Lessons Learned During the Penzu Upgrade

Posted on Oct 1, 2015 | 0 comments

Important Note about Apps that are Upgrading.

If you have been a part of the Easy Journaling community for a while you have probably seen a post or two about the most popular online journal, Penzu. Not writing about it would be similar to a tech blog not writing about Apple — possible but not realistic.

This journaling service offers many features for free and even more for $19/year including syncing Penzu on Android and iPhone. A year ago, we posted a personal review on the subject titled Why I’m Switching to Penzu. In short, the author of the article was tired of Wonderful Days for the iPhone and wanted the best option available. Being the world’s digital journaling guru, we wanted experience with the best of the best! So we made the switch, and documented results.

It was clear from the beginning that it was the right decision. The author of the review basked in the magnificence of feature overload for months. You are able to customize to your heart’s desire (including notebook titles, colors, font type and size), write from a keyboard or touchscreen and sleep in the comfort of knowing that your journal was backed up, password protected and encrypted. Maybe overkill, but nice nonetheless!

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Best Travel Journaling Apps for Android

Posted on Mar 16, 2015 | 0 comments

Travel JournalingTravel writing continues to grow at a quick pace as one of the most popular hobbies for adventurers everywhere. Thanks to technology, documenting experiences around the world is no longer a time-taxing task involving pen, paper and a camera. The Web 2.0 has plenty of new options for travel journaling that range from speech to text recognition, to instant location services. Which are the most noteworthy? Read on and select one that works best for you.

Journey for Android. Journey is a free application with upgrade option that offers calendars, picture uploading, mood selection, and many other options that make it easier for you to enter noteworthy information without having to figure out how to begin. The program initiates the entries for you so that you can focus more on what you want to say. While it is a beautifully made application, it is not perfect. It should include audio and video files, and a stronger alarm and reminder system. Nevertheless, if your goal is to journal quickly, with as much detail as possible, this is the application for you.

Travel Diary. This app is very simple to use. By selecting the “plus” sign, you get to add a title, your entry and a picture. The day and time of the day is offered but you can also change it. When it comes to the simplest way to create an entry, Travel Diary is the option that will work best for you.

Tourist Eye. An app where you can plan a trip as well as talk about it, Tourist eye uses your GPS location to discover new places. After entering your current city, you will get several destinations to choose from. As you create your trip, you get visuals from different places, which you can add as points of interest. The app also works offline, so not everything has to be included while on Wi-Fi. It is a great app for the visual mind.

Penzu is a great writing app that looks and feels like a real diary. It does not offer the perks of pop-up options or the “mood selection” capacity that other apps offer, however, Penzu absolutely does its job of providing you a simple and discreet way to express yourself. Your entries are saved by date, and you have the option of selecting multiple journals if you pay the upgrade fee. Yet, you get everything that you need with the free version. A great perk of Penzu is that, if you choose to speak onto the journal while driving, the speech recognition capacity of your phone will allow you to speak your entries without having to type. This is a wonderful way to keep updated with automatic entry saves, and great password control.

Diaro. Another phenomenal and free Android application for journaling, Diario lets you enter information in up to 30 different languages. It offers more picture upload choices and it is extremely flexible and easy to use. As soon as you log in, Diaro takes you straight to the current date, prompting you to add an entry, take a picture, add a picture, and select a location. You can speak on to the app and let the speech recognition software of your phone type the words for you. The app is consistently updated and fixed for bugs. It is a great tool to install and keep handy.

Private Diary Free. This app offers the quickest and most varied journaling options available from other journaling programs. The interface is interchangeable, and it offers you a chance to enter variables such as categories, tags, emoticons for mood, and even the current weather by location. You can even draw and make art projects, take pictures, and upload them from a current album. It is a highly recommended app for those who love to document details and add creative extras to their entries.

