Wednesday, November 18, 2009

A Great Way To Close Out The Year

We've been saying that Time Out For Women is a great event, but the show in Salt Lake City sure was something special. The people in attendance got a chance to hear Jenny Oaks Baker play the violin and she was amazing. I've been lucky enough to see her perform a few times this year and each time I find myself completely amazed with her skill and control. Not to mention, she's an absolute sweetheart and gave a very touching talk.


Not to be outdone, Sheri Dew gave a talk that I felt was the highlight of the entire 2009 TOFW Tour. I could absolutely feel the Spirit as she talked about different topics and spoke directly to the women in the crowd. I found myself thinking and wishing more people could have heard her talk and been in attendance.


Sheri Dew IS as amazing as you may have heard!

If you'd like to read the article in the Mormon Times about the events on Friday evening, please click here.

On Saturday, we gave away three (3) more books at the final show. At each show, it just feels so great to meet new and potential users and share with them the goals and promise of what LDSJournal is and will be. We hope these individuals take full advantage of the printed-book giveaway. And most of all, we hope to be a part of the Time Out For Women Tour in 2010 and also that those of you reading this blog will find a way to come to the show and visit with us.






Monday, November 9, 2009

LDSJournal in St. George for TOFW

We can't say enough about how great it is to take part in the Time Out For Women events. I think Jan said it best when she leaned over to me and commented, "It doesn't matter how many times I see or hear these speakers. I still get so much from them." What a great opportunity for the attendees who arrived in St. George on November 6 & 7.



For the first time in 2009, we brought our main booth display with 40 inch monitor and lighted booth display. We looked awesome at the show and it was nice to be able to show people just how great the LDSJournal service really is. We'll be bringing this beast with us next week in Salt Lake City.

Also, we had three (3) more winners of our Full Color Journal giveaway. Each show, we have a drawing that allows three lucky people to get their personal journal printed to a hard-bound book at no charge to them. All books can be printed up to 800 pages in length and it is such a great keepsake or gift during the holidays. Some of these members don't have an account with LDSJournal.com yet and we hope this gets them journaling! Congratulations!

Great Dimples Kelsey





Oh, and last, but certainly not least! My super-awesome ballroom dance instructor was in attendance at Time Out For Women and she stopped by so I could get a picture with her. I highly recommend taking ballroom dance lessons or at least dragging your spouse or significant other on the dance floor. It's a fun way to exercise and cut loose. :)


Thanks Jen!!!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

LDSJournal.com FREE Book Publishing Winners

One of the few things I personally get to enjoy at the TOFW events is when Laurel or Chrislyn announces the winners of the LDSJournal.com FREE giveaway. At each event this year we have given away one (1) Full Color print of an LDSJournal to a lucky member in the audience. With this prize, the winner can choose to print up their personal LDSJournal up to 800-pages in full color and LDSJournal.com will cover the cost of the printed book -- a $150-$200 value. Recently, we have given away three (3) Color Prints in Richmond, CA; Riverside, CA; and Kansas City, MO. Steve even made up a very nice certificate to award our winners. Here's a handful of our winners, just in case you wondered if anyone actually wins these sick puppies. :)

RIVERSIDE, CA WINNERS







KANSAS CITY, MO WINNERS





Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Jill Manning at Time Out For Women

I am not able to really discuss what Jill Manning talked about at Time Out For Women because it is private and contractual to Deseret Book. However, I would like to say that her talk was extremely powerful and everyone should be made aware of her discussion points. I hope you will please take a moment to read the material she has made available at http://www.deseretbook.com/jill and please share it with family and friends that may be struggling with this great problem.

It's been a while since my last post

Wow, it's been so long since I've written on this blog, you might think that I must really struggle with my journal writing. :) Well, at least I do a good job with that. I felt compelled to write about my experience the past few weekends at Time Out For Women in Richmond, VA and Riverside, CA. As one of the major sponsors of TOFW, I feel LDSJournal.com is extremely lucky to be a part of such a great event, but particularly blessed to have an opportunity to positively effect the lives of many members and meet so many of our current and new users face-to-face.

