8 best journal apps of 2022 | Zapier (2022)

Journaling can boost your productivity and well-being in a few minutes a day. Just jot your thoughts down or record what happened during the day—it's a simple way to manage stress, enhance creativity, increase happiness, improve health, and increase work performance.

Hate every journaling app?

Build your own

The trouble is, keeping a journal isn't easy. It takes dedication to this new habit and a willingness to open up when writing on a blank page. What have you done today? Who are you, really? Journaling apps can help you figure this out and help you establish a daily writing routine.

After testing nearly two dozen options, these are the top journaling apps to record your memories this year and in years to come. Click on any app to learn more about why we chose it, or keep reading for more context on journal apps.

The best journaling apps

  • Day One for Mac and iOS users

  • Diarium for Windows users

  • Penzu for secure journaling

  • Momento for social media power users

  • Grid Diary for templated journaling

  • Five Minute Journal for journaling beginners

  • Dabble Me for journaling over email

  • Daylio for non-writers

If you don't want a completely new app, you can always use your current note-taking app as your journal. Or, do one better and build your own journal app without any code—just a quick automation.

What makes a great journal app?

How we evaluate and test apps

All of our best apps roundups are written by humans who've spent much of their careers using, testing, and writing about software. We spend dozens of hours researching and testing apps, using each app as it's intended to be used and evaluating it against the criteria we set for the category. We're never paid for placement in our articles from any app or for links to any site—we value the trust readers put in us to offer authentic evaluations of the categories and apps we review. For more details on our process, read the full rundown of how we select apps to feature on the Zapier blog.

(Video) It’s time to *actually* build a journaling habit in 2022 | Day One App Review

A paper notebook and pen are fine for journaling, but apps offer more. They give you more context on what you've accomplished and where you might want to go. They also let you include photos from your phone or posts from your social media feeds to make the journaling experience more rewarding. Add in reminders and the ability to search your journal entries, and digital journaling is almost a no-brainer.

I've been testing and writing about software professionally for over a decade. I've also journaled every day for the past three years. It's an important ritual for me, personally, and it's also where a lot of the best ideas in my writing originate. In my experience, the best apps for keeping a journal have a few things in common:

  • Easy entry: If it takes more than a couple of clicks or taps to add a journal entry, chances are you're not going to do it.

  • Pleasant interface: A minimalist, uncluttered interface helps you focus on your thoughts and makes journaling a pleasant experience.

  • Reminders: Perhaps the biggest challenge to journaling is remembering to do it. Automatic reminders help you keep up the habit.

  • Exporting: In case the app stops being developed or you want to move to a different journaling platform, you'll want to be able to export your entries in a format other programs can read, such as PDF or RTF.

  • Syncing: Syncing will make sure your journal's up to date no matter what device you're using.

  • Affordability: We eliminated some apps because of the high price. Journaling shouldn't be expensive.

Other features for a digital journal that might be important to you include password protection, Markdown support, the ability to add more than one photo, location and weather tags, and journaling prompts.

For each diary app, I started by creating a handful of new entries, complete with images. I then spent some time exploring the settings, testing the daily reminders, and ensuring that syncing and exporting worked as described.

Best journal app for Mac and iOS users

Day One (Mac, iOS, watchOS, Android)

8 best journal apps of 2022 | Zapier (1)

Since its release in 2011, Day One has been one of the most highly recommended journaling apps, landing a spot as Apple's Editors Choice in the App Store numerous times.

It's not hard to see why. The app offers a wide array of features—just about everything you might want or need in a digital journal. You can create journal entries in one click on the Mac from the menu bar, use templates to make journaling easier, and automatically add metadata, such as location, weather, motion activity, currently-playing music, and step count. There are optional prompts, if you're not sure what to write about. You can also tag entries with hashtags, insert photos and videos, password-protect your journal, and format entries in Markdown. And all of this is within an elegant, unobtrusive design. It has one main blue color plus menus and icons in gray—no gaudy toolbars in sight.

Perhaps Day One's best feature is the ability to customize multiple reminders. Most other journal apps only send you one reminder during the day. But with Day One, you can get prompted to write, say, when you start the day, at lunchtime, and then at the end of your workday to keep track of your activities and thoughts throughout the day.

