Mac Productivity

The 7 Best Journal Apps for Mac to Capture Your Thoughts

Sandy Writtenhouse 08-07-2019

You might use a physical journal to jot down your experiences, or even one on your mobile device to capture your thoughts on-the-go. So as you’d imagine, you can find journal apps to use on your computer. And it’s just as convenient, if not more, to write in your journal when you already have your laptop, well, on your lap.


Whether you’re working on your Mac or just browsing the web and want to record your mood, ideas, or something inspirational, this is the list for you. These are the seven best journal apps for Mac, free of charge and in no particular order.

1. Day One

Day One journal entry and map on Mac

Day One is a popular journal app that’s available for mobile devices as well as macOS. You can add photos, videos, and audio recordings to your journal entries, which can make those words you write even more memorable.

Day One has some other standout features on Mac that you’ll enjoy:

  • Enable your location and you can see your entries for each day plotted on a map.
  • Use the calendar view to go back in time and add items or entries you missed.
  • Format your entries with quote or code blocks, lists, and headers.
  • Adjust settings for the appearance, syncing, reminders, and password-protection.
  • Filter your entries by media type, date, location, tags, activity, and more.

If you’re looking for a free journal app for Mac that comes with plenty of features for making your journaling experience that much better, you’ll want Day One. You can download the app for free and upgrade to the Premium subscription if you want multiple journals, backups, automated entries, and other useful features.


Download: Day One (Free, subscription available)

2. Diarly

Diarly journal entry and theme on Mac

For a journal with a neat and clean appearance and simple settings, take a look at Diarly. You can add locations and links to your words, as well as dragging and dropping files or photos into your entries.

Like Day One, Diarly has a few features that make it different than the others:

  • Organize your notes with hashtags or give your most memorable one a star.
  • Set a word count target and view your stats if you’re journaling to improve your writing.
  • Search for entries by keyword or filter them by stars, photos, or dates.
  • Adjust the background, font size and style, and line width and height to your preference.

Diarly is an easy-to-use journal app that gives you just the right number of features to improve your experience. It’s available for free, with a one-time in-app purchase to unlock unlimited journals, iCloud sync, password-protection, and more.

Download: Diarly (Free, premium version available)

3. Mini Diary

Mini Diary journal entry on Mac

Mini Diary has you set up a password right from the start to keep your thoughts private. The app offers a basic interface with a calendar on one side and your journal entry for the day on the other.


While it may not have the fancy features of other journal apps for Mac, it does have a few useful ones:

  • Add bold or italics to your font, or use numbered or bulleted lists for key thoughts.
  • Use the search box to find specific entries with a keyword.
  • Move forward or backward in the calendar to view entries, edit them, or add new ones.
  • Use a light or dark theme, or leave it on auto to match your Mac’s look.

If you are interested in a simple, no-nonsense journal with a distraction-free experience and no in-app purchases, then check out Mini Diary.

Download: Mini Diary (Free)

4. mJournal

mJournal diary entry and formatting on Mac


Another solid free journaling app for Mac is mJournal. This one gives you more formatting options than the others. So if having an attractive appearance and making your entries sparkle is what you like, this is the journal you want.

Here the features you’ll enjoy with mJournal:

  • Format your entries with text colors, highlighting, headers, font formats, lists, tables, and line breaks.
  • Mark your favorite entries with stars and password-protect those that are private.
  • Add tags to your entries for quick searches.
  • Adjust the app settings for default fonts and colors, set a background color, change the margins, and set automatic document locks based on timeframe.
  • Drag and drop files and images into your entries.

When just words aren’t enough and you want your journal entries to pop, then mJournal is the ideal app for you. It’s completely free with no in-app purchases.

Download: mJournal (Free)

5. Reminisce

Reminisce journal entry and mood on Mac

Reminisce is the epitome of focused journal writing. You have a clean slate each day and a minimalist interface that doesn’t interfere with your words. You can add images with drag-and-drop and export or print your entries using a custom date range.

Despite the minimalism, there’s nothing understated about the major features Reminisce offers:

  • Add a quick photo using your Mac’s camera or select one from your library.
  • Pop in emojis, add tags, assign contacts, use star ratings, include your mood, and insert your location.
  • View your entries as a list, using the calendar view, or on a map. If you like, add tags, contacts, moods, or favorites.
  • See the date, time, and location for each entry and edit, export, delete, or print with a click.
  • Adjust settings for the font style and size and enable spell-check and spell-correction in the preferences.

For extras that you don’t see in many other journal apps for Mac, Reminisce is a true winner. The app is free to try with three entries; you’ll receive unlimited entries and password-protection with a one-time in-app purchase.

Download: Reminisce (Free, premium version available)

6. Reflection

Reflection journal entres on Mac

What better way to reflect on your memories than with a journal named specifically for it? Reflection is a free journaling app for Mac that’s perfect for those who appreciate an organized interface. You have a nice timeline on the left, along with labels for jumping to certain entries. And when you write, you have the whole app screen with spots for a title and your text.

Along with the basics, Reflection has some awesome features:

  • Add labels for terrific color-coding of your entries like ideas, inspiration, or gratitude.
  • Create lists and add tasks for thoughts you want to follow up on.
  • Make and manage multiple journals so you can use one for your personal thoughts and another for work.
  • Adjust the appearance for a light or dark theme, and use either sans serif or monospace for the font.
  • Back up your entries as a ZIP file with a click.
  • View your entries by label or time, see the dates and times you create them, and move them to different journals if needed.

Reflection is a great app for detail-oriented individuals and can double as a work diary using the multiple journal, list, and task features. This journal app for Mac is totally free with all these features included.

Download: Reflection (Free)

7. My Treehole

My Treehole journal entry on Mac

My Treehole is a unique journal app that lets you capture your current mood along with the weather in your entries. Just pick an emoji and weather symbol at the top of each entry for a quick view of that day.

There isn’t a wide array of features available in My Treehole, but a few handy ones stand out:

  • Adjust the text size and alignment or add an image to your entry with the click of a button.
  • See your entries listed along the left with the mood and weather symbols.
  • Make changes to your entries by clicking the Edit button, which keeps unwanted changes from happening.

If you enjoy using My Treehole and want a couple of extras like passcode-protection, iCloud backup, and unlimited diaries, you can check out the pro version. Otherwise, just use the free version to record your daily moods and thoughts.

Download: My Treehole (Free) | My Treehold Pro ($1)

Write Right With the Best Journal Apps for Mac

Each of these free journaling apps for Mac has something a little different than the others. So hopefully, one is exactly what you’ve been looking for and will help you enjoy your journaling. If you want to explore a few more options, try these journal apps for web and mobile.

If you are interested in bullet journals, check out how to use Evernote as a bullet journal How to Use Evernote as a Bullet Journal The bullet journal is a simple productivity system that really works. Here's how to turn Evernote into a bullet journal! Read More , then take a look at places to find inspiration for that journal.

Related topics: Bullet Journal, Creativity, Mac Apps.

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