This past weekend, I had an opportunity to meet Ardeth Kapp. She gave a tremendous talk and I got to listen to it in Richmond and Riverside. I wish all members could have an opportunity to hear this sweet lady share her testimony and counsel. I felt so lucky when she stopped by our table to learn about LDSJournal. I shared our hopes and goals of the service and to get approval of our mission from Ardeth was a thrill for me. She even referenced LDSJournal and what she learned about the evolution of journaling in her talk -- that was particularly special for me.

One of the great things that we do at all of the TOFW events is the FREE Full Color Printed Book giveaway. All attendees have an opportunity to enter our drawing and we had 1 winner in Richmond and 3 winners in Riverside. Two of the 4 winners were current users of LDSJournal and I was thrilled to be able to give them an opportunity to print their journal before the holidays.

I was to personally thankful to the users that stopped by our booth to learn about the service and take brochures and pass along cards to members of their Ward. I hope that I will meet some of you in Kansas City and the upcoming shows in St. George and Salt Lake City.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Diary of a Wimpy Kid -- A clever little read

Some of you may have already seen and read Jeff Kinney's series of books called Diary of a Wimpy Kid. As a disclaimer, I have to admit that I have not read every book and I'm not certain all of the content in these books is suitable for all audiences. However, my mom was kind enough to buy these books for me as reading material since LDSJournal.com is such a big part of my life. The main reason I want to share this series with you is that it is extremely clever and the comical excerpts in this book are short and sweet and are a good example of journal entries that people can realistically keep every day.

I'd like to share an excerpt from the first book, Diary of a Wimpy Kid - Greg Heffley's Journal. I laughed so hard and I knew immediately I would enjoy reading this book. It's actually the very first entry in this mock-diary.
SEPTEMBER
Tuesday
"First of all, let me get something straight: This is a JOURNAL, not a diary. I know what it says on the cover, but when Mom went out to buy this thing I SPECIFICALLY told her to get one that didn't say 'diary' on it.

Great. All I need is for some jerk to catch me carrying this book around and get the wrong idea.

The other thing I want to clear up right away is that this was MOM's idea, not mine.

But if she thinks I'm going to write down my "feelings" in here or whatever, she's crazy. So just don't expect me to be all "Dear Diary" this and "Dear Diary" that.

The only reason I agreed to do this at all is because I figure later on when I'm rich and famous, I'll have better things to do than answer people's stupid questions all day long. So this book is gonna come in handy."
After all the shows, meetings, conventions, and trips I've taken to share LDSJournal.com with the World, I got the greatest laugh out of the idea that it's NOT A DIARY, IT'S A JOURNAL and that this book will come in handy later so you don't have to answer stupid questions. And, with all the Moms that we have keeping journals for their kids, I couldn't help but laugh about the "diary" being Mom's idea. Just love that first entry. In a strange way, it's sort of why you keep a journal. :) If you're read the series, please let me know what you think... :)

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Moment of Truth - Church Remote

We've been working very hard to improve the LDSJournal service and are looking forward to making updates to the site. One of the sections we're really excited about is the 'Moment of Truth' comic strip illustrated by our very own Steve Reed. Many of you have been submitting 'Moment of Truth' ideas to our team and we've really enjoyed the humorous glimpse into your everyday lives that many of you were nice enough to share.

Recently, we had a user write into the Help Center asking about the 'Moment of Truth' cartoon and wondering why we haven't gotten that section live yet. To be perfectly honest, we're working on other features that have been moved up on the priority list. So, in an effort to get some of the cartoons out in the viewing public, we will be posting some of the 'Moment of Truth' strips on our blog.

Here's a recent submission by Steve that he was kind enough to share. Enjoy!!!


