Toronto’s Penzu launches premium version of online diary

Toronto-based online diary and personal journal startup Penzu was revisted today by CNET’s Josh Lowensohn thanks to the launch of a paid professional version of its service yesterday.

Penzu is an online diary and personal journal that is focused on privacy. With a unique and compelling user experience, it makes writing online as easy and intuitive as writing on a pad of paper. Don’t believe it – hit the ‘Try It Now’ button on the homepage to try it out in seconds.

Lowensohn checked out the the stylish web word processor last year and it looks like the version 2.0 has fixed many of the gripes he had with the original version. The Penzu development team has added free features including the ability to importing Flickr photos, sharing entries via a public link (which can be Tweeted or posted to Facebook), and an improved interface for composing and managing entries.

The new paid subscription-based serivce is called Penzu Pro and provides a handful of premium features for US $19 per year. With Penzu Pro users can protect individual entries with 256-bit encryption, tag entries, edit with rich text, change the date to any date in the past, customize individual entries with backgrounds and notepad styles, export to multiple formats, or import entries from the popular Live Journal service.

With every purchase of a Pro account, Penzu will be donating a portion of profits to Room to Read – a charity that promotes literacy worldwide.

Penzu was founded by Alexander Mimran as a side project and launched online in May 2008.