If anyone comes to me and tells me journaling is so important to them that they just want the best option, regardless of price, I almost always point them in the direction of either Penzu or LDS Journal. These two online journaling services offer more features than most and are available from nearly every platform. Penzu is more widely known and used, but LDS Journal was actually my first eJournal and is a beautiful Penzu alternative. In fact, LDS Journal’s print feature is probably the number one single feature any eJournal has that I am aware of. I even did a video review when I received mine.
Penzu, on the other hand, is a feature-filled monster. From military-grade encryption, multiple journals, prompts and fonts aplenty, this online journal has almost anything you would want along with somethings you didn’t even know you needed. The downside to Penzu- as well as LDS Journal- is the lackluster mobile interface. Sure you can journal from smartphones for either of these, but you probably won’t want to.
As I have now used both of these services extensively, I have decided that there is an almost perfect comparison to describe the differences between the two. The comparison is one that is fiercely fought across the expanse of the internet every day- Apple vs Android. While not as widely known, Penzu compared with LDS Journal is similar in differences to the two most popular mobile platforms.
Let’s start with LDS Journal. FIrst off, white is the dominant color. For the most part the menu and interface is clean and minimalistic. You won’t find any background editing or font alternatives. It is neat, clean and beautiful- but not very customizable. There aren’t a ton of features and options, but almost everything you need. Almost everyone that uses it picks it up very quickly and is satisfied with the product. It costs a little more than Penzu and the competition (if you want the paid version), but the price is worth it for the experience.
Penzu, on the other hand, is built around customization. Change the ‘paper’ you write on and the backgrounds behind that. Chose from dozens of fonts. Add extra journals for different subjects or even your kids. The super-duper encryption is there for you even though you aren’t sure you need it. You can export via a variety of formats, share entries and even comment on your own entries and those shared with you. A Penzu user of many months likely doesn’t know all of the things the service can do. The price is lower than LDS Journal.
It’s because, for all intents and purposes, LDS Journal compares favorably to Apple and Penzu to Android. If I were going to recommend an online journal to my mom (which I have) I would recommend LDS Journal (which I did). If I were going to recommend an online journal to my developer brother, I would recommend Penzu because I know he would appreciate all of the bells and whistles. If I were to recommend a tablet to my mom it would be an iPad and to my brother an Android.
This is useful to you because you probably know where you stand in the iPhone/Android debate. If you lean iOS, you will probably appreciate LDS Journals less confusing experience. However, if you lean Android (like I have recently begun to do) Penzu will probably be your best option.
And if you have used either, let us know in the comments if this is an accurate assessment!