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Author Topic: OhLife - A new way to journal  (Read 8639 times)
wraith808
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« on: August 18, 2010, 03:45:36 PM »


I've been trying to keep a journal for a while.  Actually longer than I've been trying to keep a blog, though I've been as successful with one as the other.  That is... not.  I saw a tweet from Jesse Meecham about OhLife, and checked it out.  It seems like a good idea- something in my face might help.  Basically, you sign up, and it sends you an e-mail reminder every day at 8PM to write about how your day was.  You reply, and it appears in your area on the site.  A pretty simple idea... I'm hoping it will work.

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« Last Edit: August 18, 2010, 03:47:25 PM by wraith808 » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: August 18, 2010, 04:43:27 PM »

There's a piece of software that I've wanted to write for a long time to help do stuff like this. It's hard to actually write things down as there's always something else that's more pressing.
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superboyac
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« Reply #2 on: August 18, 2010, 06:06:31 PM »

I've struggle with this for a long time.  This is somewhat related to my notetaking struggles also.  Let me offer a suggestion: that service you posted about doesn't really do anything differently than Evernote.  Evernote can do all that and more, and it does it really well.
I've always thought Evernote would make an excellent journal/diary application.  You just open it, write whatever you want, and close.  The date will automatically be recorded, and that's the minimum requirement.  you don't even have to tag it, organize it, give it a title, or anything.  Just open it, write, close, done.

Now, here's the great part.  Evernote can work with just about ANY device commonly used.  Your computer, obviously, but both PC and Apple work.  Iphones, ipad, other cell phones...they can all use evernote.  Now, let's say your device can't do evernote for some reason, and here's the amazing part...all you have to do is write an email to your own specially assigned evernote address, and it will automatically get added to the database of notes.

Finally, ALL this information going back and forth from various places and devices, will be automatically synced.  Just amazing.  Think about it, what more do you want for a journal?

now, let's say evernote doesn't have enough specific journal features.  then just export it to a more robust application.  But if that's a strong need, then you're not trying to journal quite as casually as you've stated in the original post.  Then you can use some hardcore journal app (like the Journal).  but then, you probably lose all those amazing conveniences I described above.
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wraith808
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« Reply #3 on: August 18, 2010, 09:49:14 PM »

I use Evernote, but it doesn't prompt you.  I just want a simple way to be prompted, then it's up to me to write it.
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JavaJones
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« Reply #4 on: August 19, 2010, 12:35:31 AM »

Yeah, I think the reminder is the unique bit here. Of course you could setup a repeating reminder in Google Calendar or any other such reminder/calendar system with email alerts to do the same, then use Evernote or anything else for the actual journaling, which may be better. The OhLife service ties in to its own platform for "journaling", so unless you like how it handles it, there's not necessarily a need to use it just for the reminders. But I definitely like the reminder concept. Simple and obvious but not something I've done yet, which I should try.

- Oshyan
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wraith808
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« Reply #5 on: August 19, 2010, 07:41:53 AM »

Yeah, I think the reminder is the unique bit here. Of course you could setup a repeating reminder in Google Calendar or any other such reminder/calendar system with email alerts to do the same, then use Evernote or anything else for the actual journaling, which may be better. The OhLife service ties in to its own platform for "journaling", so unless you like how it handles it, there's not necessarily a need to use it just for the reminders. But I definitely like the reminder concept. Simple and obvious but not something I've done yet, which I should try.

And the fact that you can e-mail back, and it formats them for you.  And it gives random bits from your old journals to give you a look into what you were doing at some point in the past.  And you can export them to use them in other programs.  Not for everyone, I suppose- but it seems worth a look.
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« Reply #6 on: August 19, 2010, 09:08:13 AM »

(waxing anthropomorphically) So it takes position as an Efriend that consistently asks "How was your day?", and then affords you a forum to expound upon it. Clever idea indeed.
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« Reply #7 on: August 20, 2010, 04:15:53 AM »

What do you guys think about the security of such a site. I mean it says that only you can access your entries. But it doesn't say anything about encryption for example.
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app103
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« Reply #8 on: August 20, 2010, 07:00:52 AM »

What do you guys think about the security of such a site. I mean it says that only you can access your entries. But it doesn't say anything about encryption for example.

I would approach it from this perspective:

Unless I was willing to publish what I am writing, either publicly on a blog or in book form, I wouldn't be too likely to write about it and send it in. This is not the place for any of your "dirty little secrets". I don't think encryption is necessary. After all, blog posts published in draft mode, in all the major blogging applications like Wordpress or Blogger, aren't encrypted either.
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« Reply #9 on: August 20, 2010, 08:03:04 AM »

But if they were encrypted, it could be the place for my dirty little secrets, couldn't it?

