The Journal Newsletter – February 2001

The Journal Newsletter

February 2001
Volume 2 Issue 2


The Journal 2.4 has (finally) been released as of 9 February, 2001. The list of bug-fixes and new features in The Journal 2.4 is pretty long. See “The Journal News” section below for more information about The Journal 2.4.

I would like to once again thank all of my beta testers on The Journal Users emailing list for their bug reports, feedback, and suggestions. They were an invaluable part of the process.

We have a new “How I Use The Journal” from Dawn Murphy, and an article from journaling enthusiast Julie Wrigley Smith called “Why Keep a Personal Journal”. Plus we have our usual writing exercises and other features.

Thank you for supporting DavidRM Software’s The Journal!

Tips & Tricks

We have an all-new version of The Journal now, with some new features and new keyboard shortcuts. Here’s a list of the more important ones:

Entry | Word Count (Ctrl+W)
Counts the words, characters (with and without spaces), lines and paragraphs of the current entry.

Entry | Create New Entry (F9)
Not a new function, but it has changed a bit. This feature creates a new loose-leaf entry at the same “tree level” as the current entry.

Entry | Create New Entry (Root Level) (Shift+F9)
Creates a new loose-leaf entry at the top-most tree level in the current category.

Format | Numbered List (Ctrl+Shift+N)
Creates an automatically numbered list in the format 1) … 2) … and so on.

NOTE: This feature is dependent on your version of Windows and certain installed software. If you are running Windows 2000 or Windows ME, or if you have Office 2000 installed, you will have this feature. If this feature is not available to you, then you will not see the button for it on the toolbar.

Writing Prompts

by Susan Michael

Writing Exercise: Free Writing – Use the following phrase as a focal point to write from:

“The stain will not come out…”Before starting, allow your imagination to work. Use visualization to picture the image. Think of it as being literal, then as metaphysical. Use sensory perceptions. Add cultural and literary references, and personal connotations. What tone/mood is emerging? Keep in mind that your writing is not necessarily about the image, but why and how, and what next, or before?

About the author: Susan Michael calls herself the “Poetry Enabler” and is active in spoken word poetry. She has facilitated several writing groups, and lead writing & creativity workshops for the Arts & Humanties Council in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

How I Use The Journal

Editor’s Note: The Journal is used by people from all over the world, from many nations, representing a variety of personal, professional, and religious backgrounds. Journaling is by definition an intensely personal undertaking, so it should not be surprising that when someone writes about how or why they keep a journal that they will end up sharing personal information. The Journal Newsletter does not support any particular personal or religious lifestyle, but rather attempts to support anyone who keeps a journal, for whatever reason they do so. Thus, the views and opinions expressed in “How I Use The Journal” are solely those of the submitter and not necessarily the views of DavidRM Software. Whether you agree with the submitter’s views or not, I encourage you to read the article and glean from it the information and techniques that “ring true” for you.

How I Use The Journal

by Dawn in Jersey, AKA NJHeart2Heart

I have always been a writer, and have, for a very long time, kept personal journals. They have not always been daily journals, but they have given me a way to look back at my life, and all that has happened to me over the years. I now use “The Journal” for my personal memoirs, as well as for MANY other uses.

I started with “The Journal” just to keep better track of my journals, and as a way to input all of my previous writings. I used the trial version, and in 2 weeks I’d already decided to purchase it. It’s easy to use, doesn’t have a “huge footprint”, comes with all the features that are important to me, and it’s also nice to actually know that the creator is involved in his work, and maintaining it on a regular basis. David has done that superbly.

As I added more journal entries, I had yet another crash on my PC that forced me to reformat my hard drive. When that happens, my email gets destroyed as well, and since the program I use for email is limited, I couldn’t export it easily. So, I tried imputting emails from a particular friend of mine, into “The Journal”. It has been great, and I no longer worry about trying to save so many important, personal emails on separate files on my hard drive.

Another project I am working on is my life story (well, the first 27 years at least). Once the email was in there, I than decided to cut and paste my stories into “The Journal” as notebook entries, sorted by topic. I can go back to one place to find all my entries, and it’s easy to just add entries underneath the main category. After working with The Journal on my own life story, I realized, that this would be a handy place to also type in the stories my dad has given me, and thus I added the “Dad’s Life Story” category.

From there, “The Journal” program has just exploded with new categories. Currently, I have a total of 10: Daily Journal, Life Stories, “E” mail, Song Lyrics, Job Journal, Holiday Letters, Topical Notebook, Random Topic Questions on a daily basis, and Quotebook.

“The Journal”, has been well worth the investment. It gives me a convenient way to store and organize many different types of information, without the laborious task of using multiple files. Since using “The Journal”, I have written more, and organized it better. This all boils down to doing better at leaving a legacy to generations to come.

If anyone wants to further discuss how I (or you all) use the journal, feel free to Email me. Then I’ll add “email from The Journal” users!

Dawn L. Murphy
New Jersey


An Exceedingly Informal Guide

by Julie Wrigley Smith

Journaling for Fun.

