Garage project Journal becomes Microsoft Journal – Microsoft

Big news for enthusiasts of digital ink—Journal, a Garage project, is now Microsoft Journal.

Microsoft Journal, an app for Windows, offers a delightful freeform personal notetaking experience that lets you take notes and reason through ink.

Thank you for using Journal as a Garage project. Your input has shaped it into what Microsoft Journal is today.

What makes Journal special?

Gorgeous page-based canvas designed for pen
Feel how simple it is to capture your thoughts in ink using Windows tablets, 2-in-1s, and other touch-focused, pen capable devices.

Modeless editing
Edit and create fluidly without switching tools by using AI driven gestures like scratchout and instant lasso.

Semantic smart ink
Stay organized by doing things that come naturally, like underlining headings, creating lists, or marking important items with stars. Journal’s AI recognizes and uses those gestures in a powerful faceted search—ways to filter your content by the smart ink Journal detects—so you can easily find your content.

Meeting notes
Tie your notes directly to meetings with Journal’s Microsoft 365 calendar integration so it’s easy to keep track of your conversations and decisions.

On-device artificial intelligence

The AI in Journal recognizes editing and semantic gestures quickly and seamlessly on the device. No need to be online. This makes your Journal experiences super-fast and it’s great for your privacy, too.

“We are entering an age of computer-aided reasoning, where AI accelerates the tasks that people do, and makes us all more productive. Journal shows just how powerful an experience can be when software anticipates your intentions. This is just the beginning.”

–Stevie Bathiche, Technical Fellow and leader of Microsoft’s Applied Sciences

Windows 11 design

In concert with this exciting news, you get Microsoft Journal in the Windows 11 look and feel, with all new colors and materials. This new release rolls out between April 5th and April 8th. If you want it now, get it from the Microsoft Store.

Screenshot Journal Folders on Home

Screenshot Journal page with annotations

What the Journal team learned in The Garage

Microsoft never knows the contents of your journals, but general usage data helps the team understand how Journal adds value and where to make improvements. Since Journal launched as a Microsoft Garage project last year, the Journal team learned—by looking at the data—how important it is to intentionally design interactions for digital ink experiences. They also learned that inking is much more than just writing content, it’s also about annotating content, like PDFs.

For example, the Journal team explored how you can select content without needing to switch into a selection mode, which could break your flow. Experimenting with different ways for people to select content, the team expected to identify a clear winner, but instead learned—while people have preferences—all the ways you can naturally interact with content using touch and pen are useful.

Screenshot Selection Graph with Title

The Journal team also validated their hypothesis that annotation of documents is a key scenario for people who ink. After all, in a world of paper, people scrawl notes on everything. The data shows that over half the pages created in Journal are imported from PDF.

Screenshot Page Types with Title

“Journal works for people who think in ink, because its design is focused on that tactile, intimate experience people have when they use a pen. In turn, usage data helps focus us on driving that experience forward.”

–Jacques Chamberland, Principal Program Manager of the Journal team

The future

Being a supported Microsoft app means having a plan. The Journal team listens to your feedback and has plans to address the most common requests and a backlog of new features.

“Being a supported Microsoft app means having a plan. The Journal team listens to your feedback and has plans to address the most common requests and a big backlog of new features.”

–Oz Solomon, Principal Engineering Manager of the Journal team

Try Microsoft Journal

Join us to celebrate by downloading Journal, for free, from the Microsoft Store. Journal works on both Windows 10 and Windows 11 devices.

Let the Journal team know what you think by sharing your feedback in the Windows Feedback Hub.

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