No matter who we are and the kinds of lives that we live, we all have memories, whether they’re good or bad. Regardless, these memories are always worth remembering at some point, because who knows what will happen? What if we lost all of our memories one day and can’t remember a thing? That’s why keeping a journal is so important, even if you think it’s silly, it’s one way to recall all of the great events and milestones that occurred in your life.
In days old, people kept analog journals written in pen and paper. But now we’re equipped with smartphones, and these are an even better way of keeping our memories intact since we probably have hundreds, or even thousands, of photos and videos to relive moments with.
These are the best apps for keeping a digital journal of your life as it happens.
Day One Journal is my absolute favorite way to keep a journal. This beautiful app lets you create multiple journals and color code them for easy organization. All of your journal entries can be formatted with rich text options, have photos, include activity, location, and even weather data of your location, and more. The latest update added audio recording capabilities, a new intuitive editor, a gorgeous Dark Mode, and other slick features.
Day One Journal is free to download, but you have a few limitations on the number of journals you can keep and how many photos you can upload. If you go for a Premium subscription, which starts at $3.99 a month or $34.99 a year, unlocks unlimited journals, up to 30 photos per entry, audio recording, Dark Mode, 25 percent off of printed books, and more.
Momento is similar to Day One, except it’s more about automation with your social network feeds. With Momento, you can manually create journal entries with some rich text formatting, multiple photos, tags, locations, and other bits of data that you want to remember. But the real magic lies within the ability to link up your social media accounts, which then populate each day’s entries as you go. All of your updates and posts are fetched and pulled into Momento, so it’s like a digital record of your private and online lives.
Momento is free to download and use, but you’ll be limited to three social accounts. You can add three more through in-app purchases, or subscribe to Premium to get unlimited accounts. Premium starts at $3.99 a month.
Keeping track of how you feel is just as important as remembering memories. Because some of us don’t mind keeping track of our own mental health and well-being. Moodnotes is a sleek app that helps you track your moods and the reasons behind how you feel. The colorful interface is warm and welcoming, and it’ll ask you how you’re feeling. Pick a mood that reflects how you are doing, and each one of these is represented with an emote and color. You can choose to add more details to the entry, or just leave it as is.
If you opt for more details, the app asks you why you feel the way you do. Doing this makes you think and reflect on why you’re feeling that way. For the negative moods, Moodnotes helps you identify traps that you’ve fallen into, and even give some tips on avoiding doing the same thing in the future.
Over time, Moodnotes keeps track of patterns in your moods and helps you get into the mindset of developing healthier perspectives. This app is most effective when used daily.
If you want something that’s like Day One, but is available on pretty much every platform, then Journey is for you. Journey lets you create journal entries with text, photos and video, location, activity, and more. Journey is cross-platform and accessible on all platforms because it syncs seamlessly with Google Drive, and you can import Day One entries into Journey if you want to switch.
Journey, like the other journaling apps, is free to download and use, but you’ll get the most out of the app by becoming a Premium subscriber. This starts at $3.99 a month or $29.99 per year.
Like the idea of journaling but just don’t have time? Then Daylio’s micro-journaling method may be best for your needs. Daylio simply asks you to pick your mood for the day, and then add an activity to go along with it, presumably the one that makes you feel the way you do. This counts as an entry, and optionally, you can add some notes to it if needed, just like a traditional diary. But the core focus with Daylio is fast and simple micro journaling. As you use it more, it keeps track of your mood by showing the data in simple charts and graphs, and you’ll see what your average mood is.
If you tend to be someone who has trouble getting started with writing a journal entry from scratch, then Grid Diary is a good option. It uses journaling templates of inspiring questions to answer and has them all lined up in a grid. Pick the one you want to answer for the day and then write your answer as a journal entry. It’s a good way to get some inspiration for your writing, and you can always use your answer as a lead-in to writing about your entire day.
For many, it’s just hard to write, so having journaling templates is more effective in getting the juices flowing. You can also add photos to your entries, search for specific keywords, and sync your data. Grid Diary is free to download and use, but you can upgrade to Pro ($4.99 one-time purchase or $1.99 monthly) for passcode lock, multiple export formats, multiple reminders, custom font styles, and more.
Five Minute Journal
Do you have five minutes to spare each day? If so, then grab Five Minute Journal, because that’s all you need. Five Minute Journal has writing prompts and questions that you answer quickly and easily. You can even add photos if you’d like, and there are also daily quotes to help inspire you, as well as weekly challenges. All of your entries get displayed in a beautiful timeline, where you can go back and reflect on memories with ease. There are also reminders, passcode lock, and backup/export to PDF options available.
Penzu is a journaling app that focuses on your privacy. With Penzu, you’re able to create rich text entries with photos and sync your journal to access on the web for free. All you have to do is create a free Penzu account. However, to get the most out of Penzu, you’ll need Penzu Pro, which you can get for $4.99 a month, $19.99 a year.
Penzu Pro unlocks all of the available features, such as passcode lock for your journals, unlimited journals and photos, customize journal covers, and more.
What are your favorites?
These are some of the best journaling apps we’ve come across in the App Store at the moment. Personally, I’m a huge fan of Day One and have been using it as my journal for years now.
What are your favorite apps for journaling? Or do you prefer to stick with pen and paper? Let us know in the comments!
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