The Journal Newsletter – February 2003

The Journal Newsletter

February 2003
Volume 4 Issue 2


Happy St. Valentines Day!

In this month’s newsletter, Susan presents a new set of writing exercises, as always, and I explain shared categories.

I am currently working on an update of The Journal. The update started out with a couple of bug-fixes, but I’ve spent the past couple weeks shoehorning in some new features, as well.

One of the significant updates to The Journal involves the MemoryGrabber ebook from Family History Products ( DavidRM Software and Family History Products have worked together to create an add-on package for The Journal. The add-on package will present the information from the e-book as entries in a loose-leaf category (MemoryGrabber), as well provide another loose-leaf category (My MemoryGrabber) where all you have to do is fill in the responses to create your memiors. It should be fun. =)

The update and the add-on package should be released the last week of February, or the first week of March. So wander by The Journal’s Web page ( around then, or you can wait for the announcement in next month’s newsletter.

Thank you for supporting DavidRM Software’s The Journal!

Tips & Tricks

TIP: Using Shared Categories

The Journal 3 introduced the concept of “shared” categories. At their most basic, shared categories are categories that are “shared” between two or more users in the same Journal Volume. We’ll go into more detail about the various category sharing options in a bit. For now, though, let’s give an example of using shared categories:

Bill, a happy user of The Journal, creates a category called “Contact Information”. His wife, Mary, who also uses The Journal on his PC at home, needs to have access to this information while he’s away on business. For reasons of his own, though, Bill doesn’t want to just give his password to Mary. So he decides to share the “Contact Information” category with Mary.

Bill brings up the properties for “Contact Information” (Category menu, Category Properties…), and clicks on the “Sharing” tab. Checking the “Category is Shared” option, he’s all set to go.

Now, the next time Mary logs in, she can bring up the list of shared categories (Category menu, Shared Categories…) and add Bill’s “Contact Information” category. As soon as she does that, “Contact Information” shows up in Mary’s category tabs just like her own categories. She can bring up the entries in the category whenever she wants. So if Mary needs to contact Bill at the place he’s consulting, she can easily bring up the entry with that information and give him a call.

Shared Category Options

Shared categories can be either “read only” or “full access”. A read only shared category allows all entries in the category to be read, but those entries can only be edited or updated by the user that owns the category. The entries in a full access shared category, on the other hand, are treated just like any other entries. They can be read, edited, deleted, or even re-arranged (in loose-leaf categories).

In our example above, Bill would probably want to make his “Contact Information” category shared as read only. Mary doesn’t need to update the information. She just needs access to it. So full access is overkill.

Speaking of overkill, shared categories can also have passwords. If a shared category has a password, then users must supply the password to use the category. Bill probably wouldn’t need to setup a password on “Contact Information” since only he and Mary use The Journal on that PC. If his children used The Journal on that PC, though, then it might be worthwhile.

Summing Up

If you’re the only one using The Journal on your computer, and you only use a single login name, shared categories might not be all that useful to you.

If, however, there are multiple people with separate logins to The Journal, or even if you maintain several login names of your own, shared categories can prove quite advantageous, providing a simple, secure mechanism for sharing information back and forth.

Writing Prompts

by Susan Michael

Free Writing Exercise – Write a list of all the words you can think of that start with “mag-“. Select three of the words, using them for your 20 minute free-write. For a second list, use “tri-“.

Poetry Exercise – Write a poem using, “paper and chalk”.

Prose Exercise – Use “symphony” or “circus” as a metaphor for a city day.

Journaling Exercise – Make a record of “acts of compassion” that you observe in your life and around you.

Memoir Prompt – Catalog your souvenirs and mementos. How did you come across these items and why are they meaningful to you?

About the author: Susan Michael has facilitated several writing groups, and has lead writing & creativity workshops for the Arts & Humanities Council in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

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 18, 2015 — 8:35 pm