Wiki Journaling

See also WikiLog, WikiAsPim, OnlineDiary (see SunirShah's Meatball page for the first OnlineDiary on a wiki).

From WikiJournaling on PeterProvost's personal wiki:

The idea of using a wiki as a personal journal first came to me one night when I was lying in bed. I had one of those ideas that you just have to write down somewhere. It might have sucked. It might have been something great. Honestly I don't know. I couldn't find anything to write on. Nothing that I wouldn't just lose.

I've tried many times to start a journal but it never really worked. What I realized that night was that I could just start typing these crazy ideas into my wiki. I already had a little AspWiki? installed, but wasn't really using it for much. Why not put my thought in there?

So I started. I realized that I would have to organize it somehow, so I started thinking about a scheme for titling wiki pages. My first idea was one page per day, with pages numbered using the full date like this: MayFifteenth01, but the WikiEngine didn't pick up the numbers as a valid wiki page link.

I tried a bunch more ideas but finally realize I wasn't going to be able to use dates as page titles. The wiki just didn't work that way.

So I decided to go another route. I would create a page called PetersJournal?. When it seemed long enough, I would add a link on it that goes to PetersJournalTwo? and so on. Within each page I create sections beginning with a horizontal rule followed by the date (in bold) of that entry. I try not to rant about anything too long in the journal directly, but instead create a secondary wiki page and reference it from the journal page.

This seems to be much more wiki friendly than a page per day, month or year. It allows me to pull content that I want to explore further away from the journal and concentrate on it by itself. It also allows me to edit pages at another time, maybe because I realized something I was thinking earlier was stupid and needed re-thinking.

So I started doing it. I quickly realized that the basic "everything for everyone" wiki wouldn't really work. So I started changing the original AspWiki. I added two different kinds of password protection. Some pages require a password to be edited (like the start page on my wiki). Others require a password to be viewed (like my journal).

Anyway, that is how I got started on all this. --PeterProvost

PmWiki (php) has a 'plugin' (or a CookBook?, to use the pmwiki name) to create and maintain pages based on a calendary. Here is the Cookbook ( and an example (

I can image wanting to browse my journal either by RecentChanges, Search or by Date. It would be nice to be able to view the entries in chronological order.


To do those things, why would you want to continue using a wiki?

I would suggest using an online tool, such as LiveJournal (, which is my personal choice. Their system is extremely featureful without being bloated, under constant development, and OpenSource. I can see how it would be easy to do WikiJournaling, but I think a personal journal is one thing that wouldn't benefit from the Wiki open editing policy.

What would the open editing policy have to do with your own WikiAsPim?

Possibly he just means that the "main" feature that wiki "brings to the table" is the open editing (but that, of course, doesn't mean it can't be utilized for something else.)

I looked at LiveJournal, but there are a few things I don't like about it:

I have almost finished adding the password protection features into my version of AspWiki. It seems to work like a charm. I only lock down my journal pages, so I'm not too anti-wiki. I like using the wiki for rambling and ranting and often these things start out in my journal. --PeterProvost

That's not "a few things", that's exactly one thing. --JohnDouglasPorter

Peter, you can run it yourself. See . --EarleMartin

Is there something like LiveJournal in PHP ? --AmitrajitChatterjee

Have a look at BoLeuf's WikiJournaling at I've modeled journaling on my PersonalWiki after his. --JuneKim

ZhurnalWiki ( ) is an open journal experiment cross-linked to the archival ^zhurnal ( ). I do my writing on a page of the (Oddmuse-based) wiki and post journal entries every day or so to both the Wiki and to the static ^zhurnal. That way I get (most of) the best of both worlds, retain full version control, yet allow anybody else to throw in $0.02. The static journal has been going since 1999, the ZhurnalWiki since 2001, with its own domain since 2002. So far not much outside participation, but that's ok; the folks who do leave comments and contributions have been >99% nice. - MarkZimmermann

A new option has recently arisen for WikiJournaling - if you run the BlosXom weblog software, you can use WikiWords to integrate it with a wiki, which provides an interesting middle route. See also: PersonalWiki

Has anyone had a look at Voodopad? It's a MacOsx personal wiki, though I've not tried it. - MatthewCornell?

It is an interesting take on the wiki concept in an individual app, simple enough that it might well be ideal for newbies. There is a lite version with a useful enough feature set to make it a worthwhile download to demo.

I've used VoodooPad quite a bit for journaling purposes. What I've done this year is to create at the beginning of a month a page for it, e.g. 2005-05 for the current month. On that page, I copy and paste a series of days in the format 2005-05-01, 2005-05-02, etc. (one day per line) from the previous month, adding or subtracting days on the end as necessary. Then when I'm ready on a particular day to journal, I can either go to the month and highlight the day to create a new day page, or just arbitrarily create a day's pages from the menu. As well, I will sometimes pre-create days as reminders for meetings or other appointments. Something similar can be done with other WikiWare?, naturally. --RobertDaeley

My web diary is also implemented as a wiki. It works almost exactly in the same way as described above, but instead of making a linked list of diary entry pages, I always have the most recent entries in the "web diary" main page, and move them to a separate page when the "web diary" page grows too long.

9/3/2004 - I started my own personal FlexWiki on my local server (running XP Pro) at home. There are simple instructions at the site. Then checkout FlexWikiPad as a desktop editor to your wiki. Works great!

12/14/2004 - I've also been intrigued by the potential power of using a wiki as a journal. I've begun using mediawiki for this purpose.

12/18/2005 - ConnectedText (a non free personal serverless wiki for Windows) has a calendar and the ability to insert dated pages. It works well as a journal.

Jan'2014: I just published a thin e-book: "Hack Your Life with a Private Wiki Notebook: Mash Up "Getting Things Done" and Other Systems" - I've been keeping notes with an increasingly formal process since 1999. --BillSeitz


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