Author Topic: Application for keeping a journal  (Read 6326 times)

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Offline jwrushman

Application for keeping a journal
« on: February 20, 2017, 03:50:47 pm »
I'm planning a ride from NJ to Anacortes this summer.  I have most of my questions answered, much thanks to this forum!  Now I have more trivial issues.  My question is "What application do you recommend for keeping a journal when on a longish bike ride?".   CrazyGuyOnABike?  I'm only bringing an Android phone. 

I've been section-hiking the AT and just use a NotePad on my phone to keep a journal.  Since I'll be gone for 2 months, I wanted to use something my friends could access.  I've never used FaceBook - it seems to be too much of a "time sucker" - but do others use it for creating a trip journal?


Offline driftlessregion

Re: Application for keeping a journal
« Reply #1 on: February 20, 2017, 04:33:31 pm »
Nope. Post cards and a 3"x2" spiral notebook.

Offline walks.in2.trees

Re: Application for keeping a journal
« Reply #2 on: February 20, 2017, 04:55:59 pm »
I'm planning a ride from NJ to Anacortes this summer.  I have most of my questions answered, much thanks to this forum!  Now I have more trivial issues.  My question is "What application do you recommend for keeping a journal when on a longish bike ride?".   CrazyGuyOnABike?  I'm only bringing an Android phone. 

I've been section-hiking the AT and just use a NotePad on my phone to keep a journal.  Since I'll be gone for 2 months, I wanted to use something my friends could access.  I've never used FaceBook - it seems to be too much of a "time sucker" - but do others use it for creating a trip journal?
I'm more of a digital guy, but I like the postcards idea if you want to save battery... Helps keep the entry short circuit you not to ramble, limits the time spent doing it, you don't have to carry it with you— just mail it home, plus getting postcards along the way gives you excuses to stop when you otherwise might not have.

In terms of apps... Just start a page on Google Sites... It's easy to set up, easy to access from any web browser, you can add anything to it from anywhere on your Google account, plus you can add someone you trust to edit if you want, or even use it as a way to communicate with the public without giving out your personal contact info.  Plus you can set up behind the scenes pages that only you can access to do things like trip planning, spending logs... Or any other lists, Spreadsheets, calendars and have it all in one place

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Offline adventurepdx

  • World Traveler
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  • Riding bikes in and around Portland, Oregon
Re: Application for keeping a journal
« Reply #3 on: February 20, 2017, 04:59:07 pm »
Nope. Post cards and a 3"x2" spiral notebook.

Well, the author is looking for something their friends can access along the way. Postcards are nice (and I still do them!) but it's maybe not the best way to let a bunch of people know what you are up to.

To the OP, do you plan on using this journal just for a tour? Or for other things? If the former, go with Crazy Guy. But if the latter, I'd look at a platform like WordPress, which is what I currently use. Blogger is there too, and is a Google product, so should integrate seamlessly if you use things like Google Plus.

Offline adventurepdx

  • World Traveler
  • *****
  • Posts: 560
  • Riding bikes in and around Portland, Oregon
Re: Application for keeping a journal
« Reply #4 on: February 20, 2017, 05:00:37 pm »
I'm more of a digital guy, but I like the postcards idea if you want to save battery... Helps keep the entry short circuit you not to ramble, limits the time spent doing it, you don't have to carry it with you— just mail it home, plus getting postcards along the way gives you excuses to stop when you otherwise might not have.

True. I try to send a postcard to myself one to two times a week when I'm on tour. It's a nice way to encapsulate your thoughts of the moment, and also a nice little memento of the trip.

Offline John Nelson

Re: Application for keeping a journal
« Reply #5 on: February 20, 2017, 06:12:33 pm »
I use crazyguyonabike, and I do it all with my smartphone. Because some of my friends prefer Facebook, they have requested I put a link to each day's crazyguy journal entry on Facebook. Facebook doesn't suck time if you don't read anything there. Just make your post and get off. Takes me just a minute.

If I'm without Internet access, I just make notes in my Notes app and copy it to crazyguy when I get access.

Offline jwrushman

Re: Application for keeping a journal
« Reply #6 on: February 20, 2017, 06:25:59 pm »
The journal is more for myself.  When I've been on other "adventures", I've found it very worthwhile when I look at it, a year later, 5 years later, 10 years later...

Most other people, I assume, will just read it once and look at the pictures.

I haven't used Crazy Guy myself, but I like the format and I've learned a lot from what others have posted there.

So far, my list of things to check out are:

Crazy Guy
Google Sites
WordPress
Blogger


Offline RonK

Re: Application for keeping a journal
« Reply #7 on: February 21, 2017, 02:24:38 am »
Blogger and Wordpress both have smartphone apps.

Or for a simple "where I am" type diary you could use the Track My Tour app.

To allow a bit more editing space on a smartphone screen I use a folding Bluetooth keyboard.
Cycle touring blog and tour journals: whispering wheels...

Offline staehpj1

Re: Application for keeping a journal
« Reply #8 on: February 21, 2017, 06:22:29 am »
All of the choices have their advantages and disadvantages.

