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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!

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.


Remember when people used to keep journals and diaries? Okay, maybe some of you still do—but mass sharing has taken over in recent years with platforms like WordPress, Tumblr and Twitter. Every day millions of people share their immediate thoughts and moments of life—to millions of strangers; what happened to privacy?

Penzu brings the classic diary and journal into the internet age, providing a platform for private (sharing optional) blogging with a digital paper-like interface. In this review I’ll take a look at Penzu and the quality web app they’ve created to make something old, new again.