Best journal software.... in the CLOUD?!?!!
December 27, 2017 9:16 AM   Subscribe

I am looking for a journaling program/website where I can do free-writing on a more regular basis. Do you have any suggestions? Wants/needs inside.

I'm an aspiring writer and I want to do journaling on a daily basis in order to get into the habit. The ones I've tried thus far haven't really worked out for me:

-Google Docs: not accessible at my work; would like the option to write during lunch
-Emailing myself entries in Gmail: too unwieldy, writing in a small window is a pain
-750words: Too many features, don't want to pay on a monthly basis.

Here are the details I'd like to see:
-Minimal interface
-Resides in the cloud
-Free or up-front cost only
-Not a pain to use
-Easy to call up old entries

Wouldn't be opposed to:
-Something where I email myself entries but can then load them up in a nice interface on another site
-Can split up entries into different categories; so I can have some entries be free-writing, some be prompts, some be actual stories that I'm working on

Here's what I don't need:
-The ability to embed multimedia
-Word clouds or other visualization features
-Ads or reminders to pledge my support
-Writing goals or reminders

Any ideas?
posted by miltthetank to Writing & Language (9 answers total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
 
Is Dropbox Paper available at your work? It's similar to Google Docs in many ways, with a slightly simpler interface and minimal features.
posted by migurski at 9:21 AM on December 27, 2017


Penzu!!! It's gotten me journaling regularly for the first time in my life where all other interfaces have failed.
posted by anderjen at 9:30 AM on December 27, 2017


Evernote Basic might do it for you. The web interface is nice. notes are easy to search, you can do general formatting, can do tags. have multiple notebooks. The only nag is an orange upgrade button inb the top right corner.

To your points:

>>Minimal interface - it's pretty minimal.
There's a full screen mode in the browser, too.

>>Resides in the cloud
ding.

>>Free or up-front cost only
Basic is free. I think Basic does everything you want.

>>Not a pain to use
I've been using evernote for years. It's not a pain unless you want to get fancy, and it doesn't sound like you want to get fancy, but it's easier to get fancy than it used to be

>>Easy to call up old entries
Search is really good

>> Wouldn't be opposed to:
>>Something where I email myself entries but can then load them up in a nice interface on another site
You can email things TO evernote, but I'm not sure if you can email from the web interface (you can from the desktop client, however).

>>Can split up entries into different categories; so I can have some entries be free-writing, some be prompts, some be actual stories that I'm working on
You can have different notebooks for different things. You can also group notebooks into stacks.
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 9:40 AM on December 27, 2017


For my writing-on-the-go needs, I use http://www.mywritingspot.com/. I log in through my browser; it also has companion apps for iPad, iPhone, and Android, but I've never tried those.

It's minimal, simple, free. You do have to log in with a gmail account.

Your documents are listed in the sidebar (the sidebar can be toggled on/off). I'm not sure how many different individual documents you can have, though. I tend to delete my old drafts after I've finished a story and keep the stored drafts on my hard drive at home.

The listing in the sidebar is in order by title; or, you can also categorize by assigning documents a color (there are 12 to choose from).

One click will email your current document, as a txt file, to the gmail account you used to log in. Or you can download the document as a txt to the computer you're currently using.

Here's the user's guide, if you want to take a look: http://www.mywritingspot.com/help/index.html
posted by theatro at 10:13 AM on December 27, 2017


Dreamwidth sounds like it would suit your needs pretty well. It's an open source successor to the Livejournal social journaling site. It's oriented towards writing original content in text rather than multimedia or link-sharing. The user interface is simple, the site does not take advertisements, and basic features are all available for free accounts (premium features can be purchased with an annual subscription). I have about 15 years worth of archives there and use tagging as the primary organizational method, but a calendar view and full-text search for previous entries are also available.
posted by 4rtemis at 11:15 AM on December 27, 2017 [4 favorites]


Seconding Penzu, the free version has all I need.
posted by AuroraSky at 11:38 AM on December 27, 2017


I use Evernote for this purpose (and many others). You can use the app or the web, you don't have to save, it's got basic formatting if you need it. And it's extremely searchable in case you need to go hunt down something really specific later.
posted by Lyn Never at 11:40 AM on December 27, 2017


4rtemis's recommendation of Dreamwidth is good too. I've used it for years now and like it a lot.
posted by theatro at 12:27 PM on December 27, 2017 [1 favorite]


I’m pleased with jrnl.com. I especially like the fact that it is accessible through a web browser.
posted by ReginaHart at 2:24 PM on December 27, 2017 [1 favorite]


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