The days of protecting the diary by burying it in the back of the closet are over. Penzu, an online tool for creating journal entries, launched its beta in May 2008 and now has more than 500,000 registered users.
Penzu enables users to write notes on smartphones and tablets with its iOS and Android apps. The app is much like a regular tablet of paper or a Word document on the computer, but the difference is the security Penzu provides. The security feature is the main reason Alexander Mimran created the tool.
“There wasn’t a secure place to store my thoughts and ideas online,” Mimran, the president and founder said. “I keep a lot of notebooks and the frightening thought of losing one – or it getting into the wrong hands – was the impetus for starting Penzu. And also having that notebook being searchable, taggable, and lockable was really alluring. Privacy is extremely important in this age of over-sharing. There isn’t a place to fully express yourself. To list your fears, rant and scream, and just be yourself. Penzu is that special place. It’s yours and yours alone. “
He said Penzu differs in many ways from using a regular computer to store entries because whatever is written is stored in the cloud, and is secured and accessible from anywhere.
The design for the technology came naturally because he tried to make it as similar to an offline journal as possible. He said using this format – which took about 10 minutes to design – would make it easier for people to use and understand.
Mimran said dozens of teachers and schools are currently using Penzu from primary schools to the university level. He said it is the simplicity of the tool, which allows for note taking and journaling for any subject, that is most appealing to users.
Penzu is working to branch out further into the education market with its Penzu Classroom product, which allows users to manage a group of students to share entries, leave comments, and grade them.
“We’re constantly working to improve the technology behind Penzu,” Mimran said. “We do our best to keep up with our competitors, adding features and support for multiple devices. But at the moment we’re focusing on making Penzu an obvious choice for teachers and students to share and communicate.”