I’d been taking a look at blogging tools before I started writing here at The Apple Blog, and one of the best software packages that I found was Dan Schimpf’s MacJournal, now published by Mariner Software. MacJournal is a program for creating, modifying, and managing a personal journal, with the option of posting your entries up to a blog. (MacJournal supports publishing to a number of blog packages, including LiveJournal, Blogger, WordPress and Movable Type.) It can also be used for diaries, logs, or anything else. One of the uses I’ve put it to was to use it during MacWorld for keeping my notes during the MacIT sessions, as well as for the initial draft of what became my TAB entry for the Keynote.
MacJournal is really a very powerful program. Dan Schimpf, MacJournal’s creator, wrote MacJournal in Cocoa which means (among other things) that toolbars, spell checker, font and color panels, localization, and drawers are all utilized to provide you with a useful and consistent interface that you’re already used to in Mac OS X. But the real power in MacJournal comes from the fact that it is OS X Services-aware. One example of this, noted by Joseph over at MacMentor.org, is that you can highlight text in Safari then use OS X’s Services options to create a new entry in MacJournal. Another great feature that comes along with this is that the links in the highlighted text come right along the rest when you send them to MacJournal, giving you embedded links that you can click on from the journal entry.
Another benefit from MacJournal’s Cocoa origins is that it supports (or will support) a number of languages other than English. Other languages that are already supported or have support planned include:
You can easily create as many journals as you want with MacJournal, as well as make backups of existing entries and journals. MacJournal also provides for the ability to selectively password protect your journal entries, using AES-256 encryption. This encryption provides maximum-strength security for your journal(s) , so that you can control who has access to what in MacJournal. With this capability and MacJournal’s ability to publish to various blog publishing flavors, you can range the full gamut of public and private access for your notes and journals.
One question I ran across a few times while doing the research for this entry was "Is it worth paying $30 for what used to be freeware?" In my opinion, if you need a tool that provides this kind of flexibility, thirty bucks isn’t too much to pay, especially since it will help pay for the continued improvement and development of this great program. If you disagree, MacJournal 2.6 is still available as freeware from Dan Schimpf’s website. No matter how you slice it, this is a great journalling tool that’s both simple to use and powerful.