App Review: Diarium for Windows 10 and iOS

As regular readers of this blog may know, I’m perpetually looking for an offline diary to keep. The problem doesn’t seem to be the lack of apps available, though I find fault with each of them. Rather, it seems to be the lack of commitment to actually keeping a daily journal.

That being said, I’ve tried a lot of apps. Until very recently, the iOS app Day One was by far my favorite. Now, it seems to have gotten a strong competitor in Diarium.

Diarium was originally developed as a Windows 10 app. This was before I had a Windows 10 computer. At some point roughly three years ago, they however launched the iOS app. It was still far from ideal at the time. If I remember correctly, most buttons weren’t labeled and there was no timeline view.

In the current iOS version, the tabs in the bottom right corner allow you to switch between timeline, calendar, search, map and tags. I really love this.

In the top left corner of the screen is the button to add an entry. This will open a calendar with an ability to pick the date. Diarium, though it does seem to support multiple entries per day, does not automatically include the timestamp. Rather, you have to click a button while typing your entry to insert it. You can also add images (not sure if you can add just one image per entry or multiple), audio or files.

Also in the top left corner are buttons to sync your diary with OneDrive, iCloud Drive, Google Drive, WebDav or Dropbox. This is a paid feature, but the positive about Diarium’s paid plan as opposed to for example Day One’s, is that it’s €5,99 (if I’m correct) and is a one-time purchase rather than the €37,99 per year for Day One. To Day One’s credit, it does offer more features.

I have Diarium on both my iPhone and Windows 10 PC now. At first, I had no clue how to use the Windows 10 app, because it doesn’t work like Word or Notepad or any of the older Windows programs at all. For example, Alt or Shift+F10 doesn’t work to open a menu at all (there doesn’t seem to be a menu). I’m still figuring things out a little, but it seems most buttons at least are clearly labeled. When I tap the button to add an entry though, I have yet to figure out how to get back to my diary without closing and relaunching the entire app.

Diarium allows integration with several services, including your weather app, Twitter, Facebook and Fitbit. I so far only have integration set up with the iPhone’s weather app and Fitbit. I love how that way, my daily step count is included with each day’s entry. Unlike apps like Momento, Diarium as far as I know doesn’t create separate entries for your integrations, but rather includes them on each day’s main entry. This may be both a drawback and an advantage depending on your perspective.

There are two things I find slightly annoying about Diarium. The first is the fact that each entry is auto-titled something like “Dear diary” and auto-formatted to start with “Today I …”. It does look like you can delete or ignore this though. The other thing is the fact that, despite the fact that I turned it off in settings, my entire entries are still shown in the timeline. This might be a bug, so I’m going to contact the developer about this.

Overall, I really like Diarium. If, like me, you’ve been using Day One and would like to migrate, there’s an easy way to do that by exporting your Day One journal into a .Zip file and importing it into Diarium. Some of the preformatted stuff from Day One looks weird in Diarium, but it’s still readable.

Early Days Online

Yesterday, Rory asked whether we remember our first times online or with a computer in general. I certainly do. I may have shared some of these memories before, but just in case I haven’t, I’m going to dedicate a post to them.

I got my first computer at the age of eleven in January of 1998. That one didn’t have an Internet connection though. Its operating system, Windows 95 SP2 (which my father explained was like Windows 96), did support Internet Explorer, but my screen reader didn’t. That screen reader, Slimware Windows Bridge, was quite primitive. So was the Braille display, which I remember to be attached to my computer via the printer port. Though it did work with just Braille, without speech, if the speech unit in the Braille display malfunctioned, so did the entire thing.

In 2002, I got my second computer and my first JAWS version. For those who don’t know, JAWS is the most commonly-used screen reader today. This computer had Windows 98 installed on it and it did have Internet access.

My father at first was adamant that I use the Internet as much as I want, even though we had a dial-up connection back then (not the kind where you can’t phone and go online at the same time). He said that, if the bill got too expensive, we’d get broadband. Then when the bill did get to over €300 over the summer, it turned out broadband wasn’t available at our house. After a few months of my parents trying to restrict my Internet access and my trying to evade said restrictions, we eventually got cable.

I got my first online diary that fall of 2002. It was on DiaryLand if I remember correctly, though I often switched between DiaryLand, Diary-X, Teen Open Diary and whatever else was available. The only service I never actively used, was Xanga. I also had a Dutch online diary.

The worst mistake I made, looking back, was not taking care of other people’s privacy. I not only wrote out every argument I’d had with my parents in detail, but also referred to other people, such as my teachers, by their real names. One teacher in particular had a rather unusual last name and at one point was googling her name for genealogy purposes. Not surprisingly, she stumbled upon my Dutch diary. Though I (interestingly) had used a nickname there, she quickly found out it was me. She personally didn’t mind, but did caution me that others might.

What mistakes did you make in your early days online?

#WeekendCoffeeShare (August 16, 2020)

It’s been several weeks since I last joined in with the #WeekendCoffeeShare community. I was thinking of doing a post earlier in the evening, but it was just too soaring hot in my room still. Now it’s past midnight, so technically Sunday and I’m joining in.

If we were having coffee, I would ask you how the weather is where you are, only to complain about the weather here. It’s been over 30°C here all week. Today was slightly cooler, but the humidity made it very exhausting. I’m almost hoping for some thunderstorms tonight. You know, I’m scared of them, but I really hate this heat.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that my computer crashed on Monday. I guess it got hit with the heat too. It was fine again Tuesday after leaving it off for a night and is still fine now.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that the woman who lives in the other home that’s part of my facility whom I often talk to, had her birthday on Thursday. I gifted her a keychain that I’d made and she loved it. She did feel a little uncomfortable when my staff asked her whether she’d like to have me visit sometime, but that’s because she needs time to process.

