Posted on Oct 27, 2011 | 9 comments

Looking for the best journal app for you? Try our free journal recommendation tool!

There is no doubt that iPhone developers have conjured up some incredible journals. Some look gorgeous, others are packed with features and some have both looks and brains. This is my ranking of the best journals and diaries available for the platform.

Note that clicking on the icon will take you to the full Easy Journaling review but if you want to go straight to iTunes to download the app, click on the black Available in the App Store button.

Wonderful Days – $2.99

Beautiful interface, tons of themes, in-line picture placement, Evernote backup and PDF export will make any journal app desirable. When you include the day rating, geotagged entries, search function, multiple fonts and customizable home screen, this app suddenly becomes the best available for the popular smartphone. Surprisingly, Wonderful Days is only a few months old and the developers have already added some evolutionary updates.

In addition to the standard review, I also wrote a road test review on using it for nearly a month.

Day One – $1.99

This is the app that Apple would have developed if they were in the personal journal market. Minimalistic and modern, Day One keeps a clean, consistent theme throughout. Additionally, you can backup your entries in the ‘cloud’ with the popular Dropbox. Spanning more than smartphones, Day One also syncs with its iPad and Mac versions by the same name.

Unfortunately, it is currently impossible to upload pictures into your entries, but developers promise that feature will be included soon.

Have a lot of memories on your iPhone? Back up all of your picture and text messages for $19.99!!

My Daily Journal – $1.99

Also new to the scene, My Daily Journal has exploded in popularity and has been given hundreds of positive ratings in the app store as well. MDJ excels in customization with several beautiful backgrounds and dozens of great fonts. It is also compatible with Dropbox backup and includes one of my favorite features, PDF export.

I’m not crazy about the fact that the app opens up to the last entry, but that is a minor annoyance.

Momento – $2.99

This one has been a mainstay among the top iPhone journals for quite some time. Not only does it have most of the features that make a journal great, Momento also includes unique social media integration that will include status updates from popular sites like Facebook and Twitter, right into your entries. There are several different ways to tag entries and days can be rated.

Don’t expect much customization from Momento though and an iPad version would be nice.

Windbell Diary – $1.99

I’ll be honest, when I started trying out Windbell Diary, I didn’t have high hopes. Of course, you can’t judge a book by its cover and this quirky diary mixes features you need with some you didn’t know existed (like a… flower growing sort of game). Fonts are aplenty, emoticons and weather icons are included and the ‘cloud’ is supported via Google Docs backup. Not sure if you want Windbell? Try out the free version first!

The theme is a little clunky and basics such as a search function aren’t included. The splash screen also gets in the way too frequently.

 

 

Everyday Timeline

 

 

Everyday Timeline This list is supposed to be the best PAID iPhone journals but I have to include one free one because it is actually the best iPhone journal I have ever used- free or paid. Everyday Timeline blasted onto the scene just a few months ago and was featured on sites such as the New York Times and TechCrunch and includes out-of-the-box features such as social media integration and a browser version of your journal. You can read what I had to say about it or just just try it out and see for yourself.

Did I miss one?

  • Anne

    Seems that there should be a distinction: some of the apps are better for journaling as in keeping a personal diary/writings (iJournal, my Daily Journal, Day One), and others are better for journaling as in creating a trip diary or topic commentary(blog) with images, sharing, geo locations etc (Momento, Wonderful Days).

    • http://www.easyjournaling.com Sam

       I think what you are referring to, Anne, is the difference between keeping a journal and keeping a daily log. The hard part as far as categorizing goes is that while the purpose and end destination is different, there is almost no difference in functionality between a journal and a log.

      I will keep this in mind as I make these lists and recommendations. Thanks!

  • Randall Harris

    I have been using Momento more and more lately, and I find that I really like the look and feel of it, as well as the ease of use and the social integration.  There’s only one thing that bugs me about it: the HIGHLY clunky backup method (via iTunes).  Hopefully they will figure out how to incorporate cloud backup very soon!

    • http://www.easyjournaling.com Sam

       There is a reason Momento has been so popular for so long :) I agree, though, backup via Dropbox, Evernote or Google Docs would bump it up a notch.

  • http://twitter.com/bbaltimorebrown bbaltimorebrown

    Roller Journal should be considered. It asks you questions to cause you to consider things. These can be customized in addition to question packs that can be purchased. They iPhonr and iPad versions but they currently will not synch. They are working on that, though.

    Day One and Momento are my favorites. Day One just released an amazing update allowing a picture and more.

  • Simon

    Hi, great site full of good information. I’m the tech guy in our family and have to find a solution to my wifes iPhone 4 storage being filled by diary entries (with pics). She is using Secret Diary and wants to move onto something else. She adds an entry every night usually with a photo. A few years worth now.

    My question is. Is there a journal app which stores everything in the cloud rather than on the device? I dont mean backup either, i mean everything. I see Evernote seems to do that, but she may get lost amongst all its features. Do any of these or other apps have the ability to store all entries in the cloud? I’ve considered a blog type solution like Posterous but were not too keen on the interface.

    Any help apprecieated

    Regards Simon

    • http://www.easyjournaling.com Sam

      Try Penzu.com or LDSJournal.com. They are both browser based so automatically in the cloud. They both also have mobile options if you are looking for that. I’ve journaled with both on my iPhone.

  • Verlyn

    Sadly, Everyday.Me is not stable.  Simple to use but also simple for the screen to go blank for days…

    • Yu-Kuan

      Hi Verlyn, really sorry to hear about your troubles! That should definitely not be happening. I’m Yu-Kuan, one of everyday.me’s founders, can you email me at help@everyday:twitter 
      .me (I look at them all personally) with some details – your app version, iOS ver, hardware and we’ll be sure to follow up. We’re definitely committed to creating a great experience for you!