Best journaling apps for iPhone and iPad in 2022

No matter who we are and the kinds of lives that we live, we all have memories, whether good or bad. Regardless, these memories are always worth remembering at some point because who knows what will happen. What if we lost our memories one day and couldn't remember a thing? That's why keeping a journal is so important; even if you think it's silly, it's one way to recall all the significant events and milestones in your life.

In the days old, people kept analog journals written on pen and paper. But now we're equipped with smartphones, and these are an even better way of keeping our memories intact since we probably have hundreds or thousands of photos and videos to relive moments with. These are the best apps for keeping a digital journal of your life on any. of the best iPhones or iPads, including the iPhone 14 Pro

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Day One Journal

Day One Journal is my absolute favorite way to keep a journal. This beautiful app lets you create multiple journals and color-code them for easy organization. All of your journal entries can be formatted with rich text options, have photos, include activity, location, and even weather data of your site, and more. The latest update added audio recording capabilities, a new intuitive editor, a gorgeous Dark Mode, and other slick features.

Day One Journal is free to download, but you have a few limitations on the number of journals you can keep and how many photos you can upload. If you go for a Premium subscription, which starts at $3.99 a month or $34.99 a year, it unlocks unlimited journals, up to 30 photos per entry, audio recording, Dark Mode, 25 percent off of printed books, and more.

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Day One Journal

One of the original App Store apps, Day One is available across multiple platforms, including iPhone, iPad, and Mac. And yes, you can sync them. 

Download from: App Store (opens in new tab)

Momento

Momento is similar to Day One, except it's more about automation with your social network feeds.  The real magic lies in linking up your social media accounts, which populate each day's entries as you go. All your updates and posts are fetched and pulled into Momento, so it's like a digital record of your private and online lives.

Momento is free to download and use, but you'll be limited to three social accounts. You can add three more through in-app purchases or subscribe to Premium to get unlimited accounts. Premium starts at $3.99 a month.

Download from: App Store (opens in new tab)

Momento

With Momento, you can manually create journal entries with rich text formatting, multiple photos, tags, locations, and other bits of data you want to remember.

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Moodnotes

Keeping track of how you feel is just as important as remembering memories. Because some of us don't mind keeping track of our mental health and well-being.  The colorful interface is warm and welcoming, asking you how you're feeling. Pick an attitude that reflects how you are doing, and each one is represented with an emote and color. You can choose to add more details to the entry or just leave it as is.

If you opt for more details, the app asks why you feel the way you do. Doing this makes you think and reflect on why you feel that way. For negative moods, Moodnotes helps you identify traps you've fallen into and even gives tips on avoiding doing the same thing in the future.

Over time, Moodnotes keeps track of patterns in your moods and helps you get into the mindset of developing healthier perspectives. This app is most effective when used daily.

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Moodnotes

Moodnotes is a sleek app that helps you track your moods and the reasons behind how you feel.

Download from: App Store (opens in new tab)

Journey

If you want something like Day One, but is available on pretty much every platform, then Journey is for you. Journey lets you create journal entries with text, photos and videos, location, activity, and more. Like the other journaling apps, Journey is free to download and use, but you'll get the most out of the app by becoming a Premium subscriber. This starts at $3.99 a month or $29.99 per year.

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Journey

The Journey app is cross-platform and accessible on all platforms because it syncs seamlessly with Google Drive, and you can import Day One entries into Journey if you want to switch.

Download from: App Store (opens in new tab)

Daylio Journal

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Daylio Journal

This app takes a simple approach to journaling — and it works. It's fast and simple. 

Download from: App Store (opens in new tab)

Like the idea of journaling but just don't have time? Then Daylio's micro-journaling method may be best for your needs. Daylio simply asks you to pick your mood for the day, and then add an activity to go along with it, presumably the one that makes you feel the way you do. This counts as an entry, and optionally, you can add some notes to it if needed, just like a traditional diary. But the core focus with Daylio is fast and simple micro journaling. As you use it more, it keeps track of your mood by showing the data in simple charts and graphs, and you'll see what your average mood is.

Grid Diary

If you tend to be someone who has trouble getting started with writing a journal entry from scratch, then Grid Diary is a good option. It uses journaling templates of inspiring questions to answer and has them all lined up in a grid. Pick the one you want to answer for the day, and then write your answer as a journal entry. 

For many, it's just hard to write, so having journaling templates is more effective in getting the juices flowing. You can also add photos to your entries, search for specific keywords, and sync your data. Grid Diary is free to download and use, but you can upgrade to Pro ($4.99 one-time purchase or $1.99 monthly) for passcode lock, multiple export formats, multiple reminders, custom font styles, and more.

Download from: App Store (opens in new tab)

Grid Diary

Here's an excellent way to get some inspiration for your writing, and you can always use your answer as a lead-in to writing about your entire day.

Download from: App Store (opens in new tab)

5 Minute Journal

Do you have five minutes to spare each day? If so, then grab Five Minute Journal, because that's all you need. Five Minute Journal has writing prompts and questions that you answer quickly and easily. You can even add photos if you'd like, and there are also daily quotes to help inspire you, as well as weekly challenges. All of your entries get displayed in a beautiful timeline, where you can go back and reflect on memories with ease. There are also reminders, passcode lock, and backup/export to PDF options available.

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5 Minute Journal

Don't say you don't have time to journal. In 300 seconds, you can keep track of each of your days with this app.

Download from: App Store (opens in new tab)

Penzu

Penzu is a journaling app that focuses on your privacy. With Penzu, you can create rich text entries with photos and sync your journal to access the web for free. All you have to do is create a free Penzu account. However, to get the most out of Penzu, you'll need Penzu Pro, which you can get for $4.99 a month, and $19.99 a year.

Penzu Pro unlocks all available features, such as a passcode lock for your journals, unlimited journals,, and photos, customized journal covers, and more.

Download from: App Store (opens in new tab)

Penzu

With a focus on privacy the Penzu app makes it possible to keep track of your day in beautiful terms and ease. 

Download from: App Store (opens in new tab)

What are your favorites?

These are some of the best journaling apps we've come across in the App Store. Although Day One is perhaps the most familiar one on the list, others are worth considering. It just takes a few words to get started. 

Bryan M Wolfe
Staff Writer

Bryan M. Wolfe has written about technology for over a decade on various websites, including TechRadar, AppAdvice, and many more. Before this, he worked in the technology field across different industries, including healthcare and education. He’s currently iMore’s lead on all things Mac and macOS, although he also loves covering iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch. Bryan enjoys watching his favorite sports teams, traveling, and driving around his teenage daughter to her latest stage show, audition, or school event in his spare time. He also keeps busy walking his black and white cocker spaniel, Izzy, and trying new coffees and liquid grapes.

With contributions from