How to Create Windows Journal Templates & Send Journals via Email

In this tutorial, we'll cover some more advanced topics about Windows Journal, like making your own templates, sending your notes as emails and how to view them. The instructions being shared apply to both Windows 7 and Windows 8, so don't hesitate to read this guide indifferent of the Windows version you are using.

How to Make your Own Windows Journal Templates

In the first tutorial, you learned how to make the pages and writing look the way you want them to. Once you have the page set up to your liking, you can save it as a template and re-use it whenever you want.

Click or tap the File menu and choose Save. Oddly, in this case, Windows Journal doesn't act like other Windows products, where Save As on the File menu gives you the choice of document type.

You'll see a Save As dialog box. Choose the folder you want to save your template in, and then select "Windows Journal Template (.jtp)" from the "Save as type" list. In the File name box, enter a name for your template and then tap Save.

From then on, when you want to use that template, tap "File -> New Note from Template -> [your template name]".

How to Send your Journals via Email

You don't need to keep your Windows Journal creations to yourself. You can send them as emails directly from Windows Journal, ether as a graphic attachment, or as converted text.

Make sure you have a default email program set up. If you haven't done that yet, please go check out our complete instructions for setting defaults: How to Set Your Default Programs in Windows 7 and Windows 8. Windows Journal can't send an email if it doesn't find an email program to send with.

Also, be sure your recipient can read Windows Journal documents if you plan to send them in Journal format. This format is proprietary and no other program will import it. Microsoft supplies a Journal viewer here: Microsoft Windows Journal Viewer 1.5. Be aware, though, that this is an older program and it wasn't originally designed to be used on versions of Windows newer than XP. Also, there is no viewer for non-Microsoft operating systems.

To send a Windows Journal note as an email attachment in graphics format, open the note you want to send and then tap the File menu and choose "Send to Mail Recipient".

You'll be asked what type of file you want to attach. The choices are Journal note, Web page, or "Black and white.tif image". Windows Journal explains what happens with each choice. If you know your recipient is using Windows 7 Home Premium or above, Windows 8, or Windows 8.1, they will have Windows Journal as well, even if they don't have a tablet computer or pen-and-tablet input device, and will be able to open your file. If you're not sure, Web page would be a better option, because every computer comes with a browser of some kind. Despite what the box says, Internet Explorer is not required to open those images, but they might display slightly differently in other browsers. The recipient will only be able to read your file, not edit it.

Now, perhaps those choices won't work for your recipient, or you don't want to send a graphic file, since they tend to be much larger than text. Windows Journal lets you send your note as text in an email.

To send the email as text, remember how we converted handwriting to text in our first tutorial: click or tap the Selection Tool, drag a text box around the text you want to send, then click or tap the Actions menu and then "Convert Selection to Email". You'll have a chance to correct mistakes.

Once you're satisfied, click or tap Convert and your email will open with the text in a new message ready to be sent.

Something new in Windows 8 and Windows 8.1

Since Windows 8 and 8.1 were designed with tablet and touchscreen computers in mind, and the Surface tablets come with a pen, Microsoft recognized that people might find those devices very useful for taking handwritten notes in class, meetings, and so forth. Although your handwriting isn't immediately converted to text on the screen as it is in the Tablet Input Panel, Windows Journal does do handwriting recognition in the background, and it creates an index of your notes. If you want to find a specific note later, use the Charms bar's Search Files feature and type in a significant word. It will find your note and you can then tap it to display it in Windows Journal on the screen.

Windows Journal: Write, Draw, Communicate and More

Windows Journal is a versatile tool for people who have tablet or touchscreen computers, or a pen and tablet input device. It's got features that can be used by almost anyone, even with a mouse or trackball, and when you get right down to it, it's even fun. Who hasn't wanted to scribble on a document, or highlight important parts? And then all those marks can be instantly erased, leaving no trace behind. You can actually write emails instead of typing them, and create your own little artistic masterpieces. I definitely like the Windows Journal even though Microsoft hasn't given much attention to it in recent years.