Journal or else. Email-based journaling for slackers.

get it



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Matthew ArbesfeldHiring@m_arbesfeld · LogRocket
I have always procrastinated on writing, and this will hopefully give me that extra push to get my thoughts down!
Colin McDonnellMaker@colinmcd94
@m_arbesfeld I hope so too! It's tough to form habits, but I tried to design JournalJerk to make it as easy as possible. You don't have to open an app or visit a website, just check your email (which we all do too much anyway).
Kelly Ann Collins@itskac · Pioneer & futurist with a coffee prob.
@m_arbesfeld Interesting!
Colin McDonnellMaker@colinmcd94
Hi PH! I'm Colin, the creator of JournalJerk. Big thanks to Jack for hunting it, I'm excited to be here! JournalJerk is intended as the easiest possible way to keep a journal, both from an interaction perspective and from a motivational perspective. Here's how I tried to do that: 1. All entries are submitted via email. You get a daily email reminding you to journal. Just reply to that email with your entry, and you're done! 2. JournalJerk is a subscription service with a base price of $2.99/wk. Yes, that's ridiculously high. Read on. 3. When you sign up, you set yourself a weekly goal. Every week (in a row) you meet that goal, the subscription fee drops by an additional 50% (that is, it drops off exponentially). But if you miss a week, you lose those accumulated discounts and the price snaps back to $2.99. There's a lot of offbeat aspects to the product, so if you have any questions, ask away! I'll answer the the best of my ability.
Horea Burca@horea4 · Co-Founder,
@colinmcd94 Looks good Colin, congrats! I think the idea is very good and I like the tone of the emails for sure :) How would the fines work though? Will I "owe" the amount of bucks? And then where do I see the actual journal that comes out of this "email thread"?
Colin McDonnellMaker@colinmcd94
@baboon Hi Horea! Great questions! First things first: I made a slight modification to the pricing scheme (and my comment above) just before you posted your comment (sorry about that! #lastminutechanges). Instead of the service being explicitly fine-based, it's actually a weekly subscription. If you journal regularly, the subscription fee drops exponentially (by 50% weekly). When you sign up you provide your credit card info. We use Stripe to do payments processing, so everything is PCI compliant. At the end of each week we charge your card. The amount depends on the duration of your current journaling streak. There's no website you can go to to see all your entries. Instead, you export your journal entries. To do that, just send an email to (for a textfile) or (for a JSON). The content of the email doesn't matter. You will immediately get an email with your journal attached! It usually takes less than a minute.
Ari Weinstein@arix · Founder, Workflow
Super cool idea, Colin! I've always wanted to journal and I use email militantly. I am excited to love/hate your product.
Colin McDonnellMaker@colinmcd94
@arix Thanks Ari! Sounds like JournalJerk is perfect for you. I hope you like it!
Ben Reynolds@benreynoldsdev · Student, MIT
Very clever solution for an age-old problem! I like the idea of tapping into our most familiar writing environment - emailing - and hijacking it for the use of journaling (I've tried to journal in the past but have had trouble keeping it up because it wasn't integrated with my daily routine). I admit I was startled by the weekly subscription price at first, but paired with the 50% per week discount it's actually perfect to keep up the motivation. One question: would there be a way to "pause" the subscription? Let's say I'm going on a camping trip without wifi for the long weekend, and my goal was 5 days per week? I'd be out of luck. But allowing me to pause arbitrarily might just let me slack off when I don't need it. Any compromise? It might simply be enough to assume that everyone can get access to email at some point each day, and leave it at that.
Colin McDonnellMaker@colinmcd94
@benreynoldsdev Hi Ben! Thanks for the support and the great question! You CAN pause your subscription! Just email! We'll send you an email with a "pause link". Click that, and you're all set. Unpause at any time by emailing PS The subject/content of those emails doesn't matter. :)
Sam UdotongHiring@sudotong · CTO -
Awesome idea! I really dig the simplicity of the product. Any plans to expand beyond personal journal tracking to something more collaborative? I would love to see what my friends are writing about (given that they agree to share it), and it might motivate me even more to keep writing.
Colin McDonnellMaker@colinmcd94
@sudotong Hi Sam! Thanks for your comment. It raises a lot of good points. I want to extend the product to writing more generally. Journaling is a good place to start since it's early in the 2017, and it's something a lot of us want to do. But the same model could be applied to writing of any sort (book writing, blogging, etc). You can imagine a similar service that takes your submissions and automatically posts them to a blog. You could integrate with Medium, Wordpress, etc. You could even include images if you implemented inline attachment parsing. That way you could manage an entire blog without ever leaving your email client! There's definitely something there. :)