Three children in four years means I’m taking photos and shooting movies of my kids almost every day.
After all, a child is only a child once, and capturing the hundreds of hilarious kid antics for future teenage blackmail just seems like the right thing to do. That brings me to Mac diaries. Or, journals, as the more educated Mac users call them. Should you use a diary on a Mac? If so, which ones.
The Mac Digital Diary
Generations of yesteryear chronicled their lives the old fashioned way—writing by hand. Typewriters made writing easier, but life was still stored on paper. Scrapbooks helped by storing and chronicling events through the years.
The digital era added new ways to store what we did and when.
Think of what iPhoto does just by itself. I have nearly 20,000 photos stuffed into iPhoto over the years. They chronicle my marriage and children and family life.
But all that’s there are photos. iMovie has grown in recent years because movie, like photos, are digital—no more cases of tapes. Movie clips get stuffed into iMovie (and sometimes to YouTube for all the family to see).
Is there a way to chronicle even more detail of life’s events beyond the mere storage of photos and movies? What about events? Thoughts? Moments? That’s what diaries and journals do.
The CallitADay Diary
I’ve looked through half a dozen very good Mac diaries and journals. By the way, diaries are for gals, journals are for guys. Journals are also for gals with higher education and more slacks than dresses.
Check out Call It A Day, also known as CallitADay (it’s one thing to have a run on sentence, but something else to have a run on word).
CallitADay is elegant and logical. A calendar is displayed in the upper left corner. A toolbar is on the right side, with a search field on the far right corner. The left column displays diary sections or topics, like work or personal or family.
Below each of the sections are the entries, by date. The right side main window displays the details of a diary entry. Click on a date, the entry is displayed.
What goes into the entries? This is where iPhoto and iMovie come in handy and are put to shame all at the same time. A diary entry in CallitADay can be mostly whatever you want.
Write what you please and drop in photos, images, movie clips, documents, PDFs, even folders.
Your diary entry text will flow around the objects just like a page layout apps. Use your Mac’s built-in iSight camera to record video or audio entries and drop them into the diary.
Search works wonderfully, too. Enter some keywords, and CallitADay displays the results using the highlighted word sprinkled throughout the results.
This is the only Mac diary app I know of that has page layout features. An entry is a page. Whatever you drop into the page can be organized in and around whatever your written entry is.
Even better is the thumbnail view. Click on a topic and see thumbnails of the entry pages of your diary, so finding previous entries is quick and easy. CallitADay is an elegant example of the new generation of Mac apps which feature plenty of embedded and logical features which are fully multimedia—text, graphics, videos, audio, photos, and documents.
If your Mac life is worth living, it’s also worth recording in a journal (or diary). CallitADay is part of the new generation of Mac app that makes everything (almost) it does easier than previous works.
Almost? Yes, I’d like to see some way to create entries without having to fire up CallitADay and switch from whatever I’m doing to make a quick entry. It would also be useful to see a diary topic notebook—a place where I could drop in topic ideas, and come back to them later to create a full on entry. Otherwise, nicely done.