Knowing the benefits of journaling is one thing. A journal can help you evaluate and change your life right now, reflect on the past and treasured memories, or record your personal history for your future descendants. You know these benefits, but finding ways to keep a journal is a different matter.
Or is it? With the supercomputers we carry in our pockets or in purses, we have the power to keep a daily log of our life without the guilt. And if you’re a desktop or laptop fan, like me, you have options as well. Check out these five apps that you can use to capture and preserve your life as it happens.
Jared DeCamp is a real estate appraiser and wrote a terrific article about using the Microsoft OneNote app to keep track of daily thoughts and reflections. You can read more about his journaling how-to at Journal With OneNote. The advantage of OneNote is that you can add things you type or write by hand, video clips, audio clips, drawings, or art pieces to your journal. Can you image a journal that also allows you to through in images of brochures and ticket stubs? Jared also wrote four additional journaling tips for daily journaling.
Evernote is not a specific journaling app, much like OneNote, but it can also be used to create a journal. Mike Vardy wrote a piece called How to Start and Keep a Journal in Evernote. The post walks you through the whys of journaling and then how to set one up in Evernote.
Considered the best journaling app for Android, you can create photo entries, text entries or add special features with a quick swipe. You can also log the weather, geotags, or other media files. Journey is accessible from your mobile device or computer. You can publish your entries to a PDF file or DOCX file. The only negative I see right now is that you’ll need to tweak those files to prepare them for publishing in a book.
4. Day One
This company is a top journaling app. At RootsTech 2017, Adam Daly said it would “soon” extend to the Andriod market. In 2019, the finally released an Android Version. Hallelujah!
They offer a free version and a premium version with cloud backup, unlimited photo storage, and syncing to all of your devices. The premium price is about $3/month!!
Adam demonstrated the features you might expect a journaling app to have but adds the integration of voice to text! Now that’s kind of cool.
Additionally, DayOne will let you create multiple journals (so you can manage a diary for different kids or different ancestors, etc.) and then print those entries without you having to format it!!! Now that’s awesome. Sadly, the books are only softcover at the time of this post. (I prefer hardcovers for longevity).
This app is also available for iOS and an Android version is ‘in the works’ but has been for some time. JRNL was a finalist at the 2016 RootsTech Innovator Showdown. It continues to grow and improve as it provides the diary experience and allows you to print your entries in a hardbound book (which I love) up to 900 pages. JRNL also provides question prompts just in case your not sure what you want to write that day.
Keeping all of those blue journaling apps straight is a bit of a nightmare. Thankfully, you only need to find the right one for you and not think about it again!
Right now, my preference is a journaling app that works with Android devices and Microsoft computers. So, Journey wins. However, I want an app that allows me to quickly pull out whatever I put in the cloud. Thus, I’m anxious for Day one or JRNL to release an Android version because they have the journal to print option.
Until then, start keeping a journal. Journal about your life, your career, your favorite song lyrics and why. Journal about your children and grandchildren or advice you wish you’d known when you were younger. Or, journal about your health crisis or recoveries. The trick is to start capturing the scraps of your life for yourself and your loved ones.