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2 years ago I wrote this post for The Next Web when I began looking for “smart journal” apps. I considered a smart journal app to be one that provided the following features:

  • Offers posting from both mobile and desktop
  • Syncing to cloud services
  • Exporting to various file formats
  • Calendar views
  • Search
  • Categories and/or tagging
  • Reminder notifications to create entries
  • Private with passcode by default

I reviewed my original post and took a look to see if I could find any new apps and services out there. Below is a list that contains new apps along with some from my original post that contain all of the above features and more.

If you need a reason or inspiration as to why you should keep a journal, look no further than this great post on “Why Keeping a Daily Journal Could Change Your Life“.

New Additions

(Android / Chrome extension)

This is a very elegant app with a nice UI and design that reminds me of Day One which is an IOS only app (see below). It’s chock full of many of the same features as well. The Chrome extension is used to write entries from your desktop and it syncs to Google Drive. You can also selectively publish posts to your social sites if you want. You can read a full review of this app here.


Flava (Shutdown)
(Android / IOS / Web)

I discovered Flava shortly after writing my original post and its continued to be improved since then. They now offer the ability to import data from external services as well as creating offline backups so you can archive your data. I also like the web interface which I believe is an important feature in all of these apps because writing detailed entries on mobile devices isn’t ideal. Here’s a full review.


( Android / IOS / Web)

I like Penzu because it has a strong emphasis on gaining insight from your previous journal entries. This is done by using an algorithm that provides snippets of previous entries as reminders from old entries to help identify themes and give you inspiration for new entries. It’s also got a very robust web app. Here’s a detailed review.


From Original List

Day One

(IOS / Mac)

This app has been praised as the premiere journal app for IOS. It stands out with its beautiful design and strong feature set. To create entries on the desktop requires purchasing the companion Mac app. If you’re an IOS / Mac user you should seriously consider Day One.


(Android / Web)

I really liked the features and flexibility of this app when I wrote my first review. It continues to be improved. You can read another review of it I found here.



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