5 Best Online Journal App for Writing Journal

Writing Journal

Table of Contents

Why Keep A Life Journal

Importance of Keeping a Journal

1. Start Writing Your Life Story As Early As Possible
2. Get In Touch with Expressing Your Emotions
3. Develop Creative Writing Skill
4. Writing Prompts
5. Record Exact Date for an Event or Activity

Motivation in Writing Journal Entries

Features of a Good Online Journal App

5 Best Free Online Journal App

Why Keep a Life Journal?

We have beautiful experiences in life that we would like to keep as vivid memories for a lifetime. We have vague impressions of many of those but regret not having a record of the minor details that went with it. If we have looked back at our life as an exciting journey that we can keep reading, would you have done it differently today?

Importance of Keeping a Journal

1) Start Writing Your Life Story As Early As Possible

We will discover how we have changed over time physically and mentally. Our values in life might differ over the years from the time we started out writing our journal entries.

2) Get In Touch with Expressing Your Emotions

Most of us have no problem stating the facts but may lack the capability to express our emotional selves verbally. Maybe we are painfully shy to voice out our emotions. Diary writing makes you face up to your emotions as no one is going to know.

3) Develop Creative Writing Skill

Writing journal frequently release creative potentials and improve creative writing skills. Fragments of thoughts are captured instantly with the right journaling tools which we can refer to them later with appropriate tags.

4) Writing Prompts

Just do it for the sake of fun. We might never know that we have collated enough information on a particular topic from writing prompts to start our unique blog! Enjoy the writing journey!

5) Record Exact Date for an Event or Activity

The occurrence of an incident laid out in a timeline helps us to recall important and precious events in our life such as the first time which the baby called out our name, the first time he learns to flip over and walk.

In another instance, when I forgot a Gmail password and asked Google to reset, one of the questions that Google verified was “When did you create the account?” Frankly speaking, who would remember that stuff? The date of creation was so negligent and yet frustrating when we ever need that.

By recording down as much detail as you can in a daily journal of the things that you do and encounter, you would be able to use the information one day which was once so trivial.

Motivate Yourself

Motivation in Writing Journal Entries

Journal writing is a persistent effort that requires self-motivation. How to motivate yourself to love keeping a journal or writing prompts? With mobile and laptop technologies, many people are writing journals because they can do it anywhere with their electronic devices and mobility has replaced paper writing.

Many users reviewed the top reasons for choosing a good journal app is the attractive design and the reliability that it doesn’t lose any data. Users select a diary app based on how it looks like and whether it attracts them to use the apps for a long time. Many cited the design of the journal app motivates them to write frequently even when they least expect it.

Subsequently, when the online journal app that they used started losing data, not being able to sync or backup correctly, it caused distress and disappointments to the users for losing the most precious information that they have kept over the years.

The reliability of a journal app and the technical support from the developer is eminently important because you are entrusting the precious moments of your life to an application that could bust on you which would never happen to a book journal.

Features of a Good Online Journal App

Below is a list of the desired features in an ideal journaling app. You will not get everything in a free version. There are some premium features that the developer would want you to pay for using and to keep the development going.

√ Beautiful user interface design
Attaching photos, videos or drawings
Cross-platform syncing between devices
Backup with Google Drive, Dropbox or Cloud Services
Password Lock
Theme, font or background customization
Geotag manually or select a specific location
Weather and temperature detector
Sharing on social media platforms
Importing and exporting files
Converting to PDF
Night Mode
Search function
Responsive technical support

Best Free Online Journal App

1) Journey

Journey App

Journey is by far the best apps with the most functionality and can perform most of the important features listed above. It allows me to import my Diary entries using a zip file format with ease and integrate them accurately into the calendar.

It can sync across several platforms using Google Drive. I use it on my Android phone and also download the journaling app from the Chrome Web Store on my MacBook. The synchronisation between the two devices is seamless when I switched between them simultaneously. You can also write your journal online. Login with your Gmail account.

I appreciate that Journey uses Google Drive rather than Dropbox to back up the data. Google Drive has a 15 GB free storage space whereas Dropbox has a much lesser storage space of 2 GB for a free basic account unless one pays to buy more space or use other means to earn additional storage. The space limitation of Dropbox might be an issue later when the sizes of the photos and videos increase.

One journal entry can upload up to 4 images or 1 video. There are Geotag, weather, temperature, motion activity which you can turn on or off for each entry. A password can also be set to prevent people from reading your diary and various search functions by using any words, phrases, photos and locations within all your entries.

You can share and publish your posts and photo onto 6 social media platforms – Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, WordPress, Instagram and Google. Be thankful that the free version has no advertisement. You already have many goodies in the free version.

So, what are the Premium Features?

The premium version includes the Markdown Syntax that highlights the headings and keywords to your plain text such as bold and italic format. It is a must-have feature for people who journal a lot.

Night Mode is another unique selling point to take away the glare at night. The other less common features are bulk printing of PDF without watermarks and exporting single or bulk entries to .docx files.

