I’ve not always been a diarist or journaler but I have traveled to a few different tools since about 2009 to find a suitable thing. First was Evernote and I would fill it with my traveling reservations, notes, web page links and snips. Kind of a multi-tool of a thing for me. Then Evernote started changing and the account changed even more. I had kept a web-based diary as well or perhaps it was before and I copied those notes to Evernote. Whatever the sequence was, I deleted the diaries from 2009 to about 2015 because of the anger and depression in them over the relationship gone awry.
From 2015 until now I used Google Docs and this became an excellent choice since no matter what platform, the notes sync’ed across them all and I could edit, add images and maps, create travel blurbs for myself, keep tables of things.
I have considered the use of the diary or journal and since 2015 writing in Google Docs, I have updated the journal several times a month. I start a new Google Doc with a new year and off i go again. Since I have about 100gb of space, I figure I can last for awhile at this pace. Even were I to hit the road to find a thing; the tools would still be there.
The tool is rather utilitarian in nature but what it lacks in some kind of funtastic UI, it makes up in being a more than adequate processor of words. Lets face it, when we want to write a thing we want to write. We don’t want to measure some tool, find out you need a subscription to create a certain thing. I don’t care to share so I don’t need something with that button. The diary is exceedingly personal.
When some archeologist digs up my Google Drive in years to come, I think they will say something like,
What a mixed up guy this was. He never knew what he was or wanted but charged blindly ahead anyways.
And aren’t we all and don’t diaries and journals exist to replicate that outward gesture in a personal way? I’ve thought a few times about simply sharing it with my daughter but the thoughts there run rough after a few beers sometimes and often are pointed at my ex-wife who still bears blame in my more vindictive states (namely drunk). But even outside that the journal is not meant for consumption by others.
So I come to the meat of the matter today. I started looking at a new tool since now I can have Android applications on my Chromebook. This extends how I can create potentially libelous and slanderous content to another level :-). That application is called Journal and it offers a saner and simpler tablet for entering text. It also installs cleanly and is useful and functional on my Acer chromebook. Just as an aside, lets face it folks that adding in Android applications on Chromebooks was a touch of genius. We don’t need to have the platforms combine. We need thoughtful integration where each benefits. I like the chromebook because of its sheer simplicity but when it just was the browser and nothing else I pined for an application like X application on my android phone.
Now with Journal I have such a thing. Does it take the place of the simple and easy Google Docs with its effortless sync’ing across platforms? Will it suffice with my decidedly non challenging approach to writing these things? It needs to be portable across platforms I use but mostly it has to satisfy the “habilis” in me. The tool user requires that the tool be useful and that I extend productivity, fun, escape with it.
So let me ask you. Do you keep a diary? Is it the tool that matters or the content? If the tool gets in the way of the content for me; the tool goes and I find another. That’s why Evernote hit the road.
What do you expect to accomplish with the diary? Nothing? That’s cool. Me too. I don’t have some end all and be all condition to be met. I don’t do it for anyone or to hold it above someone. I do it because I feel better doing it and I think people need a place to record inner most thoughts and feel secure that those thoughts and feelings are protected. The old movie about stealing the diary and the lock and discovering some innate secret is not fantasy. Its a mainstay of those of us that keep these things.
I’ll continue to write here and also there. The two don’t really touch unless I blog about the thing. There’s the thought of touching virtual pen to paper in both worlds that is fascinating, challenging, and desirable.
If you don’t keep one, have you ever considered it? Life goes on in some path of ever increasing years and age and I think we need a place to record the passage.