Thursday, January 10, 2013

Windows Journal (software review)

Class Notes Sample using Windows Journal Software
I had never used or heard of Windows Journal until a few weeks back. The software is simplistic and not very powerful, but it gets the job done! This program is very nice for writing notes, editing, highlighting, and scribbling around similarly to how we do when taking extensive class notes. My favorite options are:

-import pictures
-create text boxes
-different colors and sizes of pens and highlighters


With these functions I have been able to create visual learning plans to share with my Computer Literacy class. My students seem happy to walk away with notes printed especially based on the class. They can add their own notes.

Some downfalls:

Lack of export options- While I can export files, I cannot create PDFs easily. I have to export as MHTML and open the file with MS Word. Then I can actually create PDFs from here, but the PDFs do not look similar to the exported page.

Auto-text box sizes- I was getting annoyed that my text boxes would shift my text, forcing me to enlarge boxes as to reveal the text, and then I had to shrink the box again! I was not super pleased that it was taking so much of my time just to simply edit what I needed.

Formatting- formatting contains limitations! While in Page Setup (before printing) I noticed that some of my text boxes were not allowing the wording to be visible. This forced me to go back to my 9 page lesson and change some of the boxes before printing. The page I intended to print would not have printed as it showed had I not viewed the preview. SIGH!

Text boxes for everything- I am not used to using text boxes for every piece of text I choose to write. I am not used to having to click a button or icon for every move. It may have been easier if I could simply click the page to type. But this is not an option.

Overall, I like the output! It took me about 1.5 hours-2 hours to create a 9 page lesson plan, and then a separate single page for more advanced students. You can see my sample outcome at the start of this post. I may be using this program much more often!


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