When I switched from the iPhone to the new LG G6, LG’s current flagship smartphone, I ran into two small snags with respect to important software that I use. One snag had to do with my Task Management system in my GTD architected system and the other had to do with what Journaling software I would end up using.
As an iPhone user, I used Day One for Journaling and initially Omnifocus which gave way to The Hit List. In this article, I’m just going to address my Journaling requirements and how I ended up solving that.
The Software that Could be used
Going to Android was far simpler than I initially thought it would be. However, my service provider was offering me a deal a just couldn’t refuse. I basically could have a new LG G6 or for that matter any Android phone or an iPhone 7 at markedly reduced price.
Initially, I wasn’t sure if I needed to do any of this but the more I thought about the more I realized it would be foolhardy to turn down what I perceived to be a generous offer.
The automatic data upgrade was a no brainer. The phone, on the other hand, was an issue. I had grown bored of my iPhones. Charge them up, run and go. There was little to be done. Not that I necessarily liked every aspect of the way I had to work on an iPhone but I had this ill conceived notion that Android was difficult and problematic in the long term. Neither could be farther from the truth.
I ended up choosing the LG G6 and I couldn’t be more delighted with the choice. A phone that worked the way I wanted to work as opposed to the other way around.
Difficult? At first I went what have I done. Two weeks later I knew and I was no longer bored by the iPhone. The Android is only complex in that, like anything, if you’re used to something, that gets in the way of learning. I wasn’t a washed up, old dinosaur of yester year but some one who could still learn at great benefit.
A Complete Apple Shop with an Android
One would think that if everything you have is Apple, from the portable through to the pad and your desktop, along with your amazing AppleTV, so too should be the phone. Nothing could be further from the truth as cross platform, the next wave in computing that started in the 80’s, was finally alive due to the cloud and was no longer on life support. It worked and worked like a charm.
For every major category of software that runs on the Mac and IOS there is with the same software on Android or something comparable. Android fit into my Apple universe like a nice pair of fitted shoes. One just had to know that not only was it possible, I do it and with that comes a lot of freedom and a new fascination with the Smartphone I had lost a long time ago.
To have a good Journaling system or any system which requires the interaction between components on the multiple platforms, the cloud and sync are crucial. I will point out four superb sync solutions any of which, as long as it deals with your platform is fully acceptable:
- System sync or that is sync provided by the system you’ve chosen
- Dropbox which to a large degree is somewhat of a universal standard
- Fruux a superb cross platform sync solution based on caldav/cardav out of Europe
- Exchange for those that have an Exchange supported environment
As you’ll notice, there is no room here for icloud and that is Apple’s doing. Not to worry as Fruux completely takes over from this technique.
You might ask though what is the best. If it’s a system, system provided sync would be your best bet. Beyond that it depends on the universality of the sync solution. I particularly like Exchange and it is becoming very competitive and Universal. If you have Office 365 you have Exchange.
Fruux is less common but very secure. Dropbox though is a good old standbye.
My Journal Technique
I’ve been journaling since University. In the beginning I wasn’t as religious about it as I am now. However, there are many benefits to the process from the simple (I think I observed) to the more complex analytical (if this then ????). I also like to journal what I’ve done, the importance I impart to something and the value achieved.
In some ways there is nothing better to solve either a function beyond oneself to that of something that is eating at you. It well accept that journaling cannot only help you problem solve but that it has a major cathartic role and a problem put in its place may not be as daunting as first perceived.
In the early days, my jouranal was pen and paper. I have found no one system better than the other. However, the electroic journal is far superior if one has to draw on somethng learned from a past experience. The journal is thus either something that allows you to externalize your thoughts to a cathartic beast. In the end, you’ll be happy from process and the results
Journal Prior to Android
Prior to Android I tried the major journals:
- Capture 365
- My Wonderful Life
- MacJournal (the granddaddy if journals)
- Day One
I ultimately settled on Day One as it worked the way I liked to live. It demanded little to get the thoughts and words down but the results were astounding. I could either be happy that I just journaled or take solace in retrospectively reviewing my journal with those aha moments. And they were certainly there.
And then there was Android
After a great deal of research and some trial and error, it was clear to me that there were two jouranls, at least for me, that stood out from the crowd. My decision would boil down to either:
- Day One
Day One is missing an Android app and Journey is missing IOS apps. However, in Journey, the way you write on you IOS device is using Journey.cloud. It almost feels like you’re writing in an app but you are writing into a web app that puts the information where you want it.
And What did Day One Miss
Day Once missed an Android app altogether for its prime wirting environement yet all was not lost. In fact, little was lost. A superb Android journal was 100% compatible with Day One. Whatever you worte in Day One ended up in Narrate on your Android and by no means is Narrate unpleasant to use. We are talking word for word, tag for tag implementation. Pure genius by the authors of Narrate.
The Path is Laid
Journey is busily writing an IOS app while Day One is doing the same for their new beast. The end result for both will be 100% cross platform compatibility.
This is not unusual and is happening more say with ever passing day. What it means to you as a user though is freedom to choose that which works for you best. I have seen some pretty ghastly implementations but nevertheless an attemp at full compatibility.
What To do in the Interim
Life does not stop and the clicking of the clock is an analogue representation of this. You cannot stand still so you need make a decision possibly based on where you would like to end up. I was naturally drawn to the Day One solution. However, there are a couple of things I believe Day One is going to implement none of which appeal to me. The most glaring is a premium, subscription based service. Part of their argument is they need a reliable source revenue to keep things fresh.
That might true, but so do all developers. All these subscription based services which do not need to be subscription based adds up into a complex of costs which can be contained. However, you would likely be doing yourself a disservice and that to others by charging ongoing when it is based on falsely accruing benefits. There is only so much individuals can afford under this model thus locking yourself out from other value posed solutions. That is, you’re unable to take all these services that might be valuable due to the sheer cost.
Journey is a top notch journalling program having won plenty of awards. Fortunately there is what is referred to as Journey.cloud which allows you to continue your journaling on an IOS device even without an application. You are using pure cloud services to do this.
Journey for IOS is not anticipated to be available for a while. Once available, you’ll be able to write in a pleasant app environment. For now logging into Journey for IOS on ios.cloud is a perfectly acceptable solution. I have, in no way found my journaling impeded by not having a native app.
Journey on journey.cloud fully lets me input the entry or the course of today. Reviewing Journey’s entries, though is best down from my Mac version. However, one very cool feature of Journey is its ability draw on what you were doing one year ago today can take a quick look at the past. If interesting, it could draw you to go back and look at more around that time frame.
There are a lot of great journaling apps I didn’t discuss in this article that allow you to comfortably write about your life and reflect. In this article, I specifically addressed cross platform. However, there are apps just intended for Android as there are for the Mac/IOS. That is, there are many more options that are growing daily.
There are many reasons to journal and it is more than useful to tap on those. If journaling involves less freedom, there is something wrong. Keeping a journal should involve developing self-awareness and the freedom to express yourself in a way that is most comfortable even it meant going back to pen and pencil.
Know that this is not necessary and further that you do not have to be shut in on a platform. This freedom might make the difference between being a good journaler and getting advantage from activity and that of an occasional journaler who finds it too much hassle. Feel free and work with what your most comfortable with.