LifeJournal™ Newsletter – February 2002

We’re celebrating the first anniversary of the LifeJournal newsletter. Writing and distributing the newsletter has been a satisfying process, stimulating discussion between the LifeJournal community and Chronicles Software Company.  We’ve learned a lot from many of you, our subscribers, and we’ve gotten feedback that the newsletter has enriched your journal writing.

We have created an index of articles that we will add to each month, so that can easily find information about a particular subject area in journaling or LifeJournal. You can find it at

Our apologies to those of you who received an unintelligible, html-code-filled newsletter last month. We were trying a new piece of mass e-mail software and unfortunately some e-mail programs opened the newsletter in an unreadable form. In the future, in the subject of the e-mail, there will be a URL that you can go to where you can view the newsletter online in html, if you’d prefer. That way, we will make sure that all who subscribe will be able to read the newsletter regardless of their e-mail program.


Ruth Folit
Chronicles Software Company
rfolit@lifejournal.comHow to subscribe and unsubscribe:

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Windows XP version of LifeJournal
The Art of Choosing the Topics to Index
Tip: Searching with ”Any” or “All” Topics
Mailbag: Listing all Entries Written about One Topic
End Quotes
To Purchase LifeJournal

Windows XP Version of LifeJournal

We now have is a Windows XP version available! Go demo; fill out the form and click the Submitbutton. Click the Download Demo link and click on the link in the sentence: For XP users, please download this LifeJournal demo.

If you have Windows XP and LifeJournal is running without a problem, there is NO NEED to uninstall and re-install.  Many Windows XP users had no trouble with our prior installation. 

The Art of Choosing the Topics to Index

There are two general approaches to creating topics to use in indexing your journal entries.  One obvious, straightforward way is to assign a topic by content or subject.  Perhaps these content-oriented topics could reflect your life. For example, you could have categories about relationships like family, partners, friends, and colleagues; a category for activities like work and leisure time; a category for inner life including spiritual or religious thoughts and feelings, creative ideas, and philosophical thinking; or perhaps a category for on-going life maintenance like health, finances, and exercise.

(Remember, to edit the Topic List– that is to rename or remove a topic—right click on a topic. To add a topic, right click on a Topic Folder or in the Topic List area and select Add a Topic.)

Instead of indexing your journal entries by subject, you could index your journal entries by process. This is a more sophisticated way to index your journal entries and allows you greater opportunity to see patterns and gain insights.  Topics or Topic Folders that reflect the process of living include:

  • Change
  • Conflicts
  • Feelings
  • Goals
  • Improvements
  • Insights
  • Issues
  • Obstacles
  • Roles
  • Signals
  • Successful strategies

If you need more specific sub-topics under a heading, create a Topic Folder.Feelings, for example, would be better as a Topic Folder that included individual feelings topics within it, such as anger, confidence, and excitement.

Using these process-oriented topics helps give you some perspective on your life.  For example, it may be difficult to notice change in your life because change can be gradual and hard to perceive. Re-reading journal entries you wrote months or years ago might illuminate how you have changed. If you write about your changes then you could assign the topic Change to those entries.

You can write about the process of change as well as the content of a change. You may perform a search using Change as the search criteria and you’ll discover the common threads about how you feel and think when you make changes in your life, whether it is graduating from college, changing careers, moving from one house to another, or aging.

You can also gain some clarity by being intentional about change in your life and journaling about the adjustments that you want to make, devising strategies, and noting obstacles and success.  Assign the topic Change as well as other process-oriented topics such as successful strategies or obstacles, and subject-oriented topics appropriate to those journal entries.  Then, after several months, you could perform a Search and Review with topics “Change” and “Successful strategies” or “obstacles” and you may discern patterns of what your own successful strategies for or obstacle to change are.

Creating process topics may remind and train you to notice your life process and journal about it. For example, by creating the topic Signals, you might perceive and then write about recurring themes of confusion, pain, sleeplessness, irritability, lethargy, and worry as something more than a random mood, but as indicators that you would like to alter some part of your life.  Assigning the topic Signals to appropriate journal entries helps to be aware of subtle indicators before they become large problems. Conversely, clarity, energy, being in the flow, and feelings of contentment are signs that you are on the right path.

When you are using the Search dialog box to find patterns and common threads, you can select more than one topic as search criteria. One effective search could include a content-focused topic and a process-focused topic. If you want to learn about, for example, your interaction with your co-worker John, you might do a search that includes both the topic John (in the topics folder Work) and the Topic FolderFeelings.  You will get a listing of all the journal entries that include the topic Johnand any feelings that you have bookmarked or highlighted. Paging through the list of journal entries will illuminate how you feel when you are interacting with John. See the tip below,  “Searching with “any” or “all” topics,” for more information about how to use the Any/All selector in the Search dialog box.

Tip:  Searching with “Any” or “All” Topics

When you select more than one topic in performing a Search, you may choose to retrieve entries containing All of the Selected Topics or entries containing Any of the Selected Topics. You can access this any/all choice on the Search dialog box (sixth circular button down with the eye icon) below the list of Topics.

When you select any (the default choice), you are asking to list journal entries that have at least one of the topics that you have selected to search. For example, if you wanted to read your journal entries related to anyone in your family of origin, you would select each of your original family members’ names in the Search dialog box and select “Entries containing any of the Selected Topics.”  Click the Search button and all the journal entries that meet that criteria will be listed in the Search Results Grid.

When you choose all, you are requesting to list journal entries that each of which has all the topics that you selected. For example, if you want to read your journal entries related to your brother and the feeling of happiness, select those two topics and “Entries containing all of the Selected Topics.” Only those journal entries that have BOTH those topics assigned to the journal entries will appear in the Search Results Grid.

Searching by all topics narrows down your search more than searching by any topic.

Mailbag: Listing All the Entries with a Topic

Q: Is there some way to list all the entries I have written about one Topic? What I want to do is to find out every entry I have made and marked for a specific topic, such as Family/husband.

A: Yes, there is a way.

  1. Open the Search dialog box (click the sixth circular button, the one with the eye icon).
  2. Click the plus sign ,”+,” to the left of the folders in the list of topics on the right side of the dialog box.
  3. Select the topic that you want.
  4. Click the Search button.
  5. A list of all entries with a particular topic assigned to it will appear.

 End Quotes

The greatest discovery of my generation is that a human being can alter his life by altering his attitudes of mind.

~William James


Mistakes are the portals of discovery.

~James Joyce


To purchase LifeJournal: 

·   Order by postal mail and pay with a check or money order payable to:
Chronicles Software Company
PO Box 220
Sarasota, FL 34230

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