The ‘Features That Matter’ series looks at all of the different options and features mobile and online journals offer and recommends the most important ones. This way, when you are ready to settle down with a journal that will hopefully last you a good long time, it will be the one that is best for you, not just the one that looked the best or had the highest rating. For example, maybe a certain journal app has great social media integration and is highly rated accordingly. However, while ratings in the App Store are important, those who rate aren’t usually thinking on a multiple year basis and probably have overlooked the fact that this same app doesn’t even have any sort of export option. What good is the social media going to do you when the app gets discontinued in 5 years?

This episode of the FTM series is on the importance of picture integration and why you should make sure the journal you choose should have this feature in at least some fashion.

Look at this picture of my little guy. What if I had tried to describe the first time he got dressed up in a tie? How would it go? Maybe something like “It was blue and made him look a lot older than his 15 months.”

Photo Credit - Sam Lytle

Photo Credit – Sam Lytle

Compare that with the actual picture. Even if I had attempted 1000 words, it still wouldn’t have done the event justice. The smile, the matching shirt, the look in his eyes. To say that a picture is worth a thousand words really is an understatement.

Fortunately, most mobile journal apps have the option to include pictures either right in entries or attached to them. Since there are usually decent cameras on these devices, this is a natural medium for recording these priceless memories. This is actually a big advantage that mobile journals have over online, computer based and hand written journals. Any of these other methods can have pictures added in one way or another, but no way is easier than writing the journal with the same device that takes the pictures.

So when you are in search of your journal, check to make sure that you can add pictures (or that you will be able to soon via update). Even if you don’t think you want that feature now, you will someday. Also check to see if these pictures get exported when you backup or export your journal via PDF, email, iTunes or any other method. If the photos aren’t going to tag along with the journal, there almost isn’t any point in adding them in the first place.

If you cant find out if pictures can be added to your entries by reading about it in the App Store or online, email the developer and ask them personally. I have found developers to be very responsive and sincere.

And if that doesn’t work, I think I have the world record for most journal apps on my iPhone, so please feel free to ask me any time at

Have any of you had success in adding pictures to your journal or would just like to commend me on the attractiveness of my child?