Last updated: June 14, 2018
There are many different reasons that people write down the things that they think, do, or experience in a diary or journal. Some of them are trying to watch what foods they eat. Some want to meditate on their faith in a Bible journal to become better people, or to get through tough times. Some like to count their blessings and focus on the good things that they have in life. And still others try to recall their dreams and figure out what they mean.
Regardless of why they do it, people have been writing diaries on paper since the second century C.E. Now, thanks to the advent of computers and the Internet, you can create your own digital-data journal online – no paper required! You’re also usually allowed to keep your diary private, but sometimes you’re given the option to share your reflections with anyone out there on the web who cares to listen.
There are some great journal websites out there for you to make use of, so we’ve got a list of 8 of the best apps and websites for keeping a digital diary or journal. Hopefully, it will help you decide on one that’s best for you.
Based in Canada but available worldwide, Penzu is one of the best online journal sites, having been featured in technology publications such as LifeHacker, GigaOm, The Next Web, Mashable, and ReadWrite. It allows you to create whatever kind of journal you want, and doesn’t put a limit on how many pages you can have in your journal – write as much as you want, for as long as you want! You can even write in your diary on-the-go with Penzu’s free journal app, available for devices running either Google Android or Apple iOS operating systems. In our opinion, it’s one of the best journal apps out there! And you don’t need to worry about other people reading your secrets and deep thoughts, because your journal is kept private with double password protection. Penzu is free to start, but its paid features allow you to keep more than one journal at once, tag and search entries by keyword, customize how your journals look, and more!
This diary-keeping app for Apple iOS devices has received a lot of praise from technology publications such as MacWorld, The Verge, The Sweet Setup, and Mashable; it has even won a couple of awards! It has a bunch of cool features, including the ability to add pictures to your entries, automatic adding of metadata (such as date, place, time, weather, etc.), and customized reminders and prompts for writing. You can also create tags for entries and later search them by keyword, synchronize your entries across the Day One apps on all of your devices, and easily share entries to social media platforms.
Diaro is another of the most popular journal sites, and it also has a mobile app that can be used on Google Android devices or Apple iOS devices. Diaro lets you write and organize notes in various ways, and then find them later based on what words are in them, when you wrote them, where you were when you wrote them, or even custom tags that you attach to them! The paid version of Diaro removes advertisements, lets you synchronize your entries across Diaro on all of your devices, and even lets you convert your entries to “.PDF” files so you can print them out.
Made by Haha Interactive, this diary app only works on Apple iOS devices. However, what makes it one of the best diary apps is that it has some really neat personalization features. Chief among them is that, for each entry, you get to rate how you’re feeling that day on a scale of 1 to 10. You can also add photos to your entries or star significant dates, and you can search and sort your entries by mood rating, number of views, and more. The free version allows you to write up to 10 entries per month, while the full version removes this limit.
Journey is a multi-platform piece of journaling software made by 2 App Studio in Singapore. It synchronizes with several other services from Google, such as Google Drive (to secure and back up your entries) and Google Maps (to add location metadata and even Street Views !). Plus, you can set daily reminders to write, attach up to four images to each entry, export your entries as printable file types, and even import entries from certain other journal apps. However, Journey requires a Google account to work, and it costs money to use (or at least use its premium features) on some platforms.
The brainchild of a British company called “d3i,” Momento bills itself as being the “smart” private journal app. What it means by this is that you can connect it to your social network accounts – such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and more – and it will automatically add to each entry what you did on social media that day! Of course, you can always manually add your own notes to your entries, including pictures or videos of what happened, people whom you were with, places you went, and other keywords to mark the occasion. And, of course, you can sort and filter your entries based on any or all of these pieces of information! Sadly, Momento is only available for Apple iOS devices, but if you have an iPhone or iPad, then this is one digital journal app that you’ll want to look into!
LiveJournal is an online journal app has been around for quite a while, started in 1999 by Brad Fitzpatrick as a way to let himself and his friends update each other on their recent activities. In some respects, it was one of the precursors to many modern online social networks. It’s still around today, allowing you to create and customize a user profile and write journal entries. You can also connect with other people to see what they’re writing, and comment on it if you wish. You can keep your thoughts private, or allow them to be shared with your friends or anyone else.
While Evernote isn’t specifically a diary app, it can be used as one; it’s pretty popular for other purposes, too. Basically, it’s an all-in-one cross-platform note-taking application that you can use on your BlackBerry, Google Android, or Apple iOS device. You can also simply use Evernote right on its website, or on the desktop of your Windows or MacOS computer. Use it to create and organize to-do lists, checklists, quick reminders of important appointments and events – anything you need to remember, really. Plus, there are several ways that you can create notes: write them manually, snap a picture, link to a website, make a voice recording, and more!
If you want to learn more about how Evernote works, visit our Evernote course!
People keep journals and diaries for all sorts of reasons. So hopefully, one of the websites or apps that we’ve listed here – whether it’s one of our top 8 or a specialized one – will fit your needs. Whether you’re preserving fond memories, analyzing your inner psyche, or just trying to stick to a diet, journaling can be a therapeutic, stimulating, and fun exercise for you to try. Give it a go – you might be surprised by the results!