Wednesday, June 10, 2009

O Remember, Remember by President Henry B. Eyring

President Eyring gave a wonderful talk about the importance of keeping a journal. It is one of many great talks given by President Eyring and we wanted to share this video with you.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Trusting in the Lord

Steve wrote me last week and asked that I post this video on our blog. I just love the messages that The Church puts out either as commercials or videos such as this. Please take a moment to view this video.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Local Las Vegas Kid 'Hits' the Big Time

Okay, this post has nothing to do with journal keeping, but I'm going to write about it my journal, so it sort of does. ;)

Bryce Harper, a 16-year old kid from Las Vegas High School is going to be on the next Sports Illustrated magazine cover. WHAT? That's right, a prodigy in baseball that's hyped before he makes it to the league? You've seen that before right? NO YOU HAVEN'T! I've personally witnessed this kid in action and I've watched a lot of baseball in my life. This kid is the real deal. And best of all, he's a great kid with a great attitude. My youngest brother has had a chance to hang out with Bryce recently and he always comes away saying how humble and down to earth he is. I can tell you that I find that to be the most impressive thing about this young man because everyone has been talking about him since he was 10-years old.

I was so excited to see that a "good" kid is getting some love from a big time publication. To read more about this kid, check out www.vegasbaseball.com

Dancing is something I actually really enjoy

Well, I've been getting a lot of flack lately from my guy friends and high praise from the women in my life. Why? Because I'm taking dance lessons at Arthur Murray and I really like it. Actually, I've been taking personal lessons twice a week and going to the Group Classes almost every night. It has been a wonderful social activity and an opportunity to do something that I thought I might never get a chance to do. I'm not going to lie, the lessons aren't cheap, but if you take advantage of the Group Classes, it really is a great deal.

So, why am I bothering telling you this? I don't work at Arthur Murray and I'm not getting a kick-back. Well, I started to realize that lately, I've been taking it upon myself to personally work on finding activities to do and record them in my journal. It doesn't matter what it is, but I've made an effort to do something each day that is new and exciting. Actually, this will probably be the most interesting year of journal writing and my goal is to make my posterity think that I am a modern-day Renaissance Man. :)

We get Support Center write-ins all the time asking what the Journal Jar is for. Some of you love it and others want to know how to hide it (it's in the 'My Settings Display' section). But really, the Journal Jar is for you if you ever run into a situation where you don't know what to write about.

I would encourage you to make an effort to do something, either by yourself or with your family, that you've never done before. Create those new experiences and share your thoughts and feelings in your journal for your posterity. Reading some of my past entries from when I started dance class is such a riot and I can only hope that I could see the look on my grandchild's face when they read it. Priceless...

Oh, and if you read this post and you're at one of the Time Out For Women events, come on by and we'll do a little Cha-Cha or Salsa for kicks. Hey, I've seen 'So You Think You Can Dance' and it seems like the best dancers are LDS. ;)

Monday, May 4, 2009

Time Out For Women, Billings, MT a great success!!!

I was speaking with Richard and Jan this weekend and they were so excited about the feedback they were getting from members attending the Time Out For Women event in Billings, MT. It's always such a rewarding experience for our team to speak to new members and current members and learn more about what they love about LDSJournal.com and what they hope to see in future. I wanted to share a cute photo of Richard and Jan in Montana. They're the best. :-)



We also introduced some new handouts at the event to make transporting marketing material to TOFW events easier. From what I heard, the new handouts seemed to go over very well. I can tell you that I'm thrilled to hear that because Steve will be making the trek to South Carolina this week and I will be in Cincinnati the following weekend and our older brochures/handouts were just a beast to travel with. ;)

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Running into LDSJournal members on the street

Okay, it's been a while since I've written on the company blog. Admittedly, keeping up with my full time job and making sure the Facebook Group is updated, Twitter hasn't been forgotten about, and the Blog stays up to date is pretty time consuming. And more importantly, we really care more about our members that need help getting into their accounts or want to learn more about the service.

Today, I had lunch with a long time friend named Joy. She was asking what I've been up to and I told her about LDSJournal.com and how great it feels to help people accomplish such a difficult activity. Joy is a non-member and was interested to learn that members of the Church are encouraged to keep a journal. Even more interesting was that so many of her co-workers are Latter-day Saints. So, she took it upon herself to tell everyone in her office about LDSJournal.com and her old pal that helped build it.

