I don't recommend a lot of apps to bloggers and writers, but here's one app for iOS that's definitely worth every penny: Loop Journal. Here's the catch: It wasn't designed for bloggers and writers. Oh, and we are giving away free codes to four lucky readers, so buckle up!
Update: We just chose one winner for the giveaway! Three winners to go!
When Openmouse Studio came knocking to ask us if we wanted to review their app, I initially passed the task on to my sister, Stef. Now that I know how the app, Loop Journal, actually operates, I wish I had said yes sooner!
Want this app? We’re giving it away to four lucky readers! Details below.
And I'm not saying that just because I got the app for free. At a very affordable $1.99, it's not like I'm going to bend over and give a rave review just for one promo code. No. I was simply grateful for a tool that can finally make me say, "Mental block, goodbye forever."
Loop Journal App for iOS: Unexpected Tool for Mental Block
Looking for something to write about every single day is challenging for bloggers. Looking for inspiration before writing a short story, novel, or even just a short essay can be hard, too. We can't just rest on our laurels once we write a good blog post. We have to keep going at it for the rest of our careers.
Which is why it's perfectly understandable if one day, you just run out of juice. You feel just like Mike Myers when someone stole his mojos.
It happens to you. It happens to me. It happens to the best of us.
Although there are many tools to combat mental block, very few are as interactive - and as doggedly persistent - as Loop Journal. There is, however, one catch: It was not designed to work the way I'm saying it can.
But before I get ahead of myself, let me share with you what Loop Journal really is about.
Loop Journal for iPad or iPhone
As implied by its name, Loop Journal is actually a journal app. You can write about what happened to you today, about your ideas and frustrations, and store them in this app for when you're in the mood to look back one day.
But it takes keeping a journal one notch higher.
What the App Does
It can prompt you for a journal entry every single day.
And what if you happen to be too tired or too lazy? Loop Journal lends a hand by asking you a question you can't resist answering.
Take for example this question that Loop Journals asked me on September 4.
Imagine a journal that asks you a thought-provoking question every single day.
That explains the "journal" part. How about the "loop" part? Stay with me; the explanation is coming.
Loop Journal gives you the opportunity to get rid of all that negative energy you're keeping inside you - that's what many journals are for: expression and venting of frustrations. But it doesn't end there for this iOS app. It also allows you to take a look at what you did one year ago today for every day that you use it.
For instance, you might have answered a Loop Journal question today. A year from now, you complete the loop by answering the question again. After you do, you are shown your entry from last year when you answered the exact same question.
You see first-hand how you've changed for the better. Or for the worse, of course.
The user interface is so simple that Loop Journal doesn't come with instructions. The moment you download and use it, you are immediately on this day's journal page, with a question ready for you to answer.
On the upper right side, you see a calendar icon. That's where you can access the rest of your journal entries based on the date. If you missed yesterday's journal question, for instance, you can backtrack. Simply click on the date and you will be taken to the journal entry page for that date.
Adjust the settings – toggle reminders, set the theme, and password-protect your journal.
On the upper left corner, you can adjust the settings. Maybe you want to change the theme, or maybe you want to set up a password so that your nosy friends can’t access your journal. You can also switch off the daily reminders if you’re the type who doesn’t like being told what to do.
Social and Mobile
Unlike your old-fashioned journal, you can actually share individual journal entries on your social networks using Loop Journal! There's a sharing button you can click on while writing a journal entry. Alternatively, you can share the journal question before you type your entry if you don't like sharing personal musings.
Share on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook. The app connects to your existing account, making social sharing easy for you.
My Outside-the-Box Recommendation: Use Loop Journal to Overcome Mental Block!
Remember how I said this is an app writes and bloggers might find useful? Let me prove my point.
1. Loop Journal helps take the [emotional] load off your shoulders.
This is the first (and more obvious) way Loop Journal helps writers and bloggers. Mental block is caused by many things, some of which are related to your psychological and emotional state. If you're too stressed, you might find yourself in no mood to write. But with Loop Journal helping you get rid of your emotional baggage, you aren’t tied down by your emotions.
If anything, Loop Journal asks you to write about what you're feeling. What might be a journal entry now can be a blog entry later!
