Monday, September 18, 2006


by Mariner Software

Every OS X user has certain programs that they have run at startup: those programs that are so indespnsible they want to have it immediately available.

MacJournal is one of those programs , at least for me. I absolutely cannot live without it! On average I’d say I use it at least every hour I’m in front of the computer. MacJournal is obviously designed for someone wjp keeps a journal or diary, but it’s really so much more than that! Don’t be limited by its name Think of it like a thousand sticky notes properly organized. You can set journals for anything. I have a nearly endless list of journals: a to-do journal, a journal of business ideas, a journal of books to read, a journal of recipes. Each journal can have mutiple entries in it that can show either the date, text or title of the entry (or all of them combined). For example, in my Review journal I can say “ MacJournal”. Then I click that entry and can type the reviews.

Obviously you can type plain text items within MacJournal, but you can also create numbered listings,checkboxes for to do lists, or plain bulleted lists. That’s why I keep my general to do list in MacJournal, I can print it out and check things as I go. Heck, you can even leave voice memos--yet another reason why I have it constantly running

Sometimes journals can keep private information, so you can password protect your MacJournal entries. You can also email them or export them to text documents. You can even take a MacJournal entry and directly publish it to blogging sites. Talk about versatile!!! How very cool!

Being a Simpson’s fan, one of my favorite features is the “Taco”. What’s the taco? Click on it and you get a random Simpsons quote. So when you are writing the next chapter of the Great American Novel in MacJournal and want a brief distraction, click on the Taco and be presented with such famous quotes as: “You tried your best and you failed miserably. The lesson is ‘never try’.” or “There’s a 4:30 in the morning now?”

MacJournal won an Apple Design Award in 2002 and it shows in the excellent interface and functionality of the program. The overall program design is similar to the Mail interface. A drawer contains your journals and you can open and close journals via the disclosure triangle. The title bar is completely customizable with drag and drop buttons and most menu functions can be included on that title bar. Alternatively, most of the text functions can be accessed from the “Action” menu (the menu with the gear icon) located in the Journal drawer.

Two other very similar programs to MacJournal I’ve seen are StickyBrain and Yojimbo, both reviwed previously. StickyBrain also lets you store information and create lists, but I find to be somewhat disorganized because it allows free-from entries. Before I received a review copy of MacJournal, StickyBrain was my program of choice for tracking daily thoughts. Yojimbo is great for storing passwords, but for general information entries, MacJournal is simply better if you want to store a greater variety of information.

My only complaint is I’d like some way to bring it up with a keyboard command. Both StickyBrain and Yojimbo allow you to press a key combination to bring their program to the forefront. It’s really a feature request rather than a complaint really, but it nonetheless would still be useful

Download MacJournal for the basic blogging, but keep it for the advanced interface and functions!

Pros: Perfect memory upgrade for your brain
Cons: Needs a systemwide keyboard command

5 out of 5 dogcows