Instantly Download Notebook & Journal Templates, Samples & Examples in Adobe PDF, Microsoft Word (DOC), Adobe Photoshop (PSD), Adobe InDesign (INDD & IDML). Apple (MAC) Pages, Microsoft Publisher, Adobe Illustrator (AI). Available in (A4) 8.27x11.69. Quickly Customize. Easily Editable & Printable. App for iPhone, iPad, and Mac. Your Journal for Life. App for iPhone, iPad, and Mac. Features; Pricing; Get the App. Follow us on Instagram for tips, prompts, and beautiful photography to help you get the most from your journal. Find inspiration on our Instagram →. The vision behind iMac has never wavered: Transform the desktop experience by fitting powerful, easy-to-use technology into an elegant, all-in-one design. The new iMac takes that idea to the next level — giving you even more amazing tools to do just about anything. IMac is packed with the latest processors, faster memory, and phenomenal graphics. It supports local development, preprocessors, S3, and more. If you think the days of amazing free Mac apps are long gone, think again. Macaw is one of the few WYSIWYG web design editors that I actually enjoy using. It's built from the ground up to have a responsive design workflow and is extremely powerful. Create is Adobe's magazine by creatives, for creatives — available online and as a mobile app. Visit them for inspiration and tutorials on photography, illustration, graphic design, web design, motion graphics, audio/video, branding, and more.
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It might often feel like many of your best life experiences are lost to the sands of time. Sure, you remember that you took an amazing vacation in Mexico, but how much of it do you really remember? Do you know what day you met your spouse, and how you were feeling that day? Unless you keep some kind of personal journal, all that personal history will vanish like tears in rain. But keeping a consistent journal is tedious work, requiring pens and paper. You can use a journaling app to make it easier. Many apps will remind you to keep entries and support photos and videos to make your memories all the richer. Pick the best journal app for Mac from the list below.
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 recent kerfuffle, 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.
The only real downside is the lack of an iOS app. Journey costs $12.99 for the Mac application, or you can use the free Journey.cloud web application in any browser.
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.
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.
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If you turn phrases for fun and/or profit, your best option for a Mac writing app depends on what you want to write, and how.
Sure, you could stick with a word processor to pour your thoughts onto the page — but you've got better choices. If you want something a little less stuffy, cluttered, and nine-to-five, or more focused on creative writing, we've found four solid choices that take two very different approaches to helping you express yourself. All are either Essentials or Editors' Choices in the Mac App Store.
The first three apps on this list all take a similar no-frills approach to writing. They sport clean, minimalist interfaces, keep all your writing in a single window, can swap documents between their iOS and Mac versions, and use some variation of the Markdown syntax to handle all text formatting.
Ulysses impressed me most among this crowd for its breadth of features and ease of use. An outstanding series of introductory texts ease you into using Ulysses, one simple step at a time. Their witty writing allows you to learn the program while you're using it.
If you want to track your own productivity, or challenge yourself to meet a certain word count, it's easy to set goals from Ulysses's dashboard. Don't know Markdown XL, Ulysses's native tongue? No worries — a handy cheat sheet of syntax waits behind a button at the top of the program. (Ulysses also supports old faithful keyboard shortcuts for bold, italic, and linked text, if you don't want to type Markdown XL's extra characters.)
Ulysses keeps these two features and a handful of others, including options to export your work to text, ePub, HTML, PDF, or DOCX formats, in pop-over menus that you can tear off and keep onscreen for easy reference.
Ulysses isn't WYSIWYG; you can download themes to change up its color scheme at the Ulysses Style Exchange, but you can't view the effects of your formatting until you preview or export it. The Style Exchange also offers a host of free templates for PDF, HTML, and ePub exports, with different looks, fonts, and styles.
Ulysses comes with built-in iCloud support to hand off documents between its Mac and iOS versions. It can also publish your work directly to your Medium or WordPress site, once you enter your account info. And its subscription model means that your monthly $4.99 fee unlocks the app on both the Mac and iOS.
Ulysses offers a lot of options in a polished, user-friendly package. Unfortunately, it has a good portion of its thunder stolen by…
- $4.99/month with a 14-day free trial - Download now!
Nearly everything Ulysses does, Bear does just as well, in an arguably prettier package. Bear's fonts and color scheme, while still clean and stark, go easier on the eyes than Ulysses's utilitarian gray. Its stats panel is much easier to read, though less detailed. And Bear strikes a happy medium between full WYSIWYG formatting and Markdown simplicity by clearly labeling different header tags as you create them, and offering the option to actually show text as bold or italic when properly marked.
