My Life As a Journal.

In search of better ways to keep a journal and
blog, I decided to test several programs. My desktop is littered with mounted
disk images, all in the name of research. (Oh, by the way, these are all for the
Mac, so PC users will have to find themselves another review

Circus Ponies

This program deserves the adjective “nifty.”

It took me some time to get used to the way
NoteBook thinks. (Then again, I never really bothered with the tabs in my
college notebooks. I just changed pen colors, or my handwriting, to tell which
notes came from which class.)

If you
have a .mac account, NoteBook lets you export your files (including tabs,
preserving the notebook look) to HTML and automatically creates a folder in your
.mac homepage. It can also just export to HTML and you can use any FTP program
to upload the files to your host. It’s not exactly blogging, but if you’re not
really into fiddling with web design then it’s quite an easy way to create a

app is new and you can feel how it’s taking baby steps. I do think it’s
, but not worth the money yet. (For $29.99, you could get
MacJournal and a bit of change – see quick review below.) Blog.Mac is designed
to be the blog program that chronicles your iLife – it uploads the title and
artist of the song currently playing on your iTunes, it feeds live shots from
your iSight to your blog, and (quite irritatingly) will only work with images
that reside on your iDisk. Unlike iBlog, it has no categories, so the only way
you can go through the blog is by date. You can download a free template
designer; the built-in templates are clean and good-looking, with your choice of
idyllic seascape or mountain range behind your blog

Mariner Software, the makers of the almost but not quite totally useless Desktop
Poet, MacJournal is a lean, lovely program that
integrates cleanly with Blogger, LiveJournal and .Mac. If you were a typist in a
past life, you’ll like it.

It’s got an
uncluttered interface; it lets you password-protect your entries; and it offers
you a blank screen that you simply must fill with words. And images. You can now
drag images into your journal screen. I would have liked better integration with
iTunes (Blog.Mac’s automatic “now playing” is a great touch). Still, it’s
US$24.95, so if you don’t have the money to spare, you can always go

favorite journal program to date. It’s elegant. It has a
textured yin-yang dock icon. Its default font is the intelligently-designed
Georgia. It lets you clip practically anything to your journal entry. (In this
way, it is a tidy simulation of what I used to insert between the leaves of my
journals: flower petals, movie tickets, candy wrappers.) It works with Blogger
and LiveJournal, as well.

Even if you’re
not living the life you thought you would be, you can at least document it