Awaken 98 is awesome. This best in class dream journal software makes recording and retrieving dreams a breeze. Dreams are easily entered into its electronic notebook. Tabs on the side of the notebook allow you to toggle between the description, record, symbol, question, reflect, interpret, and honor pages of each entry. Although the interface is easy enough to use, the two features of Awaken 98 that stand out are the ability to customize the software to your personal needs, and the ability to search through the dream journal with ease.
Awaken 98 is fully customizable. Users are able to select what pages and fields they wish to work with, or select from one of three pre set dreamwork levels: simple, standard, or in-depth dreamwork. These pre set configurations may also be modified and changed, or a new dreamwork level may be created and saved. The list of available fields to work with are numerous and include, but are not limited to: categories, background, dream description, comments, feelings, personal concerns, questions, dream record, symbols, reflections, dream interpretation, and honoring activity. Some fields are filled in with the aid of pushbuttons and preset values maintained in master lists. For example, when completing the feelings section, the user simply selects from a list of possible feelings.
The master lists are also fully customizable. For instance, you can add additional feelings that are relevant to your dreams to the master list of feelings and you can delete those feelings from the list that never, or rarely exist within your dreams. Other master lists include dream categories, personal concerns, places, symbols, and questions. By adding and deleting entries in these lists, you are able to catalogue and analyze your dreams the way you want to analyze them.
Configuring the master lists also allows the user to search all of his or her dream records by the criteria he or she has defined. After all, what good is recording dreams if they are not easily accessible. This is an extremely powerful tool in the analysis of dreams. For example, if you want to categorize your dreams by your own definition of lucidity level, you are able to do so. Not only that, but you can then search through all of your dream records for those records matching your lucidity level. Searches may be performed by date, by category, by concern, by feeling, by question, and by symbol. Multiple selections may be made within each criteria. As the search is defined, records are displayed and may be further sorted by title, date, and description.
Another powerful feature of Awaken 98 is the “Super Search.” This allows you to search for a word or a phrase within all of your dream records. The search can be further defined by what pages within each dream record to search (description, symbol, etc.) and even the fields within those pages. The results are returned telling you exactly where your phrase was found.
Awaken 98 screenshot Awaken 98 has made recording dreams a pleasure. Customizable toolbars are available, a simple word processor and thesaurus are included, and users may insert bitmaps and any other objects within their workbook. I’ve even added a movie clip to a dream record (more practical uses would be inserting electronic drawings you created of images that appeared within your dream). Each page also has a wizard function that will guide you through documenting your dream. You may also import, export, or print any of the word processing fields in the notebook pages. These include the main windows in the Record page, Question Page, Reflect page, Interpret page, and Honor page. However, other fields from the notebook cannot be imported, exported, or printed except through the standard Windows procedures of cut and paste from the clipboard.
The symbol dictionary has been well thought out. Symbols are easy to browse as they are organized alphabetically and by group. Each symbol has a name, icon, description, associated groups, and personal associations; all of which may be changed and/or displayed within the dream notebook. Symbols may also be added and deleted from the dictionary to suit your personal needs.
Although I have been recording my dreams for years and I own both a desktop and laptop computer, I have never considered using an electronic dream notebook until now. Awaken 98 gives users the flexibility to configure the dream notebook display settings and master lists of characteristics to his or her own personal taste. This high degree of flexibility ensures that you can record your dreams exactly the way you want to. In addition, the ability to retrieve dreams based on your own criteria or even a searchable word or phrase is a huge incentive for recording dreams on a PC (no more paging through stacks of dream notebooks looking for references to Miller Lite).