I liked Bear's tagging system, which makes it really easy to organize files. Just type in a hashtag anywhere in your document, and Bear will either create a category for it on the fly in its list of documents, or add that document to an existing category. I was also impressed with Bear's ability to share a note to any program you've added to your Mac's Sharing menu, including Facebook, Twitter, and Reminders.
Beyond that, Bear duplicates a lot of Ulysses's virtues, from its overall interface to its friendly help files. And the program's basic version, which packs plenty of power, is absolutely free on both Mac and iOS. However, to match Ulysses's features, you'll need to subscribe to Bear Plus, for $1.49 a month or $14.99 a year. That subscription gets you features like iCloud synching, ePub export, and customizable export themes, all of which Ulysses includes right out of the box.
- Free to download, $1.99/month or $14.99/year Bear Plus subscription - Download now!
Its stark black-and-white interface makes Ulysses look colorful. It feels brusque and utilitarian, not welcoming. On first use, the program dumps you right into its interface with no introduction. Its lean, efficient Help files explain the program well, but after Ulysses and Bear's gentler tutorials, iA Writer's lack of frills can feel jarring.
Word count and other stats are crammed into a tiny menu at the bottom of the window, and you can't set goals for any of those parameters. They're squeezed into the same small space as iA Writer's Format and Syntax menus, which can format text or quickly highlight all the nouns, adverbs, adjectives, or other parts of speech in your document — a nifty feature undercut by lackluster interface design.
Finally, a real-time preview window can show you what your text will look like when it's finished and formatted. But it feels odd to have the same text side by side; if you want to see what text looks like when formatted, why not just have a WYSIWYG editor?
iA Writer isn't bad on its own merits, but with such impressive competition, it can't help but suffer in comparison.
- $15 - Download now!
At the opposite end of the spectrum from its spartan rivals, Scrivener is a jumbo-sized Swiss army knife stuffed with a sometimes overwhelming array of fun and useful tools. The other programs in this roundup are undeniably more versatile, lending themselves just as well to note taking, blog posts, journalism, or technical writing as they do to writing fiction. In contrast, Scrivener's built to serve the needs of folks writing novels, short stories, screenplays, and — given its ability to store pictures, cached web pages, and other research material alongside a given text — possibly term papers. For $45, you'll definitely get your money's worth.
Scrivener's somewhat long in the tooth compared to its rivals here, with a dense but coherent interface filled with the kinds of colorful icons that seem to have fallen out of fashion among Mac apps. It arguably needs such a crowd of buttons to display even a fraction of the features stuffed into its every nook and cranny. (My favorite: A ridiculously options-laden name generator for authors in need of inspiration.) Scrivener's user manual, however engagingly written, is 546 pages long. It's not messing around.
Even after years of using Scrivener, I still sometimes find myself hunting through its menus in search of that one command I need. Consistently formatting text files in a given project to anything other than Scrivener's default settings can be a pain, and it keeps its settings for targets and statistics in separate popup windows.
But despite this complexity, Scrivener does a good job of getting out of your way. Scrivener offers an outline mode, and a corkboard mode that displays each of your scenes as virtual notecards on which you can hash out what happens when. But if you just want to start writing without worrying about its bells and whistles, you won't have a problem. Because it's so like the Finder, Scrivener's system for storing scenes in various folders makes sense immediately. And like all the programs mentioned here, Scrivener offers a fullscreen mode that blots out everything but the text you're working on, to avoid distractions.
Scrivener also offers a respectable if occasionally glitchy screenplay mode. It won't replace Final Draft, but if you want to have fun writing a cinematic masterpiece about Dominic Toretto battling Dracula, you'll end up with a decently formatted final product.
Scrivener also shines when it's time to publish your work. Its voluminous list of export formats includes all the usual suspects, plus ePubs, Final Draft screenplay files, and even Kindle books. You can even select only specific chapters or files to compile and export — handy when you've got multiple drafts of a novel in a given file, but only want to create a PDF of the most recent one. However, this versatility has one glaring exception: Scrivener doesn't support iCloud, though it can share documents between its iOS and Mac versions.
- $45 - Download now!
Which app is best?
If you want a jack-of-all trades writing app with WordPress, Medium, and iCloud support built in, Ulysses is your best bet. If you're not willing to shell out $4.99 a month indefinitely, try the similar Bear first. You may not ever need its advanced features, which would give you a terrific writing app for free.
But if you're serious about creative writing, and you want a stalwart companion to help drag stories out of your brain, Scrivener's your best bet. Its learning curve is steeper, but its powerful features make that climb worthwhile.
Got any favorite apps we haven't mentioned here? Let us know in the comments below.
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