LifeJournal™ Newsletter – September-October 2001

A few days after September 2001

I write this as the world is still reeling from the horrific terrorist activities in New York, Pennsylvania and Washington, DC. We each have new and changing perspectives of our world after September 11, 2001 than we had before. When confusion and overwhelming feelings take over, journal writing can be an important part of an individual’s healing process. Writing about the event captures the moment so that you don’t have to hang on to every detail internally. Journal writing gives you a safe outlet for strong emotions. It helps untangle the mass of confusion, and to the extent possible, helps make personal meaning out of those tragic and criminal acts. If nothing else, the act of expressing your feelings and thoughts in a journal may offer some solace.

To those of you who are grieving over personal losses, I offer my profound sympathy.

As always, we greatly value your input. Thanks in advance for your response.


Ruth Folit
Chronicles Software Company

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Release of Version 1.4 New feature summary

  • How to obtain LifeJournal 1.4
  • Detailed Description of New Features

Prompts: Snapshot
Mailbag: How do I attach a journal entry to email?
Endquote: Julia Blackburn

Chronicles Software Company is pleased to announce the release of LifeJournal version 1.4 on October 5th! The changes in this version focus on several aspects, summarized below:

  • Optional password protection. You can opt not to have a password to protect the program.
  • Password protection for restoration of minimized program. When the program is minimized, if you use a password, it must be entered to restore the program.
  • Improved spell checker. The new spell checker lets you import customized dictionaries and offers a range of options for checking and correcting spelling.
  • Optional location for backup default directory. You can choose the default directory where the journal data is backed up automatically.
  • Manual backup to a directory of your choice. From the menu, you can manually backup your journal files to a directory of your choice.
  • Synchronization commands within the menu. Use several commands to keep your LifeJournal entries synchronized between two or more computers with the same journal writer.
  • More options to customize the look of your journal. You have more control of how your journal looks with the ability to select entry background colors, highlighting colors, as well as font colors of the journal entries. You can also control what elements of the program-such as the topics list, command buttons, horizontal toolbar, last entry, and timer-appear upon opening.
  • Worldwide date and time settings. You can run LifeJournal on computers that have regional settings other than the North American date and time convention.
  • More printing options. Now you can print (1) the Pulse Notes (selecting a date range), (2) all entries that are open, (3) the Life History timeline, and (4) entries directly from the results grid.
  • Easy retrieval of backup of current journal entry. You can view a version of the current journal entry from a backup file without opening the entire backup journal.
  • Remove Writer command. If you want to remove a writer, you can, as long as you have the writer’s password.


Order online:

  • If you don’t have an earlier version of LifeJournal you can order online by going to Choose between the download only, or the CD-ROM with an option to download. The program costs $39.95. The shipping and handling fees vary depending on the method of delivery.
  • If you have a recent version of LifeJournal (version 1.0, 1.1, 1.2, or 1.3) go under PURCHASE THE UPGRADE to 1.4 choose between the download only, or the CD-ROM with an option to download. The upgrade costs $12.00. The shipping and handling fees vary depending on the method of delivery.

Order by telephone: toll free 1-877-456-8762 from 9 A.M. to 5 P.M. EST, Monday through Friday.

Order by postal mail, specify whether you want the upgrade or the full versionand pay with a check or money order payable to:

Chronicles Software Company
PO Box 220
Sarasota, FL 34230


Below is a more detailed description of the new features and in some cases, how to make these features work for you if you are upgrading from an earlier version.

  • Optional password protection.

When you create a journal writer in version 1.4, you are asked to create a password to open your journal. If you do not want to have your journal protected with a password, you can leave the password text box blank. You will be asked if you are sure you don’t want a password. If that is the case, click YES

Please remember that without a password, anyone who uses your computer can open and read your journal.

If you have a password and then decide you no longer want a password, follow these directions:

  1. Go to Tools menu>Change password.
  2. Enter your old password and then leave each text box after New password blank. You will be asked if you are sure you don’t want to have a password. Click YES.
  3. The next time that you open your journal you won’t be required to enter a password.

If you are concerned about forgetting your password and you have not upgraded from a previous version, you may provide a hint about the password by following these directions.

  1. Create a Journal Writer’s name and password when you first login.
  2. When you create your password you are given the opportunity to create a hint for your password.
  3. Type in your hint, but remember that anyone can see it, so create a hint that will jog your memory, but not let others know what the password is.