(Video) 5 Best Free Journal Apps For Android of 2022 📕 ✅ Diary Apps

The free app offers pretty much all of the core journaling features, but for syncing, unlimited photos, handwritten and audio entries, and multiple journals, you'll need to subscribe to the Day One Premium service.

Day One pricing: Free version available; $2.92/month for premium features when billed annually

Best cross-platform journal app

Diarium (Windows, Android, macOS, iOS)

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Diarium offers beautiful native apps for every platform. The Windows application, in particular, is nicer than any other I could find. But there's so much more to recommend here. You can add multiple media types to your journal entries. If you'd rather speak than type, you can dictate your thoughts with accurate speech recognition. You can attach an audio file, inked drawing, or any other type of file to your entries, as well as multiple photos. Heck, you can even rate your journal entries (perhaps most useful as a way to track how happy you are each day).

Diarium works without any sign-in, or you can sync using your choice of cloud apps—OneDrive, Google Drive, Dropbox, or WebDAV. You can also export your entries to DOCX, HTML, RTF, or TXT formats—with separate files for media attachments—so you can rest assured that your data will always be accessible.

To make journaling even easier, Diarium can automatically pull in feeds from Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram; or fitness apps, including Google Fit, Fitbit, and Strava, among others. It can also pull in your calendar appointments and even the day's weather. Combine this with daily reminders and beautiful native apps for every platform, and you've got the best cross-platform journal app on the market.

Diarium pricing: Free version available on Android ($4.99 for Pro), iOS ($4.99 for Pro), and macOS ($8.99 for Pro). Windows 10 version for $19.99.

Best journal app for secure journaling

Penzu (Web, iOS, Android)

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Writing a journal entry in Penzu is much like writing a blog post in WordPress, with a WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) interface, complete with a text formatting toolbar. So why not just use Word, WordPress, or a note-taking app like Evernote? For one thing, Penzu keeps your entries together in one journal online, as opposed to several different files. Custom email reminders help you remember to record your journal entry. And Penzu can send you reminders of what you've written in the past so that you can reminisce about the good old days.

More importantly, Penzu will keep your entries 100% private. You can lock your journal with a special password (which is different from your account password), secure your content with 128-bit encryption, and choose to auto-lock your journal at all times. If you're on the Pro plan, Penzu can safeguard your entries with military-strength 256-bit encryption.

If you want to keep a journal the same way you might a personal blog but keep it private, Penzu is an excellent option. You'll need to spring for the paid Pro plan, though, to get core digital journaling features such as tagging.

Penzu pricing: Free version available; paid version from $19.99/year for advanced encryption, reminders, and PDF export.

Best journal app for social media power users

Momento (iOS)

(Video) Best Free Journaling Apps 2022 | Apps for Diary

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If you're already documenting your life online on social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Medium, you're already keeping a journal—it's just spread across the internet. Momento brings all of your shared posts and interactions from sites like these into one place, helping you keep a digital archive of your online interactions. Momento supports 11 feeds, including your Uber trip history, Spotify saved tracks, and YouTube videos. You can also create new journal entries like you would with a typical journaling app.

Momento excels at resurfacing where you've been and what you've done in the past. You can group separate entries (or "moments") into "events"—so all of the Instagram photos you were tagged in for a family reunion could live together. The app will show you what happened on a specific date in previous years, so you can see how time has flown. And preset reminders—for example, "what did you dream?" at 7:30 a.m. and "how was your day?" at 8 p.m.—make it easier to journal when you're not sure what to write.

Momento pricing: Free for up to 3 social feeds; $2.49/month for the Premium plan, $37.99/year for the Premium Gold plan, which offers unlimited feeds, hourly updates, and the ability to add multiple photos to an entry.

Best journal app for templated journaling

Grid Diary (macOS, Android, iOS)

8 best journal apps of 2022 | Zapier (5)

Grid Diary bills itself as "the simplest way to get started with keeping a diary." Instead of a blank slate, this diary app gives you a grid of boxes you can give custom headers to. The defaults are things like "Today's wins," "Heath and Fitness," and "Personal growth," though you can customize these to say whatever you want.

