LifeJournal™ Newsletter – Late February, 2012

Leap Day, 2012 LifeJournal Newsletter
I’m totally excited about a new class I’ve been asked to teach, called Your Write Life: Journal to Optimal LivingThe class, at the en*theos Academy,  is five sessions (one session per week) and begins March 14.  It’s a great format: You’ll listen to live audio presentations on how to use expressive writing to brighten, focus, creatively engage, empower, and make meaning in your life, and there will be time for you to ask questions. Listening and thinking about journaling, however, is not a substitute for doing it, so there will be a brief time for writing in the middle the class and we’ll end each session with a writing prompt. If you have to miss a class, it’s no  problem, as recordings will be available.  And, here’s some good news: there’s a sliding scale for payment. Take a quantum leap forward on Leap Year 2012, come join the class! 
Learn more and sign up for some enticing LifeJournal and IAJW events for the month of March.

One of the perennial journaling questions concerns handwriting versus typing entries. As a long time journal writer and someone who kept a paper journal for 30 years, I have discussed this schism with many journal writers and journal experts. Read the article below on that topic and learn how LlifeJournal solves many issues related to organizing both handwriting and typing entries.

All the best,

Ruth Folit
Call toll free–877-456-8762  9 AM to 5 PM, Monday to Friday – Click the LIKE button!

Handwritten vs. Keyboarded Entries… or both?

I hear from many people that they love to handwrite their journal entries.  There’s a certain kind of comfort with snuggling up with a paper journal, feeling the pen glide across the page and connecting with the rhythm of writing longhand.

People ask me what I think.  Should they give up the written journal and switch to the computer?  It’s a tough question for me as well, as I spent the first three decades of journal writing using paper and pen. How do you make the switch?

I have a couple of suggestions and observations about the journal writing process:  One is that there are times when I absolutely want to write with paper and pen.  It’s often late at night, when I don’t want to see the glare of a backlit computer screen. Or when I don’t want to hear the mechanical clicking of the keys, but I want to  hear the more sonorous sounds of and connection to pen gliding along  paper.  At those times, I surrender. I don’t force the computer connection; I simply know that my deepest needs are to write the long, slow, curvy way. No big deal. I do it.

Other times I have a lot to say.  I just want to express it; I have something that wants to come out and out it rolls.  With fervor and punch. The keyboard beckons and I’m very comfortable there.  I often wander into more writing than I thought I would, and that’s fine. My hands don’t cramp up, I don’t run out of paper or ink, and the writing flows easily.

I wonder if the writing process brings different thinking styles to my writing.  I think of writing with a pen and paper a little more right-brained and feeling-centered; and typing on a keyboard a little more left-brained and logical/linear.  But I’ve developed a technique to overcome that bias: I can close my eyes and type in a kind of trance-like state, going more in the flow than I can with a pen.  I can’t really legibly write by hand with my eyes closed.  I can do that much better with my keyboard. Even if there are a gazillion typos on the keyboarded monitor,  I can make sense of the words even with the keyboarded typos, better than I can make sense of my handwritten entries with my eyes closed.  I’ve tried both.

There’s a trade-off I’m making using LifeJournal vs using a paper journal, and I know it.  The words that I write on a keyboard are more easily accessible in the future. They are easier to find a few months or years from now.  Does that matter?  Sometimes yes. Sometimes no.  The problem is you never know whether it matters, until the writing has happened.  But the good news is, is that LifeJournal can accommodate both kinds of writing.

So you don’t have to make a choice.  You can have your cake and eat it, too.  Read the next article about how to integrate your handwritten entries into your LifeJournal software.

How to Integrate Your Handwritten Entries into LifeJournal

LifeJournal has built-in mechanisms to easily integrate handwritten journal entries into the LifeJournal system. Here’s how:

1.Select any handwritten journal entries that you want to include in LifeJournal and name the volume of the handwritten journal (anything descriptive title will work—such as the orange spiral notebook, the black hardcover notebook, or LifeJournal On Paper notebook volume II).

2.Paginate the handwritten notebook.

3.Open a blank LifeJournal entry and write the volume name and page number into the body of the journal entry. Enter the title and date in the appropriate places. Assign topics to this entry. If you want, type any passages of the journal entry that are particularly meaningful and significant and assign a topic(s) to them. You might want to scan entries in as well.  See the information below about scanning.

4.Click the Entry Method button to the right of the date in the Journal Entry. By default the Entry Method button is displayed in Keyboard mode. Click the button and the Handwritten mode will appear. The journal entry will then marked as handwritten for searching purposes.

Tip: When you search for your journal entries, the handwritten journal entries will be included in the Results Grid of the Journal Explorer. The rightmost column (labeled with ) indicates that the journal entry is handwritten if there is a black filled circle.

One more note: When you perform a search using the Advanced Search dialog (by clicking the Search button in the application toolbar), you can select the Handwritten only checkbox to include only your handwritten entries in your search.


And here’s some thoughts about scanning in journal entries:

If you scan a handwritten journal entry, there are two ways to include the scanned files:

1. Link to the scanned file from within the journal entry.  Here’s how:

Save the scanned files as a PDF file–which is a smaller file than jpg.  Then, open a journal entry and go to the Insert menu>Hyperlink>Link to File.  Then browse to the pdf file.  You’ll have a hyperlink included on your journal entry which you can open within the entry by holding the Ctrl key and clicking on the link.  Of course, you must have the scanned file in the same location as it was originally in order for the link to open.

2. Insert the scanned file as an image. Here’s how:

You can save the scanned file as a jpg, an image file.  Then go to the Insert menu>Picture and browse to the jpg. The jpg will appear directly into the journal entry, showing the handwritten file.  Remember, however, that size of your LifeJournal database will get large  with many images inserted to entries, rather than entries with just text, as image files are larger in size than text.

Here’s a table summarizing the trade-offs in the two ways that you can include scanned entries: 

Method of Scanning  Pros Cons
Link   Keeps the [YourName].ljd database file small. There is an additional step (clicking the link) between seeing and opening the scanned.

The location of the scanned file must remain the same.

Image The scanned entry is immediately visible when you open the entry. The database becomes large quickly, if you have many scanned files.



End Quotes:

[It’s]“Superficial to understand the journal as just a receptacle of one’s private, secret thoughts like a confidante that is deaf, dumb and illiterate. … In the journal I do not just express myself more openly than I could in person. I create myself.”—Susan Sontag

“If you do not tell the truth about yourself you cannot tell it about other people.”–Virginia Woolf

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