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Best journal apps for iPhone and iPad in 2024

Gone are the days when we were habituated to pen/paper combo to record thoughts, mood swings, and daily happenings. Now digital journals have taken over.

While people often confuse a Journal app with a note-taking app, software designed for journaling offers more functions such as calendar view, image add-on, the ability to pin location, and more.

The App Store is filled with dedicated apps for you to jot down the days’ details conveniently. We have narrowed down our pick to the best journal apps for iPhone and iPad.

1. Day One Journa‪l

Day one journal iphone and ipad app screenshot

No surprise here. Day One comfortably tops the list with a sleek user interface and several features designed to improve your journaling experience. By default, the app takes you to the Timeline tab that showcases all the recent entries by the user. 

The media section handles all those beautiful memories in a single place. What separates Day One from rivals is small details such as haptic feedback while navigating the app. The editing options are endless. They are almost on par with a feature-rich text editor app.

There are two ways to separate entries. You can either use the tags system or opt for the Calendar view to quickly jump to a note. I like the Map integration, though. It pins notes to your current location.

As for exporting, you can easily share the thoughts as PDF using the default iOS share menu. Other features include templates, reminders, different app icons, Siri Shortcuts support, and more.

The app is free to use. However, several functions such as Video add-on, customized app icons, audio recording, cloud backup, etc., are available for paid users.

Price: Free (Premium monthly subscription starts at $3.99)


2. Journey – Diary, Journa‪l‬

Journey best App for iPhone and iPad

Journey was my go-to journal app when I was using an Android device. The company not only brought the app to the Apple platform but quickly caught up with the rivals from the App Store. 

The text editing interface blew me away. It’s easily the best part of the app for me. The app offers huge buttons to add essential details such as current mood, activity, tags, and even location while jotting down memories. Swipe right, and it’s ready to serve you with all the usual text editing functions. 

The sharing options trump Day One here. You can send the note in a zip, PDF, DOCX format and even publish it directly to WordPress. 

Other features include detailed statistics, mood charts, Calendar add-on, live location support, Face-ID security, Reminders to add an entry, and more. 

The pricing structure is a mess, though. You can either unlock premium functions from individual apps or opt for a cloud subscription.

Price: Free (Monthly subscription starts at $3.99)


3. Daylio Journa‪l

Daylio Journal iPhone and iPad app

Daylio takes a different and innovative approach compared to traditional journal apps. The app allows you to keep a private journal without having to type a single line. Yes, you read that right.

So how does it work then? Allow me to elaborate.

Open the app and tap the ‘+’ icon at the bottom. From here, instead of asking you to write long paragraphs, you can simply add your current mood.

Next, you can add a social activity, hobbies, sleep, food consumption, health, and even attach a photo. Hit save, and you have created a journal entry without typing a single word. 

Achievement is an interesting add-on. It unlocks rewards as you continue to use the app. Other features include Goals, Weekly Reports, Reminders, PIN Lock, and more. 

The app is free to use. You can unlock extra functions such as themes, templates, goals, more at a premium subscription. 

Price: Free (premium subscription starts at $2.99)


4. Diarly: Diary, Journal & Note‪s

Diarly best journal app for iPhone and iPad

If you want a simple journal app that doesn’t cost you a bomb, go ahead and give Diarly a try. It offers an impressive number of features for such a minimalistic application, and it is remarkably intuitive to use. 

The Calendar view is better than other apps. Diarly allows you to glace at three months view instead. The text editing option is feature-rich as well. You can add images, time, location and customize the text with a plethora of editing tools. 

Other features include Markdown support, dark theme support, custom reminders, map and timeline view, built-in spell and grammar checker, iCloud backup, and more. 

The subscription pricing per annum for Diarly is the lowest of the bunch. 

Price: Free (Premium subscription at $14.99 per year)


5. Diaro

Diaro journal app for iPhone and iPad

Diaro gets the job done as a basic journal app. My biggest problem with Diaro is the UI. The major options such as adding new entries, templates, and photos are at the top, which is a nightmare to use on the phone with more than 6-inch in size. 

The text editing options are sufficient, but once again, they are hidden away at the top menu. I like how it offers words and character counts at the bottom. 

Other notable functions include Face ID protection, Mood Tracker, Backup and restore, the ability to import notes from Day One and Journey, statistics, and more. 

Price: Free (Diaro Pro starts at $7.99)


Many users take a pledge to write a journal on the new year and fail spectacularly after a couple of weeks. Using a dedicated Journal app can help you achieve the goal.

Which app are you going to use? Share your opinion in the comments section below.

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  • Parth

    Parth previously worked at covering tech news. He is currently freelancing at iGeeksBlog, Guiding Tech, iPhonehacks, and TechWiser writing about apps comparisons, tutorials, software tips and tricks, and diving deep into iOS, Android, macOS, and Windows platforms.

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