My current mobile journal of choice is Everyday.me, mainly because it merges my private journal entries with my social network posts, but there are several other equally useful and well-designed mobile apps that journal-keepers should know about.
As mentioned in my recent beginner’s guide to keeping a digital journal, I don’t think mobile apps should be used as standalone journals, but the features offered in the apps reviewed below are worthy of your consideration. The contents of each app can be exported to PDF or backed-up outside of your iOS device, which I think should be a required feature for any digital journal tool.
My Journals ($2.99)
iPad app My Journals merges the ability to create multiple journals or diaries, with a page layout approach that includes photos and videos, as well as text.
My Journals allows you to choose a custom theme, font style, and colors to fit the mood and purpose of your journal. It’s great tool for vacation or special event journals in which you can display visual media alongside text, and the content can be password-protected, searched, and tagged.
It’s also a huge plus that you can export your journals to PDF, and back them using iTunes. It would be even better if journals could be automatically backed up to Dropbox or iCloud.
23Snaps is a capable photo-journal, geared toward chronicling the photos and thoughts of your children as they grow up. 23Snaps works well as an iPhone app because your smartphone is probably what you most often use to take photos of your children, and then it’s a simple matter of adding images to your 23Snaps app and online account.
While 23Snaps doesn’t have PDF export, all of your uploads are stored online, on your 23Snaps account. You can order a hardcover album of your content or order prints of the photos you upload, which is how the service makes its money and the app remains free.
I’ve had Meernotes on my iPhone for a while, mainly because it has the look and feel of the classic Moleskine paper notebooks. The app allows you to create multiple journals or notepads, and it includes handwritten and type-set font styles, page turn animations, and the ability to add photos to entries. Content can also be protected from intruders with a code.
Meernote entries can be exported to Dropbox, Evernote, and iCloud. The biggest drawback to is that this rather beautiful app is not optimized for the iPad, nor is there a Mac or online version of the app. This makes it rather limited for adding entries when you do not want to use your iPhone.
Of course, the intent of the app is to maintain the look and feel a small pocket size notebook, which it does adequately.
Wonderful Days ($2.99)
Wonderful Days (not to be confused with another journaling app called My Wonderful Days) is a very stylish, elegant app that allows you to mix text with custom font styles, photos, weather, mood icons, and ratings for your journal entries.
The handwritten font styles and stamps give the app a traditional paper journal feel, but as a digital journal you get options for changing the background color and style of the “paper”, as well as adding GPS info which records your location along with your entries.
While there’s no iPad or Mac version of the app (always a drawback) you can synchronize your content with Evernote for cross-compatibility and access from other devices. Journals created with Wonderful Days can be password protected, exported to PDF, and printed via AirPrint.
Chronicle for iPad ($2.99)
Chronicle for iPad is another app designed to look like paper that has a traditional journal feel and orientation, with handwritten font styles. Photos can be added, moved, and resized on the page alongside text.
Journal entries can be exported as plain text to Google Docs, via email, backed up via iTunes sync, and exported to PDF but there’s no Dropbox or iCloud backup. The app also allows you to adjust the date of entries, search using keywords, and type in both portrait and landscape mode.
Chronicle includes a convenient scrolling sidebar of your journal entries, each with the corresponding date and first few lines of text. It would be great if there were an online or Mac version of Chronicle, but if the iPad is your main computing device, this journal app can be useful for that purpose.
Increasingly Beautiful Apps
These mobile journal apps have become more beautiful and benefitted from many design improvements over the last few years, each with useful and unique features to suit a range of uses. Let us know what you think of the above apps or whether you’ve turned to something else for your journal keeping.
Remember: Whichever app you choose, be sure to set up cloud sync, regularly backup your content or export it to a different format for safekeeping.
Have you chosen to keep a journal using your phone or tablet? Which app did you choose? Add your personal favourites and any journaling features you’d love to see in the comments, below.