Frequently Asked Questions: Journal

General QuestionsPlantScout Vendor Questions

    Do I have to be a subscribed member to use this feature?

    No. It's readily available for anyone to use, but you need to be logged in (usernames are free) to set up your Journal.

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    How is the Journal organized?

    Your Journal can be organized in any way that suits you.  That's one of the biggest benefits of the Dave's Garden Journal feature!  Many users have found that taking the time to browse through other's Journals first gives them some ideas on how they wish to structure their Journal.  

    As an overview, think of your Journal as a three ring binder.   The Journal is the binder and Categories are divider tabs.  Additionally, you can assign a Status to an entry.  Statuses can be anything you want that you find meaningful.  For further information on Categories and Statuses see the FAQs below

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    How do I get started using my Journal?

    The first step is to set up a Category in your Journal.  This is when it pays off to have given some thought to how you want to structure your Journal.  In our example, we’ll set up a Category called “Perennials”.  

    Click on the “Manage Categories” link.  Type “Perennials” in the box provided and click submit.  Return to your Main Journal page and you now have your first Category called “Perennials”.  At this time you may wish to set up additional Categories or proceed to entering your first Status or first Journal item.

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    What is a category? (And how do I create one?)

    A Category can be anything you wish it to be.  Some users have Categories such as Perennial, Annual, Vines, Shrubs, etc.  Other users have used this field for gardening and non-gardening projects alike.  Examples are categories of Gardening, Houseplants, Home Improvements, Cooking, and Crafts.  Again, the flexibility of the Journal feature is that you can make it whatever you find useful.

    Categories are created by clicking on the Manage Categories link under the Main Menu.   This brings up the Adding/Editing Categories page which allows you to add, change or delete Categories.  You can also create sub-categories by clicking on an existing Category name on this page and entering a sub-category name under the existing category.  Some users use sub-categories of A-G, H-O, P-S and T-Z. 

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    What is a Status and how do I create one?

    A Status can be anything you wish it to be.  Some users have statuses such as Seedling, 1st year, Finished, Not Succesful.  Other users have used this field for specifying different garden beds or locations because you can view listings of your Journal by Status and see all the plants in a given garden bed.  Again, the flexibility of the Journal feature is that you can make it whatever you find useful.

    Similar to Categories, Statuses are created by clicking on the Statuses link under the Main Menu.   This brings up the Adding/Editing Statuses page which allows you to add, change or delete Statuses.  For this example, we’ll use “Front Border” which is keyed into the field provided.  Click the submit button and you have your first Status.

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    How do I add an item to my Journal?

    To add an entry to your Journal you simply need to click on the Category to which you want to assign this item.  Using our example, we will add an entry under the Perennials category for Rudbeckia fulgida.

    Under Access by Category, click on the Category “Perennials”.  On the next screen click on “Click here to Add a New Item”.  

    When the Adding New Item screen appears simply fill in the fields.  For assistance with Genus and Species names the Plants Database is an invaluable tool.  Location can be any meaningful information to you.  Add any initial comments or notes where specified and indicate a Status if desired (Status will only show Unknown as an option in this drop-down box until you’ve added your own Statuses).  See next FAQ for description of Status.

    Once you have completed the fields, press the submit button.  The Journal system then assigns your new entry a unique number called RID (Resource ID).  See an explanation of the RID below in the glossary. 

    The next screen displays the entry you just made.  Notice that if the system found a match on the Genus and species you entered a hyperlink to possible Plants Database entries is listed immediately below your item. 

    From here you can add additional entries to this plant, upload pictures (using the Add Entry option), print out a copy of the entry, or add a Milestone.  You have several other options available at this stage of viewing an entry.  You can move it to another Journal (if you have created additional Journals), move it to another category, add it to your Trade List on Dave’s Garden, or even Clone a copy of the entry (with or without sub-entries).  Cloning is a useful feature if you have multiple locations of this plant in your garden you don’t have to do the entry twice.  Simply clone the first entry and then edit the clones with different location, status, etc.


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    What if I want to change or add a Journal entry?

    You can add, change and delete entries in your Journal easily.  Simply go to the View Journal Entry page for the item you want to add to, change or delete.  You can access it through the Category link that is under (Perennials), by the Status (Front Border) that it is related to, or by using the Search Journal box.

    Select Add an Entry to this Item.  Note that after the inital entry all subsequent entries have a field to indicate the Type of Entry you are making.  Your choices are:  Status Update, TODO Item, or Action I Performed.  These types are shown when viewing the Journal item.  Additionally, all TODO Item entries can also be viewed from the Main Journal page in a list format.

    During Add an Entry you can upload a picture to the Journal using the field provided.  Simply click on the Browse button to locate the image on your computer hard drive, then click OK to return to the Journal.  Press the submit button.  If you are adding an image, the file upload may take a few seconds or several minutes depending on your internet connection speed.

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    Can I change the Status or Category list?

    Yes.  Simply click on the Manage Categories/Statuses under the Main Menu on the Journal home page.  You can delete, add and change from this option.

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    How do I add an image to a entry?

    Once you've created a Journal item, click on "Add an Entry" when viewing the item.  Enter a brief description or comment, then click on the "browse" button. This will open up a new window displaying your hard drive.  Locate your image you wish to upload, then press "Preview".  If you're happy with the entry, press "Submit".  It will be automatically uploaded.

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    What if I put something in the wrong category?

    No problem - when you view that item, you'll see an option to "move" it to another category - click on that link and you'll see a display of all the available categories.  Simply click on the correct category and the item will be automatically moved for you.

    Additionally you can move an item or multiple items in a single category to another category by clicking on the category under Access by Categories on the main Journal page.  This brings up a table of all your items under that category.   For those items you want to move, check the checkbox in front of each item you want to move and then click the Change Category button.  Select the new category from the list of existing categories shown.  Press the “Change Category button and the items are automatically moved to the new category.

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    Can other users see my Journal?

    That is up to you.  If you wish your Journal is made available for other Subscribers and Members to view.  If you prefer to not have your Journals public you can change that preference under the Privacy option under the Journal Main Menu.  The default setting is that your Journal is Private unless you change it to allow others to see your Journal.

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    Can I print out my Journal?

    Yes.  Lists can be printed by Category, by Status by individual item (with and without images) or your entire Journal can be printed.  To print a listing for a Status or Category simply click on the category or status you wish to print out.  At the top of the page select the hyperlink “Click here to prepare the items on this page for printing.”  You are then presented with a printable format of the listing that can be printed using your browser’s Print feature.

    To print out an individual item, select that item for viewing and then select either option “Print this item (with[without] images)”.  Use your browser’s Print feature to submit the page for printing.

    To print the entire contents of your Journal, click on Access All Item under the Journal Main Menu.

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    Can I delete my Journal and start over?

    Yes and no.  If the Journal is a new one you created and not your "Default Journal" then you can delete the Journal in it's entirety by clicking on the Manage Journals option under the Main Menu on the Journal home page.  CAUTION:  Deleting a Journal cannot be undone.  Be sure to move or clone any entries you wish to keep before deleting the Journal.  

    If the Journal is your "Default Journal" then you cannot delete the Journal itself (it is a technical requirement that all Dave's Garden members have a "Default Journal").  You can, however, delete the contents of the Default Journal but it will require deleting each entry one-at-a-time.  You'll find a link to delete each entry when you use the Access by Category (Status) in your Journal.

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    I read the FAQ and I still have a question about my Journal!

    If you've read through these tips and still have a question, you can post it to the DG Journal forum which is available to all registered users (if you're using a DG journal, you're already registered.)

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