Take note that the licenses are all sold separately for the Android and the Chrome Desktop due to different payment platforms. If you buy one license only, you will not be able to see the Markdown Syntax on another platform.

The customer service and technical support are first-class services. A developer who makes an effort to read and replies to most comments are taking the users seriously. The developer shows interest in helping users who have a problem and encourages them to write in.

What I do not like about this app is the unattractive timeline layout design which turns me off. There is a huge chunk of white space dividing between the entries.

I think that the developer should have a break-line, a border or a boxed up entry so that it looks prettier and easy for the eyes to distinguish quickly between entries. There is also no emoticon to express any mood. There is some room for improvement on the home page in my opinion.

Click on Journey website and download the app for the platform that you want.

2) Diaro

Diaro was the first online diary that I used in 2013 and 2014. I was intrigued by the design and colours and how much I wanted to keep writing. I stopped writing journals in Diaro for two years.

When I looked back at my past entries written in Diaro after I have purchased a Pro Version from Journey, I realised that the photo attachments were missing from the posts. I did another test recently by uploading some photos from my phone gallery into an entry and subsequently, I deleted the same photos from my gallery. I could still see those deleted photos stored in Diaro.

Several Diaro users commented that they suffered from a loss of data when Diaro upgraded its version or some technical mishaps that happened along the way. My photos were likely to be lost during one of these unfortunate incidents. Diaro developers might have improved the app stability and the storage condition over the years, but however, I have no more confidence to use it again.

Diaro uses Dropbox to sync across Android devices and Diaro on Mac and PC online. This important function is a paid version. It is as good as saying that if you want to use Diaro, you must buy the Pro Version so that the journals can be backed up.

I was contemplating getting the paid app a few years ago and wrote to the developer asking a simple question regarding syncing between devices. The developer did not reply back. It discouraged me from buying the app as I could foresee that I would not be able to get any support if I have a problem later.

The advantage of Diaro is uploading unlimited numbers of photos. I have tested up to 20 photos. The location detector is not very responsive. I had to try a few times to get it right.

Download Diaro from Google Play Store

3) Private Diary

Private Diary

Private Diary has one of the most attractive journal app designs especially the presentation of the photo which allows the user to slide them sideways. There are three photos per diary entry for a free version and unlimited photos upload for a paid version.

A noteworthy feature is the ability to synchronise between Android and IOS platforms (iPhone and iPad). It is good news for users who want to change their mobile phones without fretting over access to the app.

You can also back up the files on your SD card. Another option is to upload the archive file to Dropbox or download it out to your device. Online cloud service is also available to sync entries with all your devices.

In the “Standard View”, another impressive feature to search your entries is to use a date range, coupled with the selection of categories and tags to filter all the entries. Other plus points are password lock, geotag, weather, temperature, emoticons and a change of themes (limited). The font colour customization does not seem to work.

After reading users’ reviews of the pro version, Private Diary is better of as a free version. After upgrading from the free version to a paid one, there seem to be some synchronisation problems encountered by many frustrated users. The developers do not seem to reply as well.

Download Private DIARY Free from Google Play Store
Download Private DIARY from iTunes Store

4) Better Diary



Better Diary is another remarkable journal app because it has HTML rich text formatting options. The photo layout is an outstanding feature, unlike other apps. You can upload the photo at any spot on the entry and scroll the images up and down in it. There is no photo limitation. I have successfully uploaded 20 photos.

A notable selling point of Better Diary is the capability to share the diary with your circle of friends or family members. You can create multiple diaries for different groups and purposes.

Selecting “Accordion” in “Page Transition” makes reading fun when flipping the journal entry like a book. Change the flipping into slider mode when “Page Depth” or “None” is selected.

Better Diary uses Google Cloud to sync and backup across devices. If you plan to migrate to a new device, just log in to the same account, all your diaries will be automatically restored. I also import Diaro zip files into Better Diary with not much effort.

The diary tracks location, weather and temperature data and supports emoticons. A premium license is yearly or a lifetime which provides handy widgets on the home screen, more font styles, unlimited space upload and sharing diary together with close friends and family members. Ad-free.

Download Better Diary from Google Play Store

5) Diary With Lock

Diary with Lock App

After reviewing the above four journal apps with several customizations, Diary with Lock diary is suitable for people who value simplicity with a no-frills style of writing and do not care much about figuring out complex customization or any sort. This journal app is very easy to use.

The diary uses solid colours as the theme. There are many choices of background colours. The months are also colour-coded so you get a different colour for every month. You can change the font size but not the font style.

Sync and backup your diary with their online private and secure cloud storage. You can recover the journals later if you change your phone by reinstalling the app after you have registered an online account with them.

The downside is that photos and videos cannot be attached to the journal entries at this moment. On the other hand, this user-friendly journal app highlights providing loads of emoji (200+) to express your moods and most of them are in the paid version. If the emoji in the free version is not enough, buy more.

This simple journal app has come a long way rivalling its competitors with a 10-million downloads and yet able to maintain a high score rating based on 200 thousand reviews. Lastly, If you hate ads, purchase the premium version at a low cost.

Download Diary with Lock from Google Play Store