I keep a journal because I just plain LIKE it! To me it is fun. I’m a writing sort of person, and hey, I know that I will probably never write my Pulitzer Prize-winning novel or get a job writing reviews for the New York Times. But I still like to write and want to write. And my journal is my place to do it.

I like the vanity of having a “me” place, a thoroughly self-centered facet of my life. If you were to spend all your time talking about yourself–your triumphs, your tragedies, your feelings, and just your life in general–you would quickly become the kind of person that other people tend to studiously avoid like root canals and tax audits. So your journal is the place to do just that! Be as selfish, vain, and boring as you want. A journal is the perfect friend. It won’t yawn in your face, or turn away hastily and say, “Hey, man, I’d love to talk more, but I gotta go wash my dog,” and run for the nearest exit. Your journal will listen attentively.

It also makes a lovely soapbox to express all of your opinions about anything and everything. Politics. Religion. All the Don’t-Get-Me-Started stuff. A journal’s the place to go ahead, get me started!

Journaling for “Therapy”

Many counselors and therapists advise journal keeping. If you’re not into all that “getting in touch with your inner self” stuff, I can put it in a less sophisticated way: It helps to write stuff out. It helps to rant, or whine, or brag. Sometimes there are things you want to say that you cannot or should not say to a person face to face. You do not want to hurt the person or damage your relationship, or perhaps it’s just that you’ve developed a fondness for all of your teeth and would like to keep them. Your journal’s the place to let stuff like that out. Let’s face it, we all have things that we tend to hold inside of ourselves for various reasons–and holding stuff in can drive you nuts.

Sometimes you need a listening “ear”. And that’s ALL you need. Quite often, people who love us will listen for a bit, then start in with the unsolicited advice. There are times when we do not need or want advice. We just want to let it out. Try to tell a Loved One that. There’s a good chance that they will get all huffy and offended because all they are doing is trying to help, and there you are rejecting their kindness, and what did you bother bringing it up for if you didn’t want any advice, and how ungrateful can you get, and on, and on …

I find it helpful to write out a particular problem I am having. Sometimes a possible solution will come to me as I am writing, or as I read it over later. Maybe I will realize that some problems just plain do not have neat solutions, so that I make myself understand that I need to find a way to deal with it, rather than thinking that I can solve it and make it go away. Or perhaps it will occur to me that the problem just is not as big as my mind has blown it up to being. Whatever way it goes, it’s helpful to gain perspective.

One Journal? or Several?

Many people like to keep several different journals under several different categories. A good friend of mine said it a LOT better than I could about keeping several journals when she wrote:

  • I have several journals going at one time–I have my dream journal–talk about wild dreams. I have my everyday happenings journal–I keep this out where everyone can see it–that way if someone should have the irrestible urge to read my thoughts they can without any damage or reprecussions.
  • I have my Theosophical-psychic stuff journal that I also keep in plain view. That contains stuff that I may learn at a Theosophy session or things that I may get from a reader that I don’t mind sharing.
  • There is also my purse journal where I jot down the every day stuff that I want to remember to put in one of my other journals or just for my information.
  • Then I have my SECRET JOURNAL–that contains all of the hidden secret stuff that goes on in my life. As I’m pretty much outspoken, there really isn’t a lot that goes on that’s all that SECRET. That is kept in my nightstand by my bed.

I myself don’t keep more than one because I get too confused about what to categorize where and my thoughts get all jumbled up together anyway. I will start on a rather mundane chronicle of something that happened to me today, and it segues into a rant, which then disintegrates rapidly into a whine, then gathers steam again as I step up upon my soapbox with all my solutions to the problems of the world, with a goodly bit of The Meaning Of Life thrown in for good measure. I prefer to call this a restless mind, rather than old age! So, this is another area where your way is the right way. Keep one. Keep a dozen. It’s yours!

Play your way. The bottom line is to enjoy.

Copyright © 2001 by Julie Wrigley Smith. All Rights Reserved.
Used with permission.

About the author: Julie Wrigley Smith is a long-time journaling enthusiast. Julie has been journaling since she was a mere fetus and her hobbies include pen collecting, glaring defiantly, and misplacing her car in large lots. Check out her web page “The Journal Place”:

Submission Information

If you would like to contribute to the “How I Use The Journal”, “Writing Exercises”, or “Tips & Tricks” sections, or would like to submit an article about journaling, writing, or another The Journal-related topic, we would love to hear from you.

Submissions for the newsletter should be sent to:

If you are submitting for a particular section, please indicate which one. Try to limit your submissions to 500-1000 words. Submissions may be edited for length and content.

If you prefer to remain anonymous, please state this in the email. Otherwise your name (but not your email) will be used in the article heading.

As always, if you have any suggestions for, or bug reports about, The Journal, please feel free to email them. Both are always welcome.


Editor: David Michael (
The Journal Newsletter Copyright © 2015 by David Michael.
Updated: June 13, 2015 — 8:34 pm