• Top 10 Best Diary Apps in 2021 (1SE, Penzu, and More) 1
  • Top 10 Best Diary Apps in 2021 (1SE, Penzu, and More) 2
  • Top 10 Best Diary Apps in 2021 (1SE, Penzu, and More) 3
  • Top 10 Best Diary Apps in 2021 (1SE, Penzu, and More) 4
  • Top 10 Best Diary Apps in 2021 (1SE, Penzu, and More) 5

Top 10 Best Diary Apps in 2021 (1SE, Penzu, and More)

Sometimes it feels like there’s so much going on that it can be hard to remember it all. That’s why we’ve decided to find the best diary apps available online. After poring over reviews and descriptions, we’ve figured out that the best diary apps work on the platforms you’re most comfortable using, record the information you want to save, have external backup, and include features that make it easier to keep on journaling.

Whether you’re too busy to write, a diary traditionalist, or a more visual-focused person, the best apps looks different for everyone. Keeping these things in mind, we handpicked our favorite diary apps available online, including our number one pick, Diaro.

This article's specialists

Ciara Harris
  • Last updated: 01-07-2021
Table of Contents

Top 10 Best Diary Apps

While some apps may seem to have all the bells and whistles, if you’re someone who needs drums and trumpets, you’re not going to use those apps. The best app is one that you’ll actually use, so keep your own lifestyle and preferences in mind.
PlatformiOS, Android, Amazon, Web
RecordsJournal, photos, location
Best forTraditional journalers
ExtrasPassword, reminders, tagging
PlatformiOS, Android
RecordsMood, activities, notes
Best forBusy people
BackupGoogle Drive, export to CSV
ExtrasPassword, reminders, statistics
PlatformiOS, Android
RecordsGratitude, notes, photos
Best forBusy people, beginner journalers
BackupDropbox, export to PDF
ExtrasPassword, reminders, prompts, weekly challenges
PlatformiOS, Android, macOS, Windows, Linux
RecordsJournal, location, photos, mood, weather, activities
Best forPeople looking for motivation, traditional journalers
BackupGoogle Drive
ExtrasPrompts, password, reminders, tagging
PlatformiOS, Android, macOS
RecordsJournal, photos, videos, location, weather, activities, voice memos, music playing
Best forTraditional journalers, detail-oriented people
BackupIn-app cloud storage; export to PDF, HTML, JSON
ExtrasPassword, reminders, tagging,

Sumi InteractiveGrid Diary Classic


RecordsJournal, notes, mood, weather, photos, steps
Best forPeople who appreciate structure, beginning journalers
BackupiCloud, Dropbox; export to Evernote, Dropbox
PlatformiOS, Android, Web
RecordsJournal, photos
Best forTraditional journalers, people concerned with privacy
BackupIn-app cloud storage
ExtrasPassword, reminders, tagging
RecordsNotes, photos, videos, social media posts, places
Best forSocial media lovers, busy people
ExtrasPassword, tagging, reminders
PlatformiOS, Android
RecordsVideos, photos
Best forVisual people, busy people
BackupIn-app cloud storage, export

Dabble.MePrivate Journal


RecordsJournal, photos
Best forOccasional diarists, people without smartphones
BackupIn-app cloud storage

Compare the Best Diary Apps

Pixel Crater Diaro 1

Pixel Crater

Relaxio Daylio 1


Intelligent Change Inc. Five Minute Journal 1

Intelligent Change Inc.