If we were having coffee, I would share that I made some delicious banana and strawberry milkshakes over the past few days.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I got a bargain on some peaches and blueberries at the local supermarket. They were three packages of fruit for €5. Blueberries are pretty expensive so I got a small package of those, but I got two large packages of peaches. They are the wild, flat kind of peaches and they’re delicious! I got them on Thursday. Though I ate all the blueberries that evening, I haven’t even emptied the first box of peaches yet.

If we were having coffee, I’d share that I talked to my nurse practitioner on Thursdday. I sent him some piece of writing I’d done for my staff about how I’m feeling. I left the link to my blog in my signature, which I’m not sure was the right thing to do. He said he’d been browsing around a bit. Of course, that made me feel uncomfortable, so I asked him whether he had some type of weird idea about me now. The main reason I asked is because he asked about the meaning of my blog URL, which of course refers to my seeing myself as multiple. I’m trying not to care, of course, and I won’t be censoring myself based on who might read my blog. I know this is a public blog so to be careful about my and especially others’ privacy.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I have a ton of ideas for blog posts in my mind, but for whatever reason (the heat, maybe), I cannot quite concentrate enough to write them. I’m also thinking of finally starting up my journal writing prompts blog, which I registered with WordPress some months ago. I will post a formal announcement when/if this happens.

If we were having coffee, lastly I would tell you that my husband came by for a visit today. We’d originally planned for me to go to our house for a night, but my husband proposed we eat somewhere and go for a walk. We ended up getting a burger and milkshake at McDonald’s. The walk was short, as I didn’t want to walk in a forest because I had my sandals on and it was too hot and humid to walk anywhere else.

How have you been?

Share Your World-Revisited (September 24, 2018)

I am still not very motivated to write, even though a million thoughts are floating through my mind. To get something onto this blog for today anyway, I’m participating in SYW-R, as I affectionately call the revisited Share Your World hosted by Sparks. Here are this week’s question.

Last week I asked a question about favorite beverages and the overwhelming favorite was coffee. If you drink coffee, how do you like it best? Hot, cold, iced, with cream, with sugar or black as black? If you don’t drink coffee, how has that beverage impacted YOUR world?
I do drink coffee and have since I was about six-years-old. However, I still get a hideous grin on my face whenever I drink it, as if I think it’s disgusting. To be honest, I don’t really like it, but I guess I’m addicted. I prefer my coffee black.

In your opinion, what’s the greatest invention of our age?
The computer or smartphone. I am still not the type to want to be connected all the time. I used my landline more than my cellphone until I was in my early twenties sometime around 2008. I didn’t get my first smartphone till a little over a year ago. That being said, I do love my little iPhone SE. However, I must say I still use my nearly 4 1/2-year-old Acer laptop far more. I still use Windows 8.1 with classic shell so it looks like Windows 7. I’ve been wanting to buy a new laptop and start using Windows 10 for a year, but am still waiting for my health insurance to cover a new screen reader.

Global warming? Reality or myth?
Climate change is probably real and to be expected with how much we’ve polluted the Earth over the past two centuries. I’m not knowledgeable enough to understand in what direction scientists believe now that it’s headed though. To be honest, not having children of my own makes me a little careless about this whole thing.

Are you an explorer or more a home body?
Definite homebody! I hate traveling.

What were you grateful for this week?
My amazing support workers, nurse practitioner, in-laws and most importantly my husband.

Weekly Gratitude List (August 3, 2018) #TToT

It’s Friday again, so it’s time for Ten Things of Thankful or #TToT. I loved all the positive comments on my post last week. My apologies to those I haven’t commented back on. One of the reasons is the fact that I struggle to comment on Blogspot blogs. However, I may also have been too distracted to comment. Anyway, with no further ado, here are the things I’m grateful for this week.

1. Having had a barbecue with the in-laws. That is, my mother-in-law wasn’t there, but my father-in-law and two sisters-in-law were. The food was delicious and we had a great time.

2. My having lost weight despite not following a healthy diet too strictly and not having exercised much at all. I really hope and in fact I believe I can stick to this healthy’ish lifestyle for a long while.

3. The fact that I click well with the Center for Consultation and Expertise consultant assigned to my case.

4. Good sleep in spite of the hot weather. It’s still over 30 degrees Celsius at midday. Like I said last week though, my husband got us a fan for in our bedroom. As a result, I’m sleeping pretty well.

5. Watching documentary series on Netflix. I haven’t completley figured it out, but it works okay.

6. The fact that my computer hasn’t died yet. It is over four years old and incredibly slow, has two broken keys and many programs aren’t working. I cannot get a new computer yet though. After all, for a new computer, I’d need a new version of my screen reader, which is very expensive and won’t be paid for by health insurance unless I get a prescription from a blindness agency, for which I’m on the waiting list. Thankfully, the two broken keys aren’t letters and I have gotten used to the slowness of things.

7. On a related note, the fact that I finally figured out how to subscribe to blog feeds in my favorite feed reader on this broken PC. This used to only work in Firefox, which is one of the programs no longer working with my outdated screen reader. However, I finally worked my way around this and can now subscribe in IE. This means I can finally follow new blogs I discover.

8. Having still kept up with this blog. I don’t write as much as I did last week, but at least I still manage to write at least one blog post everyday.

9. Snack veggies. My husband bought a bucket of cherry tomatoes and a bucket of snack cucumbers on Tuesday, but I forgot about them until he reminded me yesterday. Now I can enjoy snacking without guilt.

10. The hugs, cards and presents I got from the people at my now old day activities. The leave-taking was bittersweet but I truly loved how nice everyone was.

What have you been thankful for lately?