“Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart.” —William Wordsworth
Everything has become digital, so the journaling has too. If William Wordsworth alive now, he would have used the word ‘journaling app’ instead of ‘paper’ in the above quote. It is obvious that no one of this era can carry a diary everywhere with them. An app for this purpose wouldn’t be a burden to your smartphone and desktop computers. That kind of app is “Journey” a digital diary and journaling app.
I’ve been using Journey for a month and more. Though I used to record important things that happen to me, I am not the type who has the habit of journaling. But after using the app for a month I frequently captured things into this app than I used to. I would like to give the review from two perspectives. One, how’s the app performed, uses of its handy features. Two, how the app fits into my lifestyle, whether is a must for me?
How’s the app
Journey by 2App Studio was been there for long. I have a memory of using it 3-4 years back. After that, I’ve recently started to use it again. More or less, the app served its purpose right and well so far. The app functions like a regular note-taking app with few additional types of data. No custom title: Every note is titled with the current date, the app doesn’t allow to change the name of the note. If more than one note is created on the same day, it will be titled with ‘time’. That’s very disappointing. I couldn’t name my special moments.
The note includes optional space to add your ‘mood’, tags, pictures or videos. Location and temperature of the place are automatically populated with an option to remove. Apart from those, you can add few rich text data as a markup. Enough for basic journaling. I hate the app for its limitations. I can only upload 4 pictures or 1 video and 10 pictures in case of pro version. If you want to include plenty of pics to your journal, forget ‘Journey’.
Some really useful feature the app provides is Calendar and reminders. In calendar view, you can quickly see the dates on which you had journaled with a colour notation for moods. The calendar overview is not much for me and difficult to sum-up anything with that. Reminders can nag you to write a journal on custom set time every day, that’s likely a better feature. Atlas feature works great.
Coming to data back-up, everything is stored in Google Drive. You don’t need any special change in settings to put all your journal notes to Google Drive. Don’t like Google Drive? then just look for another app. Journey doesn’t back up your data anywhere in their server except if you hold a membership on ‘Journey.cloud’. Journey’s cloud service is too pricey in my opinion. One funny thing is, I couldn’t find any data of journal notes in my Google Drive because as per Journey’s support page it will be only accessible by the Journey’s designated app and nothing else. That means, even though you own your data, it is not possible to manually handle them in Google Drive.
One cool feature available only for Journey.cloud membership holders is, ability to send journal note through an email. That’s definitely cool because it eludes the need of the app or personal devices.
The search feature is not that much effective. It failed to include location and tags in the search index. If you try to search a journal note based on the location details, you’ll end up with nothing. Tags worked effectively as you can pull all the notes with a particular tag. You’ll be good to go if you maintain few numbers of tags. Too many tags? it might become messy.
The pricing structure of the app just sucks and confusing. You need to buy the app individually for each platform. Need to use ‘pro’ version in android, buy the app in android, then later you want to use Journal in Chrome, you need to buy there again (with a different price) and for iPhone, yes, you need to buy again. Why???? There’s no app/service so far charged me in this pattern.
Will it fit you?
If journaling is your only need and you’re the beginner then yes it may fit for you. It’s better at handling your privacy. The app is plain and simple with all the basic features for digital journaling. I want to be thrifty here. Neither I don’t want to buy the app for Android and PC nor I want to use the app with limitations. Journey.cloud membership is definitely not for me, it is priced higher than what it deserves. If 4 pics per journal note, pure textual content is enough for you to jot your journal, then Journey is a good choice. As of now, I am continuing with Journey.
As I am already using Evernote, I am planning to experiment it for journaling. Stay tuned for the update whether Evernote is good for personal journaling. I presume Evernote can beat Journey except for the ‘calendar’ and ‘atlas’ feature. But not sure of other areas.