The Journal Newsletter – September 2016

The Journal Newsletter

September 2016


Yay! Autumn!

There is a new update of The Journal 7 available. Check “The Journal News” below for details.

This month’s tip describes The Journal’s extended security features, and we have a new set of writing prompts.

Speaking of writing prompts, I’ve added “Random Prompt” widgets to The Journal’s web page to serve up random free writing, journaling and memoir prompts at the click of a mouse. You can check those out here:

Thank you for choosing The Journal!

The Journal News

The Journal 7 is the current release.

To see if you have the latest version of The Journal:

  1. Click on the “Help” menu in The Journal.
  2. Choose “Check for Update of The Journal”.

If you are using The Journal 6 (or an earlier version):

Tips & Tricks

TIP: The Journal’s Extended Security Features

The Journal’s Extended Security features are for those who want as much protection as The Journal can give them, and want more control over the login process.

Click on the User menu and choose “User Preferences…” Then bring up the “Security” tab. You will see the section “Extended Security Features”. (NOTE: If those features are disabled, you need to upgrade your copy of The Journal 7. See “The Journal News” above.)

User-level Extended Security

This is the most important option, but is also the one you should be most certain about before activating.

A login name that uses Extended Security is significantly more secure than normal because (in the simplest possible terms) the user’s master encryption key is itself encrypted using a key generated from the plaintext of the user’s password. But that also means if you lose your password, there is no way to reset it. You will have locked yourself out. Believe it or not, this is a *feature* of Extended Security. =)

To confirm activation or deactivation of this option, you will need to enter your password.

Automatic Login Failure

With this option, you can specify that all login attempts fail after a certain number of consecutive failures. For example, if someone is attempting to guess a user’s password, then after the specified number of failures, The Journal automatically fails all other attempts. The Journal doesn’t even check the password entered. The failure message is displayed, and The Journal prompts for the password once again.

Minimum Wait Time

Once the automatic failure option has activated, the user will have to wait the specified minimum time before The Journal stops automatically failing attempts.

Writing Prompts

Free Writing Prompt – Write for 20 minutes using the following as your starter: “Lightning Expert”

Journaling Prompt – How does thunder make you feel? Does thunder at night help you snuggle under the covers? Or make you want to hide under the bed? Does lightning make thunder better or worse? Do you count (or dread) the seconds from the flash to the rumble?

Memoir Prompt – Snapshots are seldom great photography. The composition is all wrong. The flash is too strong. She’s not even looking at the camera, and you have an odd expression on your face. But snapshots aren’t about the photo. They’re about the memories (and only secondarily about the proof that, yes, you used to wear that shirt). Select a snapshot and write as much as you can remember about the people in it, what happened just before and what happened after. Where it was taken, where those people are now, and anything that comes to mind from seeing the snapshot now.

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.


The Journal Newsletter

Editor: David Michael (
The Journal Newsletter Copyright © 2015 by David Michael.
Updated: September 19, 2016 — 5:26 pm