From this podcast episode, you'll discover a collection of optional digital diary mobile apps for your Apple iPhone, Apple iPad, or Android-based mobile device that will help you to easily chronicle your life; record your goals, thoughts, and dreams; and/or analyze your feelings and emotions.
The mobile apps and services featured within this episode of Featured App of the Week include:
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Featured App of the Week – Episode #31
Welcome back to the Featured App of the Week podcast. I’m Jason Rich.
Many of us lead busy lives that are filled with mundane and repetitive tasks. However, there are moments and events in our lives that we often want to remember. For that, there are a collection of apps that can serve as a private and very versatile digital diary.
Unlike traditional paper-based diaries, the digital diary mobile apps that are available from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store can actually offer feedback. They can also help you understand your thoughts, dreams, and activities - in a way that does not interfere with your daily life or routine.
There are several benefits to using a digital diary mobile app. For example, it’s super convenient to quickly jot down notes and memories, and even include photos or video clips within the diary app.
Digital diaries can also be password protected, making it easy to keep what you write private and away from prying eyes.
Meanwhile, during those times when you don’t think you’re creative enough, and you can’t think of what information to include in a diary entry, some digital diary apps offer personalized questions and insightful prompts. These prompts are designed to help you consider what you’re doing and thinking, thus allowing you to create more meaningful diary entries.
Digital diary mobile apps can help you organize your thoughts and dreams; analyze your life; help you focus more on gratitude; and also chronicle moments in your life that you definitely want to remember for many years to come.
What you’ll discover when you start seeking out a digital diary mobile app from the App Store or Google Play Store is that there are many options to choose from.
While a few of your options are free, the majority of digital diary apps require a monthly or annual subscription in order to unlock all of the app’s features and functions.
Once you find the right digital diary app to meet your needs and lifestyle, however, you’ll likely discover that the money you spent on the app is a worthwhile investment.
To find a digital diary app, first think about what you want to get out of the app and how you’ll utilize it. Determine what type of features and functions you’ll find useful.
For example, do you want a digital diary app that provides simple prompts designed to help you create your diary or journal entries? Do you want a digital diary app that helps you track your emotions, dreams, accomplishments, or goals?
Are you looking for a digital diary that analyzes your feelings, actions, or behaviors, or that will help you identify positive or negatives trends in your life?
Once you understand and identify what you’re looking for out of a digital diary app, finding the perfect app for yourself will be much easier. Start by launching the App Store or Google Play Store app on your smartphone or tablet.
Within the Search field, enter the term “diary,” “journal,” or “digital diary.” You’ll then see app listings for the many digital diary apps available. Start by browsing those app listings for apps with a four- or five-star rating.
To narrow down your options, skip the ones that have earned a low star-based rating, which I define as less than four stars. These are typically inferior in terms of their functionality or quality.
When looking at an app’s average star-based rating, make sure you notice how many individual ratings it’s based upon. For example, an app with an average star-based rating of 4.5 stars, that’s based on hundreds or thousands of reviews, means many people have already tried and liked that app.
Next, read the individual app descriptions to discover the specific features and functions each app offers, and what is unique about each app.
Two features that are particularly important are password security and encryption, especially if the digital diary app stores data and files in the cloud. You then want to consider what information about your life you want to record, and in what format you want to record it.
Do you want to use typed text and digital photos, or create entries by handwriting on your smartphone or tablet’s screen with a stylus, such as the Apple Pencil, in conjunction with your iPad?
Now that you understand what you should look for in a digital diary app, let’s take a closer look at one of the most powerful, versatile, customizable, and popular digital diary apps currently available.
With more than 12,000 ratings and reviews on the Apple App Store, a 4.9 out of 5 average star-based rating, and almost a half-million active users, the digital diary app I will focus on the most in this episode is called Jour: Journal for Mindfulness.
This is a free app that comes with a seven-day trial. After that, there’s a $5.00 per month or $59.99 per year subscription fee associated with the Jour the app.
The three goals of the Jour app are to provide you with a mood and activity check-in feature, personalized prompts to help you create meaningful entries, and tools for developing insight into your daily life.
One of the first questions the Jour app poses is “What’s on your mind?” It then explains that regular journaling can help you improve your relationships, plus give you self-encouragement to try new things, be happier, overcome fears, become more confident, and develop a stronger sense of calm in your daily life.
After selecting one of more primary goals for starting a diary, the Jour app explains through graphics and text how by using the app just three times per week, for as little as five minutes per session, can begin to improve and better understand your life.
One of the more useful featured built into the app is that it nicely utilizes graphics, as opposed to just text, to help you flush out your thoughts and feelings.
For example, when the app asks you “How do you feel right now?”, you’ll see an emoji-like face with a slider that allows you to choose your mood simply by swiping or tapping on a graphic.
Another question the app might pose is, “Which emotion best describes how you feel?” This is followed by a simple, text-based listing of emotions from which you can choose the one that most applies.
To help you narrow down what you’re thinking or feeling, the app then poses follow up questions, each with a series of tap-on, multiple-choice prompts as answers.
Once the app narrows down what’s currently on your mind, it next asks more open-ended questions that require short, text-based responses.
However, at the same time, the app offers some potential answers to those questions, plus gives you the option to take or import digital photos into the entry.
The goal of the Jour app is to make you consider what’s happening in your life, choose what’s important to document, and then make it super-simply to record your most relevant thoughts, impressions, and ideas.
Beyond just the template and free-form-based journaling tools offered by the Jour app, built into the app are a collection of interactive breathing exercises, as well as an ever-growing series of articles and resources designed to help you address specific personal, relationship, emotional, sleep, family, and work-related problems you may be facing.
Other full feature digital diary apps worth taking a look at include: Day One Journal, Flow Journal: Writing a Diary, Notebook: Diary / Journal, and an app called Daylio Journal.
There are also apps, like Journi Blog – Travel Tracker, that are designed specifically to help you chronical your vacations and travels, while others are better suited for writing about your dieting or workout habits, for example.
Instead of using a stand-alone digital diary app, some people opt to use the Notes app that comes pre-installed on their smartphone or tablet. The Notes app allows you to create dated entries that can be password protected for privacy and then stored within your mobile device - in chorological order.
The biggest trick to using a digital diary app is to start using it, and then use it continuously.
Once you select which app you’ll use, get into the habit of taking a few minutes per day, at least a few days per week, to use the app and create entries to chronicle your life in a fun and positive way.
Well that’s it for this edition of Featured App of the Week. If you found this information useful, please tell your friends about the podcast, post a positive review, and don’t forget to subscribe.
As always, links to the mobile apps and services discussed during this podcast episode are included within the Episode Notes, and a text-based transcript is available for free at www.FeaturedAppPodcast.com.
Also, while you’re waiting for the next new episode of Featured App of the Week to be released, please listen to some of the past 30 episodes, each of which is chock full of useful information that’ll help you get the most out of using your Apple iPhone, Apple iPad, or Android-based smartphone or tablet.
Until next time, I’m Jason Rich. Thanks for listening.