Two App Studio Journey 1

Two App Studio

Bloom Built Day One 1

Bloom Built

Sumi Interactive Grid Diary Classic 1

Sumi Interactive

Penzu Journal 1


d3i Momento 1


1SE 1 Second Everyday 1


Dabble.Me Private Journal 1





Five Minute Journal


Day One

Grid Diary Classic



1 Second Everyday

Private Journal


Experience Traditional Journaling Through an App

Track Your Mood and Activities Through a Micro-Diary

Makes It Easy for Beginner Journalers to Ease Into Writing

Builds Motivation and Positive Thinking

Record Every Aspect of Your Life

Best for a Structured Journaling Practice

Provides Extra Protection for Your Journal Entries

Integrate Your Social Media Feeds Into Your Journal Entries

Capture Your Memories Through One Second Videos

An Email-Based Diary That You Won't Forget to Write In

PlatformiOS, Android, Amazon, WebiOS, AndroidiOS, AndroidiOS, Android, macOS, Windows, LinuxiOS, Android, macOSiOSiOS, Android, WebiOSiOS, AndroidEmail
RecordsJournal, photos, locationMood, activities, notesGratitude, notes, photosJournal, location, photos, mood, weather, activitiesJournal, photos, videos, location, weather, activities, voice memos, music playingJournal, notes, mood, weather, photos, stepsJournal, photosNotes, photos, videos, social media posts, placesVideos, photosJournal, photos
Best forTraditional journalersBusy peopleBusy people, beginner journalersPeople looking for motivation, traditional journalersTraditional journalers, detail-oriented peoplePeople who appreciate structure, beginning journalersTraditional journalers, people concerned with privacySocial media lovers, busy peopleVisual people, busy peopleOccasional diarists, people without smartphones
BackupDropboxGoogle Drive, export to CSVDropbox, export to PDFGoogle DriveIn-app cloud storage; export to PDF, HTML, JSONiCloud, Dropbox; export to Evernote, DropboxIn-app cloud storageiCloudIn-app cloud storage, exportIn-app cloud storage
ExtrasPassword, reminders, taggingPassword, reminders, statisticsPassword, reminders, prompts, weekly challengesPrompts, password, reminders, taggingPassword, reminders, tagging,RemindersPassword, reminders, taggingPassword, tagging, remindersRemindersReminders

How to Choose a Diary App – Buying Guide

Finding the right diary app is more about figuring out what you need. Once you find your focus, it’ll be much easier to make a choice.

Pick a Platform (or Two) That Works Best for You

Pick a Platform (or Two) That Works Best for You
Diary apps are available across all platforms–you just need to figure out which one you’ll actually use. Mobile apps are always at your fingertips, which makes it easy to capture moments on the go or in your spare time.
On the other hand, a web- or desktop-based app will allow you to write more efficiently and are better for those who tend to be more verbose. Luckily, a lot of apps are available across platforms so that you can easily switch off between your phone, tablet, and computer whenever you want.

Decide What Information You Want to Capture and How Much Effort You Want to Put In

Decide What Information You Want to Capture and How Much Effort You Want to Put In
The point of a diary app is to help you to record and remember your day, but that doesn’t necessarily mean writing out paragraphs about what you did.
Many apps will have dedicated spaces to record other information like your mood, photos, videos, or even health measurements. Some apps don’t even give you a space to write and instead focus on multiple choice buttons or automatic record-keeping.
So whether you have the time and discipline to keep a detailed journal or just want a way to remember what you ate on a certain day, find an app that’s suited to your time, energy, and recall needs.

Look for External Backup to Keep Your Memories Safe and Retrievable

Look for External Backup to Keep Your Memories Safe and Retrievable
All it takes is one little accident for you to lose your device–and all its data–forever. So if you’re looking to keep your memories safe to look back on years from now, it’s important to ensure that your data is backed up outside of your device.
Some apps will save your information on their own servers, which is probably good enough. But if that app ever goes out of business, you may have a hard time retrieving it.
For something a little more permanent, look for an app that will allow you to backup to a third-party cloud storage service like Google Drive or iCloud. If you’re really fastidious, you can even look for an app that lets you export your data so that you can keep it safe on your own hard drive.

Consider Helpful Extras like Prompts, Notifications, and Passwords

Consider Helpful Extras like Prompts, Notifications, and Passwords
Keeping a diary can be tricky if you’re just getting into it. Maybe you don’t know what to write about, or maybe you’re just forgetful. But don’t worry, there are a ton of features that help anyone stick to a good journaling routine.
For example, if you can’t think of anything to write, look for an app that provides you with prompts to get your thoughts moving. If you’re worried about prying eyes, look for an app with password protection. If you think you’re going to forget to even look at the app, look for an app that will give you a notification to journal at a set time each day.
If you’re someone that wants to take easy trips down memory lane, look for a journal with a robust search or indexing feature (such as hashtags or categories). You really have no excuses not to journal!

Why Keeping a Diary is Good for You

Why Keeping a Diary is Good for You
You’ve probably heard that keeping a diary is good for you, but why is that exactly? Well, for one thing, it not only helps you remember what you did on a certain day but, if you manage to write things down as you think of them, it can also help your brain form new pathways and improve memory.
Keeping a diary can also help you set and achieve goals, either by journaling your ambitions or by keeping records of progress. If you keep a written diary, it can improve your writing skills and creativity and relieve stress.
But one of the best things about keeping a diary–written or recorded in some other form–is that it improves your self-awareness. By forcing you to actively recall what you did, how you felt, or why you thought something, keeping a diary can help you understand yourself better and put you on a path to self-improvement.

Looking for More Helpful Apps?

Looking for More Helpful Apps?

There are many apps that have been developed for your smartphone or iPad - many of which are very convenient and helpful for getting through daily life. Some are also great at nurturing hobbies. If you need help picking one out, take a look at some of our other articles!


Keeping a diary doesn’t have to be a chore, and in fact, the right app can even make it fun.
If you’re new to diaries and journaling, always take advantage of free versions and trials before going all-in on a paid subscription, in case that format doesn’t work for you. If the less-featured version doesn’t work for you, chances are the one with more won’t either, and you’ll want to try a different style.
Author: Jacqueline Oshiro

Traditional Journals Recommended by an Expert

Diary apps are a great way to save on storage space, as everything saves in a portable device. But sometimes, traditional can feel better. If you're looking for a stylish notebook to start writing in, check out this one recommended by singer and actor Ciara Harris.


AnthropologieBraided Suede Journal


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