Microsoft announced on its official blog today that it is releasing Journal, its AI-powered notetaking app that was previously only available as an unofficial Windows 10 app, as an official Windows 10 app in the Microsoft Store. The company first revealed Journal at its annual Build developer conference earlier this year and the app has been in testing since then. With the release of this new official Windows 10 app, Microsoft is also updating Journal to include new functionality such as ink integration and an improved design. Microsoft Releases AI-Powered Journal App

Understanding how we learn

Education is a journey, and like most journeys, it starts with understanding where you currently are. At Microsoft’s Build conference earlier in May, Terry Myerson demonstrated how their efforts towards Artificial Intelligence (AI) can help us better understand how we learn, through a new notetaking app called Journal. The purpose of Journal is to provide students with an easy way to take notes, mark up PDFs, record audio or video on top of documents and collaborate with classmates. While still in preview mode for now, there are already some pretty neat features that make it stand out from other note-taking apps

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Getting started with Journal

There are two ways to approach Microsoft’s new notetaking app. The first is to use it just like you would your old pen and paper habit. That’s about as easy as it gets for anyone familiar with Microsoft Word or similar programs. Just open up a blank page, write down what you need, and then save it when you’re done. But if that seems too simple, there are plenty of other features that can help make journaling more fun—and more effective.

Features at a glance

The killer feature of Microsoft’s latest app is undoubtedly its AI assistance. As soon as you open Journal, Cortana greets you with a helpful greeting and asks what you want to do with your journal. You can either dictate your journal entry or use one of several voice commands to dictate. Once written, it will read back what you’ve typed in order to check for mistakes and spellings, as well as suggest corrections if there were errors or omissions.

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Customizable templates

Journal lets you choose different templates to take notes based on what you want to track, including ideas, articles, interviews and meeting minutes. You can change themes and layouts, too. And it will automatically format your writing into sections like headers, bullets and lists as you type, which is super handy for taking meeting notes. I’ve been using Journal at work for a few weeks now, and I’m already hooked.

Microsoft Releases AI-Powered Journal App
Microsoft Releases AI-Powered Journal App

Back it up, save and export data

Data loss is one of those unfortunate (but totally avoidable) realities that hits businesses on a regular basis. So much so, in fact, that it’s estimated that 95% of small and medium sized business will suffer from a data loss at some point. This can be completely devastating for your business if you lose vital customer information, product data or employee details.

Take photos within the app

The Journal app is more powerful than it looks. When you snap a photo, you can use its image recognition tools to search for specific places, objects and people. The app also has text recognition software that will automatically transcribe words or phrases into English or another language. You can even mark certain sections of photos as important (for example, you might want to circle a person’s face). All these features allow you to build up your journal with rich details.

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Share files from other apps

With its most recent update, Windows 10 makes it easier to share files from any app on your computer with others. When you click share in an app—like Microsoft Edge or Apple Mail, for example—you’ll see a new icon at the bottom of your screen that you can drag and drop into any chat window on your phone or vice versa. There’s also an icon to send files by email.

Collaboration in real time

One of Journal’s most impressive features is its ability to instantly sync across devices, so it’s easy to pick up from where you left off. One person can take notes on a laptop, and another can add comments or edit with their pen, for example. It also supports audio recording; for example, if there’s a lecture you want to keep track of, simply hit record and capture your thoughts as they come to you.

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