Is there an app for that?
April 10, 2014 5:04 PM   Subscribe

I have an urgent need for a way to share a daily journal + notes among multiple people, that is searchable by date and term. Bonus difficulty: it needs to have a very low learning curve.

My best friend has cancer, and right now what's pressing is the need to share information that is changing day by day, amongst the small group (3) of people who are most important in this process. Things like what the doctor said at the latest appointment, what treatment options are up in the air right now, the names of meds, etc.

Up till now we've been sharing everything via google docs. We understand how the system works, everybody can access it. We have a calendar and a to do list. But we haven't figured out an easy and workable way to do day-by-day entries in an organized fashion, and also make it searchable. Creating a basic document just leads to a multi-page volume that is hard to navigate.

A bunch of people keep shouting "Evernote!" at me but even after visiting the Evernote website and watching a couple of tutorials the learning curve just seems enormous, and I'm probably the most tech-savvy of the group (which isn't saying much, I admit).

Is there an easy solution that anybody can share with me?
posted by BlahLaLa to Computers & Internet (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Create a Simplenote account that you share between each other. It's basically an extremely simplified Evernote. It is universally searchable, and you can create a new entry for each day that information is entered. There are apps available to access it on mobile.
posted by dobi at 5:23 PM on April 10, 2014

Just use email.
posted by NotMyselfRightNow at 6:11 PM on April 10, 2014 [1 favorite]

You make a mention of using a calendar - is this something you're also using to track appointments? Or are you using the calendar entries to save events after the fact?

I'm surprised you're finding Evernote that off-putting. You can do a lot with it and the walkthroughs might emphasize a lot of tagging & multiple notebook stuff, but at its core you can just create a lot of notes that are searchable. If you're dealing with any physical stuff the ability to just quickly create a note that is a cameraphone snapshot is pretty great.

You could try Basecamp. I am not a huge fan, personally, but they do emphasize an incremental buy-in from users rather than coming at you with the sort of superuserwowtool approach Evernote sells.

I'm not sure it's right for your purpose - it seems to be targeted at sharing information out from a single source, but perhaps that's the only way people I know have chosen to use it - but Caring Bridge is meant to be a resource for this sort of situation.

NotMyselfRightNow's comment about email does bring something to mind - you can email documents into Evernote. So if you have multiple people contributing but only one of you consuming/coordinating then that's a fairly small transition - you get people to start using a different email address to send to.
posted by phearlez at 6:38 PM on April 10, 2014

Private WordPress blog.
posted by blue_beetle at 7:01 PM on April 10, 2014 [1 favorite]

Perhaps a free basic Yammer account?
posted by Dansaman at 10:27 PM on April 10, 2014

Penzu is a nice simple journal web app. I don't think it has sharing but you could all presumably use the same login credentials. It's searchable (but I'm not sure what you mean by searchable by "term"). I'm not sure how you are distinguishing between journal and notes (maybe by notes you mean entries not tied to a specific date?).
posted by Dansaman at 10:37 PM on April 10, 2014

I'm so sorry your friend has cancer. I highly recommend CaringBridge. It's free, private, and specifically geared towards those who are trying to form a support community for someone with urgent medical needs.

I have participated in several CaringBridge groups for friends with cancer and it has been super-helpful to use the site, because it integrates calendars, posting of tasks, journaling with medical updates, and collating contact information for the people in the group.
posted by tour_eiffel at 2:02 AM on April 11, 2014

Why can't use just use a google document. Just keep the journal in word program. It is shareable and searchable by word (including dates if you always write the date the same way at the top of the entry) - and anyone who can use a computer can use google word documents.
posted by Flood at 4:28 AM on April 11, 2014

Response by poster: Thanks for the suggestions. Nothing seemed to be easier to use than Evernote, which isn't perfect, but that's what we did.
posted by BlahLaLa at 12:43 PM on May 11, 2014

« Older 21st-Century Tech meets 19th-Century Habits   |   Poo, fly... Do any invertebrates avoid their own... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.