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Issue 9.1


MacJournal (Macintosh and iPhone)

Issue: 9.1 (November/December 2010)
Author: Dave Mancuso
Article Description: No description available.
Article Length (in bytes): 4,534
Starting Page Number: 16
Article Number: 9104
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Writing tools abound on the Mac platform. Scrivener, VooDoo Pad, Journler, Memoire, and even tools like DevonThink support writing and organizing your ideas. The key is to find a tool that helps you organize and tag your ideas, but also gets out of your way so that you can, well, write. The most popular journaling application for Macintosh used to be Journler, but the product ceased development a year ago. The new tool of choice seems to be MacJournal.

The software offers a trial copy for download, and installation is a simple drag from the disk image to your Applications folder. Once launched, MacJournal shows a familiar three pane display, which is configurable via an "Entries Side" command under the View menu (e.g., three panes horizontally for wide screen Macs). Each journal holds multiple entries, and you can nest journals inside of other journals if you so choose. Discovering the program's options was a matter of skimming the user guide and playing with the preferences.

Each journal entry is tagged by date created, which is nice if you later want to see a chronological perspective of your work, but the additional features of MacJournal provide interesting possibilities. You can use images, PDF, or other application files. You can also embed YouTube videos in your entries.

Once you've written and gathered your information, MacJournal lets you publish it to a weblog, or even create a podcast, providing multiple ways for you to create and express yourself. Its workflow is very smooth, even offering you a full screen view to let you write without distraction from other apps on your Mac. Simple and yet powerful.

The iPhone version is another story. It's a simple application. You can synchronize your journals with their Mac counterparts. You can write and edit journals on the iPhone, and then sync them back to your Mac. Note that the syncing happens over your local wifi network, so your Mac and iPhone must both be connected to the same wireless network. The app is pretty simple; there's not much to say about it. There have been reports of syncing and crashing problems, but a recent update seems to address it.

MacJournal is a good product and the developer support really shines. The website gave information about the product and an emailed question to the web page contact was returned within a few hours. The site provided a full user guide and user video tutorials. Their support page supplied a knowledgebase and user forums. Better yet, the main support page provided links to the top user needs, like lost serial number support.

MacJournal is an excellent tool, but frankly its strength is in its user guide and video tutorials. These tools really help you get the most out of the program with a minimum investment in time. Even the best tool isn't used much if you can't figure out how to utilize its features. MacJournal helps you dig deep and get the most out of journaling, recording thoughts, and publishing easily.

End of article.