iwrite.4.life QuickStart

This QuickStart tutorial will get you up and running in 10 easy steps. You'll learn how to create a journal, create and edit journal items, and how to find items in your journal. Let's get started with iwrite.4.life 101...

Download

If you haven't already done so, download iwrite.4.life now. When asked whether to save or run the file, choose save. You can save the file iwrite4life_setup.zip anywhere on your hard disk. I have a folder Downloads under my user folder and create a subfolder for every company or web address I download from, so the path to the downloaded file would look something like this: C:\Users\YourUserName\Downloads\Right Mind Logic\ but that's of course up to you.

Install

Microsoft Windows® has a built-in facility for unzipping compressed files. To extract the entire contents of iwrite4life_setup.zip, right-click the file, click Extract All, and then follow the instructions. Again, you can place the extracted setup files anywhere but I would extract them to the same folder as iwrite4life_setup.zip. After a successful installation you may want to delete iwrite4life_setup.zip and the extracted files to save space.

To install iwrite.4.life run setup.exe in the folder you extracted the installer package to; setup.exe will install the iwrite.4.life™ system, the three tools full-text search, journal content, month calendar, and the default plugin, the itext text editor. The new installer can now check the most important system requirements for you. Just click the button Check Requirements at the top of the installer window (If you get a warning about a missing VC++ Redistributable you can ignore it safely on all newer systems. This usually only results in problems on Windows XP without service packs installed).

Start

We're almost there! Click the Windows Start button, select All Programs, find and click the iwrite.4.life folder, and then click the iwrite.4.life icon in it.

Start program from the Windows Start menu

You should see the program start screen:iwrite.4.life start screen 

Create a journal

Select New Journal... from the Journal menu to create your first journal.

Journal menu, menu item New Journal

Select a folder location where you want to create your journal. You can also create new folders in the Browse For Folder dialog.

Browse for folder dialog

Enter a name for your new journal. I've chosen MyTestJournal here.New Journal dialog with path and name entered

Note that no Logon dialog will show if you are the only user of the journal and have set no password. A new journal always has a single user named owner with an empty password. However, once you have set a password, a Logon dialog will appear every time you open that journal. Logon dialog

Take a look at the program's title bar: It should now display the name of the open journal (MyTestJournal in my case) and the phrase owner (Access: Owner). What this means is that you are logged on to this journal as the user owner with the maximum access rights (Owner). You can add users and change passwords and access rights per user but we will explain that in a different tutorial.Program title bar with name of open journal

Create a journal item

So we have a new empty journal now and it's time to create some journal entries - or journal items as they are called in iwrite.4.life. On the toolbar click Create (with a little green plus next to it) and select Create Item...

Create Item menu item

You will see the Create New Item dialog on which you can change the new item's properties, like the topic and info type it belongs to, which type of item it is (Unless you have installed additional plugins there will be only a single choice of iwrite4Life standard text editor plugin), and also the item's date and time of day. If you don't want to make any changes, simply accept all properties by pressing Enter or clicking OK.Create Item dialog

Edit a journal item

You can now enter some text on the empty page that appeared in iwrite.4.life. Notice that the program guides you visually to important properties of the current item by applying an orange color to elements of the user interface. For example, the item's date is shown on the orange tab above it; its topic, info type, and time of day are displayed on the orange bar at its bottom; if you look at the toolbar, the ("video recorder") transport controls indicate that the current item is at the same time the first and last item in the journal (since its the only one so far) and it's also an item with today's date (that's why the square stop button is orange).

Editing a journal item in the standard text editor

One further thing to notice is that the program's toolbars provide all the general journal functionality that is independent of any particular plugin. Everything blue is part of the iwrite.4.life framework. However, plugins will have their own special functionality (like editing text) which they offer by means of their own menus and toolbars. Those are displayed "on the item", i.e., under the orange date tab.

Standard text editor plug-in with some formatted text

Get to know the month calendar tool

Let's move on in this crash course to the area of journal tools. Three tools come prepackaged with iwrite.4.life and we'll start with the month calendar.

The month calendar tool

Again, watch for the color orange because all days that have journal items will be marked in orange on the calendar. The calendar always stays in sync with the journal item displayed. If you double-click an "orange day" on the calendar, it will be opened. On the other hand, if you navigate to a day by other means, the calendar will automatically scroll to display the date range around that day's date.

Navigating with the calendar tool

Get to know the journal content tool

This tool is like a table of contents of your journal. It structures all your journal items into "buckets" of topics, info types, dates, and time. Open the tool and you'll see how many journal items your journal contains. You can expand and collapse the individual "buckets" as you see fit and, best of all, you can change the sort order by clicking on the small triangle next to the button with the two green arrows.

The journal content tool

As with the month calendar tool, the journal content tool stays in sync with the current item and, of course, it uses the color orange to mark the current item.

Get to know the full-text search tool

Finally, the full-text search tool warrants its own tutorial as to its Advanced Search dialog but its basic functionality should be self-evident: You enter a search term and the tool displays the search results in a tree that can be sorted similar to the journal content tool.

The full-text search tool

You can use the buttons with the magnifying glass and arrows on the tool's toolbar to browse the search results. Items will automatically be opened and search hits will be highlighted with a yellow marker (No, not orange ;-)).

The full-text search toolbar

Notice that you cannot edit an item as long as it has search hits highlighted. In order to re-enable editing of items with highlighted search hits you have to clear the search (Move your mouse pointer over the toolbar buttons on the full-text search tool to see which button clears the search).

Highlighted search hits

Save & exit

The only thing worth mentioning here is that iwrite.4.life does not ask you if you want to save your work when you quit the program - it will simply save it. After all, it's your work!

However, if you work for an extended period of time, you might want to save individual days occasionally. One way to do this is to right-click on a day tab and select Save Day. iwrite.4.life also has an auto-save feature which is explained in a different tutorial.

I hope that this tutorial has helped you get started. Now go and leave a trace on your personal cave wall...