To my surprise, almost everyone there had heard of the service and most were using it or had a family member that used it. I also discovered that most of the people were NOT aware of the following features:
  1. You CAN add photos to your journal entries
  2. You CAN print your journal to a book in Black & White OR Full Color
  3. You CAN print your books with photos including with your entries (Need to choose Full Color)
  4. You CAN add scripture references
  5. You CAN add Afterthoughts to your journal entries
I then got into a very lengthy discussion about new features and what's coming down the pipe later this year. It was exciting to talk about the service and surprising so many people were interested to hear what is going on.

I can tell you this much, I left very motivated and anxious to talk to my team about our goals for the rest of this year. We've got a lot to do and I hope many of you feel the same way as the members I met today. It's always great for our team to know that people are counting on us to make the service better.

Coming Up in May...
Time Out for Women - Billings, MT (May 1-2)
Family History Expo - Logan, UT (May 9)
Time Out for Women - Columbia, SC (May 8-9)
Time Out for Women - Cincinnati, OH (May 15-16)

Monday, March 16, 2009

Time Out For Women in Houston

Steve Reed was recently in Houston attending the Time Out For Women show and from the sounds of it, he had a great time and there were a ton of LDSJournal users in the crowd. One of the winners of the TOFW tickets was nice enough to stop by our booth and take a photo.

It was also great to see people stop by and share their thoughts about the service with Steve. After all, he is the design genius behind our service and our beautiful marketing material.

Steve is in this photo. Can you guess which one he is?

I was in Seattle last week and luckily, the weather held up nicely for a guy from Las Vegas. I had a wonderful time at the event and it was so great to meet new users and people that were so excited about the service.

We will be in Orlando next week, so if you get a chance, please stop by our table. We'd love to meet you.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Family History Expo in St. George a great success!

This past weekend LDSJournal.com attended the Family History Expo in St. George, UT. It's really a great event to attend and it is a wonderful opportunity for us to learn how journal keeping really fits in with genealogy work. For most, getting to learn about LDSJournal.com and our book publishing feature was the highlight of the weekend. We had the pleasure of speaking to so many people and hearing their stories and what they like about LDSJournal.com. One person in particular, Thomas Kemp, was kind enough to share his thoughts.



I took away so much from this weekend, but one ideal in particular was confirmed over and over as I spoke to people from all over the West coast. It's great to do genealogy work and, as members of the Church, the importance of this activity has much greater implications beyond simple family-tree research. But what seemed to get lost in the shuffle was, "Who is doing the work for you?" As we spoke to people, the thought really hit home for some.

I was really grateful to have members of our team readily available to answer questions about LDSJournal.com and share the benefits of keeping your journal with us. For some, keeping a journal will be a major first step and we're just glad that we can help them get on track with their journal writing. Here are some photos of our booth at the show.


Amy and Richard talk to a few people at the LDSJournal booth.

Jan and Richard share their journaling experiences with new users.



Amy shows an attendee an example of a printed, hard-bound book.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Why your Journal is more than just a blog

Sometimes I meet members at different events like a scrapbooking convention or a family history expo and we get into discussions about journal writing vs. blogging. Naturally, I think there is a major difference between journal keeping and blogging, but I usually have to explain what I mean. At the end of the conversation I think there is a clearer understanding of why journal writing is different and how LDSJournal.com is designed to meet those shortcomings that blogs simply don't cover. Today, a member wrote an email to our team at the Help Desk and they forwarded the message to me. I would like to share this testimonial with you:
The last few years I have really struggled with keeping a journal. I know how important journals are, but I have had such a hard time actually keeping one. I have come to the conclusion that I mainly get frustrated with how long it takes me to write everything down. There is so much I want to record, and I guess I just don't have the time or patience to spend the hour, or longer, that it takes to hand write everything out. At the beginning of the year I actually started a private blog so that I could try keeping my journal online; however, I never felt like any of the sites were secure enough. This month I stumbled across LDSJournal and it was exactly what I had been looking for. The first thing I like about LDSJournal is that the website is geared directly towards keeping a journal online. Trying to turn a blog into a journal was difficult and I was worried about printing the entries. The site allows you to print your entries in a book, along with pictures either after each entry or indexed in the back of the book. I am on the computer every day so it has been easy to write a little here and there throughout the week. You can also set email reminder notifications and pretty soon you will be able to email your entries directly to your journal. I also like that you can add footnotes, scriptures, quotes and afterthoughts. I think everyone has to find their own way of record keeping. I have enjoyed both scrapbooking and blogging, but feel I have really missed out on not keeping a journal. There are so many wonderful experiences I want to record that could never be shared other than in the privacy of a personal journal.
What I most enjoy about this member's message was that it's not really a testimonial marketing piece about LDSJournal being the perfect solution for everyone. Rather it is a testimonial about the importance of journaling and a person's search for a tool that will work for them. I really enjoyed their insight and personal take on journal keeping. I can only hope that our service will continue to meet this user's needs and we will continue to develop the tools to make journal keeping easier.