If you are upgrading to version 1.4 from a previous version, you may provide a hint about the password by following these directions:

  1. Go to Tools menu >Change password.
  2. Enter your old password and where it says New password, type in the same password as before.
  3. You will then be asked if you want to provide a hint. Type in your hint, but remember that anyone can see it, so create a hint that will jog your memory, but not let others know what the password is.

You can read the password hint that you’ve created by clicking the “?” button on the login screen.

  • Password protection for restoration of minimized program.

If you have a password and you minimize the program to quickly remove the program from the screen (either by clicking on the square with the “_” sign in the top right corner of the program, or right clicking LifeJournal’s button on the taskbar and selecting “minimize”), you must enter your password to restore LifeJournal. You have three opportunities to enter the password correctly. On the third time, if you do not enter the password correctly, the program will close. If the active entry hasn’t been saved, a dialog box will appear with the default title and the choices offered to save, discard entry, or cancel.

If you do not have a password and you minimize the program, when you restore it, it will restore in the usual way.

  • Improved spell checker.

Use Tools menu>Spelling, the F7 key, or the Spell Check button on the horizontal tool bar to gain access to the spell checker. You may access American English or British English dictionaries, and add your own words to a custom dictionary. You may choose from a range of options concerning suggested words, auto correct, and other spell check functions. You may import dictionaries as well.

  • Optional location for backup default directory.

You may choose the directory to back up your journal files and choose it as the default backup directory. Go to the File menu>Back Up Journal and select the directory where you want your journal data backed up. The file that holds your backed up data isYourName.ljbak. The LifeJournal directory is where the file is located by default. If you want this new directory to be the new default directory for backups, check the appropriate box on the dialog box.

There are three ways YourName.ljbak, the backup file, can be used:

  1. automatically if you had made changes to an entry and wanted to view your older version of the entry. In that case you would use the File menu>View Version of Current Entry in Backup.
  2. automatically if your journal database, YourName.ljd became corrupted. (This can happen if your Windows session is terminated abnormally while LifeJournal is still running.) In this case the program will automatically search for the backup and ask you if you want to restore it from a backup file.
  3. when you choose File menu>Merge Entries from Backup.

  • Manual backup to a directory of your choice.

The 1.4 version allows you to back up your journal files to the directory of your choice. Some people may want to separate their data from the program and put it in a directory that contains data from other programs. Some users may want to back up their data to a removable medium (floppy, zip cartridge, CD-R). You can do both.

  • Synchronization commands within the menu.

Set up synching journal data using the Export/Import Commands 

If you have never had LifeJournal on a second computer (for example, home and work computers, or desk top and laptop computers) and want to synch journal entries between the two computers, use the Export and Import Writer commands initially just to set up synching your journal data between them.

Install version 1.4 on computer #1. After you have finished entering and saving new journal entries on computer #1, go to Filemenu>Export Writer. You will be asked which drive your removable medium (floppy, zip or jaz cartridge, CD-R, etc.) is located. Insert the removable medium, select the proper drive, and click OK.

Install version 1.4 on computer #2, but don’t run the program. Insert the removable medium onto which you exported the writer into computer #2. Run LifeJournal. As it is the first time you are running any LifeJournal program on that computer you will have two options upon opening it: (1) to create a writer or (2) to import a writer. Select Import a Writer and, when prompted, select the directory from which you are importing the files. Select the writer that you are importing, and enter the same password that you created for the writer on computer #1. All the journal data from the writer on computer #1 will be on computer #2.

Use Export/Import Writer commands when you first set up two or more computers with LifeJournal with the same writer, and want to bring all of the journal files as well as your custom dictionary from one computer to another. DO NOT use the Export/Import commands if you already have the same LifeJournal writer on two or more computers. If you do use these commands, you will REPLACE RATHER THAN MERGE OR COMBINE THE FILES from the exported writer to the imported writer. See below how to Merge Files.

Keep journal data synched using the Back Up and Merge Entries from Backup Commands

Once you have set up your computers with the same journal writer on each, use the File menu>Back Up and File menu>Merge Entries from Backup commands to keep your files synchronized. You may have set up LifeJournal programs on more than one computer with the same journal writer on each either by using the Export/Import commands (as described above) or by copying the YourName.ljd andusers.ljd files manually if you had an earlier version of LifeJournal.

