Over the last little while we’ve seen Penzu usage surge quite a bit, causing some serious sluggishness in the app. This wasn’t an easy problem to fix: our servers hit their limit. But a couple days ago we took Penzu offline and fixed the issue — woot! Please let us know if any of you see issues with your Penzu at all.
We’re also working on a complete re-write of our mobile apps. Less crashing and better syncing for our loyal Pro users.
If you don’t already, please follow us on Twitter for the latest updates!!
- The Penzu Team
This feature has been in the works for a long time now and today we’re happy to announce that you can now bequeath your journal using Penzu Legacy. If you’ve ever thought about what might happen to your journal after you pass away, Penzu Legacy is the answer. Here’s how it works:
Step 1. Turn legacy on for any journal by clicking the key icon next the journal name.
Step 2. Designate beneficiaries for your journal by name and email address. A beneficiary is a person that you want to give your journal to when you’re gone.
Step 3. Assign verifiers to confirm your passing. Verifiers are different from beneficiaries in that they won’t ever have access to your journals, they just verify whether you are living or not.
So all anyone has to do is start the process by going to this form here: http://penzu.com/legacy/begin. We’ll first send you an email to make sure you’re alive, and if you aren’t then we email your verifiers to confirm it with them. If the process is initiated and your journals get sent out by accident, please email us at http://penzu.com/gethelp and we’ll cancel the process for you. It takes about a month for journals to be sent to beneficiaries.
It’s free and available for all users and on all journals. If you’re a Penzu Pro user, you can add Penzu Legacy to separate journals, each with their own unique beneficiaries and rules. So let’s say you want to leave a set of entries for your friends and a separate one for your family, the best way to do that is upgrade to Pro and create two journals. Or three or four! One for your future kids, for your best friend, for your mother and father, for the public…
We’d love to hear your feedback in the comments!
- Penzu Team
It’s not secret that our last release for iOS had some issues. We have been working hard to try to find out exactly what was causing the last syncing bug (among other things). We think we’ve got a good handle on it this time so please download the latest version of our app if you haven’t already!
In honor of National Novel Writing Month (or NaNoWriMo) we’ve added a new feature to Penzu today. In any journal (Pro users can create multiple journals) we’ve added the option of calculating the total number of words. That is, each entry in a journal is added up and counted as a total sum of all words in a particular journal.
To find this word count, follow these steps:
1. On your Journals page (http://penzu.com/journals) click on the settings icon of the journal in question:
2: Click on the “Count Words!” button:
3. A word count will appear for that journal:
This feature is only for our desktop web app at the moment (not on mobile) but is available to all users, Free and Pro!
It’s been a while since our last iOS update, but this time we’ve made some big technical improvements. Not only is the app faster and more stable, syncing has been completely overhauled. We’ve fixed many many problems that people have had with syncing their journals with our web service:
* Big improvements to memory usage and performance
* Overal stability improved with a number of crashes fixed
* Fixes a bug that can occur with journal encryption lock
* Fixes a problem with the “new entry” button not always working
* Fixes a problem saving entries under specific circumstances
* Updates for iPhone 5 retina
Please download this latest version as soon as you can! Looking forward to your feedback!
Update: We’ve noticed a bug with orientation in iOS 6 only. A fix has been submitted to Apple and will be released shortly.
Update 2: Bug is fixed! Get the latest version 1.5.1!
We realize this is long overdue (as are many features!) but this one will make a lot of long-time users happy. You can now finally change the date format of the date stamp on entries. Just navigate to your settings page to do so:
You can choose from an array of formats as seen below:
We are pleased to announce that the latest version of Penzu Classroom is live and ready for everyone to use!
The story behind Penzu Classroom is pretty obvious: Since the beginning of Penzu, it has been used by teachers and educators around the globe. Even though our original intentions weren’t to build an education tool, the simple paper-like interface was perfect for students of all ages. The limited sharing functionality was enough to allow students to send their entries to teachers for review.
