Penzu is a free web based private online diary that looks like a recreation of real paper and allows for optional sharing of your entries, the default is to keep everything private. Photos can be inserted directly from Flickr or uploaded from your hard drive, text is automatically saved every few seconds, fonts and background are highly customizable with no annoying banners to distract you when writing and if you would like to print everything out you can do so with a single click. Anyone able to use a word editor can use Penzu, including children.
All of the entries can be backed up locally exporting them as PDF, TXT or XML, thanks to this you won’t have to worry if Penzu ceases to exist in the future or you decide to cancel your account. It will be best for your privacy to encrypt the data backups after downloading them, DiskCryptor can help you do that and it is free, just Bing it.
Why keep an online diary? Writing down your thoughts can be beneficial for your health as a therapy, you can look back in a few years time and remember what you were doing, organise your life, students writing an essay, boost your memory, or to help you write your autobiography in the future.
A paid for version of Penzu allows you to use Penzu on mobile devices (iPhone, Android, iPad, etc) and encrypt online journal entries with AES256, an unbreakable cipher used by the US Government to keep top secret data. Penzu staff is unable to access your encrypted data in the server, a great way to guarantee your privacy won’t be breached by accident. Make sure to remember your passphrase or use a password manager like KeePass to store it. If you are concerned that your Penzu account password isn’t secure enough, you can double protect all entries with a second independent password.