June 27, 2013

Teachers Write: Journaling - Is there an app for that?

This summer I am once again joining Kate Messner's Teachers Write Camp. We started this week, and will write together (there's over 1,000 of us!) along with authors that have signed up to help out with posts, prompts, inspiration, and more.

It's an exciting time of collaboration and community, and I wouldn't miss it for the world.

If you'd like to join us (it's never too late!) you should check out Kate's first blog post from Monday this week. It's all about keeping a writer's journal. This post resulted in over 400 comments; teachers sharing their journaling ideas, discussing the types of journals they use, and swapping new ideas for how to integrate technology into our daily journaling time.

Personally, I love sketching out ideas and letting words flow freely in my old school spiral-bound journals. I've dabbled with apps that might change my mind, but haven't found anything that makes me want to give up my paper for good. However, inspired by this discussion, I went off in search for the Holy Grail of writing apps.

Here are my two favorites. Honestly, of all the writing apps I've downloaded in the last year, these two climb above the rest:

  1. Werdsmith has a simple design, is easy to use, and it's free! I love that I can open it anytime I have a new idea and jot my thoughts down. Later, if I want to work on an idea I've added to Werdsmith, I can change it to a project and set myself goals. Best of all, Werdsmith will send me daily reminders to write -- if I tell it to. Nice! All in all, a beautiful little writing app well worth checking out. This may quickly end my search for the perfect writing app.
  2. MaxJournal is an actual (FREE!) journaling app, complete with a calendar system to let you see which days you've written on. There are several options that allow you to play with journal covers, text style, and more. You can even add photos and tags to each journal entry. I also like that you can create several journals within this app, because I tend to keep separate journals for various projects I'm working on.
I can't say I'm completely ready to give up my sweet Sharpie pens and colorful journals just yet -- but with these two new apps, I am one step closer to a paperless existence.

What about you? Are you an app hound like me, always searching for the one app to rule them all? Or are you happy to open your old school hipster journal and jot your thoughts in pen (or pencil!)?