Quick poll: how many of you have blogs, online diaries or notebooks with three entries from last year and then nothing after that? I think it’s human nature to decide that you want to record your insightful wisdoms or at least your daily activities for posterity’s sake. But it’s equally natural to just kind of let these projects peter out after a few days or weeks. It’s just too much trouble to crack open that Moleskin or log in to blogger.com or whatever. If you are having trouble sticking to your daily diary, then OhLife.com is for you.
OhLife.com Screenshot Tour
Like all great ideas, OhLife is elegantly simple. Every day, OhLife will send you an email that asks: How did your day go? (They change it up for your first OhLife entry, but the concept is the same.)
All you have to do is reply and it’ll be recorded as a private journal entry.
To view old entries, just log in to OhLife.com. Or, every now and then, OhLife will reminisce with you by including a random journal entry form the past in its daily email.
And that’s it. You can also type in an entry manually, i.e. not via email, by Clicking Add Entry. All entries are plain text and you can only have one entry per day.
There’s purposefully no way to share your entries via Twitter, Facebook, email, etc. You can’t even make a post public. This journal is for your own private and personal use. If you want to share your thoughts with the world, get a Blogger or WordPress account.
If you want to download a record of your entries for safekeeping, you can export them as a text file in the Past tab. You can also tweak how often you get the email and at what time the email arrives.
OhLife First Impressions
I like the idea of OhLife. There’s no real groundbreaking technology here—it’s basically a private blog with a post-by-email feature and a daily or weekly reminder. But I like the way it works. In fact, before I heard about OhLife, I was trolling Craiglist to see if I could hire someone to basically do this exact same thing for me to kick-start my creative writing habit—just pop in and say, “Hey, did you write something today?” Sometimes, all we need to develop a productive habit is a prompt.
The thing that I really like about OhLife is that it’s completely platform-less. You are basically blogging via email, which means you can do it from your smartphone, your iPad, your work computer, your home computer or whichever email device you have handy when you get a chance.
Honestly, I wouldn’t be too paranoid that OhLife is somehow harvesting your “Dear Diary” entries for anything sinister. At least not anymore paranoid than I would be with Blogger or LiveJournal or Xanga or Tumblr. The fact that you’re emailing your entries introduces another layer of vulnerability, but chances are you’re already sharing personal stuff via email just as a matter of fact for your everyday interactions with friends and family anyway.