As the developer behind eJournal, a digital notebook app, Alan Cruz has the pleasure – and the work – of demoing the app for audiences around the world. eJournal has a range of features that makes it the perfect tool for students, writers, professionals, and anyone who takes, views or shares notes of information in their daily lives.
With 70,000 downloads this year, eJournal is growing despite facing fierce competition from bigger, more well-known applications in the category. And the app has been getting noticed: eJournal was selected among thousands of startups around the world for a special exhibition during the TechCrunch Crunchies Awards Show in San Francisco, Calif., this past February.
Lenovo partnered with Cruz and demonstrated eJournal on a Lenovo YOGA Home All-in-One PC. “The Horizon was great and got a real reaction from people,” says Cruz.
We caught up with Cruz at eJournal’s headquarters in São Paulo Brazil, and he shared his experience at the Crunchies Awards, working with the YOGA Home, and his plans for eJournal.
More Than just an App
According to Cruz, eJournal is not an ordinary note-taking application, but rather a robust platform that helps users get things done. The multi-language app can record video and audio, make notes shareable on social media or offline. Users can also add PDFs, images, and links to notes in eJournal.
Crushing it at the Crunchies
Cruz and eJournal made quite an impression at the Crunchies Awards in February, which recognizes the most compelling startups and innovations. The eJournal app was selected as one of the "Most Interesting, Creative and Successful Exhibitors” at Tech Crunch Disrupt’s famous Startup Alley. Startup Alley allows early-stage companies to showcase their talent and technology to attendees, investors and members of the press. At the exhibition, Cruz demonstrated eJournal on the Lenovo Horizon. The stunning visuals of the app on the large screen attracted a crowd around his exhibition table.
“The problem I have in showing it is that everyone thinks it’s just an application," Cruz said. "I am trying to build a platform to provide a service. It’s hard to do that when you just have a tablet. With the YOGA Home, I was able to show people that it was not just an app, it’s a much bigger platform that you can use in any sort of environment.”
What’s Next for eJournal
Cruz admits one of his challenges was in marketing eJournal. “As a small app, you’re competing with big people,” he said. “And even though you may have a better app, it’s hard for you to get attention to get millions of users.”
Surprisingly, his biggest obstacle was gaining exposure in Brazil. After analyzing other markets, he pivoted his strategy and focused on breaking into the United States. It worked.
“Now I’m getting more press and getting approached by investors,” he said. “I have good relationships with businesses in the US, and usually, it’s harder in the United States than in Brazil. But if I can compete with the bigger players [in this market], it means I can compete with anybody.”
Cruz is continuing to push eJournal in the US and is working on an update for eJournal that will support Windows 10. He is looking to expand eJournal’s pen support and test the app on multimode devices such as the Lenovo YOGA 900 or the Lenovo Miix 700. Learn more about eJournal and visit the Windows store to download and use eJournal for free.
Are you interested in building your app for success? Consider joining the Lenovo Developer Program! Register here for free to receive valuable developer resources and exclusive SDKs for your app.