Apple Journal vs. Day One: Best Journaling App in 2024

Discover the ideal journaling app for you. A detailed comparison between Apple's Journal and Day One across design, features, privacy, and value.

By Abhishek Chandel
New Update
Apple Journal vs. Day One: Best Journaling App

Apple Journal vs. Day One: Best Journaling App

Journaling apps have surged in popularity in recent years as people seek to record meaningful memories, engage in daily reflection, reduce stress through writing, and more. Two apps leading this space are Apple’s new Journal app and the long-standing favorite Day One. This article will compare the two apps across key categories to determine the best choice for your journaling needs.

Interface & Design

Both Journal and Day One offer clean, visually appealing interfaces suited for a reflective journaling experience. Journal embraces simplicity with a two-button minimalist design focused solely on creating entries. Day One has greater opportunities for customization through various fonts, icons, templates, and themes to personalize your space.

For those wanting a simple no-fuss interface, Journal delivers whereas Day One excels for those wanting to tailor their journaling environment.

Entry Composition Capabilities

When crafting a journal entry, Apple’s Journal app shines in its integration with your Photos library and location history to quickly generate reflective prompts and inspiration for writing. It also allows you to record audio clips and video to add multimedia dimensions.

Day One similarly integrates location and weather details but also supports importing videos, PDFs and documents to augment entries. It also provides richer formatting options like customizable headings, lists, captions etc. to structure longer-form writing.

Organization & Searchability

Day One offers more robust features to organize and search your journal archives over time including tags, multiple sortable journals, chronological timeline browsing by entry or date, and a fuzzy text search tool. By contrast, Journal currently only allows bookmarking favorite entries and has basic filters for location, person detection in photos, and trip detections to surface past memories.

So for those writing consistently over years, Day One is superior for revisiting and leveraging your accumulated journal catalog.

Sharing & Security

For privacy reasons, most journal keepers prefer strict access restrictions and data encryption for their personal writings and memories. Apple's Journal app stores data securely in iCloud accounts, protected by Face ID authentication.

Day One goes further by hosting data on private servers with end-to-end encryption enabled by default. Both deliver excellent protection and control over access, with Day One having a slight edge for the most privacy-focused.

Additional Features

As a brand new offering, Journal has significant room for growth when it comes to features. Currently, it focuses solely on core journaling capabilities. By contrast, Day One offers advanced features like home screen widgets, Apple Watch compatibility, manual cloud backups, Apple Health integration to track daily factors impacting wellness and integration with services like Google Drive or Slack for transferring files. These give Day One much greater versatility as an expanding platform.

Pricing & Value

One of Journal’s main advantages is it comes included free with iOS devices, making it instantly accessible to millions of users from the start. However, as discussed throughout this article, Day One offers far greater depth across all aspects of journaling - albeit for a $34.99 annual fee. Ultimately Day One clearly provides superior value; however Journal may suit more casual journal keepers happy with basic functionality.


In conclusion, Apple’s Journal stands out for its intuitive simplicity in interface and seamless integration with your photo library for easy memory curation. However, Day One remains the undisputed leader in advanced features, customizability and versatility needed for deeper, more consistent journal keeping over time - albeit at a paid subscription cost. Casual journalers may find Journal sufficient for reflective writing paired with Photos, but power users will appreciate Day One’s capabilities. Both advance the journaling space and appeal to different audiences.

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