OhLife – Review and Why You Should Sign Up

by Christopher Wendels on september 30, 2010

OhLife online journal

I set my first thirty-day challenge on August 17. My challenge was to use OhLife for thirty days without fail. Guess what! I passed my challenge. I made it. I really did. The really cool part is that I have kept up with it. Every day.

How OhLife Works
Every day (you decide when) you get an email from OhLife asking you how your day went. You then simply write down how your day went. Even writing a few notes such as what work was like, or if the sun came out goes a long way. The online journal is nothing like a blog, Twitter, Facebook, tumblr or anything else. The messages are private. They are only there for you and your benefit.

You can then browse through your own history (as seen here on the right). A peek at your past, if you will. It really is cool and by far the best online journal I have ever come in contact with.

Once You Start You Can’t Stop
This is one of the great features. Once you get started there is no quitting. Sure, you can turn off the emails. You can ignore updates. But what happens when you do? Once you get around one month of entries together, and actually go through them you won’t want to stop. You start to imagine what you might be reading one year, or even ten years from now.

People will argue that it is the same no matter what you use. I say no. I have tried multiple times to start a journal. I always gave it up. Either because I forgot, or got bored… I almost quit OhLife too. I said I would do my challenge, write this post and then quit. Guess what: I’m still going strong with a perfect track record. I haven’t missed a single day.

The Internet Issue
The only thing that might break me is if I go without Internet access for any length of time at some point, but even that wouldn’t be a deal breaker for me. I would jot on napkins if I had to just to keep going, and then send in my emails like a good little boy.

Keeping A Journal Is Something Everyone Should Do
I honestly believe that everyone should keep a journal. I wish someone would have thought of this sooner. Where was I and what was I doing on this day five years ago? I don’t have the slightest idea… and that makes me kind of sad. I’m sure I have the memories, I just don’t have any triggers to recall them by.

Is Electronic Data Really Private
Living in Germany really makes you think about things like privacy. I grew up in Sweden, where, for better or worse, privacy does not exist. You can even go down to the local tax office and ask for your neighbors tax forms. In Germany I have a friend who actually refused to sign up for an event because the only way to sign up was by entering your email on a website.

I have read the OhLife privacy policy. There is nothing there to even indicate how your information could be used. In fact it states clearly that:

Your journal entries are private.

If you’re unhappy with the service for any reason, you can delete your account in your account settings. This permanently deletes your account and all of your entries.

The only sentence that gave me pause was this one:

Information Collected

OhLife only collects information it needs so that you can use the service.

So OhLife might use whatever I write to profile me and then show me ads. That is what Facebook does and that is what Google does. No difference there, and I don’t really mind. I am actually a big fan of targeted ads. You’d have to be an idiot not to be, but that is a rant for another post.

I love OhLife and I hope I never stop using it. It is a great service, and I encourage anyone and everyone to sign up!