28 November 2016

Penzu - Write in Private or Share in Public

Penzu is a web-based journaling tool that allows users to create a personal online diary. For those who aren’t ready to share their innermost secrets with the world, Penzu allows users to choose which posts they wish to share and where.

Penzu claims to provide stringent privacy controls that may not be available with similar sites and one of its bestselling points is its ‘share if you want to’ mantra.

Getting Set Up

There are three account options available in Penzu - Classic, Pro, and Pro Plus. Prices range from free for the Classic account to $49.99 for Pro Plus, and the setup process is pretty easy.

To get started with Penzu, simply type in your name, email, and password. Then, run through 3 simple setup steps - starting with choosing your journal cover, followed by your font choice. Once you’ve completed these steps, you’ll be ready to start posting.

Ease of Use

There’s no learning curve here at all - you simply set up and go. Once you’ve finished the 3 steps at the start and selected your background, and font style, you simply click ‘new entry’ to start your new post. There is also a good selection of customization options available to make each entry unique.

Want to add images? No problem, simply upload them from your computer or embed them from Flickr.

Features and Pricing Comparison (Classic Vs Pro/Pro Plus)

Penzu Classic has pretty much everything you need in a basic online journal, so it’s up to you whether you opt to go for one of the Pro plans. That said, the Pro version does have some pretty good perks, such as a wider range of fonts, and it’s definitely worth checking out.

Here’s a quick comparison between Penzu Classic, Penzu Pro, and Penzo Pro Plus:

Penzu Classic (Free)

* Unlimited disk space,
* Image insert available via Flickr/your computer
* Autosave
* Sharing via email and public link
* Comments
* Journal locking
* Prompts
* Search
* Wordcount
* Basic font selection

Penzu Pro ($19.99 per year)

Penzu Pro offers all of the above, plus some pretty impressive extras, such as:
* Mobile access (iPhone and iPad apps),
* Multiple journals
* Large size images with download option
* Military-grade encryption lock,
* Rich-text formatting,
* Spell check
* Custom avatars
* Tagging
* Customize pad style and backgrounds
* Custom writing reminders
* Email entry submission
* Additional fonts


Because journal writing is often for your most private thoughts, Penzu provides password protection (for both your journal and individual entries) that you might not get with paper journals or some blog sites. In order to really let loose and write in journal, you should make most of what you write private so you can really say what’s on your mind.

However, in the age of the Internet there will be times when you want to share what you’ve written. With Penzu you can selectively share entries from your online journal via email or public link. You also get the option to share anonymously, and any edits you make to your entry will appear in the public version. You can also go back and click “Make Private” and the link will be deleted.

Multi-platform Writing

Because Penzu is an online writing application, entries can be written anywhere you have an online connection. This means you don’t have to worry about keeping a paper journal with you everywhere you go.

Writing can also be done in the Penzu iPhone, iPad, and Android apps, though the writing features of the mobile program are limited compared to the online version. And you must have a Penzu pro account to sync entries between the mobile app and your online account.

Writing online or the mobile app in the long run can be so much better than pen and paper because it offers great opportunities for editing, revising, and exporting writing into different formats.

Even though Penzu provides instant backup of your journal entries, it wouldn’t hurt to export and backup your journal entries in say PDF format for safe keeping in an online locker and/or an external drive.

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