This gives you a detailed and bird's-eye view of what's happening in your life, one day at a time. You can review entries using the built-in calendar, or you can use the Titles view to review all entries for a particular grid. There's also support for attachments, and syncing between multiple devices if you're using the paid version. Instead of wondering what you should write about each day, use Grid Diary to write down simple responses that help you reflect on your days.

Grid Diary pricing: Free version available; paid version from $2.99/month for syncing, unlimited journals, and exporting to PDF.

Best journal app for beginners

Five Minute Journal (iOS, Android)

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If you're new to journaling, writing down your thoughts and feelings each day can feel daunting. It might also be challenging to find time to devote to it. Five Minute Journal makes journaling easy and approachable with timed prompts throughout the day. In the morning, the app asks you three questions designed to instill gratitude and set a purpose for your day. In the evening, two questions ask you to reflect on the positive things that happened and how you could improve for tomorrow.

Based on positive psychology research, Five Minute Journal helps support a gratitude habit and self-reflection, and if you pay for a subscription, you can also turn it into a free-form journal after the prompts—or add your own prompts.

(Video) Top 5 Journaling Apps with Francesco D'Alessio

Five Minute Journal pricing: Free version available; paid version for $4.99/month for customizable questions, home screen widgets, and the ability to add photos and videos to entries.

Best journal app for journaling over email

Dabble Me (Web)

8 best journal apps of 2022 | Zapier (7)

The main problem with journal apps: you have to remember to open them. Dabble Me doesn't have this problem because it works entirely over email. The paid version ($3/month) will email you once a day, reminding you it's time to journal—respond to that email, and you've journaled. The free version doesn't give you the daily prompts, but journaling is still as easy as writing an email—you can find a custom email address to send entries to in the settings.

You also can see the complete archive of your journals on the website, which also offers search, a calendar view, and even a page for reviewing and listening to any Spotify links you've included in your entires. There's also support for exporting your entries to TXT or JSON files, so you can take your entries with you should you decide to shut down your account.

One way to journal is to pretend that you're writing letters to a friend. Dabble Me is great for this because it lives where you're already writing emails.

Dabble Me pricing: Pro starts at $3/month.

Best journal app for non-writers

Daylio (iOS, Android)

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Journaling has traditionally focused on longer-form writing, but not everyone has a way with words. If you prefer to communicate in visuals, Daylio is the best journaling app for you.

A journal entry in Daylio captures your mood and activities for each day. Best of all, there is absolutely no typing (unless you really want to add supplementary notes). Pick your mood by selecting one of five smiley face icons. You can also choose icons that represent what you did that day (for example, shopping, working, sports, gaming, and reading). Both the mood options and activities can be customized. While it only takes a few seconds to complete each entry, the details add up to form a well-rounded picture of what your day was like.

Daylio also includes standard journaling features, like reminders, exporting entries, and setting goals. As a bonus, it offers a detailed dashboard that aggregates a monthly mood chart, your mood and activity counts, and average daily mood. It can also surface patterns in the Often together section, showing you how you usually feel when you do certain activities (for example, when your mood is "good," you usually read and spend time with family).

Daylio doesn't offer a traditional journaling experience, but the free plan is an impressive way to track how you feel in only a few seconds each day.

Daylio pricing: Free version available; Premium starts at $2.99/month and offers additional icons, reminders, and color themes.

This article was originally published in January 2019 by Melanie Pinola and has previously had contributions from Emily Esposito. It was most recently updated in April 2022.

(Video) The BEST Digital Bullet Journal for 2022 | The Creative Planner

FAQs

What is the best free journal? ›

Below are our top ten best journal apps for 2022:
  • Day One – Best Free Writing Journal.
  • Reflectly – Best for Beginners.
  • Bearable – Best for Symptom & Medication Tracking.
  • Daylio – Best for Quick & Easy Mood Tracking.
  • Fabulous – Best for Creating New Habits.
  • My Sensa App – Best for CBT Skill Building.
1 Sept 2022

What journaling app does Oprah use? ›

(It also reminds us that Oprah Winfrey is a lifelong fan of journaling and that she knows something about positive effects.) Jour's foundational exercises will turn you into a more consistent and thoughtful journaler. Our first taps took us to the Daily Jour.