That reminds me about the fact that most email is not encrypted. Something that really puzzles me, thinking about what dirty little secrets I sometimes write in emails. embarassed
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wraith808
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« Reply #10 on: August 20, 2010, 08:26:09 AM »

I never really looked at a journal as a place for dirty little secrets- just my perspective, I suppose.
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phitsc
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« Reply #11 on: August 20, 2010, 09:51:29 AM »

I guess 'dirty little secret' is subjective anyway. If I'd keep a diary I think I'd want everything in there to be secret, also the non-dirty stuff.

So if you care to share: what would you want to have in your journal (not specific, just exemplary)? Is it more like 'stuff you've found on the net' or rather 'stuff about your boss which you've been discussing with your work buddies'?
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wraith808
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« Reply #12 on: August 20, 2010, 10:40:15 AM »

I guess 'dirty little secret' is subjective anyway. If I'd keep a diary I think I'd want everything in there to be secret, also the non-dirty stuff.

The difference between journal and diary, IMO- which is why I refer to it as a journal.

I view a journal as more of a retrospective on the day.  What happened, my responses, what worked, what didn't, and what I'd want to take away from it.  A place to articulate my thoughts... "Those who don't learn from history", on a more micro scale.  I find myself too caught up in the day to day that I don't take the time to integrate it into the wider view of things, which is probably why I have problems doing it to begin with.
« Last Edit: August 20, 2010, 10:41:58 AM by wraith808 » Logged

J-Mac
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« Reply #13 on: August 27, 2010, 10:34:10 PM »

If your Journal involves "dirty little secrets", or really any information that you wouldn’t want to share with the world, then do not post it on ANY journal app online! Especially if it is a "free" service. Let's face it - they are going to try and find a way to make money from the site and many of these sites start out offering "private" content but sooner or later they change their privacy settings and often reset yours to some degree of "public" or "sharing" mode. Happened to me with Vox and I also had correspondence with LiveJournal over similar tactics.

If it is private, and you want it to stay that way, then keep it locally... not online!

Thank you.

Jim
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phitsc
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« Reply #14 on: August 28, 2010, 03:21:29 AM »

If it is private, and you want it to stay that way, then keep it locally... not online!

What do you think about keeping a journal on dropbox (e.g. a tiddly wiki)? It is encrypted. But it's a free service.
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« Reply #15 on: August 28, 2010, 09:09:48 PM »

Which? Dropbox? Or Tiddly-Wiki? Different animals.

Jim
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wraith808
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« Reply #16 on: August 29, 2010, 08:01:52 AM »

I think he means both.  Have a tiddly-wiki in a dropbox folder so you can edit it anywhere you use dropbox.
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« Reply #17 on: August 29, 2010, 01:04:15 PM »

Oh - I thought he meant "e.g. Tiddly-Wiki" as synonymous with Dropbox instead of a journal. It would work fine WRT Dropbox, though I have no idea how well Tiddly-Wiki would handle it.

Since both are free why wouldn’t you try it instead of inquiring here about it? Won't cost you anything!

Jim
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wraith808
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« Reply #18 on: August 29, 2010, 02:26:52 PM »

I think he meant your opinions on the security of that setup, since you brought up security... smiley
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« Reply #19 on: September 13, 2010, 02:06:15 PM »

I think he meant your opinions on the security of that setup, since you brought up security... smiley

That is exactly what I meant cheesy
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« Reply #20 on: September 17, 2010, 03:48:14 AM »

I don't know if this helps ?
There is an outfit called Penzu.  You can set up a journal, make it private, and it sends you reminders to write something.
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zxcvbn
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« Reply #21 on: September 17, 2010, 09:05:18 AM »

I've been using OhLife for around two months now, just wanted to add my $.02

Things I would change? 

1 -- The time the email is sent out.  8pm doesn't work for me, so I've taken the "shortcut" and changed my timezone so that I get the email around 6.15pm my time.  I wish we could set our own times.

2 -- When I reply, by default my email is set to leave in the text of the email I'm replying to.  OhLife doesn't take that into account, if I fail to delete the text, it shows up in the post I make.  I'm thinking it wouldn't be too hard to code for that possibility.

Other than those caveats, I really do like the concept and prompting, and ease-of-use.  As others have said, there's no way I'd put stuff that I wanted to remain private on there ... for that matter, I wouldn't put anything private *anywhere* on the internet unless strongly encrypted, and even then I'd have second (and third) thoughts about doing it.
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wraith808
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« Reply #22 on: September 17, 2010, 10:25:09 AM »

^ It includes the text that you're replying to?  It doesn't include it on mine... I just reply and start typing, and only the part that I type is included.  What does your e-mailer use to denote quoted text?  And are you typing above the quote, or below?
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