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JRNL.com

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For full disclosure, note that I’m running ads for an online journaling service called JRNL.com. I’ve written about journaling and keeping your own set of “small plates” before many times. I just wanted to note publicly that, I’m one of the co-founders of JRNL.com, it is one of our projects that our team has developed.

I have no problem sharing it here because 1. this is my personal blog, 2. I’m not forcing anyone to sign up for anything to enjoy 100% of the content available here, 3. JRNL.com is 100% free for anyone to sign up and write unlimited entries, and 4. I use JRNL.com personally and am invested in making it the best journaling solution out there because I love journaling.

Note that I’ve never asked for donations or handouts and probably never will. I blog here at oneClimbs because I like to, I don’t do it for money. If I promote anything on this site it is because I personally believe that it is useful and relevant to the material I discuss. All the content I create for oneClimbs and my other projects are posted free of charge and may be used or reproduced by anyone.

I decided today that I wanted to write about this. We just launched JRNL.com into an open beta 2 weeks ago and I’m feeling really good about where we are at. Finally, after years and years, we are bringing this project to the public domain. I already had a successful freelance career, I came back on board with this new team because I want JRNL to exist and I’m going to explain why.

Some major issues with journal-keeping

Almost a decade ago when we were putting our original journaling service together we wanted to solve some of the problems around journaling.

To me, protection of the information is paramount, and having redundancies is the best way to preserve that information. What about physical notebooks? Marie Osmond lost 30 years of journals in a house fire. Word docs on your computer? Everything can be lost if the hard drive crashes (which ALL hard drives do eventually). Online or app solutions? How do you access your information when you have no Internet connection or want to pass it all on to your kids one day?

These are tough problems, and I’m going to be straight up with you here, there are NO 100% guaranteed ways to keep your data safe and secure, they all have flaws. So I think the trick is spreading out the risk across many strategies, kind of like diversifying your investments.

How our solution solves these problems

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This is what you see when you log in. There’s a clean layout with a timeline based navigation for viewing your entries.

Backing things up online has it’s own set of risks, but it can be pretty secure if done right. The US Government, banks, and even the LDS Church all have sensitive data that could potentially be hacked online, but it can be just as risky if not more so to keep that information in a file cabinet somewhere.

So we use the Internet to capture the data, through a web interface and an app (in private beta). This is nothing new, a lot of services do this, however, ours also allows you to publish your content to a hard-bound archival book or export to a PDF.

Our solution provides multiple levels of redundancy. First you have a backup online, second you can publish to a PDF and keep it on your computer, external hard drive or print it out at home, and third, you can publish to a hard-cover archival book. You would have to have your home burn down, your computer crash and the Internet to be destroyed all at the same time to lose your entries. If that happens, you have much bigger problems.

Yep, that's an old picture of me with a huge sandwich.

Yep, that’s an old picture of me with a huge sandwich.

Another plus is that you can set reminder notifications that will remind you to write in your journal. You can email your entries in via a custom email address that you can reset if it becomes compromised.

All About Me

A favorite section is called All About Me where there are several categories with pre-stocked questions that you can answer in case you don’t know where to start. Some questions you can answer multiple times as the years go by. I love going back and adding comments on old entries when my perspective has changed, I’m sure that will be interesting to my posterity. It’s cool to see your perspectives evolve and actually have a way to offer commentary on your own past.

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There are a ton of other things we are rolling out right now like powerful organizational tools, collaboration and sharing of journals and entries, themes, and much more I can’t reveal at the moment (top secret stuff).

Just journal.

Whatever you use to journal, what matters most is that you do it. Whatever stays in your mind, passes with you when you die and those left behind are poorer because of it. I feel like we have a duty to pass along our wisdom, perspectives, and perhaps even foolish notions to future generations. We may take our thought with us into the next life, but why not pass them along and keep them in mortality for others to enjoy?

After all, isn’t that why we have the scriptures?

Anyway, if you are interested in what we are doing, check out JRNL.com, we made something really cool and it’s only going to get better, especially as we close in on Christmas. I’m passionate about journaling and I’m passionate about this project. I’m proud of what we’ve done and I just wanted to share it with you.