The Journal Newsletter – October 2007

The Journal Newsletter

October 2007


The Journal 4.1 Build #239 is now available. Look in “The Journal News” section for information about this update.

A Reminder: NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) is next month, November. If you’ve ever wanted to write a novel (or just something a lot *like* a novel), you can now join thousands of others from across the USA and around the world as they string words into sentences, sentences into chapters and chapters into a 50,000-word novel–all in just 30 days. You can learn more about NaNoWriMo here:

Thank you for choosing DavidRM Software’s The Journal!

Tips & Tricks

TRICK: Reviewing Random Entries

The Journal has always made it easy to review your past entries. You can review yesterday (hot-key: F7), a month ago (Shift+F7), or even a year ago (Ctrl+F7).

But as of September 2007, The Journal includes a new way to see where you’ve been: “Go to Random Date” (hot-key: Shift+Ctrl+F5), on the “Go” menu.

“Go to Random Date” does what it says: The Journal randomly picks a date in the active category and brings it up for you to see. The entry might be from last week, or it might be from six years ago.

Give it a try. Sometimes, a little randomness is exactly what we need.

TIP: Using The Journal for NaNoWriMo 2007

Back in the October 2004 issue of The Journal Newsletter, I included a tip called “Using The Journal for NaNoWriMo”.

Since then, I’ve actually participated in NaNoWriMo (and won). So now I want to update that tip by describing how I used The Journal in NaNoWriMo 2006.

For NaNoWriMo 2006, I adopted this plan:

  • My novel would have 25 chapters.
  • I would write one complete chapter a day.
  • I would take “off” all 4 Sundays of the month, and the Thursday for Thanksgiving.
  • My target per chapter would be 2000 words (25×2000=50,000).

Ultimately, I wrote 23 chapters averaging 2600 words each. Yes, I was proud of myself. 😉 I expect to use a similar strategy this year, as well.

For me, NaNoWriMo participation includes:

  • Writing almost every day of November;
  • Posting what I write each day to my blog;
  • Writing about my writing (also on the blog).

And I use The Journal for all of those.

First, I have a loose-leaf category for all of my writing projects. This category has a structure similar to this:

— Outline
— Characters
— Manuscript
+– Draft 1
++—- Chapter 1
++—- …
— Notes

Second, I have a standard category setup for my blog. As I want to make posts to the blog, I can just hit F9 to create a new entry (what a great new feature; I’m glad you guys kept asking for it until I did it). Then type up the post (which might be a copy-and-paste of my writing for the day, or might be some aspect of the project that I wanted to talk about) and post that to the blog (using “Post to Blog” on the “Tools” menu).

And that’s it, really. The Journal makes it easy for me to participate in NaNoWriMo. If I *do* say so myself.

If you’ve used The Journal for NaNoWriMo, write me and tell me how you did it. That way we can collect more tips and tricks for next year.

Writing Prompts

Free Writing Prompt – Write for 20 minutes using the following as your starter: “An avalanche of words…”

Journaling Prompt – In what ways does the political party you most identify with not represent you at all? And, conversely, in what ways does the political party you consider furthest from your personal ideology represent you best?

Memoir Prompt – Describe the times you have voted, either at the local, state or national level, when your vote meant the most to you. What was at stake? Did you win or lose?

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.

by Meg McCrea

I wanted to let you know how much I love The Journal! I am not only a part time 911 dispatcher, but also a housewife, mother, writer, and crafter, among many other things. (And to think at one time, I thought I had no life at all.) I detest having paper journals, as anyone in the world can reach them, and I find typing in entries so much easier. I looked for PC software that I might like, but every other product fell short. They were usually dull, hard to use, or not quite what I was looking for. Within about 10 minutes after I downloaded The Journal, I found myself gleefully adding tabs to categories and writing.

I am not a very organized person, but The Journal is helping me a lot in that area. I can put in due dates for my bills in the reminders or tasks, and birthdays are a snap. I started making categories and sub-categories almost at once. It was so easy, I could have crowed my pleasure.

I currently have three major tabs in my Daily Journal: Daily Journal, Menu Journal, and Household Journal. I use my Daily Journal just to write about my day and anything that comes across my mind. I use my Menu Journal to keep track of what I am feeding the family, how well they like it, and how often we have that item. It helps me make a monthly guide to how my family eats, and I will be able to plan out a month of menus effortlessly very soon. Last, I have my Household Journal. Because I am not organized, I use this journal to break my house down into zones over the week, using a custom Template form to repeat those days over and over. My house has never been cleaner!

I also have three major tabs in my Notebook: the Notebook, Free Writing, and My Crochet Designs. I use the Notebook tab when I want to “jot down” a few notes to look back at later, URLs, and lots of other little tidbits. I use the Free Writing mostly with the prompts, and they help get my creative juices going. The last tab is used for the crochet patterns I am currently designing. I’m not even done adding categories or tabs yet!

The most convenient part to me of the whole program is that everything I do is only a point and click away. I don’t have to click on a link and wait forever for it to show up, nor do I have to worry about losing a post because a website is having an infarction at the time. (Yep, I was an EMT not long ago, as well…) It’s extremely easy to find what I am looking for. I can keep tabs for all of my interest in one place, and they still stay separate. No one can view my journal at all. I like the privacy and security.

I believe The Journal is already enriching my life immensely. Thank you so very much for offering such an awesome program. I am going to recommend The Journal to everyone I know!

Meg McCrea

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 — 9:23 pm