We decided some months ago to start working on a separate product to cater to the needs of teachers and educators. We wanted to make it easier to share entries between students, teachers, and peers. We wanted to make reviewing entries better so teachers could send grades and in-depth comments about their students’ work. We wanted to make managing a class and all the associated entries a breeze. And we wanted teachers to be able to send assignment instructions to their class via email or sharable link.
So… we did! Penzu Classroom does all this and more while also combining all the great features of Penzu Pro for teachers. Watch out trailer video below:
Get all the details here: http://penzu.com/classroom. Penzu Classroom is just $49 per year for teachers and free for students. Teachers can create an unlimited number of classes and add as many students as they want. As always we offer a 30-day money-back guarantee – so if you aren’t happy, downgrade for an instant refund.
We’re just starting the Classroom journey, so we’re excited to get your feedback and make Penzu Classroom the best education and writing tool on the web.
- The Penzu Team
It is seemingly impossible to keep a consistent journal and not feel the fruits of self-betterment in your life. Goals are accomplished, problems are solved, history is recorded and talents are honed as we transform our fluid thoughts into written word.
Why then do we so often struggle to do it? Similar to other self-improvement activities such as jogging and meditation, just doing it is much more than half the battle. And, just like these other endeavors, the motivation required for one can vary wildly from another. Someone may journal every day because they want to record their stories for posterity while someone else might write an entry now and again just to vent. For this reason it is important that we each find the unique driving forces that will actually encourage us enough to sit down and write something down.
Motivation to journal can be divided into eight categories: self improvement, creativity, family, writing, problem solving, spirituality, daily life and logging. This list of 101 Reasons to Journal breaks each of these down into manageable pieces to better help us understand what fuel will stoke our journaling fire and adds commentary for further explanation.
Here are just a few of the 101 reasons why you should journal:
How To… Open Up More
Unlike blogs, creative writing or other forms of written word, your personal journal should usually stay personal. These tips can help you keep it away from prying eyes, thus allowing you to open up and share how you really feel:
Get More Out of Penzu Prompts
One of the worst feelings is when you finally find the motivation to journal and you start a new entry only to find you have nothing to say or don’t know where to start. The easiest way to overcome this problem is ‘prompts’ which are simple questions to answer or statements to get the juices flowing.
If you are a Penzu Pro user, seeing a variety of prompts is as easy as clicking on the light bulb icon on the top right of every entry.
Sam Lytle is the founder of EasyJournaling.com and writer of Modern Journaling: The Complete Digital Journaling Guide. You can follow him on Twitter @easyjournaling.
We’ve been working hard to get a new and more stable iOS app into the App Store. After a few rejections and speed bumps, we finally have version 1.4 available for you to download (get it here!). There aren’t any new features, just a re-write of a bunch of code so the app doesn’t crash, freeze, and misbehave as it was doing before.
What’s New in Version 1.4
* Overall improvements in stability and performance
* Fixes bug where sync to web occasionally freezes or fails to complete
* Fixes problem some users were having with locking and unlocking Journals
* Fixes a bug with the Passcode lock
* Improved memory management
If you’re a Pro user and were using our iOS app before, you gotta get this update! If you’re a free user, upgrade to Pro during our SUMMER SALE for over 36% off! Learn more here.
Thanks for your patience and if you have any feedback visit http://penzu.com/gethelp to send us your suggestions.
Commenting hasn’t changed a lot since we launched it, so today we just released some much needed updates. You can now edit and delete comments from other users on both shared and public entries! We’ve also made commenting available on all entries, not just shared ones, so you can add notes and comments to yourself if you so desire. Comments can be turned off for an entry as well, which is convenient if you’re sharing something that you don’t want comments for.
But for those that share entries, we have also added something extremely convenient: commenting via email! So now, when someone comments on your entry and you get an email notice for that comment, just click the Reply button in your email inbox and write back with your comment! It will get added to the entry instantly all without having to login to your Penzu account.
We know this will be useful for teachers and students, so we’re excited to get people using it!