Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Journaling Software

I'm trying out something new with this entry, a piece of journaling software for Windows called (appropriately enough) "The Journal." It's not free ($39.95), and it doesn't do much more than the freeware program "Advanced Diary" (which is itself not much more than Wordpad tied to a calendar program), but it does have a few features that make it attractive to a writer. First and foremost, of course, is the ability to publish entries to an online blog. I've had problems with Blogger running extremely slowly in my web browser lately, and the problem has been getting worse the more entries I've added to the blog. I don't really understand this, as there are blogs out there with far more entries than mine. I'm more inclined to point a finger at our cable company. More and more people in our neighborhood have signed up for Cox Cable, so there are more and more people sharing the same cable feed. For a while, we couldn't stay connected more than a few minutes at a time. The network would always come back up on its own, but for several seconds (to hours) it would simply drop out. While it's a bit better now, I think there may still be enough delays to be causing Blogger to have fits. I have been using Blogger for Word, sometimes writing the entry on my Alphasmart Neo and uploading later, but it's just not as well organized as I would like. The whole purpose of a journal (or a blog) is to organize your thoughts, so this is a rather serious drawback. If this software works out, I will be able to write entries offline and have the software upload them while I'm doing other things. It supposedly will also let you have entries that are not uploaded, which would be handy since not all of my thoughts are really worth reading by strangers. I think it only allows one entry per day, though, so -- because I generally post every day -- that doesn't help a whole lot. I'll have to check it out.

The demo version of this program is good for 45 days, so I'll make a decision after that. Advanced Diary, as I said, is free, so that is certainly a contender. It would just require me to cut and paste into a browser, though, which is a royal pain. We'll see if this works out better.

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