Snapbook. While this app can be used for multiple purposes, it is intended mainly for the travel writer and documentarian who also places high importance on creativity, color, and aesthetics. Designed as a scrapbook, you can add pictures and commentary as you go. The interface is quite pleasing to the eye. If you like to show your travels with a lot of style, this will be your favorite app. Keep in mind that Snapbook is a multipurpose application that can be used for more than just travel writing. You can collect pictures by location, organize them by style, and create a wonderful project altogether.

Travel journaling has never been more fun! Free applications will keep you updated and ready to share with your friends the wonderful things that you discover along the way. May your journeys be always safe, and do not stop traveling. Upload pictures, and share the world with everyone. It is fun! It is simple! Most importantly, it is free and accessible everywhere!


Bio: Natalya Pobedova is a travelling nomad and backpacker from beautiful Brno Czech Republic. She is 27 and makes a living as a freelance web developer to support her traveling needs. She also runs a flight travel website for backpackers as a hobby: http://www.travelsiders.com/. She dreams to fly to Brazil and speaks Portuguese fluently. She visited 14 countries already and most of them are in Asia and Europe.

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What I (Will) Miss Most About Penzu

Posted on Jun 14, 2013 | 0 comments

Photo Credit - Rahul Rodriguez

Photo Credit – Rahul Rodriguez

Get 101 Reasons to Write a Journal and Modern Journaling (plus more) bundled for a low price today!

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.

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Finding the Right Digital Journal for Beginners- Vince’s Journey

Posted on Feb 7, 2013 | 0 comments

Photo Credit - Madalai Muthu

Photo Credit – Madalai Muthu

Vince Doss recently reached out to me asking a few questions and explaining his journey attempting to find the right digital journal in his busy life. I was inspired and educated by his story enough that I encouraged him to write it out for all of you to enjoy as well. As you will soon see, Vince is on the right track and his careful selection process will increase his chances of an enjoyable and fulfilling journaling experience.

Take it away Vince!

I am an IT support professional and I have just taken up journaling in the past month. I set out to find a tool to help me gather my thoughts, a compensatory strategy for ADD. I enter repair tickets (only PC based); do network management and email from my PC laptop. I also have an iPad (but find typing on it is not fun with/without stylus) and an iPhone5. I was looking for something to quickly enter notes from the time I wake and throughout the day to both chronicle my day’s activities, for ticket entry later if needed, as well as my goals, thoughts and musings. After trying for a couple weeks I think the iPhone has won out as the primary input platform. I first stumbled upon EJ when searching for “the best journaling apps” and found Sam’s eBooks and PDFs. These were pivotal in helping me arrive at a few conclusions.

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Penzu is Android, LDS Journal is iPhone

Posted on Nov 4, 2012 | 0 comments

If anyone comes to me and tells me journaling is so important to them that they just want the best option, regardless of price, I almost always point them in the direction of either Penzu or LDS Journal. These two online journaling services offer more features than most and are available from nearly every platform. Penzu is more widely known and used, but LDS Journal was actually my first eJournal and is a beautiful Penzu alternative. In fact, LDS Journal’s print feature is probably the number one single feature any eJournal has that I am aware of. I even did a video review when I received mine.

Penzu, on the other hand, is a feature-filled monster. From military-grade encryption, multiple journals, prompts and fonts aplenty, this online journal has almost anything you would want along with somethings you didn’t even know you needed. The downside to Penzu- as well as LDS Journal- is the lackluster mobile interface. Sure you can journal from smartphones for either of these, but you probably won’t want to.

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4 Ways Your Email Can Improve Your Journal

Posted on Sep 16, 2012 | 0 comments

Give Your Journaling A Boost!

As I have mentioned before, we are constantly creating content about our lives these days. Just think about how often you are typing on a keyboard for personal use and you start to get an idea about how large our digital footprints have gotten over the past few years. This includes social media, todo lists, creative content, documents and, yes, email.

Photo Credit - Keith Ramsey

Photo Credit – Keith Ramsey

It has taken years for me to truly understand the connection between email and digital journaling. As I have understood how similar these practices are, it has opened up both the ability to improve my digital journal and also how quickly I can add content to my entries.

