The Journal Newsletter – February 2006

The Journal Newsletter

February 2006


Welcome to February 2006!

This month, Jim Talkington describes how he keeps track of software registration keys in The Journal, and Sande Chen talks about the benefits of journaling. And, as always, Susan provides a new collection of writing prompts.

Thank you for choosing DavidRM Software’s The Journal!

Tips & Tricks

TIP: Tracking Software Registration Keys in The Journal

By Jim Talkington

This is just a quick tip on one of the many uses I have for The Journal. I have a problem keeping software keys for the software I download and purchase. I used to write them down someplace and then misplace that paper. Now, though, I use The Journal.

I created a category called “Registrations”. I type in the text keys, or I take a screen shot of my registration or product codes and paste that image into The Journal. Then I deactivate the “Registrations” category, hiding the category tab. When I need the codes or want to add more I go in and make the “Registrations” active again.

I keep my journal on a USB drive and use it on my home and office computer. This way I always have a copy of my keys.

This would work well on usernames and passwords as well. Just be sure to password protect the category with a strong password.

Writing Prompts

by Susan Michael

Free Writing Exercise – Write for 20 minutes using the letter “x” as your starter.

Poetry Exercise – Write a poem that uses the style of a devotion and prayer.

Prose Exercise – 1. Write about a character who believes he is something other, or is becoming something other than what he is.

2. Write a series of pieces that are based on judgmental, harsh assessments of one character by another.

Journaling Exercise – Write a list of “pleasant curses” that are career specific. For example, a pleasant curse for the plumber might be: “May all your dreams be pipe dreams”.

Memoir Prompt – Write about the clubs or organizations you were a member of when you were in school.

Opinion Prompt – Write your thoughts about modern housing and neighborhood developments.

About the author: Susan Michael 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.


On Journaling

By Sande Chen

Wellness studies have linked journaling with stress reduction, lower cholesterol, and increased optimism. Indeed, how does writing or journaling have such power? We write and we use our journals for so many different reasons and indeed, we cover many diverse topics. Whether it’s to vent or to exercise that creative muscle, I find that the act of journaling is profound in its ability to heal, to inspire, and to illuminate.

Journaling is organization in action. Most everyone will jot down lists: To-Do lists, shopping lists, 1001 Places to Visit, Things to do if I win the Lottery, etc. I personally do not board a plane before writing two lists: Things to Pack and Things to do before Leaving. It’s a memory jogger and a sorter. In the same way, journaling can help us to organize thoughts or emotions. Even if it’s just a brain dump, we’ll see on the page how we make connections and how we jump from one topic to the other. Clutter experts often exhort us to “de-clutter” our workplaces so that we can work in a calm and clean environment. With journaling, you are de-cluttering your ultimate workspace, your mind! Writing can force clarity, if needed. Just like the teacher who has to explain a new concept, we ponder our thoughts and emotions and explain the whys and why-nots to ourselves. If nothing else, we learn about ourselves.

Journaling can also lead to that sense of inner peace. That meditative “flow” state in which we feel enthralled and centered upon our writing. Time can feel like it’s escaped. We enter our private space (even when blogging to the public) because it’s our soapbox to declare whatever we want. As the words appear on the page, it’s almost like a release of any built-up tension. For this reason, psychiatrists often use a technique asking patients to write letters of anger, forgiveness, or remorse. Journaling can have that calming effect and reduce everyday stress. With blogging, journaling enables us to connect to others and socialize.

Furthermore, journaling is a record of personal progress. I get a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment as I tick off items on my To-Do list. Journaling increases this feeling of satisfaction because journaling tracks the journey. Whether it’s a photo array of a garden-in-progress or many weeks of weight loss, there is joy in accomplishment, even with the ups and the downs. There’s a sense of, “I’m on my way and I’ll get there!” It serves as inspiration and reflection. In addition, a journal can become part of our collective historical record. The farmer who faithfully recorded land and weather conditions in his journal provided a treasure trove of information for ecologists and meteorologists in the 20th Century. Leonardo da Vinci’s notebooks give us a special glimpse into his thoughts and character. We can learn about historical time periods and struggles. Certainly, most people have heard of the Diary of Anne Frank.

Ultimately, our journals benefit our lives richly. They can spur us to action or change our attitudes and moods. I hope you’re finding time to keep a journal, and enjoying the process!

Sande Chen is co-author, with David Michael, of the book, Serious Games: Games That Educate, Train, and Inform (Thomson/Course; 2005). She has won awards in writing, music, and video. She currently works as a free-lance writer and game designer. 

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