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.
Top 10 Best Diary Apps Online
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.
1. Pixel Crater – Diaro
Best Traditional Journaling App for Any Device
For those looking for a traditional journaling experience, Diaro is one of the best options out there. It allows you to upload unlimited photos, syncs across all devices (for a one-time $5.99 pro upgrade), and includes robust search and indexing options.
On top of that, you can also customize themes, use the app in over 30 languages, and import entries from other popular diary apps. It has one of the lowest pro upgrade fees, and the developers are constantly publishing updates.
|Platform||iOS, Android, Amazon, Web|
|Records||Journal, photos, location|
|Best for||Traditional journalers|
|Extras||Password, reminders, tagging|
2. Relaxio – Daylio
Best Micro-Diary for Mood and Activity Tracking
Don’t have the time or energy to sit down and write a journal entry? Just record your day in two clicks with Daylio. This app asks you to record your mood and your activities for the day (which are fully customizable) along with a short optional note. That’s it!
Because it uses simple multiple choice records, this app also provides you with beautiful, detailed statistics of your month and year and can even tell you which activities correlate with which moods.
|Records||Mood, activities, notes|
|Best for||Busy people|
|Backup||Google Drive, export to CSV|
|Extras||Password, reminders, statistics|
3. Intelligent Change Inc. – Five Minute Journal
Best for Beginner Journalers
This app is a great way for beginners to ease into the habit of journaling. As its name suggests, it takes only five minutes a day to fill out the quick prompts that the app gives you.
Reviewers write that it’s easy to fit into your day and that it’s simple yet effective at encouraging positive thoughts.
|Records||Gratitude, notes, photos|
|Best for||Busy people, beginner journalers|
|Backup||Dropbox, export to PDF|
|Extras||Password, reminders, prompts, weekly challenges|
4. Two App Studio – Journey
Best for Building Motivation and Positive Thinking
This app is focused on getting you to think positive and stay motivated. It provides you with prompts to get you thinking and areas to track almost anything that you could want to track.
However, to experience the full benefits of this app, you really need to upgrade to the pro version ($3.99/month or $29.99 annually). If you don’t though, it still works as a beautiful, functional journal app.
|Platform||iOS, Android, macOS, Windows, Linux|
|Records||Journal, location, photos, mood, weather, activities|
|Best for||People looking for motivation, traditional journalers|
|Extras||Prompts, password, reminders, tagging|
5. Bloom Built – Day One
Best App for Recording Every Aspect of Your Life
For those looking to record every aspect of their lives, Day One is for you. Not only does it include the normal metrics like location and weather, but you can also include information like moon phase and step count.
Long considered one of the best journaling apps available, Day One has robust indexing and search features and more functionality than you’ll know what to do with. The premium version is $24.99 annually and is required for many features.
|Platform||iOS, Android, macOS|
|Records||Journal, photos, videos, location, weather, activities, voice memos, music playing|
|Best for||Traditional journalers, detail-oriented people|
|Backup||In-app cloud storage; export to PDF, HTML, JSON|
|Extras||Password, reminders, tagging,|
6. Sumi Interactive – Grid Diary Classic
Best for a Structured Journaling Practice
This diary app offers a unique grid feature that allows you to mix and match prompts to create each day’s entry. It comes with prompts relating to every facet of life, including health, goals, relationships, and gratitude.
This app is great for those who don’t really want to come up with their own entries but don’t mind answering questions. The pro upgrade is an easy one-time $4.99, but you really don’t need to upgrade to get most features.
|Records||Journal, notes, mood, weather, photos, steps|
|Best for||People who appreciate structure, beginning journalers|
|Backup||iCloud, Dropbox; export to Evernote, Dropbox|
Best for Those Concerned About Security
This app’s main focus is your privacy. Not only does it have a passcode lock on the app, but it’s also protected by 128-bit encryption. A pro subscription ($4.99/month or $19.99 annually) will give you 258-bit encryption and better search abilities.
It’s a fairly simple app best for those who tend to be more verbose, but their website also comes with a huge array of journal examples, prompts, suggestions, and templates to help anyone get their writing going.
|Platform||iOS, Android, Web|
|Best for||Traditional journalers, people concerned with privacy|
|Backup||In-app cloud storage|
|Extras||Password, reminders, tagging|
8. d3i – Momento
Best for People Who Use Social Media Often
If you’re the kind of person who shares their whole life on social media, Momento is the app for you. It unifies all your social media data (down to even your Uber trips) and collects it in one place to give you an easy way to keep track of your activities.
It has a powerful search function that allows you to filter by places and people, among other things. The pro version ($3.99 annually) will allow you to add a passcode lock and expand your record-keeping options.
|Records||Notes, photos, videos, social media posts, places|
|Best for||Social media lovers, busy people|
|Extras||Password, tagging, reminders|
9. 1SE – 1 Second Everyday
Best for Visuals-Focused Memory Capture
Maybe you’re more of a visual person. This app lets you to take a brief, one-second video every day and mashes them together to create a visual diary of your month, year, or any time period really. You’d be surprised how much you can capture in one second.
This app is especially good for parents of young children. Pro features ($3.99/month, $29.99 annually) allow you to take more, longer videos and give you better backup options, but the free version should be enough for most people.
|Best for||Visual people, busy people|
|Backup||In-app cloud storage, export|
Best Email-Based Diary
Dabble.me seems like somewhat of a relic in today’s fast-paced, social environment. It sends you an email asking about your day, you reply, and it sends you one of your past entries to reminisce on.
With the free version, you only get prompts one a week and can’t search through old entries, so it really makes sense to go for the pro option ($3.00/month), which also gives you features like photo attachments, web-based entries, and custom frequency.
|Best for||Occasional diarists, people without smartphones|
|Backup||In-app cloud storage|
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
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
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.
To Keep Your Memories Safe and Retrievable, Look for External Backup
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 (but really, who knows), 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
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
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.
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.
By Jacqueline Oshiro
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