To give you a glimpse into the link between these worlds, I have compiled this list of 5 ways email can improve your journal. As always, if you have more tips, sound off in the comments below!

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Why I’m Switching To Penzu

Posted on Apr 4, 2012 | 0 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.

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37 Reasons To Use Penzu Pro For 37 Cents A Week

Posted on Jan 20, 2012 | 0 comments

As far as advice I give concerning eJournals, the service I recommend above all others is the industry standard for online journaling- Penzu. This solid journal website is what CNET called “the most realistic re-creation of paper I’ve seen on the Web” and what I recently gave the highest recommendation in the ebook Modern Journaling, saying “As far as online journals go, it is a Penzu world and pretty much everyone else is playing catch up.”

Penzu has an incredible free service that allows you to journal from any computer and offers several great features including unlimited storage and the ability to upload pictures (even from Flickr). It is so popular that many of you have probably used it at one time or another. What some don’t know, however, is that for $19 a year you can have access to pretty much every feature known to the digital journaling community by signing up for Penzu Pro. This includes the incredible ability to update it from most smartphones and keep separate journals for separate people. This means that you can use Penzu for a low price which works out to just over 5 pennies per day, 37 cents per week or $1.58 per month. To put this in perspective, you could pay for Penzu 10 times over… and still not pay as much as you would for Netflix. Not bad for the top of the line.

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Penzu Pro Video Review

Posted on Dec 17, 2011 | 0 comments

I’ve spotlighted Penzu, listed it with the best online journals available and even reviewed the iPhone app. But as far as a real review of the features Penzu offers, I kept putting it off…

Until now.

Most people are aware of Penzu’s amazing free service, but there is also a paid service that offers a host of other features including multiple journals, customization and integration with smartphone applications. So that you can see what is on the other side of the $19 a year, I have made a video review of Penzu Pro. Enjoy!

Sign up for Penzu Pro here!

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Penzu Just Raised The Bar… Again

Posted on Sep 27, 2011 | 0 comments

In most industries there are a bunch of little guys and there are just a few players in the big league.

And no, this won’t be the last time I compare America’s favorite pastime (trademark?) to journaling. Probably.

As far as online big league (personal, not Live Journal!) journals go you have LDS Journal and Penzu. In the mobile world there are a few more as well including Mac Journal, Day One, Wonderful Days and Momento. Maybe a few more I haven’t run into yet.

Penzu is great enough that this is the third post dedicated to the service (along with a few other mentions) when I haven’t even given another journal two! Super duper encryption, tons of backgrounds, multiple journals, media entries and much, much more. Today they shook it up and took their game to a whole ‘notha level-

-a dedicated app for not only the iPhone, but Android as well.

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Penzu on the iPhone Reviewed

Posted on Aug 23, 2011 | 0 comments

Now this is backwards, isn’t it? I haven’t even gotten around to a full review of the Penzu online journaling service and here I am reviewing the iPhone interface!

How dare I. Really.

To be honest, I have chosen this method of my Penzu overview because there are so many features included in the service that I haven’t gotten to all of them. Still, I want all of you to know about how great Penzu can be, so this way I can incrementally introduce it. The iPhone version is finite enough that I can tackle it early on… and that is exactly what this is.

In case you don’t know, Penzu is an online, web-based journaling service. It offers to subscriptions, free or a paid. One of the features offered with the paid version, Penzu Pro, is the ability to use it with your mobile device (iPhone, iPad, Blackberry and Android). You simply access the site in your browser and it allows you to login with the same username and password (later you set up a 4 digit pin for quicker access). On the iPhone you can bookmark it to your home screen. This way it looks like you have a neat little Penzu app (the icon isn’t too shabby!) but it actually isn’t a separate app, just a link to Safari.

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These 3 Online Journals Are Worth Your Time

Posted on Jul 19, 2011 | 0 comments

Looking for the best journal app for you? Try our free journal recommendation tool!

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.

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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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