An online journal that made me go back on my word

So, last week I wrote this post on my posterous mini-blog:


I love the visuals, UI, and concept behind this application.

Too bad I’ve already set up a tumblog exactly for this – a daily log. The only features right now that Tumblr doesn’t provide me with are:

– the ability to print to PDF
– the very attractive, minimal input panel
– reminders to post

The last I can live without, the first has a workaround (not pretty, but can do it) and the second…. well, at least Tumblr has an Android app right now. It’s not rockingly beautiful, but it’s still pretty simple.

I’ve been uploading a daily photo, some with entries, for just over 2 months now into my tumblog, and because I’ve gotten into the habit, I don’t really want to switch at this moment. If I hadn’t already started a 365 photo journal, I would sign up right now.

And then, this weekend I go and sign up for 280daily.

Now, why would I do that?

Well, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to try a new writing tool/record keeper that, most importantly (in this case), looked SO beautiful. Really simple, really minimal, and very attractive. The application actually came to mind a few times after I had first looked at it and I kept thinking about the UI.

So much for sticking to my wish to keeping things simple.

But right now, I don’t regret it, at least not at this moment. I’ve tried different journalling applications, and truly, simplicity is a feature I really value: I want to just write and then be able to flip through and easily see those entries. To this day, I think pen and paper was the best way I’ve ever journalled. It’s just that I find the electronic medium much more efficient and accessible, since I always have a smartphone on me, but not necessarily a notebook and pen.  But I haven’t found a digital journalling application that was as easy to browse and print out as it was to write the entries (with the exception of SkoobySoft’s viJournal, which I really liked, but didn’t want to pay $29 CDN for, at the time).

The fact that 280daily is on the web means it’s accessible anywhere with internet. I have mobile access to it. I can backup and download a pdf version, neatly formatted with the photos as well as text entries. The fact that it’s limited to 280 characters does something to my psyche: instead of being a challenge to write everyday (I love love love the concept behind 750words but found it too long in practice for a daily writing tool at this point in my life) it’s like “ha – you only have double one tweet length to fill in for today,” which, really, is a cinch. If I really want to write longer, I have this wordpress blog to fill in the rest of the day.

What I do look forward to is an Android app where I can snap a picture and easily upload it to the main entry with some text. The web version is very slick, but it takes a few extra clicks than I would prefer to add one photo to the current entry.

I’m excited to test out my quick writing chops with this journal. Here’s to conscientious daily reflection.