The Journal Newsletter – January 2006

The Journal Newsletter

January 2006


Happy New Year!

January is traditionally The Journal’s busiest month, as people use the advent of the new year to review their lives and plan their futures. I’m no different. I have a “Goals” category (loose-leaf), with entries for each of the last five years, where I write down my personal and professional goals for the year. In the last weeks of the year, I go through the lists, writing up my accomplishments for the year and planning the next year. All in all, it’s pretty simple process, and I’ve been pleased with the results. Do you use The Journal for setting and tracking your goals? Write us and let us know!

Susan has a new set of writing exercises, and we have a clever new tip, sent in by The Journal user Joan Korte, about inserting comments into your entries.

Thank you for choosing DavidRM Software’s The Journal!

Tips & Tricks

TIP: Inserting Comments into Entries using Calendar Charms

Editor’s Note: Joan Korte sent me this tip recently. “I stumbled into what to me is a great discovery and a totally different use for one of the features in the Journal,” she told me. Her idea was a pleasant surprise for me, as well. I hadn’t thought of using those features the way she described.Inserting Comments into an Entry using a Calendar Charm

1. Position the input cursor where you want to insert your comment. Just past the end of the sentence you want to annotate might prove best, but it’s up to you.2. Click on the “Insert” menu and choose “Insert Calendar Charm” (hot-key: Shift+F2).

3. Select the charm you want to use for your comment (like the paperclip).

4. Right-click on the inserted charm and choose “Edit Image/Object Description” (hot-key: Ctrl+Shift+D).

5. Enter your comment.

Now, the charm marks that you’ve inserted a comment, and when you hover the mouse over the charm, your comment will pop up.

Joan adds that at first she just used the paperclip charm, but has now imported other images to use, as well, depending on the type of comment she’s making. “If I read critically,” she says, “then there are a variety of reactions I may have to the information. A neutral comment I have gets one symbol. A question raised gets another symbol. A great idea I then have gets another symbol. An idea that needs to be scrutinized or re-read later gets another symbol. An idea that forms a judgment gets another symbol. An idea I have that is opposite gets another symbol.”

I want to thank Joan for a great tip. If you have any tips or tricks for using The Journal that you’d like to submit, feel free to send them to

Writing Prompts

by Susan Michael

Free Writing Exercise – 1. Write for 20 minutes using the following as your starter: “The illusion of…”

2. Write for 20 minutes using the following as your starter: “Identity”

Poetry Exercise – Write a poem in three parts about three different people and their interaction with an item that is the same. The object can be passed between them, or it can be the “same” possession and not the “actual” object the other people have.

Prose Exercise – Write a story about a man who is forgetful.

Journaling Exercise – 1. Practice writing sensory images. Make it a habit to list the five senses each day and write at least three strong sensory images.

2. Define objects in the vein of or similar to Gertrude Stein. Read Tender Buttons, Objects:

“Stein’s innovative writing emphasizes the sounds and rhythms rather than the sense of words. By departing from conventional meaning, grammar and syntax, she attempted to capture “moments of consciousness,” independent of time and memory.”

Memoir Prompt – Write about why you decide to date/ marry the person you are dating/married to.

Opinion Prompt – Do you think that parents are obligated to pay for their children’s college education?

About the author: Susan Michael currently facilitates the Tulsa Writers Cafe for the Arts & Humanities Council in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Ms. Michael has also led writing & creativity workshops for children, teenagers, and adults.

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 19, 2015 — 9:19 pm