LifeJournal™ Newsletter – November 2002

When I started Chronicles Software Company about five years ago, I knew it would be an adventure and I hoped it would be beneficial to others. I am gratified that many thousands of you have found LifeJournal useful. During this Thanksgiving season I’d like to thank you for another successful year. I enjoy hearing from you–your suggestions, critiques, and praise, and your survey responses. LifeJournal wouldn’t exist and continue to grow without you.

As you enjoy your preparations for the upcoming Thanksgiving, Hanukah, Christmas, and Kwanzaa, I hope you consider giving LifeJournal as a gift for family and friends.

If you have a few spare moments, please participate in our newest survey that is posted at The results of the last survey are reported in the newsletter.

With heartfelt thanks,

Ruth Folit
Chronicles Software Company

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The Best of Both Worlds: Coordinating a Handwritten with a Keyboarded Journal
Tip: Parents Keep a Journal about your Children
Results of October’s Survey
How To Purchase LifeJournal.

The Best of Both Worlds: Coordinating a Handwritten with a Keyboarded Journal
One of the great debates about journal writing is whether to handwrite or to use the keyboard to keep a journal. Julia Cameron, for instance, in her book, The Artist’s Way, advocates writing three “morning pages” in longhand every day as part of a regimen to increase creativity. Other writers think that the important part of journaling is just doing it, regardless of which part of your hand(s) is doing the work–one full hand or ten fingertips..

Some people say that writing by hand is comforting. Getting cozy in a comfortable chair with your favorite pen and notebook is part of the tactile pleasure of journal writing. For some, feeling the rhythm of a ballpoint gliding across paper and hearing the soft scratching sound is part of the mystique of keeping a journal. Others feel they write more fluently and more frequently when they write at a computer, because being at a computer is part of their daily routine.

Margie Davis, the author of The Healing Way: A Journal for Cancer Survivors, ( writes this about her assumptions about handwriting in contrast to writing at a computer:

“Before I tried LifeJournal, I was convinced that writing deep thoughts and feelings had to be done longhand. I needed to feel the emotions pass from my heart, down my arm, into my hand, out my fingers, through the pen, and onto the paper. I’ve been using this software for about four weeks now, and I know that I have written more in my LifeJournal than I would have written longhand. In the evening when I’m sitting at my computer checking my email, it’s so easy to bring up my LifeJournal and begin writing.”

Although I am not an excellent typist, I can close my eyes and type at the keyboard in a semi–trance, capturing some of my best ideas in an uncensored, almost hypnotic state. I certainly can’t do that when I’m handwriting: I’ve tried and the results are ridiculously illegible!

In a recent survey I was surprised that almost half (45%) of people who keep journals on their computers also keep written journals. So I wanted to suggest to you a way to keep both handwritten and computer generated journals and use them in a complementary fashion.

Here are the mechanics:

  1. Add the folder “Paper” to your Topics List. (Right click anywhere in the Topics List area and select “Add Folder.” Then enter the word “Paper” into the text area that says “New Topic.”)
  2. Then add a topic to that folder, called “Handwritten.” (Right click on a topic folder and select “Add Topic to Folder.” Then enter the word “Handwritten” into the text area that says “New Topic.”)
  3. Next, add another topic to the folder “Paper,” that is the name of the volume of the handwritten journal (e.g. comp book#2, green hardcover, or brown leather).

Next time you write a journal entry by hand, give the entry a title, and, of course, date it. Paginate your journal when you have a chance, so that you can quickly find a particular entry within the handwritten journal. When you are back at your computer and wish to add information to LifeJournal about your handwritten entries, open LifeJournal to the appropriate journal entry type (Daily, Dream, or Life History) and type in the title of your handwritten journal entry. Enter the appropriate date. In the text of the journal entry you might write a sentence or two that captures the essence of the journal entry. Also, type “page [number] in the [description of the notebook],” for example, “page 32 in the red leather notebook.” In the Topics List, click the topic “Handwritten” in the “Paper” folder and then also click on the topic that is the description of the volume that you had written. I would also suggest that you bookmark that entry by clicking on the topic(s) in the Topics List that describes what you wrote about in the handwritten journal, so that later, when you search for all journal entries on a particular topic, that entry will appear, and will point you in the right direction to quickly find the handwritten journal entry

Tip: Parents Keep a Journal about your Children

Children love to hear stories about themselves. There is nothing more empowering for your children than telling them directly how much you love and admire them while also offering specific anecdotes, musings, or other observations supporting those feelings. You can incorporate those supportive memories into a meaningful birthday gift. At every birthday–or perhaps just the “big” ones (10, 13, 18, 21, for example) you can give your child a gift of your memories.

Here’s how to do it: Create a Topic folder called “Parenting” and have two folders, one called “Private” and the other “Shared.” Also, make sure that you have a topic that is your child’s name in the “Family” folder if you don’t have one already. When you enjoyed a particularly close moment, or observed or interacted with your child in a way that made you both feel really good, or witnessed a milestone in your child’s life, make sure that you write about it. Assign the journal entry or the passage, “Shared.” (There may be other times that you may want to write about your children in way that offers you a safe vent for emotions of anger, frustration, or irritation, but assign those “Private.” It’s probably not a great idea to include those journal entries in a birthday gift! )

Then, when it’s time to give your child the latest edition of “About You” perform a search with the topic “Parenting” and “Shared” and your child’s name. Read through to make sure that what you have marked as “Shared” are indeed the proper passages of journal entries. Make sure “all” is selected in the “entries containing ALL selected topics.” Print “Entries on Search Result List.” Make a cover, perhaps add some photos or other memorabilia, and put the pages into a loose-leaf notebook, or some other binding. You couldn’t offer you child a more heartfelt gift.

Results of October’s survey

Seventy–six people responded to the survey that was posted on October 23. Almost half (47%) of the respondents report that they wrote in their journal daily. And the greater majority of respondents wrote at least weekly (75%).

The topics respondents wrote most regularly about were emotions (62%), spirituality/prayer/religion (42%), and relationships (41%). Respondents tended to write about the topic work/profession/career, often (40%), rather than regularly (24%). And the topics that respondents wrote about least (combination of rarely and never) were health (23%) and finances (48%).


The problem is not that there are problems. The problem is expecting otherwise and thinking that having problems is a problem.
—-Theodore Rubin

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    Chronicles Software Company
    PO Box 220
    Sarasota, FL 34230

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