I made myself a new year’s resolution to look into digital journaling. Surprisingly, I have yet to do such a thing as I have clung to my old school habit of needing a physical book and pen to journal. But I decided it was time to see what all the fuss was about, because I know some people have really taken to digital journaling. In my research, I found 10 apps that I really enjoyed using for digital journaling.
As I have an iphone, the below information is related to apps that can be downloaded on iphone or ipads.
First, I found that there are two ways to keep a digital journal. You can either go through an app that’s specifically for journaling (and the app supplies the digital pages to journal on), or you can use a note-taking app that let’s you design your own (basic) journals, or import pdf files of digital journals pages purchased from someone else.
Which one is the right way to go? Well, that really depends on how much creative control you want for the way your digital journal looks, and if you want to import pdfs or not. There are some journaling apps that are very basic, while others let you really get creative with how your journal looks. Let’s start with the journal specific apps.
Journaling (Info Tracking) Apps
This is a journal specific app that allows you to customize your journaling journey, and is good for tracking certain kinds of information (like health, mood, location, ect.). You can either do simple journal entries each day, or get really detailed with photos, GEO tagging, mood recording, and even track your exercising and health habits. This app also offers a step by step journaling coach if you aren’t sure what to write about each day. The basic journaling options are free, but the GEO, health tracking, and coach requires an in app purchase. You can also sync this app with your Google Drive and across other devices.
I really love this one! It’s great for doing one or multiple journal entries a day. It has a mood tracker, so you can keep track of how you are feeling. This app offers a few journaling prompts if you would like a little help with what to write. You can also upload photos and keep track of locations. There is also a live journaling group, if you want to be part of a community. My favorite part of this app is the Spaced Out feature that has planets moving around in the background and repeating affirmations to give you a nice positive boost for the day.
This app is best used at the end of the day. It’s really great for setting goals of how you want to feel and/or accomplishments you’d like to achieve. Some of these goals are fun, productivity, relaxation, relationships, gratitude, family, growth, ect. You let the app know what you accomplished each day, and it tracks your progress. You can add a journal entry, photos, and location as well. After inputting entries for a period of time, you can go back and look at your accomplishment trends.
This is a simple app that provides a list of journaling prompts you can choose from to write on each day. You can do one to three entires a day (the third is part of the paid portion of the app). You do have an option where you can export all your entries to a PDF file, so you can always keep your journaling and move it across platforms.
This by far the best I’ve seen in allowing for flexibility and creativity in creating customized journaling pages. You can do up to three journals with three pages for free, and then there’s an in app purchase if you want to do more. If you are really into having fun creating your own journaling pages, I think it’s a worthy purchase. You can also set up reminders to journal each day, and this app has a nice selection of pre-made journals ready to go.
Most of the note-taking apps are very similar in what they offer in features and journaling capability. All of them offer the option to create basic looking journals, or you can import pdf files of digital journals you create elsewhere or you purchase from someone else. These note-taking apps also are great for free drawing with finger, digital pen, or stylus. Listed below are some of the note-taking apps I tried and recommend.
Quicknotes X––free, and offers more covers and templates for a small fee.
Notes Writer––free, and offers a one time fee for unlimited journaling, using password protection for journals, no ads, and ability to install your own fonts and templates.
Ink––as far as I know this one is free. I have not run across an upgrade. It offers basic journaling pages, and the ability to import or export files.
Notability––a one time small fee, which offers very basic note entries and the ability to import pdfs. There is a Notability shop available where you can purchase themed journals or planners as well.
Good Notes––a one time small fee, which allows basic entries and pdf imports. This app also allows for sharing journal entries with others if you like.
This was a fun research project, and while I won’t be ditching my old school pen and book journaling, I think it will be fun to add some digital journaling to my routine. I can certainly see the appeal to journaling this way, especially with some of the creative approaches some of these apps take.
Do you use a digital journal that isn’t listed above? Please feel free to share in the comments below. Also, if you want to share your digital journaling experience, I’d love to hear about it!