If, for example, you just added journal entries on computer #1 and want to synch them with computer #2, insert the removable medium into the proper drive of computer #1 and go to File menu>Back Up. Browse to the proper drive, click OK, and all the journal data will be copied to it.

Next, run LifeJournal on computer #2, logged on as the same writer as you were for computer #1, and insert that removable media into the appropriate drive. Go to File>Merge Entries from Backup and use theBrowse button to navigate to the appropriate drive. The journal entries and other data that were on computer #1 and weren’t on computer #2 will be transferred into the LifeJournal running on computer #2.

  • More options to customize the look of your journal.

Journal Entry Background Colors

You can set a default background color for your journal entries by going to the Format menu>Set Default Entry Background Color. In addition to the 48 basic colors that appear, you can create your own set of custom colors. Click a Custom Color square and then click the Define Custom Colors button to view the color matrix. Select a color in the color matrix, refining the luminosity of that color by dragging the slider up and down. You can also define a color by entering the values of the Hue, Saturation, and Luminosity or of Red, Green and Blue. Once the custom color is defined, click the Add to Custom Colors button. You may define and save a set of 16 custom colors and change them when you want. Click on a basic or custom color and click the OK button, and that color becomes the default background color for your journal entries.

Use the same color selection control that appears when you go to theFormat menu>Set Current Entry Background Color to select the color of only the current journal entry.

You can use the background color to set a tone or feeling while you journal, or conversely, you can express the emotional tone of the journal entry by selecting a particular color.

You can select the colors of the highlights for each of the types of journal entries: Daily, Dream, and Life History.

Each of the journal entries has a different color to show highlighted passages. The default color is green for Daily Journal, blue for Dream Journal, and amber for Life History. There is also a thin horizontal stripe directly below the title bar on each journal entry that shows the color of the highlight.

You can now change the colors associated with the highlighted passage in each type of journal entry. Go to the Format menu>Set Highlight Colors. Click Select New Color button adjacent to the associate journal entry type. Use a color selector to choose the color of the highlight. The default entry background color is shown when you select a color, to let you see how the highlight will look with that background color. Once you have selected a highlight color, the thin horizontal stripe directly below the title bar on each journal entry shows the color of the highlight.

Font, font style, font size, and font color

You can choose a font for a particular entry or section of an entry, or as a default font. Go to Format menu>Set Font to set the font temporarily or for the selected text in the entry you are working on. Go to Format menu>Set Default Font to choose a font that will open when you open a new journal entry.

Remember, though, that the color of the font (if it isn’t the chosen default font) can conflict with the change of color when you are showing highlights.

Controlling what the screen looks like upon opening the program.

You can also control what elements of the program appear upon opening the program. Using the View menu, you can either show or hide the command buttons, horizontal toolbar, timer and topics list. Whatever elements are showing when you close the program will automatically appear when you open LifeJournal next time.

There is also a new option in the preference dialog box (Toolsmenu>Preferences) for the start up entry. In addition to the Daily Journal or Dream journal entry, you can select the Last Open Entry, so that the last entry that you were working on before closing the program will appear when you next open the program.

  • Worldwide date and time settings.

The program now automatically checks what your computer’s regional settings are and adjusts accordingly. Journal writers from around the world can now use LifeJournal.

  • More printing options.

  1. You can print the Pulse Notes by viewing the Daily Pulse Graph and clicking the Print button. If you select to print the Pulse Notes, you can also select the range of dates that you want to print.
  2. From the List All Entries or the result grid, you can right click on an entry and select Print.
  3. From the File menu>Print command, you now have a choice to print all open entries.
  4. You can now print the Life History timeline, by going to Filemenu>Print>Life History Timeline.

  • Easy retrieval of the backup of current journal entry.

Note: In the menu the definition of “current” is the active journal entry that may or may not be backed up.

You may view a version of the current journal entry from a backup file without opening the entire backup journal. There may be a time that you have reviewed a journal entry and have begun to edit it, and you realize that you’d like to refer to the original entry in the backup file. Go to File menu>View version of Current Entry in Backup. The backup entry will appear and may be saved as a separate entry, called “Backup of [Entry Title].

