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Let’s face it, for many of us, our Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram streams are our public diaries or journals. They may not expose much of our dirty laundry, but they represent a lot about who we are. In my ongoing quest to find and use the perfect digital diary or journal, I think the private online and mobile diary and journal sitemay be just everything I need in this regard.
Loccit is a UK-based website and iPhone app (both at beta level) that can import your online Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Foursquare, Flickr, and Instagram content into a single place, preserving your memories both online and, if you want, in traditional paper book form. It allows you to integrate both your public and private diary and journal entries in one private place, and that’s what got me hooked.
How It Works
I wrote earlier this year about how I used Twournal to publish almost two years of my tweets into a book. But one of the limitations of using Twournal is that it only publishes Twitter content, which often ends up being a lot of article headlines and links. With Loccit, I can now merge my tweets with my personal diary and journal entries, and not be limited to 140 characters. It means I can publish personal private activities that Twitter followers could care less about.
In the Loccit web format, the social network content you allow it to import is displayed in a book-like format, instead of just a linear list of entries. You can also just use Loccit without importing your social network content.
As of now, Loccit exists on only two platforms – as an iPhone app and as a web application. Both platforms sync with each other, but each has a unique orientation for those who like using their mobile device to write diary entries, and for those who may not even have an iPhone.
You can flip through the digital pages and see memories of your life (including photos you post to your timelines) on page after page. In its latest update, you can now import your Instagram photos into your Loccit diary.
Each set of entries is labeled with the day they appear, followed by the time of each post. Though it might be annoying for some, full URL links are also posted in entries. And of course, the source for each posting is labeled with its icon.
You can add entries to your online diary using the iPhone app or on the web application. Entries can include a title, the content, a photo and the location of where you’re writing. You can also manage your entries by Chapters, which is really just way of tagging entries so that you can view them all in one place.
Unfortunately you can only post to the current date. However, you can go back to entries and add them to chapters. In addition, you can delete entries – even ones imported from your social networks – you don’t want to be a part of your Loccit diary.
Loccit also allows you to add content posted by your contacts to your Loccit diary, as well as write a reflective comment on a selected entry. You can download and follow your social network streams from within both the web and iOS application, but I found this part to be buggy. More than a few times when I clicked or tapped on “My Networks“, it said “No results.”
If you’re really jazzed about preserving your social and private memories, you can actually publish your Loccit dairy into a paper or hardback format. I haven’t got my hands on a actual copy of a sample book yet, but you do get an online preview of what your book will look like when printed.
When you select to get your diary published, you can choose the start and end date for your book. Loccit imported my Twitter entries as far back as February 2011. It doesn’t explain the date range for printing. Thealso features other printable items using your social content.
Even if you don’t print a book, Loccit is a great private service for bringing together your memories. The developers say that the site and app are still in beta, which no doubt speaks for some of the bugs I experienced.
But for those of us whom have moved over from the traditional pen and paper journal and diary keeping to the digital format, Loccit is an awesome tool. The UI design is not as appealing as it could be, and the developers should definitely offer an ad-free app version. The banner ads at the bottom of the app make it look cheap, and they’re distracting.
Despite these needed improvements, I will continue to use Loccit, and plan to get my book of memories published at the end of this year. And thanks to Loccit, those memories won’t any longer be just a collection of Twitter links and article headlines.
For other journal writing apps and ideas, check out these articles:
Let us know what you think of Loccit. Will you give it a try?