2020 is coming to a close and it’s that time of the year when you start to reminisce what it has been like for you. Has it been fruitful and full of accomplishments? Were you able to do something new or explore undiscovered places? Were there challenges along the way and how did you overcome them? Keeping a journal and taking notes of your experiences is essential for you to remember all these details of your life. If you haven’t started one yet and you’re always on your Mac anyway, now is the best time to look for a good journaling app for you. The welcoming of another year is always a great time to start writing, as it also signals the beginning of another chapter of your life. Here are the best journaling apps for the Mac in 2021.
1. Day One
Many long-time users of the Day One journaling app were surprised by the company’s move to subscription pricing. The app, which helps users keep a daily record of their lives, previously subsisted on one-time fees that thousands of users gladly paid. Many users felt slightly betrayed as well. Considering the entire purpose of the application is to maintain a long-term archive of your daily life, such a subscription fee could rack up major charges over a lifetime of use.
Despite this, Day One still remains one of the best daily journaling apps on the Mac. It’s feature-rich, with tracking and writing features that other apps simply don’t offer. Reading and searching through entries is easy and pleasant, so reliving your experiences is a little easier. You’ll also get a beautiful interface and exceptional companion iOS and watchOS apps. But if you’re put off by their $35 per-year pricing, you might find the apps below better suited to your needs.
While Evernote is far from a dedicated journaling application, it turns out the king of notetakers makes an excellent journaling application. You’ll find support for videos, photos, audio, and rich text alongside the standard plaintext input. The excellent iOS app is a must-have, and you can easily create an unlimited number of journals to keep your thoughts organized. Plus, Evernote is hands-down the best note-taking application for the Mac.
Unfortunately, your notes aren’t stored as plain text. This means you can’t read or access the notes without using the Evernote application, making your records worthless to a third-party app. That’s a major strike against longevity, but if you can stomach that, you get a full suite of benefits.
You can expand Evernote’s functionality as well. Pair it with Alternote to get a more minimal UI or with digi.me to pull updates and images from your social media accounts. And IFTTT lets you make workflows that include the app, automatically importing blog posts or linking outside content. The free version should cover your journaling needs, or you can subscribe to the pro version for only a few bucks a month.
If Evernote isn’t really your cup of tea, you might Journey instead. It’s a dedicated journaling app that’s deeply inspired by Day One’s design, and users of that app will find its basic structure familiar. Like Day One, the stand-alone Mac application reminds you to make daily journal entries.
Importantly, the app has an open database structure that saves you from lock-in, syncing with Google Drive and allowing for .docx and .pdf entry export. Users on the go can use Journey.cloud for updating via browser. The location of each entry is tracked on a map, and you can upload images and videos to your journal entries If you’re coming to Journey from Day One, you can import from Day One and Day One Classic to keep continuity.
Mémoires is billed as “the easiest way to keep a journal or diary on your Mac.” Its user interface is slightly more streamlined than some of our other options, but it still contains many of the same excellent features.
Entries can be saved in multiple journals and include photos, rich text, and hand-drawn doodles. If privacy is a concern, entries can be encrypted with AES-256 encryption. Everything is saved in rich text files in a non-obfuscated SQLite database for longevity. Even if the app shuts down, you’ll still have your entries in a fully-usable format.
There’s a one-time fee of $30 for a single license or $50 for a “family pack” of five licenses. And if you want to add video to your entries, you can also pay a one-time $10 charge.
5. Mini Diary
Speaking of privacy, a free diary app for your Mac that you can look into is Mini Diary. It allows users to set a password before fully opening the app. While its interface may be a bit basic, Mini Diary still has a number of useful features that can benefit you. For one, this app allows you to type in your key thoughts in number or bullet form. You can also edit your fonts and make them bold or italic.
Mini Diary also lets you peruse, view, and edit your entries in your calendar. In case you’re particular with your themes, this diary app offers a light and a dark theme. You can also set it on auto so it’ll match the theme of your Mac interface. If you’re looking for a simple, no-fuss type of journaling app for Mac, Mini Diary is definitely the one for you.