Is there a free journaling app? ›

Daylio Journal

If you'd like to tune into what daily occurrences impact your mood, check out Daylio. Using this free journal app, you can input what activities you're doing throughout the day along with how you're feeling.

Is there an app like a diary? ›

Daylio (iOS, Android)

If you prefer to communicate in visuals, Daylio is the best journaling app for you. A journal entry in Daylio captures your mood and activities for each day. Best of all, there is absolutely no typing (unless you really want to add supplementary notes).

Which app is best to write your thoughts? ›

Reflectly is the #1 journaling app that's like your best friend. Vent your thoughts & feelings to improve your mood and practice mindfulness. Write down how you feel each day in your own mood diary.

What are the best free gratitude apps? ›

This Article Contains:
  • Presently: A Gratitude Journal.
  • Delightful – Gratitude Journal & 3 Good Things.
  • Reflectly Journal & AI Diary.
  • Grateful: A Gratitude Journal.
  • 365 Gratitude Journal – Self-Care App.
  • Keep an Eye on These New Gratitude Apps.
  • PositivePsychology.com's Gratitude Resources.
  • A Take-Home Message.
16 Jan 2021

Can journaling change my life? ›

Journaling Ingrains Your Learning

Even if you never re-read what you've written, the simple act of writing something down increases brain development and memory. Neurologically, when you listen to something, a different part of your brain is engaged than when you write it down.

Which is the best app to write diary entry? ›

Diaro is an above average diary app. You get a lot of the good stuff, including a privacy lock, various themes, support for over 30 languages, geotagging, simple navigation, and more. Those who go pro also get syncing with Dropbox, an ad-free experience, and exporting to PDF.

Is there a journal app by Google? ›

Google Keep

If you're looking for a versatile journaling app, Google Keep is worth a try. A lot of people have used this app for general note-taking. Some even use it as a digital bullet journal. The app also easily converts into a personal journal.

Does Google have a diary or journal app? ›

Google Calendar has some wonderful features to help you see what's ahead. You can use those same features to see what's happened over time. In short, turn Google Calendar into a Google "Diary".

What is the best way to journal? ›

How to journal
  1. Try to write every day. Set aside a few minutes every day to write. ...
  2. Make it easy. Keep a pen and paper handy at all times. ...
  3. Write or draw whatever feels right. Your journal doesn't need to follow any certain structure. ...
  4. Use your journal as you see fit. You don't have to share your journal with anyone.

Are online journals safe? ›

Since most digital journals sync between your devices, you can't lose them. They're totally backed up. If your phone ends up in the toilet, your thoughts are still safe. Digital journals can easily include extra information, like where you are, the weather, photos, links, and whatever else.

Where is a good place to journal? ›

The 5 Best Sites to Keep an Online Journal
  • Journey.
  • Penzu.
  • Evernote.
  • Dabble Me.
  • 750 Words.
26 Nov 2021

Which is best offline diary app? ›

Life is the best journal app for android which is your journal for life where you can keep your memories stored forever. You can use it the way you want, either as a note-taking diary, as a journal, like a to-do list organizer, as a pocket diary, or anything else.

Where can I journal online? ›

Start an Online Journal With These 6 Best Websites and Apps
  • Day One.
  • Grid Diary.
  • Penzu.
  • Five Minute Journal.
  • Daylio.
  • Dabble.me.
20 Sept 2021

Is there an online journal? ›

Penzu is an online journaling website and app with a free option and 2 paid upgrade options. The free version allows you unlimited journal entries that are kept 100 percent safe and encrypted. You can choose from several beautiful fonts and even customize your journal cover.

Is my diary app safe? ›

Reasons for choosing my diary 隆Safe and Private Diary - Always guarding you It is a Personal diary with lock. Set diary passcode and protect your private journals Support fingerprint diary lock.

