280daily is a new online web app that claims to archive your life 280 characters at a time. The service is based around people’s difficulty to keep up with a full blown journal or diary. Signing up requires just an email address, password and time zone and you’re set. The first thing you’ll notice after signing up is that everything is encrypted under secure SSL, making clear they’re serious about privacy and security.
It’s surprising that such a simple idea can have an array of day to day applications; the home page brings 5 uses to your attention. Primarily a day to day realistic journal, but also a travel journal, stating, “You’re too busy having fun to write down every detail!” but also in a business. Others include target progress and a backwards to-do list.
The tagline questions if you can remember what you did this time last week. It’s a valid question, but of course depends if you want to remember what you did this time last week. It doesn’t force you to update everyday and you can backdate and edit your entries. Therefore it might be a useful tool just to write about the days you really want to remember or look back on. The random entry box on the account overview is clearly fairly pointless at first, but we can imagine it’ll be quite an interesting tool once you’ve filled the web app with your entries.
There are a number of features available as well as an array of settings, yet the service remains simple. A comprehensive FAQ should answer most of your questions and an introduction video runs through the key elements of the web app.
Is 280 characters enough? The FAQ responds to this,
Summing up your day in 280 characters is a skill. A lot can happen in a day and creating a succinct entry can be a lot more difficult than waffling on for 2000 words. 280 character entries are powerful because your memory can fill in all the details… we hope.
Recently photo support has been implemented, with flickr style features such as the ability to download original image files. Sticking with simplicity, you’re only allowed to upload one photo per entry. The gallery works extremely well and fits in nicely around the service, but can be switched off completely for those who don’t require photo support.
By default they’ll send you one email a day reminding you to update. The email contains all your statistics, which is a great incentive for keeping up with it. You can change reminder frequency or completely disable it in account settings.
A primary area of interest is the ability to export to PDF. At the moment you can export all you entries to PDF, this works smoothly however lacks any options. In 280daily’s latest blog post, there’s the promise of advanced exporting options. Another export option is physical book, releasing in the next few weeks. This service will allow you to convert their entries into a physical book sent to your front door.
Having only been released 6 days ago, 280daily has had remarkable uptake. Users have cumulatively written hundreds of thousands of characters. Constant improvement makes 280daily an exciting platform. Along with the standard desktop website comes a well designed mobile interface, native iPhone and Android apps are on their way.
280daily is simple, but a joy to use. The interface is clean and quick, the ability to customize and move around your account overview is intuitive and something a bit different. It’ll be interesting to see if the balance between simplicity and features will remain intact.
Here is a short video overview of 280Daily: