Best Journaling & Diary Apps for the iPhone

Keeping a journal and collecting your thoughts and feelings in it can be a relaxing and pleasant thing to do. It can not only help you be in touch with your feelings and keep everything in perspective, but it can also be cool to look back at how you were feeling days, weeks or months ago and see what was going on in your world. Introspection is something that everyone should practice from time to time, and keeping a journal or diary can be a great way to do it.

For hundreds and hundreds of years (and even still a bit today), people kept their journals in little notebooks or on pieces of paper. But with the technology boom over the last decade or so, there has come a new (and smarter) way to keep a journal or diary. Keeping a journal or diary on your iPhone instead of on paper comes with a number of advantages including better management and organization, and the option to make an entry or reflect wherever you are. While it may lose a bit of the “charm” of a paper diary, it is much more functional and is certainly the way of the future.

In recent years, there have been a number of different diary and journaling apps released, so how do you choose which one to select and use? Well, this article will hopefully clear the air for you. This article will look at a number of the best options for keeping your journal on the iPhone and any app on this list is a good place to start.

Everyone else

Evernote is by far the most comprehensive of any of the apps on this list. The reason is because while most of these apps were made just for journaling, Evernote wears many hats. While many people may like apps with one simple use (like many of these journaling apps), others will prefer an app with a number of different functions.

In addition to being a great place to journal, the app can help you stay organized and productive by creating to-do lists, save things you find online and much more. It can sync across a number of different devices and has many different tools to share your ideas, thoughts and opinions if you so choose.

But being that this is an article on the best journal apps, let’s take a closer look at what this app can do in terms of journal entries. You can quickly and easy create new notes and these notes are completely searchable. This means you can easily keep a journal within these notes, and have it be fully searchable by keyword.

So while this isn’t solely a journal or diary, it definitely has that capability if you so choose. In fact, I would argue that journaling is one of the best things this app (which is often praised as one of the best out there) can do.

Day One is arguably among the most popular and widely used diary apps on the iPhone, so it definitely deserved a spot in this article.  The app has been around for years and has undergone a number of upgrades over the years that continue to make it better and better.

While the text journal entries on this app, Day One is about so much more. Things like photos, weather, locations, music and more can all be included in your entries, which is more than most apps can say. It is also extremely easy to incorporate them all into your journal. As a result, this app can allow for a more customized and formatted journal entry than many others on this list.

You will notice that unlike the other apps so far, this app is not free. But to pay a one-time charge of only a few dollars for one of the best looking and performing journal apps out there, is not too much to ask. If you can spare the few dollars and enjoy the stunning and creative interface of this app, give it a download, you won’t be disappointed.

Penzu might just be the most popular app on this list, as it boasts well over 1 million users. Penzu is a diary, journal and notetaking app that makes sure your personal thoughts are kept private and secure. You can lock your journal with a passcode and even encryption, and can also lock the entire app with a passcode if you want to be extra safe.

But on top of being the most secure app in this article, the article actually functions pretty well too. The user experience and app design is creative and beautiful, which continues attracting a ton of new users and those who have been using it for a while. The app also allows for syncing across many different devices. The app prides itself in making journaling fun as well.

In addition to being a cool app, Penzu also comes with a web browser version. This version can be accessed on either Mac or PC and is a similar to experience to the app. This means that no matter where you are (home or out), you can make a journal entry with ease.

It is a good sign when a journaling app can not only look beautiful, but also functions just as well. It is a great and simple to collect notes and keep a journal of things that you are thinking and feeling. The focus of the app is on the great user experience, which really shows.

Like many of these apps on this list, tags can be used to organize and categorize the journal entries you make. It also allows for the attachment of photos, which can add some flair to otherwise simple notes that simply feature text.

You can also reorder apps in whatever order you’d like, you can keep the ones that mean the most to you on top and the ones that don’t matter near the bottom. It is this customization, along with how the app looks and feels, which makes it one of the better options for you to download.

Thousands of people trust their daily journaling to Askt. While many of the apps on this allow you to write about whatever you want, whenever you want, Askt works in a different way, but is still very rewarding and helpful. Some people may have trouble knowing when to start when journaling, and this app can help in a big way.

Askt works by the app asking you one question each and every day that you get to answer. Every day you can look forward to the next thought provoking question that Askt will ask you. You can even look back at past days, months and years to see the answers you gave to these questions in the past.

This is a cool concept for an app and gives you some direction for your journal every day. It is also a very quick and painless way to be mindful every day. The app can also be locked with a passcode and your answers stored in the cloud so you never have to worry about your answers and journal being discovered, and can rest easy knowing that your answers are secure.

Roadlike is a journaling app unlike many others, as it is focused on capturing the cool moments and locations in your life. Whether you are rock climbing in Utah or swimming in the ocean in Florida, this app will help make sure that you never forget those special moments.

This app allows you to check in to every location and place you go to, so you will never be left wondering about or trying to remember what “that cool place” you stopped at was called. In advance to collecting the exact location, you will also be able to include things such as photos, videos, text and more.

The app was created to have a more simple and streamlined travel diary and it succeeds with its easy approach to journaling. The app is completely free, completely private (though you can share things publically if you so choose) and even works offline. If you are a traveler and are looking to document your travels, this is the app for you.

While it is nothing crazy or extravagant, this app is an extremely simple way to record your thoughts down and save your memories. The app is different than most as it is all about saving your favorite moments and memories, without needing to sit there and write a lengthy journal entry.

It is incredibly simple to add a new memory or moment, and it only takes a few seconds of your time to do as well. The app is also more social than others, but can also keep your memories and moments private if that’s what you prefer. With an easy click, you can decide whether to keep a memory for yourself or share it with a friend.

The app is also very good at keeping your memories organized and you can easily search them by various tags, or by date. The app is free and while it may not wow you with its design or functionality, it does its job and does it well.

This app is just a good overall diary and journaling app and it definitely deserves a spot on this list. Everyday is a personal and very private journaling app that is great for recording thoughts, store your photos in a timeline and more. There are also no pressures to share your journal either.

The app has privacy at the forefront as it uses touch ID to make sure that you and only you can access your journal. Once inside your journal, the user interface is incredibly simple to use and the app isn’t full of unnecessary things to distract you.

The app also does some cool things such as tracking how many entries you have, how many words per entry and more.  Posts can be tagged, photos can be added and edited and reminders help you build a habit when it comes to journaling. All in all, a really solid app.

As you could expect by the name of this app, this diary app is all about introspection and getting some “me time”. This is a very simple app that challenges you to think about yourself and what makes you “you”. But the app doesn’t leave you alone to do that, it gives you a number of questions to answer that can kickstart this process of introspection.

Beyond simply writing in a journal, introspection can be a very important part of relaxation and meditation, and it can make you truly know more about yourself than you ever thought possible.

You can compare your answers to your answers of the past, and you can even see how other people answered the questions you have answered, to see what they think. All in all, this app is a bit help to get you started and comfortable with the process of introspection.

This is a much different app than most on this list, but had to be included for what it aims to do. As you could probably tell, the app is basically modeled after the real life version of a moleskine journal (whcih are some of the best paper journals out there). It can give you that journal “feel”, on your phone.

The app has a number of different features that make it like a physical journal such as: your choice of paper style, inner “pocket” to store favorite images and videos and more. But with the journal being on your phone, there is the option to share, organize and customize. It also has some cool features you may not expect such as the ability to draw, various text tools and more.

While it lacks some of the features and clean/simple interface of many other apps, which can be frustrating to some, it captures the essence of a paper notebook better than any other app out there. While that may seem like a gimmick to some, there are definitely those out there who enjoy this type of thing.

This app is all about remembering what is most important in your days, and documenting it in a diary. This app helps you record these moments and lets the app piece these moments together into a daily entry. While some people want to write this down, this app gives you many more options than simply writing it.

You can snap a photo, record a video, share a location among other things. This gives you a ton of creativity when documenting your days. Long from diary writing can take a while, so this app just asks you to input the big and important parts of your day, and it does the rest for you.

The app is also very social as you can share your daily story with others, and they can do the same with you. As a result, tons of people are sharing their cool and amazing days from all over the world. You can easily share over social media, in emails or even in texts as your story will have it’s own URL which you can easily copy and paste anywhere.

This app is here for those people out there that have tried to journal in the past, but couldn’t do it. To be honest, journaling is not always easy to start and it is understandable that people struggle with it, but this app is here to help. Grid Diary has introduced a new and innovative way to journal and keep a diary.

In this app, a diary entry is made up of a number of different “grids”. Think of these grids as a template to get your mind in the mode to journal. This is a more effective way as it breaks down to entry into manageable pieces which makes it feel more natural.

When it comes to the content in the grid, you still have full control about what is included in the grid and how long your entries are. A minimal design is something that the app started with and is something they continue to find pretty important. As a result, the app is very simple and works well. There are a number of other cool features in the app such as text searchability, step counter, and more.

One thought on “Best Journaling & Diary Apps for the iPhone”

Rajeev says:
Hi…I am looking for an iPhone diary app to replace my paper based Filofax…I’d like the app to also be able to show my iCloud/iPhone calendar entries.
Lastly, is there an app which can sync automatically with iCloud

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