Secure Online Personal Journal?
December 18, 2007 6:38 PM   Subscribe

I would like to keep a personal journal online so I can access it from any computer. I also would like the journal to be private meaning only I can read it. And very secure. I've thought of starting a private blog on Wordpress but would like a more secure environment. Does anything like this exist that would allow me quickly to search prior posts by date or content?
posted by dclawyer to Computers & Internet (22 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
LiveJournal doesn't have the searching part. If anyone was going to suggest that.
posted by smackfu at 6:43 PM on December 18, 2007

ExpressionEngine, which comes in a full paid version, and a lite free version, perfect for single authors. It is very secure.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:45 PM on December 18, 2007

The easiest thing to do, in all honesty, is probably to set up a ssh server and just use a local console-mode program to do your journal-keeping. Take a look at EmacsWikiMode, or you could simply use a good text editor. There are also a few projects on Freshmeat, including Cire (which offers a text-mode interface) and emacs journal-mode.

Obviously, this is going to be easier if you're using Linux. A Windows machine might require more, ah, creativity.

Remember, though, whatever you use must be encrypted if you expect any level of privacy; hence ssh.
posted by sonic meat machine at 6:48 PM on December 18, 2007

If you're not planning on ever displaying it and don't need the layout features of blog software, I would suggest Google Notebook.
posted by seymour.skinner at 6:48 PM on December 18, 2007

I would probably just email entries to myself in gmail. Very simple, easy to search, date-stamped, and private.
posted by redfoxtail at 6:50 PM on December 18, 2007 [1 favorite]

I'd do the same as redfoxtail. Personal emails. And you can tag by subjects, sort, etc., and set up filters so they bypass your regular inbox.
posted by craven_morhead at 6:51 PM on December 18, 2007

i don't see anything wrong with using wordpress for this as long as you put an .htaccess file in the root of the install so you have to login to see the blog. If you really need it to be secure will probably want to shell out for a https certificate or get a self signed one.
posted by DJWeezy at 7:01 PM on December 18, 2007

I hate Wordpress. I'd use Textpattern and put it in a password-protected directory.
posted by loiseau at 7:08 PM on December 18, 2007

"Security" means different things to different people, and this is more about the host than the software, isn't it? Do you trust the ISP and their employees in this equation? Because the answer to that sends the question into two very different tangents.

Since you're talking near-zero load, even a "home" internet connection would be fine for running it on your own computer in your own house. Hard to beat that for access security.
posted by rokusan at 7:13 PM on December 18, 2007

Privacy also means different things to different people. For those suggesting gmail, think again. Wouldn't you find it a little creepy to make journal entries and when you went to look at them again, there are ads corresponding to the content of your most private thoughts?

What about journaling software that runs on a USB flash drive? You could keep it on your keychain or whatever. The entries would be encrypted when you close the program and, so you don't lose any entries, you could back the database up every once and a while to your email (or whatever) from anywhere. The database would remain encrypted. If you consider this, check out a few of programs below. They are all very good, some more full-featured than others...

The Journal (Very comprehensive - a great piece of software)

Alpha Journal

Advanced Diary (I like this one a lot as well)

LifeJournal Decent software, but I'm not sure of its portability.

Good luck and happy journaling!
posted by Gerard Sorme at 7:47 PM on December 18, 2007 [1 favorite]

Google Docs?
posted by blackout at 7:59 PM on December 18, 2007

What is it about WordPress that isn't secure enough for you? It would be easier to make a recommendation with a better understanding of your requirements.
posted by jjg at 8:02 PM on December 18, 2007

Google Docs. Secure and private, but you can open it up to sharing if you ever choose to do so.
posted by HotPatatta at 8:51 PM on December 18, 2007

Actually, smackfu is wrong.

LiveJournal does indeed have the ability to search posts if you're a paid member. It's a pretty new feature. Not sure if they'll roll it out for other account types.

You can currently search by date pretty easily on free and ad-supported accounts, as well as tag your posts however you'd like (and even keep tags and memories private).

I mainly post private entries. You can even set your default entry setting to private automatically. And it's accessible on the web from anywhere.
posted by cmgonzalez at 9:56 PM on December 18, 2007

Oops, I apologize. I confused a different paid members feature with searching. The LJ team has said they're working on a search option though.

But to me, tagging and the calendar option have made four years' of posts easy to sort through.

Must not post while half asleep.
posted by cmgonzalez at 10:03 PM on December 18, 2007

Google Docs might not be bad, although to get encryption, you have to remember to access it by typing "". If you don't type "https", it will default to no encryption on the content. (As will Gmail ... I recommend putting a shortcut to the secure version of all Google services in your browser's address bar.)

The other option is to create a TiddlyWiki -- a sort of self-contained, no-database-required wiki designed for taking notes and other lightweight purposes -- and put it on a web-accessible server somewhere. Add a .htaccess file and you can restrict access to just yourself, and if you wanted you could even enable SSL. This strikes me as the most elegant solution, since you control all your data, and you can at any time click a single link and download the entire contents of your journal to a single HTML file on your hard drive. (Although I don't think that if you download it, that you can easily make changes and then sync the two...although maybe somebody's made a version that does that.) Anyway, I encourage you to look into it.

Wikipedia on Tiddlywiki.
posted by Kadin2048 at 10:16 PM on December 18, 2007

Chiming in on the TiddlyWiki - although - since it's a single .html- file I'm not sure just how big it can grow before you turn on to problems - and it's not so good if you'd like to ad images and other media.
But if you're looking for hosted solution - take a look at Tiddlyspot.
posted by arnves at 2:11 AM on December 19, 2007

whatever option you choose, please, please, backup your work. i kept a private online journal for several years until the site went belly up all of a sudden. oops.
posted by tastycracker at 6:21 AM on December 19, 2007 [1 favorite]

I have a blogger blog that is set to private, with only me having access to it. I could invite others to view, but I didn't set it up that way. Would that meet your needs for security? Otherwise you can do anything any other blogger blog does, including search by date, content, tag or etc.
posted by Stewriffic at 6:33 AM on December 19, 2007

Seconding redfoxtail's above suggestion of using Gmail, however, you need not even send it to yourself. You can always keep it as an ongoing Draft. I do this with several documents that I need to access from multiple computers.
posted by nineRED at 8:27 AM on December 19, 2007

Don't laugh at me - What about Vox? It's free, you can log in/on from any computer in the world, you can mark all of your entries viewable by YOU ONLY, you can search your posts by tags you attach or by month.
posted by goml at 1:55 PM on December 19, 2007

I apologize, I meant to link to it...
posted by goml at 1:56 PM on December 19, 2007

« Older The Greatest Story Every Told   |   I don't want to work with the public anymore. Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.