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Keeping a diary is a great way to make sure you remember all the things that are going on in your life for years to come — and yet, it’s incredibly hard to make yourself regularly journal. It’s easier to write something funny on Facebook or Twitter and watch the comments and likes roll in. That’s somehow more rewarding right now. And yet, a private journal where you keep track of your deepest thoughts and fears, hopes and dreams — or just the mundane stuff that happens every day — can be far more rewarding in the long run.

You just need a private space to write that makes it easy to jot your daily thoughts down — and that’s exactly what the new web app Hermit is designed for. It’s just about your daily writing, and that’s it.


I have always been jealous of others that are able to be disciplined enough to keep a journal and be consistent with it. I have tried so many different times to start one, only to stop in a week or two. I tried a variety of ways to make this happen, including pen and paper,  typing, using cool apps to do it, but nothing seems to work for me. I struggle with this because, I feel like I am at a point in my life where I want to be more reflective as there are some very significant things happening right now and I want to be able to look back on them and see what my thoughts were.

A few weeks ago, I came across a web app called Loccit, that takes a different approach on journaling. When I watched their video on how it works, I started to realize that they may be on to something. Their whole premise is to take the apps that you use on an every day basis to share what is going on in your life and bundle them into one to create your own journal. Now, there are other similar services out there that do this, but this one just seemed like it was interesting to try.


Creating a journal web app just because you want an awesome one sounds like a great idea. Now how about taking that journal app, adding more features than most people could think of for a journal, designing beautiful themes so you can write however you’d like, and coding a whole ecosystem of apps so users could journal anywhere? Oh, and trying to turn the whole thing into a business?

That’s exactly what the Penzu team has been doing for the past few years. We’d originally reviewed Penzu early last year, and since then its continued to gain popularity. Our widely popular Penzu Pro giveaway last week was proof that tons of our readers love Penzu and find it an exciting way to keep a journal. The Penzu team has been kind enough to give us a few minutes of their time and answer some of our questions about their app and the future of Penzu. After the break, you’ll get an inside look at the team behind one of the most popular journal web apps today.


Our contest is now closed, and we’ve sent our free Pro accounts to 10 lucky winners after we got some more codes from the Penzu team! Congrats to everyone who won. Thanks for entering, and stay tuned for our next giveaways in the future!

Life is simply too short. By the time you’ve taken pictures to share on Instagram, tweeted about something someone said, checked-in your location on a dozen services, and added yet another friend on Facebook, you don’t have any time to actually enjoy what’s going on, much less really remember it yourself. Sometimes, it seems that we’re living a fake life just so we can share with others online.

A great way to do this is with a journal. Paper journals are nice, but they can be hard to keep up with. And digital journals can be difficult to use, and often don’t work on all of your devices. One of our favorite journal apps is Penzu, an online journal that’s beautiful and has a ton of awesome features to make journaling even easier.

Penzu is totally free, but it’s got some great extra features if you have a Pro account. With a Pro account, you can send in journal entries via email, see versions of your writing, go mobile with rich mobile apps, and more. It normally costs $19 a year, but we’ve got 3 free Pro accounts from the Penzu team for our readers.

Want to take advantage of Penzu’s best features? Just leave a comment here and let us know how you’ll put the extra Penzu Pro features to use. We’ll select 3 random comments as winners that can get a full Penzu Pro account for free!

Please Note: Envato staff or people who have written more than two articles or tutorials for AppStorm are ineligible to enter.

We’ll announce our winners after the contest is closed midnight Friday, October 7 (Update: Closing midnight Thursday, October 8 CST), 2011, so be sure to get your comments in quick. And as always, stay tuned for our future giveaways!

Quick Look posts are paid submissions offering only a brief overview of an app. Vote in the polls below if you think this app is worth an in-depth AppStorm review!

In this Quick Look, we’re highlighting MOREDAYS. The developer describes MOREDAYS as a completely new way of planning and recording life that cross the borders of standard planning and turns paper calendar into an electronic/digital calendar. We have created a system that will be of your interest and you will never experience boredom while planning – your memories will be recorded with fun only. There is no need to know how GTD, 7 Habits and other similar systems work.

Read on for more information and screenshots!


Keeping a journal has a number of benefits: it helps you keep track of events in your life, put down your thoughts and feelings and provides an opportunity to practice your writing. It also encourages introspection and helps you understand who you are, your strengths and weaknesses, and lets you learn from it all to improve yourself.

However, most people have trouble maintaining a diary over a long period of time – since a diary is designed for an audience of one, it’s pretty easy to forget about your commitment to writing. Similarly, you might have trouble finding time to actually read past entries. OhLife attempts to solve that problem by making it dead simple to write a diary and to read it as well.


Quick Look posts are paid submissions offering only a brief overview of an app. Vote in the polls below if you think this app is worth an in-depth AppStorm review!

In this Quick Look, we’re highlighting 280daily. This is how the developer describes 280daily. Can’t remember what you did last week? 280daily is the easiest way to create a searchable archive of your life. A free micro-journal that’s secure, private, encrypted and safe.

Being bound to the limit of 280 characters challenges you to be pithy and only highlight what really mattered from your day. 6 uses: Journal, Travelling, Business, Sport, Target Progress and Backwards To-Do List.

Read on for more information and screenshots!


I’m not sure if it’s a growing trend or not but I’m more frequently hearing about people keeping digital journals (or diaries) and how therapeutic it is. I’m a pretty big fan of Penzu (our review: A Private Web: Digital Journal with Penzu), especially with the new mobile apps (our review: Penzu Goes HTML5 Mobile). I’ve never really been one to keep a journal though, so I’ve never actually tried to keep one whether paper or digital.

From the number of people I’m hearing via Twitter saying it’s relaxing and therapeutic, I may just give it a shot. One reason a paper journal never appealed to me is the security risk. Okay, well, siblings reading your journal isn’t exactly a “security risk” but it’s all perspective right? Thanks to today’s web apps, however, we can all rest well knowing our digitally recorded thoughts via apps like Penzu and OhLife are quite safe from prying eyes.

Do you keep a private journal/diary? If so, what app(s) do you use and how does it benefit you? If you don’t, why not? I’d love to hear your thoughts on digital journaling so leave a comment below. Thanks!

Like the intro. graphic? Get “Notebook Icon” at by philmatthews.

Last week we took a look at some of Penzu’s new features, including their fantastic new HTML5 powered mobile app. To summarize, we loved it. Along with the new mobile app, Penzu was generous enough to offer a few of our readers free Pro accounts for a full year! Read on for more info.


Awhile ago we took a look at Digital Journaling with Penzu and since then the Penzu team has been hard at work making their app even more outstanding and feature rich. The biggest changes, however, have been the addition of mobile support using the power of HTML5—including offline support.

With well rounded support for all the major mobile platforms, Penzu is certainly a web app showing others how its done. We’ll take a quick look at a few of the new features in the desktop app then check out what they’re offering for mobile devices.

Penzu has also offered to give 1 Year Free Pro accounts to a few lucky readers! Read on for more info.


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