The Journal digital note-taking app has made the transition from being an experimental project housed within Microsoft’s internal incubator, Microsoft Garage, to being a full-fledged Microsoft Windows application a little more than a year after its original release. The company said this week that the new note-taking app will now be known as “Microsoft Journal,” and that users will be able to capture their ideas and draw pictures with their digital pen on Windows tablets, 2-in-1s, and other pen-capable devices.
With Journal, the original concept was to provide users with an alternative to picking up a pen and paper when inspiration struck, while still allowing them to express themselves through writing. At the time, the firm said that the notion was known to them because they had originally introduced an ink-focused application called Journal on their Tablet PC in 2002 and had continued to offer “ink” capabilities across products like Whiteboard, OneNote, PowerPoint, and others.
Journal, on the other hand, intended to take the notion a step further by integrating digital ink input with artificial intelligence capabilities.
The company trained the program’s artificial intelligence to automatically recognise and categorise the things users type, such as headings, highlighted items, keywords, and even drawings, and then released the app. Users can tap on a prompt that appears on the side of the page for some of the illustrations and headlines to pick the information and then perform other actions such as “move” or “copy.”
The artificial intelligence also assisted in improving the app’s search capabilities, allowing you to retrieve past notes, lists, sketches, and other content based on the AI’s knowledge of your inked notes and content. In addition, artificial intelligence assisted in the development of additional gestures such as scratch out and instant lasso — tools that could be switched between more easily and without the need to switch modes.