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viJournal 2 for Mac: The Library of Life
The biggest change in viJournal 2.0 is the way you manage and view your journals and entries. The new Library is cleaner, simpler to look at, easier to use - but more powerful than before.
Your journals are stored on the top shelf of the library, giving you at-a-glance summary info about their contents. This is where you select journals for viewing and editing, and manage locking security.
Speaking of which, locking journals (and individual elements inside them) is quicker and easier than before. Close and lock a whole journal with a single click, protecting it from prying eyes. Unlocking is just as easy (but only if you know your password).
On the bottom shelf of the Library, you've got your entries. You can either view them as an outline list or as a calendar.
The new viJournal looks better, and it works better too.
Note: viJournal 2.0 is Leopard-only. If you need viJournal to run on Mac OS X 10.4, you can download viJournal 1.9, which is also pretty good.
What is viJournal?
viJournal is designed as an analogue of the good old-fashioned page-a-day bound diary - the kind you buy in a stationer's. You write your entries under dated headers and save them collectively by month and year. But there's much more to it than that...
Your life here - in words, pictures and video
viJournal's got tons of features for power-journalers, whilst being friendly, clean and easy for all daily diarists to use.
In fact, it has more features than you can shake a stick at (unless it's a very big stick and you're prepared for some serious shaking). Let's look at a few of them.
One day at a time
Like in a real journal, each viJournal entry represents one day. What, only one entry per day? Actually, it's way better than that. There's lots of flexibility built in which lets you organise your journal the way you want it. For a start, you can have as many journals as you want. Have one journal for your personal diary, another as a research log, another for blogging... the possibilities are endless.
If you'd prefer to have all those categories within one journal, you can use sessions. Sessions let you break up your daily entries into separate sub-entries, which can be accessed handily via Safari-style tabs.
viJournal also provides you with a handy note pad, tucked away in a drawer. You get a new note with each day's entry, and you can choose to carry over the previous day's note when creating a new entry. Useful for making running to-do lists, for example.
Words, pictures and music - and video
Pictures can be included in your journal entries in two ways. Either drop them directly into the text, or for a more organised approach, drop them in viJournal's daily thumbnail gallery. You get a new gallery for each day. All you have to do to see the full-size images is roll the mouse over the thumbnails.
If there's a piece of music you'd like to remember, associated with a particular time, you can insert clickable iTunes markers. When you want to remember what you were listening to when you wrote an entry, just click the marker, and iTunes will play that track.
Best of all, you can now record live video into your entries. Sometimes writing just isn't enough. When you want to record nuances that won't fit into written words, or just get your thoughts down quickly, video is the answer. In viJournal you can use your Mac's built-in iSight or a connected video camera to record video diary content right into your viJournal entries.
Finding your way around
You can navigate your entries in a variety of ways. The Library gives you a list of all the entries in your journals. For those who like widgety controls, there's a calendar.
You can also step back through recently viewed entries just as you would step through the History in your web browser.
Then there are tags. Each entry can be marked with any combination of colour-coded, named tags. You can filter your entries by tag combinations, and if you're still having trouble pinning down that elusive entry, you can combine tag filtering with full-text searching.
Keeping in sync
Say you use viJournal on your desktop Mac at home, but you also like to write your journal on the road or at work, using your MacBook. You can keep them both synchronized with viJournal's built-in Journal Syncing. All you need is a FireWire or network connection.
What else do you get?
So, those are some of the key features. We haven't covered any of them in much detail, and we haven't even mentioned in-text checkboxes or entry export or emailing entries or the Drop Box (which lets you store images, files and text clippings). Then there's search-and-replace (with regular expression support for smart guys), backup and restore and autosave. There's a full-screen editing mode, so you can compose your entries without distractions. And finally (insert fanfare) there's blogging.
If viJournal doesn't have everything you're looking for in a journal application, and you would like to request a feature, click here for guidelines.
The current version of viJournal, which is a Universal Binary, requires Mac OS X 10.5 or later.
If you're running Mac OS X 10.4.4 or later, you can use viJournal 1.9. Both versions can be obtained from the downloads page.