Dear diary, today I tickled a cephalopod...
April 2, 2021 5:40 PM   Subscribe

Despite a longstanding fancy-notebook addiction, I've finally realized that I often prefer typing to journaling by hand. I also want a better way to organize and preserve my memories, including text, handwritten reflections and drawings, photos, videos, and audio. Please help me find my ideal journaling app for Mac/iPad/iPhone!

- Free, or ownership with a one-time payment. (I'd like to avoid adding another annual subscription to my life. If there really isn't anything other than Day One that fulfills my requirements, I'll guess I'll bite that bullet, but I'd like to see if there are other options.)
- Aesthetically pleasing, streamlined, beautiful and straightforward to use. No ads, no weird bloat.
- Files saved locally. I assume most software is also going to have them sync to the cloud, too?
- Supports audio, photos, video, and handwritten/hand-drawn (tablet) content.
- Dedicated journal app with a true daily journal format -- I'm not looking for a catch-all note-taking software like Evernote or OneNote.
- Can export entries / save them locally in Markdown -- no proprietary formats.
- Supports multiple journals. For instance, suppose I have a Teapot-Making Journal, a Puddle-Splashing Journal, and a Cephalopod-Tickling Journal. One is daily, one is twice-weekly, one is occasional. I'd like to keep them separate and chronological, as if they were in separate physical notebooks.
- It would be nice to have a calendar view, where I can click on a date and get links to all the journal entries on that day.

My future nostalgia thanks you!
posted by cnidaria to Technology (3 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
 
I love Day One, though I just got a subscription renewal notice and was like, aw, man. I don't want a subscription service either! But I have found Day One so easy to use, so handy for jotting down a note, or dropping in a quick picture, as well as for typing longer entries, that I have just accepted that a subscription service is what I'm going to have to deal with. I will hang around to hear about other options people offer.
posted by Orlop at 9:01 PM on April 2


I'm with Orlop. I just renewed my Day One subscription for another year and I wish there were a way to buy it outright. I'll be following along as well.
posted by kathrynm at 7:49 AM on April 3


I know you said you didn't want a note-taking app, but hear me out. I use Notability for both my daily planner and journal. Since I hand write my journals but I want them to be searchable, Notability's integrated handwriting OCR is perfect. You can also record audio, insert web clips, drawings, and a variety of other multi media things. It's a one time fee and so far, every time they do an upgrade they do not make you pay anymore to get the new features. You can export to an OCR'd PDF, Text file, or an image file.

They also have an option to sync via iCloud and therefor you can access everything on any device. You can use the stock pages to start your journal or get fancy and purchase or design your own.

For me, the handwriting element is what is vital for journaling. I tried DayOne and Memento and just could not get them to do the thing I needed them to do, which was to let me write my words and then be able to search my words and find the entry I needed.
posted by teleri025 at 7:33 AM on April 5


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