Posted on May 7, 2012 | 11 comments

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If you would rather have your journal on your desktop or laptop instead of smartphone, tablet or browser, there are some amazing options these days. If Mac is your flavor of choice, you now have the ability to browse through (relatively) new Mac App Store and find the journal that looks best for you. Better yet, I’ve browsed through it for you and narrowed them down to the best 5 Mac journals and diaries that your money can buy.

As you read these summaries and research more details in the actual App Store, remember these important features you need to look for in an eJournal that you can settle down with: password lock, picture insert, Dropbox or other cloud integration. There are more, obviously, but these are essential features that I wouldn’t go without.

1. Day One- $9.99

Featured at Easy Journaling several times, Day One is the premier choice for many avid eJournalers. Not only is the powerful Mac version able to do many things including Dropbox and iCloud backup, calendar view and export, but there are equally beautiful iPhone and iPad apps that sync with it.


2. MiJournal- $13.99


While not as aesthetically pleasing as Day One, MiJournal includes a bunch of intuitive features such as drag and drop pictures and videos, picture resize and instantaneous search. Also included is Dropbox integration (or the ability to store your journal anywhere you would like), password and encryption protection and unlimited entries.

3. Diary – The most simple and elegant way to keep a journal.- $5.99


This simple diary boasts the simple and elegant way that it treats your entries with an emphasis on photo storage and display. You can view your pictures or videos in quick view or fullscreen and add as many as you want. You can also record videos directly from an entry with your webcam. You can import from Word documents and export your entries as well. Dropbox and iDisk backup is supported.

4. Mémoires- $14.99


This journal doesn’t have the looks of Diary or Day One but it packs in some exclusive features you won’t find anywhere else. These include export to PDF, quick drawings and doodles right in your entries and diary printing. I don’t think Dropbox or Evernote backup is included, but Time Machine is which works with the autosave feature. Memoires also allows you to add pictures, fixes your grammar and spelling and encrypts your data. Oh, and this handy journal also had a shootout recently on Easy Journaling by a satisfied customer.

5. iReminisce- $5.99


If you like your journals or diaries to have the look of a clean planner, iReminisce is probably the best option for you. The dashboard is setup so that you can write your entry and still see the calendar and entry view as well as your photos. You can color code categories and change up the font as well as including your daily mood with your entries. It would be nice to see Dropbox support.

Bonus: MacJournal- $39.99


I’m a little torn on MacJournal. Any list of Mac journals wouldn’t be complete without it because it has become such a mainstay in the industry. The features it boasts include almost anything you can think of  and many you don’t know exist. Just like Day One, MacJournal apps for the iPhone and iPad sync with the Mac version, which is awesome.

All that being said, however, you really have to be in love with what it offers to spend $40 on it when there are similar, if not better, options for a fraction of the cost. And I also tried the iPhone version and wasn’t impressed. So, in short, know that it exists, but I’m not recommending it.

  • Jerry Yang

    One of the most biased (without revealing the bias) reviews of journaling products around. What is the criteria here? “password lock, picture insert, Dropbox or other cloud integration”? So the no #1 has 3 out of 4? From the mini-reviews the reader has no clue, for the most part, what any of these do or don’t do. Do any of them have a trial? I know the Mac App Store (MAS) doesn’t support trials but heck, it would be nice to try these out and let one decide for themselves… 

    • Sam

      Thanks for your concern Jerry, it’s good to see someone is paying attention!

      This is probably a good place to explain how I create these posts. I obviously can’t get to every app at the same time. Because of this, I start with a list like this where I research the software and make recommendations based on the information I can find and the knowledge I have of what makes eJournals. I do this so users can know what the highly rated and quality apps are available without waiting for me to individually write reviews for every one based on hands on testing. Then, as I contact developers and get test versions, I start rolling out full reviews of the apps on these lists.

      My top 5 Android journal apps is a good example. I didn’t yet have an Android testing device but I wanted to get a list out before I was able to obtain one so I wrote the list based on information I could gather. When a got a testing device, I then started writing hands on reviews such as I Journal for Android Journal App Review: I Journal For Android (It’s Free Too!) .

      Eventually I will be able to test these applications myself and give more detailed recommendations. Until then, I hope this can be a good starting point for your information.

  • Dospisos

    I just recently bought the new iPad (not the mini the reg sized one) I’m looking for a journal that I can use on both my MacBook Pro and my iPad. Any suggestions??

    • Sam

      Try Day One! You have to buy it twice, but it has good features and interface and syncs well.

  • Joe Foerster

    What about Evernote? It’s free, available for all platforms, has encryption, a load of features and yet it doesn’t seem to get mentioned. I use it and love it but was looking to see if “Journaling” software such as MacJournal might offer an edge specific to journaling as opposed to general note taking and web clipping. 

    • Sam

      You are right, Joe, Evernote is a great option. I don’t personally use it for my personal journal because I use it for so many other things, but I do use it for my kid’s journals. MacJournal is overpriced for the features it offers. I would recommend Evernote, Penzu and LDS Journal above MacJournal.

  • Franz

    I used DayOne for quite awhile.  I made a trip to Japan and made entries based on local time (since my iPad changed time zones).  Then when I returned to California, all the dates and times changes to show what time it was in California when I was doing the event in Tokyo.  How useless this is as a journal.  I guess people who review this have never actually traveled to another time zone.  What happens if I move in the future, then all my past entries will change the time stamp so if I talk about a 6 am meeting the time stamp will show 9 am?  Terrible design.

  • Ryan Simmons

    If you purchase one journal and end up not enjoying it after a time period, is there a way to transfer content to another app so that you don’t lose your jounral entries when you make the swtich?

    • Sam

      It depends on what journal it is. I try when possible to tell everyone to get a journal app that has export options from the beginning. If you didn’t do that then you may have to copy and paste your way out of this one. I’ve been there before and it sucks! Email me with the specifics of what journal you used and I will try and give you more specific advice Ryan.

  • DJG

    I have a question.. I would love to start journaling on my MAC, but recently something happened that scared me away. My husband started journaling on his MAC using Day One, and when I began looking for an app he suggested I just use the same one. Since we share our Apple Apps I just went to download it from our shared Cloud. To his and my horror, his entries (which were brutally honest and entirely devastating) popped up on my screen.

    Now I need a journal to sort through the wreckage of my marriage, but I’m terrified! How can I know my entries will be safe? How do I make sure the cloud doesn’t do the same to me?

    Thank you.

    • Nathan

      Dear Danica,
      Wow, that is really a sad story, and there are so many reactions I have, on so many different levels. I’m sorry that the experience of “getting real with each other” happened in such a way. I actually just recently posted a podcast episode about this very situation, from a different angle:
      To answer your question, there are many different ways to keep your writing secure on the computer or a mobile device, and typically, password protection is the best. However, as you stated, because you shared an account with your husband, and there was not a separate password on the journal app, it appears that some information and his private thoughts became “public” between you two. In the future, be sure the journaling app you use has its own password, not just the Apple ID (cloud) account.
      Not to make light of this situation, but please remember that everyone has private thoughts, some of them can be very bizarre or incongruous with the rest of our lives. Just because we notice a thought and write about it, doesn’t mean that it changes anything, especially between two people who have built a life together.