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280daily: Short Journaling

In the modern world diaries are all but a thing of the past. People have taken to blogs, tweets, and posts to their Facebook walls, to dialogue their day to day activities. Some of these can be made private, if you like. They’re really set up to share your daily updates with the world though. They are great for connecting with the rest of the world, but something’s lost by not keeping everything to private.

There’s something special about keeping your thoughts to yourself- about writing something down that’s for your eyes alone. This is the story of your life, the parts that you don’t need to share with everyone but want to record. Maybe to look at later on, maybe just to write down.

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Reintroducing diaries to the world, the online world that is, is 280daily. 280daily is a site where you can sum up your day, every day. It gives you 280 characters and one photo, to do so. It’s a private site, strictly for your own purposes. Just like a diary.

The way it works is simple, if not predictable. You log in, and add your 280 character summaries every day. Tweets are limited to 140 characters, so this is still a very brief message. Each entry has a check box to indicate that it’s a day of note. Let’s say you have something particularly interesting that happens. Maybe you found your lost bottle cap collection, got a new star wars figure off eBay, or finally won the next level in a video game. (You aren’t limited to ourĀ  preferred days of note- they can be anniversaries, birthdays, or other more notable events.) Once the entry is saved you can upload the photo.

After a little while the diary begins to take shape, this time using some of the modern amenities of the web. The dashboard displays a random selection of your previous days. This will help bring back memories from the past, just like those days that you thumb through your diary. Also helping you look through the past entries is the search widget. I bet people wished they had one of these in their standard diaries. Every time you pick the thing up you end up down an hours long stroll down memory lane. The search functionality at least helps bring you directly to the page you’re looking for. Of course you can thumb through your history page by page as well. (Entry by entry, really).

It’s sometimes nice to have your most cherished memories back in the offline world. 280daily provides three options for exporting your entries. The first is to print them. It’s said to come in a beautiful format. If you want a copy on your hard drive you can export them directly to PDF. And finally there’s the book option. Here you can have your list of 280daily entries immortalized in print, safe to take wherever you like. (The print feature is still in development, but is coming soon.)

One aspect of the site worthy of note is the settings. 280daily provides one of the most robust sets of configurable options we’ve seen in a while. It’s fitting given the personal nature of the site. It allows you to configure everything from the text on the new entry page as well as the landing page you arrive at when you log in. It even lets you configure a secondary landing page in case the one you selected doesn’t have any content that day.

280daily is an innovative blend of online technology and a centuries old pastime. There’s something special about writing down your thoughts for only your eyes to see. This has largely been lost in the updates on many of the popular social networks. 280daily brings this back so people can again, in much more modernized form, keep track of their innermost thoughts.

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