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That's just a name I thought of today while contemplating what I want in a journal. The 'defaults' and RID's and other terms are confusing to this e-challenged lady. I've struggled around with my journal over the years and finally just have ignored it for the past couple of years. I need something more streamlined for the tasks I want it to perform.
I'm thinking of a thread system and maybe tabs, or even forums that you can assign titles to. Something like General Gardening for a tab, with individual threads for seed starting, greenhouse, veggie garden, yard...want list...etc. Next would come something like Home and Crafts (for me anyway) I would have threads for fabric dyeing, Christmas, cooking,... Maybe a tab for Pets...Wildlife...the threads inside would have information that I would want to share...maybe have a 'private tab' for things that you didn't want to share on the web. Parts could be public and parts could be private...depending on the box checked at the start of the tab/forum.
I know that the programming used to create the existing journal system is awsome, and lots of folks love it...It needs to remain, but have a note that says...'If you need a simpler form of a journal , you might try the EZJournal system..click here to begin'
I hear ya, Melody. :-D I think it's obvious that a simplified version of the Journal needs to be available if the goal is to get more people using it. I, personally, love the journal as it is and would ask for a few tweaks to the current format. But so many people just don't use the journal that there needs to be something easier.
When I see posts about the Journal I always try to think of some magical explanation that will help people understand how it currently works, but inevitably I just point them to my journal. When I started out on DG almost 2 yrs ago the Journal is actually what I was looking for. I did a search for garden journal software and DG popped up. I guess in my simplest explanation I would say that you need to view the current Journal format as a "database" (which is what it is). The RID is the unique record name and all the other components are merely data fields that you can choose to fill in or not. This allows a user to sort and dice their journal data in a number of ways.
However, so many people just simply want to start a topic (on a given plant in their garden, or a recipe, or even just a daily "diary" entry) and type in free form text and notes, maybe add a photo or two. I think it would be nice to have that capability but have a separate "personal garden database" which is what I think of my Journal as.
Yes, there are two distinct needs...I don't need the full menu, but would like to be able to pop in and make a note or add a picture. I think I'd use something like the DG threads because they are so easy, and I'm familiar with how they work.
I wouldn't need the entire database programming...I'm not that organized. But I'd love to share some things and record some things that there just isn't a good way to do it right now.
With my work schedule (we're self employed) my computer time is precious...and I've got myself spread thin enough right now. I really don't need to spend tons of time experimenting with programming just to add a note to something that I'm working on.
The things I've put in my journal took forever to figure out...and they still aren't right...I just left them where they were because I didn't want to mess with changing them. I haven't touched it in probably 2 years...still haven't been over there, even though we're talking about journals.
I'm sure Dave will come up with something great for us though.
I love the DG journal! (I have over 500 entries. : - } ) But I was also wanting something that I could just jot down musing into. Then recently I came across a blog site and set up a blog about my garden http://gardeningonrosedr.blogspot.com/ . I didn't make it public at the blogging website as it's not about sharing it with non-gardeners. For me it's about keeping notes about my garden for myself in a format that's easy to write, easy to read and really easy to share.
Dave, if you're reading this, I would love to have something like it as part of my DG journal.
What you describe is exactly what I've beeen thinking of. To me, I want my garden journal to be a journal, not a database. It needs to be something that I can easily jot notes to myself, post reflections and musings, and pictures. I think the threads are so easy, and they are something everyone can relate to, that they make the most sense. It's also very easy to read and review a thread, you don't have to keep clicking back and forth to get to some information, than back to the main "branch", and then on to the next post, etc. I like to be able to see the thumbnails (as you can on threads) of pictures in posts, so you can see if it's something you want to look at closer.
Anyway, I would dearly love to see a journal that is basically like a personal forum, that (as you describe) I could start different threads with different topics, and I am the only person who can post. Being able to mark some as private and some as public is a nice touch.
I am at my sister's home in Austin- an old computer, old keyboard, dial-up connection- so this is gooing very slowly for me. I'll check back later, very excited to see that we may get something simpler for the Journal, for us "simpler" folk!. lol
Mel, I like your idea a forum with the tabs or something. I agree it is much more than I need. I don't need the rids and default journals and all that. But I don't want to loose everything I have in there if we go to something different.
I don't think we'd lose everything...Dave is much too sensitive for that...I think we'll hopefully end up with something that will co-exist with the current form and some folks will even make use of both systems.
Both types of 'journals' have their place...some need the database system for detailed tracking of new hybrids or extensive gardens. Some are just more organized than me.
What I need is an actual 'journal'. I'd like to be able to assign each subject to a section and have the option of several sections. I don't need any sub categories or defaults.The date would automatically be imprinted on the 'thread' just like DG, and I could add and edit within the threads as much as I pleased.
Other than that...the option of making parts private would be nice.
If I wanted to link to the PF..a simple hyperlink that I add is all I need. Much more than this and I feel that the grown up version of the journal is necessary..and I would insert any information that needed a more advanced tracking system over there.
I hope this makes sense...I'd use a thread system quite a bit if it were similar to the way the forums and threads are set up on DG and the other sites that use this system...I can handle that and pretty much can navigate without asking for much help.
So maybe some of the problem is with the terminology itself?
Instead of "categories" perhaps we should call it "sections"? I know that sounds overly simplistic (and certainly there is more to improving the journal than just substituting terms), but if a descriptive term (such as "category") isn't intuitive for most users, then that's definitely good feedback for Dave.
Terry - my guess is that it's the navigation that is a main hindrance to more folks using the Journal as it currently exists. I think it's that folks have to drill down (sometimes several levels (sub categories) in order to make an entry.
The terminology isn't the problem...it's the navigation as langbr said. I've worked with my journal and I _can_ manage to add a few simple things...but never where I mean to. I always say...'how'd that get there?"
Yes, it is definitely the "drilling down", the navigation, that is a problem. Threads are so easy- you just start typing, and preview or post. You can edit easily. And you can glance down through the thread to see what you have written, and where & what the pictures are. It's been a while since I tried to get into the few posts on my journal (because it just was so frustrating), but if I remember correctly, you had to really "drill down" to get to open a picture, and if it wasn't the picture you were looking for, then you had to back up and "drill down" all over again to look for anouther one. Threads on forums are super easy.
Oh my! I just came here because of the e-mail sent to the DG members who are currently keeping a journal and I found this thread listed immediately under the one I came to read. "EZ" That's what *I* need! My own paper 'journal' is now scattered between torn out pages of different spiral notebooks and legal pads, written on the backs of plant packages, along with some notes I've been able to enter into my own improvised electronic card file and database.
YES!!! I'd *LOVE* a "notebook" style user interface...with tabs and sections! Something I could set up and organize like the *heavy* 3-ring notebooks. I'm sure I'd end up calling mine "My DG 'Note-Nook'.
I can't tell you how many times during the winter and now into spring when I've wished our Journal pages were easier to easier to use...especially faster to access in terms of reaching the 'notes' sections.
I hate to mention this here...LOL...but I'd *gladly* pay for the privilege to have a journal area that I could really customize to my personal needs. Of course, it would be nice to be able to download my info and put it on cd/dvd for later. ;-)
Melody...thanks for starting this thread...and Dave...you're amazing! The DG site is, for me, one of the richest treasures available on the Internet.