Discover how to record your private thoughts digitially - without blogging or sharing with others
iaries offer a fascinating insight into people's lives throughout history. But they're also useful from a personal point of view, chronicling your personal history and giving you an insight into the events and feelings that have shaped your life.
Writing a diary using pen and paper requires a fair amount of discipline, but your PC makes recording your daily history a simple task, thanks to a free tool.
Keep a private journal
iDailyDiary enables you to record the day's events in far less time than it would take to write it by hand. Just download and install the program from here and it'll start automatically. Give your name a diary and - if you're worried about security or privacy - assign a password to it.
After a short pause the program will begin proper - it will default to the current day, with an introductory message giving you a quick tour of the program. Read through it to familiarise yourself with the program's features, then press [Ctrl] + [A] and press the [Delete] key to remove the message. You're now ready to start writing your diary - as the step-by-step guide reveals, iDailyDiary is as simple as using Microsoft Word, so you'll soon get to grips with it.
Post a journal entry
1. TYPE YOUR ENTRY
By default iDailyDiary starts with the current day. If you don't like the default font (Arial) and size (12pt), change it from the drop-down menu, then simply start typing your diary entry as if you were using Microsoft Word.
2. INSERT PHOTOS
Place the cursor at the point where you want to insert a photo or image and choose Insert > Picture. Browse for and select your image, then either use the drag handles to resize it or right-click it and choose Properties > Layout tab to resize it manually.
3. ADD TABS
If you want to divide up your diary into different sections, press [Ctrl] + [T] to create a new tab. When prompted give it a name and click OK. Rename a tab at any time by right-clicking it and choosing Rename.
4. SET PREFERENCES
Select View > Preferences > Fonts and Colours to set a default typeface. Select Tabs to set up multiple tabs with different names - each time you create a new diary entry, the tabs will automatically set themselves up accordingly.
Reasons to go digital
There are plenty of advantages to using iDailyDiary over paper and ink: you can quickly and easily edit your entries, insert photos and other images to help illustrate the events of the day and even search your diary for specific words or passages without having to manually flip through it.
You can also split up each day's entries into separate tabs, enabling you to record specific details like a work schedule or your diet without affecting your normal diary entry. To do this, just right-click on the Page 1 tab and choose New Diary Page Tab (you can also rename any tabs from this menu).
To customise iDailyDiary to your personal tastes and requirements, choose View > Preferences. You can alter default colours and styles, set up automatic tabs to save you the bother of doing this manually, change auto-save and back-up settings and more besides.
When you've finished, just close the window - iDailyDiary will still be available from the Notification area of the Taskbar. Click its icon and - if necessary - enter your password to start recording your thoughts again.
iDailyDiary is a simple tool to use, but if you want more features you'll find a 30-day trial of iDailyDiary Professional (US$30) is available from the same link as iDailyDiary itself - choose View > Preferences > Professional in iDailyDiary itself to find out more about the extra features available.
I'd like to make my diary publicly available. What's the best way to do this?
If you're happy to share your life with others - perhaps you'd like your diary to double up as a source of news for friends and family - then you can record your thoughts online for free with a service known as a 'blog' (short for Web log). The most popular blogging service is Blogger (click here) - we'll be featuring a guide to using it at a later date on Support PCs.
Annotation: Record your day-to-day life
You can save diary pages in a variety of different file formats, including Web pages and Microsoft Word documents.
B. SEARCH TOOLS
The most powerful tool here is the Search button on the left - use this to search selected parts of your diary.
C. INSERT TOOLS
You can import images, Web links, lines, page breaks and even links to other diary entries from here.
D. FORMATTING TOOLS
iDailyDiary works just like Microsoft Word, so formatting and styling your text requires no additional skills.
E. MAIN PAGE
Your current diary entry is displayed here exactly as it would appear on paper, in Microsoft Word or on the Web.
F. DIARY NAVIGATION
Days containing diary entries are coloured green, and you can use the navigation tools on the left to jump to different months and years.