby blue.

The first thing you see is a calendar with the days marked that you have journaled. Here you can flip through the months or just scroll down to see the entries for the current month. This view will give you a snippet view of what you have written on those days.

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Online Journal Spotlight: Penzu

Posted on Jul 8, 2011 | 0 comments

If you do a quick search for an online journal, chances are you will quickly come across Penzu, regardless of the search engine. Wildly popular among both its users and the critics, Penzu offers a private and secure online journal that is as easy as pen and paper.

If you haven’t heard of this journaling phenomenon, Alexander Mimran, Penzu’s founder and CEO was generous enough to spend some time answering a few questions for EasyJournaling and to help you get a better understanding. If you have more questions, check out their website, follow them on Twitter or email them (info (at) penzu (dot) com). If they are as responsive to you as they have been for me, you won’t be disappointed.

EJ: What is Penzu?

AM: Penzu is an online diary and personal journal that is focused on privacy. With a unique and compelling user experience, it makes writing online as easy and intuitive as writing on a pad of paper.

Penzu offers a secure place to store your thoughts and ideas in the cloud. Not only are entries password protected in an online account, but individual entries can be locked with military-grade encryption.

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Journal App Review: Momento

Posted on Jul 7, 2011 | 0 comments


Although a journal/diary app can be nothing more than a text entry mechanism with a password, there have to be features included that not only make it functional, but also set it apart in a rather crowded genre.

Momento (Diary/Journal) - d3i Ltd

Momento tries to retain the simplicity that you want while tossing in a bunch of features you didn’t even know you needed. The first impression is the gorgeous, consistent interface. Colors match and a modern/classic feel is achieved.

When you first make an entry, you may be a little confused as to why there are so many buttons. This is because entries represent more than just text with Momento. You can add people, events and places, as well as tags and pictures. These can be customized and people are added straight from your contacts. Pictures can be imported from your camera roll or a new one can be taken. Each day can also be given an overall rating.

Landscape is supported, which is essential. The calendar is also clean and simple and highlights what activities you entered on a given day. The front screen shows your recent entries at a glance.

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The Difference Between A Journal And A Diary

Posted on Jun 25, 2011 | 0 comments

Although often used interchangeably, there is actually a significant difference between a journal and a diary. A diary is more of a log of events– where did you go, what did you do and so on. A journal, on the other hand, is a more personal reflection on who you are, what you feel and how you can improve your life.

I call my journal a journal but I use elements of both when I write. This way I paint a picture of not only who I am but also who I want to become.

So whether you keep a journal, diary or a hybrid like I do, most of the tips and suggestions found at EasyJournaling are equally applicable.

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