The Journal Newsletter – October 2016

The Journal Newsletter

October 2016


Happy Halloween Seasons Greeting!

A new update of The Journal 7 is available. See “The Journal News” below for details.

In this month’s “How I Use The Journal,” Alan Brooks tells us how he uses The Journal for his historical research.

Have you ever wondered how you could help support The Journal? Submitting *your* story for “How I Use The Journal” is one way. To learn more ways, check out this new article on the web page:
How You Can Help Support The Journal

This month’s tip tells you how to stop The Journal from starting with Windows (and could be useful for removing other software from Windows startup, as well). Plus, we have a new set of writing prompts.

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: How to Stop The Journal Starting with Windows

On Windows 7 or earlier: Click on the Windows “Start” or orb, and open “All Programs”. Find the “Startup” program group and open it. Right-click on “The Journal 7” and delete it.

On Windows 10: Right-click on the taskbar and choose “Task Manager”. Then bring up the “Startup” tab.

Writing Prompts

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

Journaling Prompt – Let yourself miss someone (or something) lost. Can be anyone or anything.

Memoir Prompt – When I was in junior high, my English teacher made the class keep a journal in a spiral notebook. That was my first journal. It was another ten years before I started keeping a regular journal again, that time using software (Microsoft Word for Windows 2.0). How many ways have you kept a journal or diary? Stenographers notebooks? Leather bound volumes? Various types of software? Do all those journals still exist?

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 Alan Brooks

I have used The Journal since April 2008 and I feel deeply appreciative of its benefits. Your post (“How You Can Help Support The Journal”) prompted me to contact you since I have been planning on doing it for some time, as I will explain.

In 2007, though retired, I decided to resume university studies. At first I used a written journal to record activities and plans. While portable, and better than no journal at all, a written journal had limitations. So I looked to what was available to use with a computer. TJ was immediately impressive: it was very flexible in its configuration, it worked for me, not me for it. And, I was to discover, it grew and grew.

I never got around to putting TJ onto a USB stick. This meant that I maintained a written note taking habit. Each evening I would transcribe my notes into The Journal and, importantly, reflect on what I was transcribing and accumulating a list of research questions. So, alongside my daily journal entries, I developed a new notebook to record questions I needed to ask. In time, this series of notebooks expanded. I developed a to do list (not great, but functional), I maintained a list of people I needed to acknowledge when my work ran to a close. Two of the most useful notebooks were a place to write things, ideas, arguments, possible chapters, etc. This was valuable, because I could keep track of ideas as they matured in my mind without opening, say, endless Word documents.

The greatest asset though, was my collection of research notes. I differentiated between what I was doing each day and my research activities. This came into its own when I worked online. I was researching the transportation of convicts from Britain to colonial America and then colonial Australia. A lot of material was available online. Each day I would keep a record of URLs to keep track of where I had been and would copy and paste useful materials and references. This proved to be a fabulous resource and, because it is search-able, I could access the material in so many ways. I spent some weeks in Britain at the National Archive, Kew. There I was able to photograph key documentation which I downloaded onto my laptop. Each evening I would spend a few hours correlating my research notes with the downloaded photos with links into TJ. Invaluable and still of great value.

I maintained a fairly diligent back-up regime, so if one PC died, I shifted the entire arrangement to another PC or laptop. Early on, I lost some material, so I also maintained the habit of keeping printed copies. TJ has the most useful facilities for an occasional print out of, say, all of last year’s entries. It is paper efficient and easy to utilise.

I have now finished my studies and was awarded a PhD a few months back. I am trying to write a history book from my research. Because TJ has become such an important tool in my life, it is now an important aide in developing the narrative. I haven’t gone as far as doing the principal writing in TJ but I still use it to shape arguments and keep track of my activities.

While all the above was going on, I discovered another use for TJ. Once I realised I could use different journal volumes for different purposes, I opened a garden journal. This has now been going for five years and is expanding. I maintain a regular list of plantings, maintenance, harvesting, etc. as well as keeping record of online gardening information, ideas for the future, and photographs.

David, I honestly do not know how I would have coped with all theses activities over the last few years without the aid of TJ. You have done a great job in developing the programme and in maintaining it so fluidly. I cannot recommend it highly enough, especially to people conducting research.

-Alan Brooks

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. 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 © 2016 by David Michael.
Updated: October 17, 2016 — 5:47 pm