The Journal Newsletter – September 2001

The Journal Newsletter

September 2001
Volume 2 Issue 9


Welcome to The Journal Newsletter!

The Journal had some “press coverage” this month in Personal Journaling Magazine. See The Journal News below for the story.

As always, we have a new tip for using The Journal (Style Options Explained) and a new set of writing exercises. And Susan Michael, the author of the newsletter’s writing exercises (she’s also my wife, for those who don’t know), explains how she uses The Journal to help organize her home schooling materials.

Thank you for supporting DavidRM Software’s The Journal!

Tips & Tricks

TIP: Style Options Explained

The Journal’s “styles” used for inserting dates and times, as well as for URLs and entry links, have several options that you may not have noticed before.

To bring them up, click on the “User” menu, and choose “Preferences…” On either the “Links”, “Date/Time” or “Styles” tab, click on a “Style…” button to edit a particular style.

On the “Edit Style” form, bring up the “Options” tab. The options displayed are:

  • Use Category Default Font
  • Use Category Default Font Color
  • Use Category Default Font Size
  • Use Active Font
  • Use Active Font Color
  • Use Active Font Size

The “Use Category Default Font” options override the style’s selected font settings with those of the category’s default font.

The “Use Active Font” options override the style’s selected font settings with those of the currently active font in the entry.

The “Use Category Default Font” and “Use Active Font” settings are mutually exclusive. You can use either the “Category Default Font Color” or the “Active Font Color”. Obviously, you can’t use both at the same time. So if you check one option, its alternate is automatically un-checked.

It is also possible to un-check, or turn off, all of these options for the style. If you do this, then the font settings of the style are used explicitly.

These style options help you make styles that can be used in all of your categories, regardless of those categoies’ default font settings.

For example, if you want the inserted date to be bold-green, you would:

  1. Edit the date style font to be bold and green (exact font doesn’t matter).
  2. On the options, check: “Use Active Font” and “Use Active Font Size”. Leave the rest of the options un-checked.

Now, when you insert a date (Ctrl+D), you will get the date bolded, green, and using the font that was active where you did the insert.

Writing Prompts

by Susan Michael

Free Writing Exercise – Write for 20 minutes (without editing) using the following prompts:

  • The distance between two points increases over time
  • This morning marks the anniversary, the anniversary of two people dying

Writing Exercise with Prop – As a visual reference, select a box that has dimensions under 12X12 inches. Tape the box closed. Set the box in front of you. Write a story, poem or free writing based on what is inside the box.

Poetry Exercise – Write an Anaphora poem. An Anaphora is “the repetition of a word or expression several times within a clause or within a paragraph”. In poetry the repetition of the phrase can be just at the beginning of each line, setting the tone as a meditation or a mantra, or it can be utilized more subtlety within the poem. The poem can be free verse or prose style.

Journaling Exercise – What is the most influential thing in your life today?

About the author: Susan Michael has facilitated several writing groups, and has 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 for Home Schooling

by Susan Michael

I use The Journal to organize my curriculum for home schooling. For the most part, we do not use a standardized curriculum, or a “school in a box”. I do have several teachers guides, reference books, trade books, student workbooks, educational games, websites, and library resources. I also refer to various grade-level educational curriculum and standards outlines.

To organize links to educational web sites I use a notebook category that I copy recommended links into. I have topic headers to guide placement. This allows me to de-clutter my email files and still hold on to the convenience of using referral resources. As I review the sites, I can easily add comments or key words that will remind me of the site’s contents. Some of these sites, especially multi-topic and “lesson plan sites”, will end up in my favorites list. By placing links in one file I can quickly browse for a supplemental activity to add to my lesson plan.

For each week I transcribe my lesson plans for each subject into one loose leaf category. This is an overview of topics which corresponds with my curriculum guides. I include daily activities, time per activity, and list field trips.

For each trade book I use, I make photocopies of the table of contents. I use this as a checklist and place in my curriculum notebook. I also list all my reference materials in The Journal according to subject.

The Journal is particularly helpful in organizing unit studies that involve multiple subject areas. I list all my resources, objectives, and projects. When writing my lesson plan, I list the unit study under each subject it applies to. The actual lesson plan is written out in the unit study category.

For literature, I have multiple categories because I outline my own whole language response sheets for many of the books. I have a separate category to record weekly reading lists.

The Journal makes it very easy to flip from one category/topic to another. My primary goal in using The Journal is to accurately record what subjects are being taught and to keep track of material being covered. Since I use such a broad base of materials, I need to be able to record what resources I have pulled the curriculum from. The Journal helps me to store the information in one 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 15, 2015 — 8:42 pm