Mar 10, 2012

Loving the iPhoto Journal

After discovering the Journal in iPhoto for iPad yesterday, I haven't been able to stop fiddling around with it, exploring the possibilities - for it combines all the things I love: photos, details and notes. And maps and weather and all. Everything that makes for a good (travel) memory board. Everything that I've been doing before on simple web pages (with much more work and finally getting tired of it) and paper albums and my diary, and finally splitting the op up by uploading photos to Flickr or such and writing the story in my blog.

Walking through the more or less simple task of creating a new journal:
  1. Open photos in iPhoto and select the ones you want to add to your journal (initally, of course you can add more later) - you can select multiple photos there by tap-selecting the first one and pressing a bit longer on the rest of the pics to select
  2. From Share, select Journal, then New Journal - and later on of course an existing one
  3. Add more stuff from the + menu at the top of the page - current weather information or one of your choice, the date, map with current or a selected location, sticky notes, quotes, memory clips etc. And new pages too, of course. And select your key photo.
Keep working until you're done and when the time is right, share your journal. You have two options for sharing your journal: publish it to iCloud (you need an iCloud profile for that), or transfer it as a complete set of files and folders to your Mac/PC and publish it as a website on your own web server/service (requires transferring the data from your iPad to iTunes by using the USB cable). Check out the instructions for each in iPhoto, they're prefectly clear :)

With the iCloud, you can form a library of journals there by adding the journal to the Home page. All iCloud published journals seem to be public to everybody, so it's a bit backwards security management there - I'd like to have all my journals there in my iCloud library and select which ones to share with others, in a Dropbox way. This way I can't iCloud-share those journals that I don't want to make public altogether. The instruction in iPhoto contain info about all sorts of indications about sharing and being public etc. so maybe I'm simply not finding the options...

Anyway, once published to iCloud, Tell a friend -button creates an email with adequate links to the journal in the iCloud.

The amount of files provided by the iTunes share is massive, but once you've transfered them all to your web site (ftp transfer etc. but you really do need to have all those png files and such there), your journal is a stand-alone website. And it's html5, mostly generated with JavaScript (json) of course, but working fine with mobile devices too :)

Feel free to check out this Demo Journal on my website!

As far as I am concerned, the only pain in the rear parts for me is aqcuiring the photos. I take pictures with five different devices - Lumia WinPhone, iPad, GalaxyTab, proper camera and the pocket one - depending on which one currently happens to be handy. All the mobile devices stream the pics to different cloud services and the ones from the real cameras (which most of the time is what I use when travelling) are transfered to my file systems (USB hard drive and/or Dropbox) in a more old fashioned way.

If only I could simply select photos from my Dropbox files straight to my journals instead of needing to use one of the alternative ways to get them to my Photostream:
  • saving them from my Dropbox (or Skydrive, when talking of WinPhone pics) on iPad
  • dropping them to my Photostream upload folder on my PC

I'd love to be able to have all my pics in one cloud provider and/or one harddrive that had full support in all apps on all devices. I know the physical storage is somehow old tech already, but seriously, having 50+ gigs of images in a cloud service?! I'd like to be able to use a portable harddisk with my iPad. I know, most probably, not gonna happen. And this here is the topic for another blogpost altogether.

Be as it may, I am extremely excited about the iPhoto Journal!

P.S. How cool would it be, if there was some service provider giving you the opportunity to upload your journal to their service and have it printed an binded as a book and delivered to you via mail? Imagine making cool gift books like that! Much more cool than the Ifolor photo books!

Edit March 11. 2012: 
  • Albums are added by creating them in the Photos - they will then appear to the iPhoto Albums section too
  • There seems to be some instability in the app: I was creating another journal, when all of a sudden iPhoto lost about a hundred photos from the stream even though they clearly were still on the device, when I looked in Photos

[See also my article Figuring out iPhoto - an overview of iPhoto in general]


  1. What I would love to do is create the journal in iPhoto iOS on my iPad and then post it to my personal blog (I have a blogspot blog too). The family goes to the blog to check out updates on the grandkids etc. It seems like I am sending them all over the place when I post to iCloud, Picasa, and the blog. Also, I will probably hit a storage limit on iCloud. Any ideas if I can I do this? I second you on the print services. I would love do to photobooks that I could have printed as gifts. Some of the grandparents still like printed items. Well, I like them too.

  2. I know what you're talking about - same thing, grandparents need to go here, there and everywhere to read blog in one place, see photos in the other etc. And no, unfortunately I haven't come up with any real idea for having everything in the same place, other than start hosting my own blog on my on server, where I could have the photo archive and e.g. these journals too. Too much work ;) I'll write about it if I figure out some cool way to integrate these (other than linking stuff).