The Journal Newsletter – November 2002

The Journal Newsletter

November 2002
Volume 3 Issue 11


Welcome to The Journal Newsletter!

The October issue of The Journal Newsletter succombed to schedule overbooking. My apologies for that.

Tania Ryan shares a quick tip, detailing how she uses The Journal to reduce her “catalog clutter.” And Susan Michael has her regular offering of writing exercises.

It pains me to say it, but since September’s newsletter we’ve had a number of minor bugs reported in The Journal. None of them have been too serious, fortunately. You can see them in the “Known Bugs” list. If you look, you’ll also see that most of them have already been marked as fixed in the next update of The Journal. I expect to be releasing the update in the next 2 weeks.

Thank you for supporting DavidRM Software’s The Journal!

Tips & Tricks

TIP: Catalog Clipping and The Journal
by Tania Ryan

I came up with a new use for The Journal recently. I get a lot of catalogs in the mail. I leaf through them, and maybe one or two things are of interest. I clip those out, tuck them in the little order envelope, and set them aside for when (or if) I decide to actually buy the items. This has a minor problem: lots of little envelopes lying in a pile. I moved recently, and it’s gotten out of hand. Lately, I’ve also been trying to reduce the amount of paper in my “work area.” Then a thought occurred to me: use The Journal.

So now I’ve set up a catagory called “Shopping.” In it there are looseleaf entries for each of my favorite catalogs. In these entries for the catalog, I have their conact info, web address, and my customer #. Under the catelog entries are separate listings for each of the items I’m interested in. I include their Web addresses, which issue I found the item in, and even pictures.

Voila! No paper, and all secure. =) And I can keep track of my notes and comparison shopping comments as well!

So now, along with the myriad of other uses I have for The Journal, it’s tending to my catalog clutter too! =)

Writing Prompts

by Susan Michael

Free Writing Exercise – Write for 20 minutes (without editing) in any style using “Hidden Camera” as your title.

Poetry Exercise – Write a poem based on the concept or idea of a “Mobeus strip”.

Prose Exercise – Write a short story using “Small Town Hero” as your title or beginning.

Journaling Exercise – Make a list of things you are knowledgeable about, or are highly interested in. Think of ways that you can extend yourself as a resource to others on these topics. Consider writing articles, volunteering, collaborating, organizing a small group focused on the subject, participating in a “barter exchange”, etc. Evaluate your skill level and determine if you need more experience or exposure. What steps can you take to promote yourself?

Memoir Prompt – Answer the following: Do you have a mentor? Are you a mentor for someone? Tell about your relationship.

About the author: Susan Michael has facilitated several writing groups, and has lead writing & creativity workshops for the Arts & Humanities 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’m Using The Journal To Organize and Write a Non-Fiction Book
by David Michael

Part of the of the “schedule overbooking” I mentioned in the Introduction above is in the form of a book contract. Over the past couple years, several people have outlined how they’re using The Journal to organize their work on books. Now it’s my chance. =)

The first thing I did was create a new loose-leaf category to serve as the “binder” for the manuscript. I simply named the category with an acronym of the book title (“IGDSG”). This category would hold everything: research notes, table of contents, chapter drafts, bibliography information, and so on. Figure 1 shows the entry tree in some detail.

Figure 1

The first entry I kept as the book proposal. I had created the proposal in a different category, but once I had the contract and started on the actual manuscript it made more sense to bring it in with the rest of the material the book would accumulate.

I decided to create a separate “entry tree” for each section or part of the book. For example, “Part 2. Game Design for Small- or No-Budget Games”. And then having that further divided into the separate chapters. The actual chapter text is written in “draft” entries below the main chapter entry.

I use a form of simple draft versioning for the chapters (as I described in the April 2002 issue of the newsletter). I create a “Draft 1” entry for the first draft of a chapter. Then I create a new draft version for each new writing session that adds or edits a given chapter. In general, comes to one draft version per day spent working on a chapter, so the versions don’t stack up too fast.

Following the chapters and the appendices, I have the “Research” sub-tree. Here I collect my notes from my reading and Web research, and also where I store responses to the questions I ask of experts.

The Journal has proven very useful for this project. Not only in being a great place to store and organize my notes and manuscript, but also for tracking productivity and keeping me at my pace. I have set the somewhat modest goal of 1000 words per day for this project. The Tools | Word Count (Ctrl+W) has become my guage of whether my daily writing task is done or if I still need hammer out a bit more.

I hope this has proved useful to you. As always, if you have any questions about The Journal, or would like to share how you use The Journal, please feel free to contact me.

David Michael
DavidRM Software

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: August 10, 2016 — 9:44 pm