Wednesday, February 6, 2013

WotW: Journal 2.0: Flava Brings New Twist to Dear Diary

Dear Diary,

My crush was totally crushing on me, like for reals. Good thing my crush is my wife, but shhh, I don't think she knows.

Did you have a diary or journal growing up? Do you still keep one now? I'm a firm believer in keeping a journal and I have done so since I was in high school. I was inspired to write regularly when I read my great-great-grandfather's journal and learned about his life. It made me want to leave behind a legacy for my posterity.

However, writing a journal takes commitment and time. Plus, it can take a lot of effort to sit down and start typing. Isn't it funny how it's no big deal for us to write a blog post or post something on Facebook, but writing in a journal is difficult? What if journaling could be more like a social network?

And that's just the idea behind Flava. This Korean startup has developed an app and web app that allows users to journal in a style that's more like the social media posting style we're all familiar with, yet the information stays private and confidential.

Sign up for a free account at You'll get a confirmation e-mail that has Korean than English. Don't be scared off. The site and app are definitely in English and work great.

Once you're inside, you will see a three-paneled screen. The middle panel shows your entries. The right panel shows a preview of the highlighted entry, and the left panel has filters.

To write a new post, simply click the red + Add Page button in the top-right corner of the page.

The composition window now opens and you can begin filling it with whatever you want. This is your journal. Now, Flava is a different kind of journaling experience. Sure, you can add an entry title, the date, time, etc. But you can also add tags and emoticon tags, which are really cool.

In the image above, you can see I added two text tags to my entry about dinner. I also added a weather tag, smiley face tag, food tag and home icon tag. There are a ton more. 

If you look at the bottom of the post, there are other journaling options. From left to right, they are: add a photo, add a video, add a voice recording, add a song, add a movie, add a book, add a place, add a site. Selecting any of these will add the ability to select a song, video, etc., and allow you to journal about it.

Each of the emoticon tags acts as a visual filter. So over time, if you want to revisit all your happy days, simply filter by the smiley face on the left panel of the main screen.

This is all done on the web app. But Flava also has a free mobile app for both iOS and Android. Creating a post in the app works in much the same way. You'll notice the same fields, the same emoticon and text filter options, and the same ability to add photos, video, etc.

I decided to do a post about the book I'm reading. So I clicked on the little book icon. A search bar appeared, allowing me to type in the name of the book I'm reading. Sure enough, it pulls up matches and all I have to do is click on the match.

After adding all my comments, emoticons and text tags, my post is done. 

In the main app view, I get a running timeline of all my journal entries. Truthfully, the app is faster and easier to post in than the web app. Of course, the web app is very new, so I imagine over time it will get better.

As it stands, Flava is a great way to journal. If nothing else, it's a fun way to catalog the things you do with friends and family in a platform that isn't open to the whole world. Of course, if you decide you want to share a post on Facebook or Twitter, there are options to do that too. Give it a try and pour your heart out to your new digital diary.
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