Offline Journal

I have an offline journal. It’s called my journal. You know, the one that I actually write on.

But here’s what I’ve noticed over the years. It took me months in between to write enties there. There were some entries that I had to write it months after it happened. Some because I was not ready to write about. Then when I was ready to write about it, I didn’t feel like writing. 

Then I thought about how about 2 decades ago that I actually tried to start typing my journal on the Microsoft Word document and saving the file on a diskette. Yes, a diskette! It didn’t last long as the storage was not going to be able to save that much data. Then the usb flash drive came into picture many years later. I tried it again. I realized that some of the things I was writing were something I wanted to share. So I created my first blog. It actually had a good following – partially because I was working as a Radio DJ at that time and people were curious about my off air life. Facebook wasn’t invented yet and Friendster, at that time, actually had a limit of how many friends you could add. I actually had 3 Friendster account just to keep up. So having a blog was good because they didn’t need to add me to be able to feel connected with me.

In my first blog, I posted articles like How to eat balut, photos of different events I’ve attended and/or even MC’ed. Unfortunately, the server that was hosting my blog made some changes and have decided to no longer host any blogs. So along with many accounts, my blog was deactivated and deleted. Luckily, Facebook started during the time when my blog was still active. People were able to slowly add me there and was able to see what I’m up to there. With Facebook on the rise, I didn’t feel the need to create a blog as I could share easily my stories there instead. Or at least I didn’t feel the need right away.

Eventually, I created a blog. I just had to create it for so many reasons. One reason is I wanted it to be more of a place where my family and friends can just visit and see any updates about my life. Whenever I get a message of family and friends checking to see how I am, it takes a lot of time trying to send messages 1 at a time. Group messages don’t really work because not all are in the same group, i.e. family, relatives, friends, coworkers, etc. I ended up creating several. I couldn’t really decide whether to keep my personal life updates on the same blog. Additionally, I had thought about what will be the main content of my blog. I settled with some blog names. I tried to update it often but still felt like something was missing. I still didn’t really post much of my personal life into it. Don’t get me wrong, I like keeping some parts of my life private. I like telling stories. So I thought to try to continue blogging. But, I want to be able to still document my life and maybe one day read it when I’m much older and my memory won’t be as I would have remembered. It would be good to look back and read what I wrote based on my own words.

The dilemma I face in having an offline journal is writing. I like writing on my journal but I hate the actual writing part. I’m more of typist than a writer. I like the thought that I can easily access my written recollections of my memory from a journal. So I really have to find a way to overcome that or find a nice offline journal that I can just type instead of writing.

I was surprised to find out that there are so many apps that you can use as your online journal. But there were very few, or close to none, that I could find that you could use an offline journal. I know I shouldn’t be surprise because, come to think of it, if you have a software that can only save it locally or offline, then you would have to be logged on to that device to write a new entry or to access old entries. So I thought about maybe if someone can invent an electronic journal.

An electronic journal, a software similar to blogs, that lets us write entries and securely save it on an external hard drive. It will have features such as showing us the calendar and showing us which days we have entries and able to categorize our journal entries too. It’s a great idea — if only I knew how to code to create such a software. I know a similar software exists. However, most softwares or apps out there are more of trying to get you to subscribe for them to keep your journal or it’s free but you have to be online to be able to access it. It would be nice if it could be like our word document files or pdf files that we can save in a folder. I know I could do that too. It’s funny because over a decade later, I still go back to thinking I should save it as a document locally or with an external storage. It was a diskette before, then now an external hard drive. Funny how big of a difference with the 2. I can also put in a password protect on the files. But to be able to find a journal entry with the saved documents, I would have to search all over the place within folders and subfolders, and would even have to try to remember the date when I would write it. Even though it would be good to just start somewhere and able to start writing, I didn’t want to do it because it didn’t seem practical to use. Another option I thought was if I just create a private blog and use the blog as a private online journal – and I did. But still encountered an issue with that. What happens if the blog account gets full? Or what if the host site for my blog account closes or halts its service? This has happened to me before. The site that was hosting my blog had announced that they were no longer hosting any blog sites and will give us time to slowly go thru our blogs and save what we need to save. I didn’t get to save mine. I wonder if the new blog sites have a feature that allows me to download all of my posts over the years. I didn’t really look into that. If they did that would be good to know that not everything will be lost. However, I will need to reorganize it again.

So in conclusion, writing in a journal will still be the most reliable option that I will have with me. I can easily update without being online. I can customize it the entry with text and drawn images symbols. I can also add printed photos by pasting on the page. At least, that is the plan until I find a better alternative.

ASL (Clearwater, FL)

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