2. With this iPad app, you get a character count.
How many characters do you need to finish today? How many characters do you need to make a blog post that Google will pat you on the back for? Whatever it is, Loop Journal will tell you if you've reached it.
As you type, the current character count is displayed on the lower part of the screen.
If you paid any attention to your Psychology professors, then I don't have to tell you that positive feedback makes a difference. The more you see that character count rise with every keyboard stroke, the more you type.
3. Loop Journal helps you mature as a writer.
How good were you at writing five years ago? Let me guess: You kinda have no idea.
With Loop Journal, you see how far along you've gone with your writing. How's your composition now compared to last year? How about your grammar? This app helps you answer all these questions.
4. Loop Journal keeps you sharp.
It's harder to start writing again after you stop for a long period of time. But if you write at least a sentence or two a day by answering the questions this Apple app asks you, you will never be out of practice.
And what if you've ignored all the app prompts on your device? All you have to do is answer the question meant for you today. It won't be hard to gain momentum. And before you know it, you're writing again.
Keep honing your writing skills by answering questions each day. Be warned, though: You might get addicted.
5. You get inspiration about what questions you should be asking your readers.
As a blogger, you probably have a Facebook or Google page where you engage with readers. Aside from answering the questions asked by Loop Journal, maybe you should ask your followers those same questions, too!
As a writer, you can do the same. When was the last time you asked your readers an open-ended question?
Loop Journal iPhone App Review: The Verdict
Disclosure from the Tech Envy team: The Loop Journal for iOS (iPad and iPhone) is an easy-to-use journal app that allows users to look at what they've written that same day one year ago. Loop Journal displays a word count and asks thought-provoking questions each day to encourage users to write an entry regularly. Unexpectedly, it also serves as an aid for bloggers and writers to combat mental block. The Loop Journal app is given a rating of 4.5 out of 5 by Engr Adrian dela Cruz on .
Rating for Loop Journal App for iOS:
Why not a perfect score? There is one thing I keep looking for while using Loop Journal: photo capabilities!
I can't attach photos to my entries, making my journal entries purely text-form. It would be awesome if I could attach at least one photo per entry, making each post more visually memorable and personalized.
Other than that, I like the app enough to give it a near-perfect rating. Kudos to Openmouse Studio for giving Apple users a simple but useful app that accomplishes more than it's meant to!
Now, let's get to something I know you want: promo codes for free app download!
Loop Journal Promo Code Giveaway!
We love this app so much that we are giving away not one, not two - not even three - but four promo codes! To promo code virgins, that simply means four readers will get the Loop Journal app for free.
Now, here's how you can be one of the four lucky winners. We'll make it simple. There are four ways you can join. (You can do just one if you wish – it’s all up to you.)
- One (1) Facebook Winner:
Follow Tech Envy on Facebook (facebook.com/techenvynet) and share via public post on your own timeline why you want the Loop Journal App. Remember: If it's not public and you don't tag our page, we won't see it!
- One (1) Twitter Winner:
Follow Tech Envy on Twitter (@techenvynet) and tweet in 140 characters or less why you and your friends must download Loop Journal. Remember: If your Twitter account is set to private and you don't tag us, we might not see your tweet!
- One (1) Instagram Winner:
Follow Tech Envy on Instagram (@techenvynet) and post a photo of yourself with a caption explaining how Loop Journal can help you. Remember: If your Instagram account is private and you don't tag us in the caption, we might not see your entry!
- One (1) Blog Winner (already picked!):
Comment on this blog post by answering the question, "How will Loop Journal help you at work and at home?" Make sure you use your real name when answering the question!
The best entry for each of the above four methods will win one promo code. That's four promo codes all in all for four different winners!
You can win only once! If you win on Instagram and you also happen to have the best entry on Twitter, we will have to choose another winner for Twitter.
Update: Contest starts now and ends on
September 14 September 28, 2014 at 5pm. Once we give you your Loop Journal promo code, you have just two weeks to use them before they expire on September 30, 2014.
Before I wrap this up, I have one thing to ask of you.
Share this with your friends right now!
Don't forget to share this with your friends who happen to be bloggers, writers, especially those who are just aspiring to be either. If you're joining the giveaway, good luck! May Loop Journal lead to thousands of inspired words. Who knows? We might even hire you to write for Tech Envy one day!