  • Remove Writer command.

LifeJournal customers have asked if they could remove a writer. For example, a person had difficulty gaining access to her regular journal and while waiting to hear from tech support about how to solve the problem, she created another Journal Writer. When her problem was resolved, she wanted to remove the second journal writer. Several users have mentioned that they wanted to remove a writer who had shared LJ on their computers. You can access this Remove Writercommand from the File menu. If there is a password, you must enter it to remove a writer.


My parents weren’t committed photographers, but I enjoy revisiting photos my parents took while I was growing up. I learn something new each time I re-examine them.

Photos are one kind snapshots to review, but I’d like to offer another type of snapshot, a set of 21 questions, whose answered should offer a picture of you. You can answer these questions annually, perhaps close to your birthday or at the beginning of the year, or just randomly as the mood strikes. The prompts are listed below and are also available for download into your LifeJournal from our Prompts web page,

  1. How are you spending your time?
  2. What have you learned about yourself recently?
  3. What challenges are you working on in your personal life? What milestones have you reached in your personal life?
  4. What challenges are you working on in your professional life? What milestones have you recently reached in your professional life?
  5. What events, both personally and in the news, have touched you?
  6. If you are involved in a primary relationship, how is it going?
  7. With whom are you spending most of your free social time?
  8. How do you spend your leisure time? What do you do to have fun?
  9. What is happening with your family? What are your current family dynamics?
  10. How is your health?
  11. Have you recently had recurring or similar dreams, or a dream that especially stands out for you? Describe the dream.
  12. Spend a few minutes with your eyes closed, relaxing, and breathing deeply. Let yourself drift into a deeper intuitive state. What image(s) appear? Record them in detail and hear what they have to say to you.
  13. What movie or book have you especially enjoyed recently? What kind of music do you listen to these days?
  14. What new material possession are you currently enjoying?
  15. Describe your physical self: your clothes, weight, level of fitness and energy, hairstyle, etc.
  16. What are your favorite-colors, activities, type of music, magazines, fashion, friends, car, interests?
  17. How would you describe the overall mood, tone, or rhythm of your life during the last several months?
  18. What are your goals or dreams for the upcoming six months?
  19. What changes do you hope to see the next time you take your “snapshot?”
  20. What else do you need to add to complete this “snapshot” of yourself?
  21. 21. If you have previous “snapshots” of yourself, review them and note the changes that you observe.

Mailbag: How do I attach a journal entry to e-mail?

To attach a journal entry to an email, first to go to the File menu>Export> Active Journal entry (or whatever entry[ies] you would want) and export the entry. Remember the location where you export the document. You may then attach the exported document to the e-mail.

End Quote:
From novelist, biographer, and journalist Julia Blackburn, in the introduction to her father’s (Thomas Blackburn) Selected Poems:

“Already then, when I was still so young, my father taught me to understand that if you can manage to put your deepest feelings and fears into words, to catch them in the net of metaphor and image, then no matter how vast and terrible they might be, you will come to no harm, you will find a way through to the other side. He said it was all a question of naming and giving shape to the things of darkness.”

To purchase LifeJournal: 

Order online at Select the full program or the upgrade and then click the button for download only or CD-ROM with the option of downloading.

To order you must complete three pages online:

  1. The shopping cart lets you enter what product(s) you want and how you want them delivered.

    If you choose the CD-ROM button, make sure you include the appripriate fees for how you want the CD deliveed — via mail for $8 in US and Canada; $10 elsewhere; or $16 for overnight FedEx delivery in the US.

  2. A secure page lets you enter billing and shipping information.
  3. A secure page lets you enter credit card information.

    After submitting the third page a RECEIPT page appears with a link that saysCLICK HERE TO RECEIVE YOUR DOWNLOAD KEY VIA E-MAIL. Click the link to trigger an automatic email sent to the email address that you have provided on second web page of the ordering process, and then print the receipt page for your records.

Order by telephone: toll free 1-877-456-8762 from 9 A.M. to 5 P.M. Eastern time, Monday through Friday.

Order by postal mail, by printing the order form and sending it with a check or money order payable to:

Chronicles Software Company
P. O. Box 220
Sarasota, FL 34230

OTHER QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS: Send mail to, or visit us at

©Chronicles Software Company, 2001. All rights reserved.