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It is simple to enter and format text

There is nothing new to learn here. You can enter and format text as you are used to from your text editor. It is easy to structure information visually by applying text styles, indentation, bullets and so on. 

And with the optional iwrite word processor plugin you have many more formatting and layout capabilities. You can also drag & drop text within a journal item or from other programs into the journal. For example, drag content from your web browser or a message from Outlook into : it couldn't be easier.

You can easily organize your information organizes your journal items by Topic, InfoType, date, and time of day. does not attach any meaning to Topics or InfoTypes, so you are completely free in your interpretation of these labels. A useful way of going about this is to think of Topics as categories or themes and use InfoTypes to further classify your journal items per Topic.

Here is an example of this approach. Let's say you manage various projects as Topics: "Project abc", "Project xyz". You would then collect all meeting minutes related to a project with an InfoType of "Minutes", all phone conversations as "Phone notes" etc. The information would then be structured like this:

  • Project abc
    • Minutes
    • Phone notes
  • Project xyz
    • Minutes
    • Phone notes

A different but equally valid approach would be to have a Topic "Projects" and use InfoType to name the individual projects:

  • Projects
    • Project abc
    • Project xyz

You can define as many Topics and InfoTypes as you like. Only if you explicitly create a Topic for a particular day will this Topic appear for that day. You don't have to carry around the unnecessary baggage of empty Topic or InfoType tabs.

A second way to stay organized is to use multiple journals. Create a journal for every project or every customer. Keep a private journal and a business journal and so on. You'll have to strike a balance between having too many Topics and InfoTypes in any one journal and having too many different journals. There are no general solutions to this question. A sensible thing to do would be to start with two journals: a private and a professional one. As the number of Topics per journal increases you can always decide to start a new specialized journal.

And don't forget that you can rename Topics and InfoTypes at any time.

So Topics and InfoTypes are just two levels of categorization of information and you may ask why we don't offer more. This has actually been a hotly debated design issue and our answer is this: When we organize information physically, e.g., as folders in drawers (two levels of categorization) we are used to a limited number of hierarchical levels. We don't usually put a box in a box in a box... While a single level would be quite limiting, more than two or three physical levels become quite confusing.

We do agree though that a flexible classification tool that lets you decide how many levels you create and how you name them would be useful in many situations - and that's why we're developing just that as an additional tool for the system. Not everyone needs it in a basic journal writing tool - so not everyone should have to pay for it. Stay tuned!

You can quickly find what you wrote even if it was years ago

In our experience, people who give up journal writing do so mostly because they cannot find relevant information in their journals once they have entered more than a trivial amount of text.

Of course, using Topics, InfoTypes, and multiple journals can go a long way when it comes to knowing where to look for information. But no matter how well thought out your structure of journals, Topics and InfoTypes may be, you will always come to a point where you just cannot remember in which category you put some piece of information. Also, the number of items in a category may become fairly large after some time so it's a pain to sequentially browse through all items.

This is where excels: you will find that its full-text search capabilities are unmatched. Not only can you search using logical connectors such as AND and OR; you can also perform natural language searches; use stemming and phonic searching; or restrict the search to date and Topic ranges. In conjunction with the thesaurus, will find misspelled words and even related concepts and synonyms.

You get powerful tools for viewing and browsing the information in your journal

Most of the time you will be working with your journal one day at a time. For example you may keep the journal open during your workday and make several entries for the current date. Maybe you go back a day to look at what you wrote yesterday or you make a To Do ... entry for tomorrow.

However, sometimes you're more interested in what you had to say regarding a particular Topic. Maybe you want to look up all ideas you ever wrote down. In this case you would turn to the Journal Content tool in the Journal Explorer and sort your journal first by Topic and then by either InfoType or date. Now expand the Ideas node and you could browse through all Idea entries. This is much more convenient than searching for Idea items on the calendar because you would have to check every single day and there might be weeks or even months where you never made an Idea entry.

Sometimes you want to work with a specific set of days because they contain information that's relevant in a common context. Those days may be far apart in the journal but in you can open them all as individual tabs so you can switch between them with a single mouse click.

All commands are accessible via toolbar buttons and shortcut keys making navigation easy for beginners and, at the same time, efficient for advanced users.