First consider who your audience is.  If you would like to reach the general touring community I think Crazy Guy On a Bike is a slam dunk.  I know that when I did my first coast to coast (Trans America) we met a lot of folks who were doing the route at the same time we were.  It was kind of cool to meet folks in person on the road that we had originally met on cgoab while planning the tour.

If family and friends are the only audience then I'd be more inclined to go with Facebook, especially if short quick updates are what you want.  Using a FB phone app makes it quick and easy.

If you are more interested in doing more writing and are not after the cycling community then Blogger or Wordpress might be the way to go.

On the other hand if you mostly just want to let friends know you are ok and maybe send a picture now and then using group text messages may be the way to go.  Service providers do often have a limit of 10 or 20 addresses for a group text, but I think there are work arounds.

Offline jwrushman

Re: Application for keeping a journal
« Reply #9 on: February 21, 2017, 09:32:10 am »
Staehpj1,

Thanks for your summary.  I think I just need to try each app on my phone to see which one works best for me.  I still have 3 months to play around with them.

Crazy Guy
Google Sites
WordPress
Blogger
Track My Tour

Online Pat Lamb

Re: Application for keeping a journal
« Reply #10 on: February 21, 2017, 11:12:19 am »
Before you commit to a blog, it's worth stopping to answer the question, "why?"  If you're trying to convey the experience of the trip to your family and friends, that takes a fair bit of dedication (read: time).  If it's just to let one or two people know you're all right, it can be a simple "Made it to Owl Creek, doing well" email.  A daily (or almost daily) phone call to say "Safely off the road" may be an option.

Lots of cross-country blogs turn into a photo dump -- pretty cool for you, pretty dull for the audience.  I'll stake out the position that very few photos stand on their own; most pictures need some context.

A well-written blog, with descriptions of highlights, pictures with captions, and references to those pictures in the narrative, takes me 30-60 minutes a day.  (At least I hope my blog was well written!)  It takes time to sort through pictures, think about what you're going to write, pick the picture and write around them.  You have to choose whether to dedicate that time, or spend it doing something else.

On the other hand, I can remember the trip I blogged better than the trip I sketched notes for, and that one I remember better than the trips I just took pictures of.

Offline John Nelson

Re: Application for keeping a journal
« Reply #11 on: February 21, 2017, 01:40:04 pm »
I'll second Pat's thought that a well-done journal takes more time than you think. Nevertheless, I think it's worthwhile. It provides me with three things: (1) a way to reflect on my day and cement it into my memory, (2) a way to keep my friends and family informed, and (3) a keepsake to look at in the future. But I'm often struggling to finish each days entry before falling asleep. It is important to me to make a journal entry at the end of each day while the details are still fresh.

Offline canalligators

Re: Application for keeping a journal
« Reply #12 on: February 22, 2017, 10:21:04 am »
All good points.  But I will plug hand writing and transcribing when you get home.  That would depend on how fast you type, I guess; last time I tested myself, I was at 50+ wpm.  I can transcribe and edit the text in a couple of evenings, then spend another evening or two uploading the photos.

Offline jwrushman

Re: Application for keeping a journal
« Reply #13 on: February 22, 2017, 04:18:32 pm »
I agree with John Nelson.  The journal is more for me for years later.  When I'm on extending hikes, I make a habit of writing things down at the end of the day.  Otherwise I forget too soon.

Offline walks.in2.trees

Re: Application for keeping a journal
« Reply #14 on: February 26, 2017, 10:20:23 am »
I'm planning a ride from NJ to Anacortes this summer.  I have most of my questions answered, much thanks to this forum!  Now I have more trivial issues.  My question is "What application do you recommend for keeping a journal when on a longish bike ride?".   CrazyGuyOnABike?  I'm only bringing an Android phone. 

I've been section-hiking the AT and just use a NotePad on my phone to keep a journal.  Since I'll be gone for 2 months, I wanted to use something my friends could access.  I've never used FaceBook - it seems to be too much of a "time sucker" - but do others use it for creating a trip journal?
I'm more of a digital guy, but I like the postcards idea if you want to save battery... Helps keep the entry short circuit you not to ramble, limits the time spent doing it, you don't have to carry it with you— just mail it home, plus getting postcards along the way gives you excuses to stop when you otherwise might not have.

In terms of apps... Just start a page on Google Sites... It's easy to set up, easy to access from any web browser, you can add anything to it from anywhere on your Google account, plus you can add someone you trust to edit if you want, or even use it as a way to communicate with the public without giving out your personal contact info.  Plus you can set up behind the scenes pages that only you can access to do things like trip planning, spending logs... Or any other lists, Spreadsheets, calendars and have it all in one place

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The other nice thing about Google Sites is that you can have as many as you want, so you can play with the concept, try different layouts, delete it and start fresh, whatever.

The way I'm doing it, I have a back-end, that only I can get to, for all of my trip planning: tool lists, parts lists, gearing chart, packing lists, meal plans, contacts, etc.
The front end is a blog page which has a link for adding a new entry, click it you get an empty page with a time & date stamp... add a title, then the text body, you can add photos or video to it, whatever.

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