How do I write a diary on my phone? ›

Want to keep a diary on your phone, but want to be sure that it's private? You can safely lock all these Android diary apps.
...
Here are the best private diary apps for Android.
  1. My Diary. 3 Images. ...
  2. Diary with lock. 3 Images. ...
  3. DailyLife. 3 Images. ...
  4. Daylio. 3 Images. ...
  5. Life. ...
  6. Diary from Ascendik Niš ...
  7. My Dark Diary. ...
  8. Daybook.
3 Jul 2021

Is Penzu a safe site? ›

Privacy is our #1 Concern

Penzu keeps your journals safe with double password protection and military strength encryption so you can rest easy knowing that your entries are secure in the Penzu Vault.

How can I read journal articles for free? ›

Google Scholar can be the best place to start when looking for an article, as it automatically provides links to many Open Access articles, institutional and subject repositories, preprint servers and academic social networks, as you can see in the example on this page.

Are online journals safe? ›

Since most digital journals sync between your devices, you can't lose them. They're totally backed up. If your phone ends up in the toilet, your thoughts are still safe. Digital journals can easily include extra information, like where you are, the weather, photos, links, and whatever else.

What are the best daily journals? ›

Best overall journal
  • The Bullet Journal Method. ...
  • Leuchtturm1917 Bullet Journal Notebook Medium (A5) ...
  • Moleskine Classic Notebook (Medium) ...
  • Papier Tigre Notebook A5 Mixed Module. ...
  • Newestor Refillable Leather Traveller's Notebook. ...
  • Papier Stacked Shapes Daily Planner. ...
  • MiGoals Weekly A5 Notes Diary.
11 Jan 2022

Where can I journal online? ›

Start an Online Journal With These 6 Best Websites and Apps
  • Day One.
  • Grid Diary.
  • Penzu.
  • Five Minute Journal.
  • Daylio.
  • Dabble.me.
20 Sept 2021

Does Google have a diary app? ›

Google Calendar has some wonderful features to help you see what's ahead. You can use those same features to see what's happened over time. In short, turn Google Calendar into a Google "Diary".

Is there an online journal? ›

Penzu is an online journaling website and app with a free option and 2 paid upgrade options. The free version allows you unlimited journal entries that are kept 100 percent safe and encrypted. You can choose from several beautiful fonts and even customize your journal cover.

Is Sci hub illegal? ›

Sci-Hub (SciHub) is a searchable database of articles and papers that have been made illegally available. Content that is available through this platform is infringing the copyright of many scholarly publishers.

Where can I download journals for free? ›

The Top 21 Free Online Journal and Research Databases
  • CORE.
  • ScienceOpen.
  • Directory of Open Access Journals.
  • Education Resources Information Center.
  • arXiv e-Print Archive.
  • Social Science Research Network.
  • Public Library of Science.
  • OpenDOAR.

How can I read journals fast? ›

How to read a scientific paper quickly & efficiently
  1. Skim the abstract. Skimming the abstract first will allow you to get somewhat familiar with the topic at hand. ...
  2. Read the conclusion. ...
  3. After the conclusion, read the results. ...
  4. Read the methods section. ...
  5. Start this process over again with a different paper.
14 Sept 2017

What is the best way to journal? ›

How to journal
  1. Try to write every day. Set aside a few minutes every day to write. ...
  2. Make it easy. Keep a pen and paper handy at all times. ...
  3. Write or draw whatever feels right. Your journal doesn't need to follow any certain structure. ...
  4. Use your journal as you see fit. You don't have to share your journal with anyone.

Where is a good place to journal? ›

The 5 Best Sites to Keep an Online Journal
  • Journey.
  • Penzu.
  • Evernote.
  • Dabble Me.
  • 750 Words.
26 Nov 2021

Is it better to write or type journal? ›

Many studies suggest that there are brain-friendly benefits of writing out letters, notes, essays, or journal entries by hand that you can't get from typing. Writing by hand connects you with the words and allows your brain to focus on them, understand them and learn from them.

Which journal is best for beginners? ›

While many standard notebooks will get the job done, here are some excellent options to consider for journal notebooks.
  • Moleskine Classic Hardcover Notebook.
  • Leather Journal Travel Diary.
  • Tree of Life Refillable Writing Journal.

What kind of journal should I use? ›

Although any notebook can suffice, purpose-built journals are even more useful. Specialized journals provide structure, prompts, and/or guidance to help with this process. They also provide templates, writing prompts and places to write. Some people find the blank pages of a book stokes their creative ideas.

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