I recently received my printed journal in the mail and it was fun to read back over my journal and remember events from only a year ago that I had already forgotten. For that reason alone, I feel grateful that I have those moments to remember and share with my family. I hope that many of the features we are going to release in the coming months will help to spurn those members on that are still trying to pick up the journaling habit. And to the 25,000+ members that continue to make LDSJournal.com a better service, thank you for all of your input and support.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Family History Expo Interview

It's funny when a friend calls and tells you about a YouTube video they are watching that has you in it. It's a little nerve wracking when you don't know what video they are talking about. :) Luckily, it was the video interview from the Family History Expo in Mesa, AZ in late 2008. I just watched this video and I couldn't remember answering the questions that I did answer. So, it was good to see that I was able to answer some questions about the future of the service and what users have in store. If you have about 4 minutes to kill, check out the video and learn more about our service. :)

Monday, February 9, 2009

Major update and more on the way

For many of our members, the update we made this past Friday, February 6 was a welcome addition to the LDSJournal.com service. We've received rave reviews thus far and we're very encouraged by the feedback we have received. If you haven't seen the updates, please see below:
  1. No More Welcome Page - Sometimes less is more. In this case, we decided to let members dive right into their journal upon login. We'll be adding new features to this page soon which will make journal keeping a little more fun and interactive.
  2. My Library - Preview your printed journal before it gets published.
  3. Multiple Daily Entries - Now you can record multiple entries with different topics, Moods, Footnotes and Afterthoughts and have them all occur on the same day.
  4. Options Menu - Access all the options associated with your journal entries in a quick, easy menu. If you're writing in your journal, you can't miss it.
  5. Move Entry - Create your entry on the wrong date? No problem! Use the 'Move Entry' feature to quickly move your journal entry to the correct date.
  6. Tags - organize your journal entries by assigning 'Tags' to each entry. (Ex. family, church, kids)
  7. Journal Jar - Found when writing a journal entry, this feature provides topics and ideas to help you get started.
  8. Private Entries (we be re-introduced at the next update of the BookBuilder) - If you've ever written an entry that was for your eyes only, make it 'Private' and exclude them from your printed journal book.
  9. Improved Search - Faster search results and integrated 'Tags' will make search even more powerful.
Coming Soon...
  1. LDSJournal Gold Service
  2. Legacy Protection
  3. Footnote Additions
  4. 'All About Me' Enhancements
  5. Sub Journals and much more...
We're also going to be adding more Moods in the coming weeks, so those of you that keep coming up with those clever moods and icon suggestions, thank you...

Saturday, January 17, 2009

SWEET! Time Out For Women tickets for LDSJournal.com Members

We just received wonderful news! As a sponsor of the 2009 Time Out For Women events, up to 10 members of LDSJournal.com will have an opportunity to attend a TOFW event for FREE. Wow! If you have never been to a Time Out For Women event, you're really missing out. As a sponsor, I've had an opportunity to sort of sneak in and see what the ladies are talking about. I have to admit, it is a great event and would recommend it to any female looking to have a fun time at an event with a wonderful message.

We will have more information about this opportunity and how you can get your FREE ticket in the next couple of days. We would like to thank Deseret Book for their gracious offer and we are happy to extend this to our members.

If you have any specific questions, please use the Help Center contact form at LDSJournal.com to contact our team.