The Journal Newsletter – July 2005

The Journal Newsletter

July 2005


Welcome to July! And to respond to the speculation raised last month: No, the summer didn’t mellow out. It’s hot, humid, and here to stay for at least another couple months.

We have a new release of The Journal 4 this month. Check out “The Journal News” for details. We also have a new set of writing exercises, a few new tips for using the new topics feature, and I describe how I use The Journal and WordPress to have a photo blog.

Thank you for choosing DavidRM Software’s The Journal!

Tips & Tricks

TIP: Using Topics

New in The Journal 4, topics provide a powerful way to organize your thoughts. You can set as many topics within an entry as you wish, either as you type or afterward. You can then search entries by topic and review them.

The Journal creates a list of more than 60 topics and sub-topics for you, including:

  • Business
  • Dream: Themes
  • Family: Parents
  • Feelings
  • Finances: Income
  • Friends
  • Health
  • Hobbies
  • And more!

Of course, you can add topics of your own and delete the ones you don’t need (see the next tip, below).

Select the topic you want from the drop-down list on the toolbar (above the calendar). Once you do that, whatever you type will be automatically assigned that topic.

You can switch to a new topic (or no topic) at any time by selecting the appropriate choice from the topic list. The hot-key for “Apply <No Topic>” is: Shift+Ctrl+<spacebar> Also, if you double-space after a paragraph (hit ENTER twice), then you turn off the active topic.

You can also apply topics to text after you enter it. Select the text you want to tie to the topic, then choose the topic from the list.

A given block of text can have only one topic assigned to it. If you have a paragraph or sentence that you want to tie to two or more topics, you will need to divide the paragraph or sentence into blocks and assign the different topics to each block. Another approach would be to create a topic that combines the two topics (e.g., “Friends: Bern & Karen”).

When you review entries with topics, you have these options:

  • Show No Topics – all topic highlights are turned off
  • Show All Topics – all topic highlights are turned on
  • Show <topic> – only the highlight for the selected topic is shown, making it easy to see where that topic has been set

TIP: Adding Your Own Topics

1. Click on the Options menu and choose “User Preferences…”

2. Bring up the “Topics” tab.

Each topic can be given its own highlight color, to make it easier to see, and you can assign hot-keys to up to 10 topics for ease of use.

When reviewing your entries, topics can be displayed (either one at a time or all at once) or hidden entirely.

TIP: Searching Topics

Searching by topic can be a lot faster than searching for a particular word or phrase.

To search by topic:

1. Click on the “Search” menu and choose “Search Entries…” (hot-key: Shift+Ctrl+F).2. Bring up the “Search Topics” tab.

3. Check the topic(s) you want to search for. NOTE: The topics you have used at least once in an entry are listed first, in alphabetical order. All other topics are listed in alphabetical order following the ones you have used.

4.Click on “Search”.

If you click on “View All Entries” on the Search Results, you can see all of the found entries, sorted by their date of entry (for standard categories). If you have checked the “Display only topic text in Search Results” option, only those parts of the entry with the assigned topic(s) will be displayed.

Writing Prompts

Free Writing Exercise – Write for 20 minutes using the following as your starter: “Devout Hurting”

Journaling Exercise – Are you aware of your emotional dependencies? Describe who (or what) they are, and how your emotional state depends on them.

Memoir Prompt – Where did you go during summer vacations as a child? How did those vacations compare to what you wanted to do at the time? And how do those vacations compare to the vacations you take now?

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 my Photo Blog

by David Michael

Two months ago I bought my first digital camera (a Nikon D70s with a 28-200mm Nikon lens). As I became more enamored of my new amateur photography hobby, and as I took more and more pictures, I wanted to share selected pictures with my extended family and friends.

About the same time, my favorite free blog software, WordPress, (finally) added support for uploading images embedded in posts. So I upgraded my copy of WordPress and created a new blog exclusively for my photos.

WordPress is amazingly easy to setup, though you do need to have a Web host that allows you install new software, and provides PHP and mySql. Some Web hosts already provide WordPress, which could make the setup even easier for you. After install, WordPress is easy to manage, including a powerful theme engine so you can customize the look of your blog.

Once I had WordPress ready to go, I created a blog profile (Tools menu, Post to Blog sub-menu) in The Journal.

I use a simple format in my photo blog posts. I write a short paragraph or two describing the event(s) depicted, and maybe mention the names of the people shown. I don’t get too detailed, though, for a couple reasons:

  1. My friends and family generally know each other and don’t need a lot of details.
  2. The photo blog is publicly viewable, and I don’t want to put too much personal information out there.

After the introduction paragraph, I use tables to arrange the images I’ve chosen. The images are first “touched up” in Photoshop Elements, and reduced to be about 400 pixels (wide or tall). Though I sometimes post larger images, I like the small size. It’s too small to make a good print from (which appeases the intellectual property hoarding side of my nature), but big enough to show off the image.

I use tables to arrange the images. Two 400×267 horizontal images can be arranged side by side on a row, or three 267×400 vertical images. Because having rows with different numbers of columns can be hard to arrange properly, I usually create a new table for each row, depending on how I want the images to appear on the page.

Once I have the tables and images like I want them, I go back and remove the table borders, and I set the image descriptions.

To remove the table borders:

  1. Click on an image in the table (any image will do).
  2. Click on the Table menu and choose “Table Properties…”
  3. Click on the “Table Border” button, and choose “None”.
  4. Click on the “Cell Borders” button, and choose “None”.

Images in The Journal can be given descriptions. These descriptions pop up whenever you hover the mouse over the entry. Also, when the images are posted to a blog (or exported to HTML), the descriptions are passed along as “ALT text”, which means the description will popup when the mouse hovers over the image in your Web browser.

To set image descriptions:

  1. Click on the image to select it.
  2. Right-click on the image and choose “Edit Image/Object Description…”

After that, I’m ready to post the entry to the photo blog. So I click on the Tools menu, Post to Blog sub-menu, and choose my photo blog profile.

And that’s really all there is to it.

As always, if you have any questions, please feel free to email me and ask.


PS You can learn more about WordPress here:

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 7, 2016 — 9:43 pm