Some of us have never been able to hold a diary, whether because we can't be bothered, are too lazy or disorganized. On the other hand, there are those of us who keep a steady journal, or even a blog, and viJournal is an ideal program for doing just that.Journaling quota: a page per day
Designed to be as similar as possible to the old-fashioned, one page a day diary, it allows you to write your entries under dated headers, and keeps them all together by month and year. "How limited!" you might think, but that is not the case.
Although, like in a real journal, each viJournal represents a day, the program offers a great deal of flexibility. It doesn't limit you to one journal, so you can have as many as you like. You can, for example, keep one for personal notes, one for work related things and another for blogging.
Alternatively, if you would rather only keep one journal, you can still keep all that diversity by splitting up your daily entries into as many separate sub-entries as you like.When words are not enough
One of the typical limitations of traditional journals is that, besides writing in them, there isn't anything else you can do. ViJournal changes all that. You can add images, tables, lists, check boxes and even hyperlinks.
Images can be either embedded into the journal entry or referenced in a thumbnail gallery that is unique to each day. The thumbnail gallery is visible at the bottom of the journal, like a footer and doesn't take up much space. All you have to do to see the full sized image is hover the mouse over the thumbnail, and you can zoom in, zoom out and toggle transparency all with the quick press of a key.
The hyperlinks can be of three types, pointing to either a location on the web, a local file or another journal entry. Each type of link is color coded so you can
easily tell the difference.King sized drawers
The interface is well laid out. The main window has two Safari-like tab bars, one for journals and one for sub entries, both of which can be hidden if you do not need them. There are two drawers, Notes and Drop Box, each of which can be hidden or shown at will.
The Drop Box references files you add to it (only text or images) and can be viewed and sorted in several different ways. Any file can be dragged from the Drop Box into the journal entry or the Notes drawer and it will be embedded. At the bottom of the Drawer is a preview in which, however, you cannot scroll, and while images may be resized for best fit, you can only view the first few lines of text files. Furthermore, when you drop a text file into a journal, the entire document gets inserted, which can be a royal pain if you only wanted one or two paragraphs. The Drop Box also has one pesky limitation and that is not being able to create folders.
The Notepad drawer is split into two panes: the notes pane which is unique to each journal entry; and the scratch pad pane which caries over from one day to the next. The scratch pad, combined with the possibility to insert lists and check boxes makes it easy to make "To Do" lists and keep track of important things.I wonder what I was doing on this day, ten years ago...
Browsing through years worth of accumulated journal entries is easy thanks to a iTunes-like browsing method using Volumes (years), Months and Entries (both by date and by subject). Alternatively, you can opt to detach a Entries floater and a Month floater which you can resize and move about to suit your preference.
viJournal also features a Full Screen Edit mode, in which everything goes away except the journal entry itself and you can write away unhindered. Even though you cannot do anything other than type, since text does make up the bulk of an entry, this feature is still very useful.
As for other features and options, viJournal offers great export options. Besides supporting HTML and PDF export, the program gives you the possibility to publish your journal entry to your blog. It supports both Blogger and LiveJournal formats and is very easy to set up.
Additionally, the program boasts file encryption, back-up and restore, auto save to make sure that whatever happens, your diary is safely tucked away beneath your pillow under lock and key.
Very well thought out to be as similar to a physical diary as possible, without keeping any of the limitations. Very nice features, and well laid out. If you keep a journal, this program is right up your alley.
There are a few minor issues, such as not being able to scroll in the preview or create folders in the Drop Box, but these are all minor squabbles, not severe limitations. Perhaps the most annoying one is not being able to delete sub-entries from the file menu, thus, if you have too many, and your tab bar is not wide enough, there is no way of deleting the ones who no longer appear as tabs.
A great application for anyone who keeps a steady journal or blog. It has all the features and hardly any limitations, it is well laid out, easy to use, and good value for money.
Here are some screenshots, click to enlarge: