Onwards and upwards in Site Updates

  • Dec. 3, 2018, 8:23 p.m.
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  • Public

Hey everyone,

How is it already December?! These last few months have really flown by.

NoJoMo was great! Well done to all of you that kept with it (and a solid tip of the hat to those that made it some of the way through). It’s so fun for me to see the community come together like that.

You all know I’m a big stats geek, so let’s take a look at the numbers. In October, one of our slower months, the average number of entries per day was 250. In November, we passed 300. That’s an increase of over a thousand entries over the course of the month, wow!

So, I have a confession to make. The NoJoMo Site Update I posted? It was a “smoke test” for a new feature idea I’ve been kicking around: Writing Prompts. And, though I know NoJoMo is a special occasion that gets everyone writing, I think the concept is an exciting one and call the test a resounding success.

My general idea is this: in addition to the “Favorites” and “Comments” notification icons, there would be a third icon, “Prompts”.

I’m still fleshing this out, but my thinking is that when you click the Prompt icon, you see a list of Prompts that you’ve subscribed to that show up at different frequencies: Daily, Weekly, Monthly, etc. Select a prompt, it automatically fills text into the New Entry screen, and you’re on your way. Want to skip today’s prompt? Easy.

While I have a few sources already lined up for these prompts (remember when you sent me your surveys? surprise!) the part I’m most excited about is sourcing these from the community itself. As we get closer to building things out, I’ll talk more about what that will look like.

Oh, and this won’t be a premium feature! Everyone on PB will have access to Writing Prompts.

Cool, what else have you been working on?
It’s been a busy few months. I’ve been quiet, but behind the scenes things are speeding up as we come up to the end of the year.

There are two big features that our developers have been working on, one a premium feature and the other a “quality of life” feature that will be available to everyone.

First, let’s talk about the “quality of life” feature.

Auto-saving drafts (a work in progress)

This feature is still very much a work in progress, but I’m rethinking how entries and drafts work. The goal is to increase trust in the site. I want you all to feel certain that you won’t lose an entry in the middle of writing it. I hate it when I hear about someone losing an entry, and I’ve noticed several of you will leave a tab open and spend all day writing an entry. Doing that and losing it? No way! So, I’m baking in some security.

Think of it like Gmail: when you start writing an email, you can be confident that if the browser crashes, it’ll automatically be in your drafts folder. Until you need that functionality, though, it gets out of your way. I want something similar.

I’ll talk more about this as we build it out, but I’m hoping to launch sometime later this month.

Okay, next let’s talk about PB’s very first premium feature.

Entry search / Entry Calendar (complete!)
entry search

It’s built! It exists! I’m very excited about this one. And when I roll out subscriptions in a few months, it’ll be available on day one for all subscribers!

If you notice, there’s a second tab there for “Date search”. That acts as an entry calendar, allowing you to find entries within a certain time period:
date search

So, all in all very exciting stuff! Things are starting to come together, and I can’t wait to start launching these features.

Mochi’s pretty pleased as well:


J🌞DI December 03, 2018

Love it! Both the auto saver and the prompts.

girl in recession December 03, 2018


Darkest Days, Brightest Nights December 03, 2018

Thank you for all you do!!

ConnieK December 03, 2018

Well, if Mochi's in, I guess I'm in!

Exhumed By Scrying Eyes December 03, 2018

I LOVE auto saving drafts!!!!

This happened to me today in fact. I wrote a lengthy entry and not only did my browser crash, but my computer rebooted on its own just as I was (and I'm not kidding) on my very last sentence!

I should have written it in gmail.

Thank you for this upcoming feature!!!

GypsyWynd December 03, 2018

Auto save!!!!! Bless you for that!
Smooches to Mochi

Gonewiththebreeze December 03, 2018

Take ALL MY MONEY. fantastic you are FANTASTIC. It’s so relieving to know that even when things are quiet yiu are hard at work bringing our little online sanctuary up to perfection

InHisGrip December 03, 2018

Both are so very exciting!!

Gangleri December 04, 2018

Search! It’s coming!

sassafras December 04, 2018

Awesome! Thank you. 😊

Witchy Woman December 04, 2018

Love these! As always, thank you for all you do.

Lis December 04, 2018

w00t!!! xx

Marg December 04, 2018

Loving the sound of both of these!

Firebabe December 04, 2018


thesunnyabyss December 04, 2018


woman in the moon December 04, 2018

Suggestion for the prompts = last month I had to enter your entry with the prompts to see what the next one was. I thought if you had the current few days prompts at the top of your entry, I would not have to enter and scroll down to see the current one.
I suppose you have something else in mind if you are going with eternal prompts.

woman in the moon December 04, 2018

Also I though you were already saving 'lost' entries. Often if I go back to start a new entry my previous attempt is still there. Is that my browser saving it, good luck or just craziness on my part?

josh woman in the moon ⋅ December 04, 2018

Nope, you're not crazy. That functionality is there today, but it works in a hacky and somewhat unreliable way. The new version will fix all of that

Mercurial Muse December 04, 2018

I was honestly just wondering what ever became of all those surveys. I thought you were going to create a survey data base lol. Sometimes I don't get around to doing the survey but I always means to.

Adira December 04, 2018

OMG autosaving drafts would be amazing! I lost a whole entry yesterday because my internet decided to flake out :/

Deleted user December 04, 2018

Good things !

kmh. December 04, 2018

Excellent :)

FitLadyDi December 04, 2018

Love a search feature. I'd still love to be able to upload my .xml file of my OD entries so they are here for posterity because I do believe this place will last a lifetime!! ❤❤❤

Kristi1971 December 04, 2018

I am so excited about the prompts. I've always wanted to buy a prompt book or whatever, but I never do that. I may not do the prompts a lot, but I think they are pretty important for anyone who wants to really develop their writing skills in general. :) Weee!! And auto-save is priceless!

Mrs. Peebs December 05, 2018

Sounds like a lot of awesome work you guys are doing over there. Thank you!

auburn_girl December 05, 2018

Hey Josh,
Not sure if this is a weird glitch on my end or yours, but I've gotten kicked out of PB twice this morning for no apparent reason. Once I was in another window and came back to find that I had to re-log in, and the second time I was actually using the "On This Day" and reading old entries but when I went to click to read the next one it kicked me out and only showed me my public entries that I've posted this week for DePhoMo.

josh auburn_girl ⋅ December 05, 2018

Sorry to hear you're running into that problem! You might try checking the "stay logged in" box when you're logging in. Hope that helps!

The Thirsty Oriental December 05, 2018

Take my damn money

greenteacoconutcutie December 05, 2018

Omg I had a dog named Mochi that looked almost like your little doggy! So cute! Now I have to ask...did you name him/her after the food? I’d recently gotten into Mochi ice cream when I got my dog.

josh greenteacoconutcutie ⋅ December 05, 2018

Yes! I was living in the Little Tokyo neighborhood at the time I got him and was inspired :)

Naiad December 06, 2018

Aaaaall I want for Chriiistmaaaas, is an entry search! <3

softea December 06, 2018

Super stoked for autosaving and writing prompts! Thanks so much for all you work on this!

One thing I've been thinking about that seemed to build a lot of community on OD was the diary circles- which basically functioned as an early form of entry tagging so you could go to a circle and see all the related posts. In just wondering if you can given any thought to tagging functionality? I am thinking, for example, that it might help members who are writing about or dealing with a particular issue find other people going through something similar. So for example if I wanted to connect with other queer PBers I could tag my posts "queer" or "lgbt" o they could find me or I could search through the tags to find them.

Just a thought! Love all you are doing.

josh softea ⋅ December 07, 2018 (edited December 07, 2018)


Definitely something I'm looking into. I've seen how OD does things and while that works I think it's a little bit cumbersome. If we do it on PB, we'll do it right. Enabling connection and community are huge priorities for 2019.

Mr. Mofo December 06, 2018

Mochi looks rather dashing.

hoki December 08, 2018

How can I download my diary?

josh hoki ⋅ December 09, 2018

You can export books individually if you go to your profile and select a book. You'll get an email link and be able to download from there

GIPPA February 19, 2019


hoki March 26, 2019

Getting close to rolling out that entry search?

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