Most of you know by now the multiple ways to use JRNL to capture life’s moments. With features like email to JRNL, importing from Instagram, share extensions and replying to your reminder email, there are multiple ways to make sure you are capturing all of life’s “JRNL-worthy” moments. But what about the JRNL-worthy moments of a family member who isn’t interested in opening a JRNL account and doesn’t keep any sort of journal? How do you record and preserve those stories?

We have discovered a new way to collaborate with someone who is hesitant to create their own JRNL account. This “hack” is as simple as modifying the reply-to address for an email account and allowing them to respond to your questions through email.

Here’s how to set it up:

  1. Login to your JRNL account.
  2. Go to your Library
  3. Select Journals
  4. Create a New Journal. You can name your journal whatever you wish.
  5. Click on your name in the upper right, and select Settings
  6. Select Email to JRNL on the left navigation.
  7. You will see a unique email address for every journal in your account. Choose the journal you want to email to, and copy that email address.
  8. We understand if you don’t want to change the reply-to in your everyday email account. However, you can set up a free Gmail, Yahoo, or Hotmail account that will only be used for your family stories JRNL and modify that reply-to address. To change the reply-to address on your account, you can follow the steps here for the appropriate email platform.





From this [new] email account, email the person you wish to interview. When they reply to the email, the email subject will be the title of your journal entry.

JRNL PRO TIP – Put your question in the subject of your email. When the family member replies, you can log in and remove the “Re:” from their response.

We were so excited to come up with this workaround solution that we couldn’t want to share it with you. Let us know about other creative ways that you made JRNL work for you in the comments section below.

  • Kris Hannah – Life After Rape

    Before I read this article, I offered to create an online journal for family members to email, just as you suggested, but no one cares to participate. This is unfortunate because my grandma and her 3 daughters are the last ones in the line of grand kids and great grand kids. Our history will be lost. Memories of our parents and grandparents never written down. It breaks my heart because I wish I knew more about our family history and genealogy. My dads parents died when before I was 2, so lots of history is already gone on one side. I wish people would see how important this work is. People want to know their history and connect with family members. Some are just too lazy.

  • Kris, we understand completely. One of our goals with JRNL is to make it easier to gather those family memories before they are lost. We hope this “trick” will help you gather those memories you want to preserve.

  • Amanda

    My father-in-law recently passed away and he kept a journal on his computer until he was no longer able. He then printed the entire journal which consists of several large volumes. I’d like to know if there’s a way to enter his journal into JRNL so that instead of thick black (ugly) binders that currently contain his journal, I can convert them to the beautiful books printed by JRNL.
    One problem I may have is that while he wrote every day, he didn’t necessarily write in the order the events happened. When he started his journal, he was in his late 70’s and he started by telling the story of his life as he remembered it. which means he skipped around a lot. For example, while writing about his childhood he may have triggered a memory that occurred later in life. I’m not sure how to handle this.
    The only saving grace may be if I can access the files on his computer that he used to write his journal. Either way, this task is daunting, to say the least. He died in November 2016 at the age of 90. Any help or ideas you can provide as to how to proceed would be greatly appreciated.

  • You can definitely use JRNL to add his journal. You can create a journal just for his content if you choose. You can also back date entries. You can keep it how he wrote it, dating it as he did, or fill back to the 70s if you choose.
    If you have any specific questions on how to do this, please send us a note at and we would be happy to walk you through any steps needed.

  • Amanda

    Thank you, I’ll give that a try!

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