The Best Journal Apps for 'Writing Down' All Your Thoughts

woman typing on a cellphone
Photo: myriam meloni/Getty Images

Whether you're looking to document your favorite quotes, daily thoughts, or sources of gratitude, these journal apps can help.

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Best Journal Apps

woman typing on a cellphone
myriam meloni/Getty Images

Journaling offers tons of benefits, and if you've bought into the idea of doing so regularly, you might be excited to get started. There's something to be said for the tangibility of physical journals, but don't discount journal apps so fast.

Unlike their offline counterparts, the best journal apps allow you to easily search past entries and/or look at an overview of your entries, and you have access to them whenever inspiration strikes, as long as your phone is on you (which, LBH, is 99.9 percent of the time). Convinced? Whether you'd like to start a new daily writing habit or just want a travel journal for trips, here are the best journal apps to download right now.

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Day One Journal

screenshots from Day One journal app
Day One

Arguably the most comprehensive journal app available, Day One Journal lets you create entries with words and photos, then easily look back at tagged posts, favorited posts, or posts from one year ago. You can sync it with multiple devices so you'll be able to capture all your ideas in the most opportune way, whether that's sitting down at your computer for a long entry or using your Apple Watch when you're on a walk.

Price: Free for iPhone, Android

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screenshots from jour app

Jour's purpose is to give users an easy way to access the health-boosting benefits of journaling. It pegs itself as "a daily self-care journal" app, and in addition to allowing you to jot down your thoughts and feelings, it also coaches you through self-reflection and -growth. (Think: Learning about attachment styles and how to process your emotions.) The free journal app is equipped with guided "Journeys," aka journaling challenges that will appeal to the goal-oriented. Choose from outcomes such as "sleep more calmly," or "combat anxiety," or choose your own and commit to journaling regularly in pursuit of it.

Price: Free for iPhone

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Daylio Journal

phones displaying Daylio app
Google Play

If you'd like to tune into what daily occurrences impact your mood, check out Daylio. Using this free journal app, you can input what activities you're doing throughout the day along with how you're feeling. Then, the app will provide stats about your mood streaks over time and patterns regarding your activities and moods.

Price: Free for iPhone, Android

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1 Second Everyday: Video Diary

calendar view from One Second Everyday app
Google Play

"Imagine a movie that includes every day of the rest of your life," is 1 Second Everyday's compelling tagline. Commit to taking one-second-long videos on your phone every day, and the app will string them together to create a video of the moments in your life both momentous and mundane. The longer you use the app, the richer your video, but you'll never have to bother with editing or recording for more than a second at a time. This journal app is unconventional, yes, but just think of it as a video version of a gratitude practice.

Price: Free for iPhone, Android

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Gratitude Happiness Journal

phones displaying gratitude journal app
Google Play

Speaking of gratitude...Keeping a gratitude journal might change how you feel on the daily. In one 2017 study, people who wrote daily letters of gratitude to others reported better mental health than those who didn't. See for yourself with this gratitude journal app, which lets you write and send thank you notes to people in your life. It also includes features like inspirational quotes, reminders to practice gratefulness throughout the day, and of course, the ability to jot down what you're grateful for.

Price: Free for iPhone, Android

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Bullet Journal Companion

phones displaying Bullet Journal companion app
Bullet Journal

If you're a bullet journal diehard who'd never give up dotted grids, you still might be interested in the official bullet journal app which is designed to complement your bullet journal. You can use it to catalog and search all the content of your old notebooks and log tasks, events, and notes to reference when you don't have your journal on hand. And if you're new to bullet journaling, you might appreciate the guide to getting started that's included on the app.

Price: $2.99 for iPhone, Android

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DayGram One Line a Day Diary

phones display One Line a Day Diary app
Google Play

If you're someone who wants to journal regularly but usually quits when life get busy, consider trying out a one-line-a-day journal app. With DayGram, which is designed to look like a real page, you can jot down a quick thought at the end of every day, and reflect on what you'd written in the previous years.

Price: $0.99 for iPhone, Android

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phones displaying Polarsteps app
Google Play

If you're the scratch-off map type, you might want to download this iPhone travel diary app before your next getaway. Alert it that you're taking a trip and it will keep track of your miles, steps, countries visited, and any photos you take while away. Once you get home, you can order a book from the trip that you can hold on to should you ever decide to delete the app.

Price: Free for iPhone, Android

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phones displaying food journal app

Foodility is a food journal app that's more geared toward recording an overview of what you've eaten rather than the nitty-gritty of your macronutrient intake. Whether a dietitian is having you keep a food journal or just want somewhere to save photos of all your favorite meals at restaurants, this food journal app offers a place to keep it all.

Price: Free for iPhone

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Unicorn Diary with Lock

screenshots of diary app
Google Play

If you were a cool kid in the '90s, then you owned a Password Journal that was decorated to perfection. Today's youth will never know the satisfaction of hearing the journal say "access denied," but the journal app Unicorn Diary with Lock is like a 2019 equivalent. The free journal app lets you draw and jot down your thoughts with a password that provides an extra layer of protection against anyone with access to your phone.

Price: Free for Android

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phone displaying Qeepsake app

Baby books are lovely, but not every new parent has the energy (or artistic inclinations) to bust out the scrapbooking paper. With Qeepsake, documenting your baby's early years is as easy as shooting off a text. The journal app will text you questions about your little one, and your responses are automatically saved to a log which you can later edit. Once you're satisfied with everything you've compiled, you can order a book.

Price: Free for iPhone, Android

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