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Best journaling apps for iPhone and iPad: Day One, Momento, Everyday Timeline, and more!

Best journaling apps for iPhone and iPad: Day One, Momento, Everyday Timeline, and more!

The best journaling apps to help you keep track of you memories, record important events, and collect your thoughts on your iPhone or iPad!

There's something beautiful, almost magically analog about a crumpled old note pad, a key-locked journal, a well worn moleskin, and the ink and graphite that fill their pages. For centuries that's how we recorded our most intimate dreams, our more personal desires, our greatest works, and our our most important memories. But paper doesn't sync. It doesn't back up. It can't be shared over digital networks. It copies and pastes in only the most mechanical definition of the term. And while an iPad or iPhone won't ever replace a real-world diary for those of us who kept them since childhood, they are and will increasingly become the journals of choice for the future. That's thanks, in large part, to these amazing journaling apps.

Day One

Aside from the great interface, Day One supports tags, markdown, photo upload, and more. The main view of Day One also makes it incredibly easily see a quick count of total timeline items, tags, photos, and more. Day One supports iCloud sync, the ability to passcode protect your entries, and export them to PDF. You can also embed media and write in Markdown, if you prefer. A universal app, it supports both iPhone and iPad.

If you're looking for a general purpose journaling app, get Day One.

Everyday Timeline

Everyday Timeline supports Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Foursquare and shows any posts you make on any of them alongside your journal entries in a single, unified timeline. You can also track your moods with Everyday Timeline, and see statistics on how it's changed over time. It's got a quick entry option, and supports Dropbox for syncing between iPhone and iPad.

If you want both social and Dropbox support, go with Everyday Timeline.


Momento is an iPhone-only journaling app that intertwines your own personal thoughts with what's going on on your social networks, including Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, and Instagram. Momento brings all your posts, both within the app and from your social networks, and combines them together in hopes of providing you with a more complete snapshot of your day. Both what you write and any social posts that mention you get imported, and you can export everything via iTunes file as well.

For anyone who posts a lot on social networks but doesn't care for Dropbox sync or iPad support, Momento is the way to go.


Chronicle is a bare-bones journaling app that doesn't offer anything in the way of social integration but does offer Dropbox sync so you can add new entries from any of your devices. Separate notebooks are Chronicle's biggest selling point, which lets you keep different facets of your life neatly organized into their own, individual journals-within-a-journal.

Chronicle is great for anyone who doesn't need tags or fancy media and social support, but who still wants sync and the ability to organize entries.

Your picks for best journal apps for iPhone and iPad?

These are our favorites when it comes to capturing thoughts and recording memories right on your iPhone and iPad but as always, we'd love to hear your thoughts both on the above apps and any other apps you've come across that you find to be great for journaling!

Allyson Kazmucha

Editor for iMore, Potter pundit, and the ninja in your iOS

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There are 18 comments. Add yours.

Daytona says:

I have been a Day One user for about a year now and love that it syncs with DropBox. I find myself writing about how my day went everynight at 9pm when the reminder alert goes off. Sometimes it's a brief entry, while other times it's a long one depending how eventful my day has been. I occasionally go back and read older entries just to see what state of mind I was in 5 months ago versus where I'm at menatlly today. Overall it's a pretty kool app that has found a permanent place on my iphone....

Stopov says:

I agree, I fell in love with Day One when it first came out. Got the versions for Mac, iPad

crimsonsky says:

Ally, you forgot to add that Day One also has an app for the Mac (sold in the Mac App Store) that synchronizes with the mobile versions. This is to me its greatest value - being able to make entries on my computer and my iOS devices and keep them in sync!

dpuett says:

Day One supports zero encryption and stores your data in an easily accessible and even easier to read XML text file. When I asked them last year when encryption would be supported, they replied with January. Of this year.

So if you are looking to use one of these as an actual diary to store private thoughts, Day One doesn't do that.

GeniusUnleashed says:

I've been reading this a lot and has stopped me from trying it out. So even if you sync it with Dropbox there's still a file somewhere outside of Dropbox that people can easily access?

Gazoobee says:

I think this is a spurious complaint of someone who is basically paranoid. Just because it doesn't support encryption, doesn't mean it's insecure. All you need do is the same thing you would do with a physical paper journal (which also doesn't support encryption). Just don't let anyone pick up your phone or your iPad and rifle through it. Sure it would be nice to support encryption, but to say that the product is something you shouldn't store private thoughts on as a result is a huge over-reaction.

GeniusUnleashed says:

I totally agree. My only concern, and this is a very tiny one, is when a company promotes their app as a password secured app, then they have this blinding error in the code. It's a big red flag for me and I wonder why they would even promote it as secure in the first place. Most journal apps I've tried out don't offer password protection at all.

robertk328 says:

I use iCloud sync. Set up my daughter's iPod, wife's iphone, my iPad, etc on the same account so Find My iPhone can locate them. So I put Day One on the iPad, fire it up, and my journal loads automatically. No password, because the app itself is what is protected, not the journal. So if my wife or daughter install Day One, guess whose journal they have access to?
I just turned off synchronization and hope I don't damage or lose my phone.

GeniusUnleashed says:

From what I'm gathering, iCloud and Dropbox are only backups, those aren't where the original files are being stored. But I understand what you mean, having it pop up on other hardware that others have access in no bueno. Maybe don't give them access to Day One and give them each a different journal app? I'm using Narrato and it doesn't have sync yet so that might be a good one for your daughter is she tweets a lot. It has the option of pulling in tweets and pics taken into the days journal and there is no Mac app for it yet. It also can't be PW protected if you need to do a little parental snooping.

robertk328 says:

It's sync, not backup. :-) It automatically opened on the iPad when Day One was installed and iCloud was enabled.

GeniusUnleashed says:

Sorry, I meant to say, it's ALSO a backup/sync. But the main file isn't stored there. You have to turn sync on and it creates a second file in iCloud or Dropbox that will sync to the cloud.

robertk328 says:

Right. That's why I have iCloud OFF. The "second copy" can be viewed on other devices sharing the same iCloud login.

dpuett says:

I'm not paranoid. I just want my private writings to remain that. Private. You've obviously never had your phone, tablet, or computer stolen. Or let others use your computer. I'm less worried about someone rifling around my computer looking for this than someone using my computer to access the internet and accidentally launching it.

The bottom line is if you don't care about your private thoughts, pictures, and such being encrypted fine. Many people do. I'm just pointing out that this program stores it's info in a text document. Another way of stating this is "Would you want to write your diary/journal in Word?" Let the buyer decide.

GeniusUnleashed says:

I know this wasn't directed at me but thought I'd chime in.

Yes, I would use a Word doc as a journal, I did for over a decade. Only reason I'm looking into making a change is to make it easier to journal from where ever I am. Word docs offer amazing security, you can give a file two different passwords; one for read permissions, and one for write permissions. A Word doc is a great idea if you're worried about security. You can upload it to Dropbox and it will demand the passwords on whatever device you try to read it from. Only issue is, you can't add to it from an iOS device yet :(

GeniusUnleashed says:

I'm trying out Narrato. Pretty solid so far but I wonder where they are storing the data. Their lack of info about their servers is something that makes me keep searching for a better one.

See Allyson, I can be nice. But now I'm going to go over to the other thread and trash talk a bit more :P

ctt1wbw says:

Day One can't be beat. Enter a journal entry on the iPhone, iPad, AND the Mac desktop. Can't beat it.

seashell93 says:

I use Gratitude365 for a simple journal entry that allows a photo memory also per day!

tdunham02 says:

Another great journaling app is "Askt"... Just came out, super simple to use!