Reflection is another diary app that you can check out for your Mac. As the name suggests, this digital journal lets you reflect when you feel like taking a trip down memory lane. Reflection features an interface that is simple and organized. It shows a timeline, tags, and locations for your title and text while you write.
One of its great features is its color-coding along with labels that you can add for each entry that you write. Hence, you can label some of your entries as ideas and some as inspiration. In case you want to follow up on your previous notes, you can also add lists and tasks under them. You can also manage multiple journals within the app so you can separate one for your personal entries and another for work ideas.
Similar to Mini Diary, Reflection also allows you to adjust the theme of the app so you can match it with your Mac interface. If you’re scared that you might lose your entries, this app also allows you to back up your data into a ZIP file. With so many more of its awesome features, Reflection is an amazing diary app for Mac for people who are detail-oriented. Plus, it’s free!
For a more minimalist interface, Reminisce is a great option for your Mac. It has a free version as well as a premium version. Thanks to its simple outlook, you can stay focused on writing while using this journaling app. For a more visual entry, this app allows you to add photos to your entries, which would look great for travel posts.
In addition, you can also key in emojis as well as add tags and labels to your entries. Moreover, Reminisce allows you to rate your entries in stars and input your mood for the day. You can also add your location to your entry. All of your entries can be viewed in three ways: as a list, on a calendar, or on a map. With just a click, you can add, edit, delete, and even print an entry. Navigating through the app is simply a breeze.
Suddenly had a thought and you need to jot it down immediately? The Diarly journal app will be there for you. After writing it down, you can still review all the information you input on your Mac. Diarly allows you to write unlimited entries in the app, which is great if you have a lot of thoughts that you need to jot down. You can even organize your notes using a hashtag and also rate them based on your priorities.
If you have some photos or videos that perfectly illustrate your experiences, you can also include them in your entries. You can also insert links to websites that are relevant to your posts. This feature truly makes for a great reminiscing session. With Diarly, you can opt for the free version or the premium version depending on your needs.
Another journaling app that you can use when you’re on the go is mJournal. This app was designed for people who are always in a jiffy to jot down important notes and set reminders for themselves. It also allows users to be creative when taking down notes. You can change up the fonts that you use for your journaling entries.
Want to be more creative? You can also spice up your entries but changing up colors and sizes for your fonts. It makes for a fun journaling experience. The app also has a drag and drop feature for when you upload photos and other files into the system. These documents can help personalize your journaling app. What’s great is that mJournal is also free for everyone to use.
10. My Treehole
A top-notch journaling app also worth checking out is My Treehole. This app features all the journaling essentials you’ll need if you’re just starting out. It has tools that you’ll find useful when you writing down any ideas that you might think of. You can review them on the app even after some time has already passed since you entered them.
Aside from the notes, you can also change the fonts within the app to suit your taste. Plus, you can include images in your entries to personalize your posts. If you’re into it, you can also include weather entries in there just to add notes to your day. Afraid about a security breach? There’s no need to worry over that, as this app helps you keep your data safe with a passcode.
11. Moleskine Journey
If you’ve been into manual journaling for years, you’ve probably already heard of Moleskine. It’s a famous brand that creates high-quality notebooks and journals. Now that you’re transitioning to digital journaling, Moleskine still has you covered. The company created an app called Moleskine Journey where you can enter your thoughts and experience in a creative way.
The app features productivity applications such as reminders and calendars so it can always be part of your daily life. In addition, it also has tools catering to your own personal development such as habit tracking. It’s like an all-around life app where people can not only write down their thoughts but also plan ahead and set up goals for the future.
There’s definitely a plethora of journaling apps that you can choose from specifically for your Mac. Opt for the ones mentioned above based on their features and you’re sure to have a great time writing in your entries. Add in some of your photos and memories to look back to when you feel like reminiscing the good old days.