List of 7 Popular Online Gratitude Journals & Apps

Updated

If you want to get into journaling, you might be glad to know you no longer have to limit yourself to the traditional pen and notebook setup. These days there are plenty of online gratitude journals and apps available for free or to purchase.

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Online journals and apps make journaling easy to accomplish no matter where you are. The best part is that there are plenty of options to choose from, making it entirely possible to find a journal that is just right for you.

What Is an Online Gratitude Journal or App?

An online gratitude journal or app provides you with space in the digital world to write journal entries in response to gratitude prompts. There are a wide variety of options in the app space enabling you to find a journal that fits your style, preferences, and wants in a gratitude journal.

All of the best online gratitude journals offer free and paid or pro versions. While the free versions typically provide users with all the tools they need to get started writing journal entries, pro versions provide extra perks that you might want to utilize like adding photos to your entries or automatically backing up your journals.

In the world of app-based and online journals, there really is something for everyone. Want a journal that lets you digitally doodle and draw alongside your journal entry? There’s an app for that. Maybe you’d like a simple text-only option. There’s one for that. Perhaps you’d like color coding, highlighting, or other creative options. There’s an app for that, too.

Since most apps are free to use, you can always try out several gratitude journal apps, start thinking about things you’re grateful for, and decide which one you’ll keep after you use them for a while.

What Features Should You Look for in an Online Gratitude Journal?

Deciding on an online or app-based gratitude journal usually takes a little bit of research but we’ve done all the hard work for you. When it comes to the features you should look for, you can break them down into three categories: must-haves, nice-to-haves, and cherry-on-top features. Let’s take a look at each feature for these categories.

Must-haves

There are several must-have features you should always look for when deciding on an app including things like:

Privacy lock: Think of journal entries like diary entries. You might write some things down that you don’t want anyone else seeing. It wouldn’t be beneficial if someone was playing around with your phone and opened up your journaling app and started reading. Therefore, you need a way to keep your entries secure. The best apps feature some sort of privacy lock. This might be a passcode, fingerprint ID, or face ID. 

Backups: Just imagine that you get into the habit of journaling and you successfully complete a few months of entries. Then one day you accidentally drop your phone and it dies. Without a proper backup, all the journal entries you wrote will be lost. With a backup, you can rest assured that your entries can get restored if you break your phone or simply need to switch to a new one.

Syncing across multiple devices: If you plan on using your phone to journal sometimes, your iPad to journal at other times, and your computer for when you’re home on your couch, then this feature is a must-have. When syncing across multiple devices is enabled, all devices will get updated no matter which one you use to write a journal entry. 

Nice-to-haves

Nice-to-have features are items that you’d really like to have that will make your journaling experience better. This includes things like:

Adding images to journal entries: This is a perk that most paid or pro versions come with and it’s something many users enjoy. If you want a writing-only app, then you probably won’t care about this feature. But if you want to include pictures or video clips to accompany your journal entries, then you might find paying the pro version price to be worth it for this feature.

Customized journal prompts: You’ll likely find that the prompts automatically provided are helpful to get started. But after a while, you might want to change them or add your own. Most free versions don’t offer customized journal prompts, but paid versions often allow you to choose the prompts you want or import your own. This feature is especially helpful for future self journaling and self-reflection questions.

Free-writing space: Some journal apps limit the amount of space you have to write. If you’re the type of person who wants to write until you’re out of thoughts, then the limited space can get frustrating. You can find free and paid versions of apps that both offer free-writing space.

Cherry-on-top features

These are features that you really don’t need and might not even utilize, but you might enjoy them if they’re there. Most of these features come with the paid versions of apps.

Auto location and timestamps: If you’d rather not enter where you are or the date when you start each journal entry, some apps will automatically do it for you. While you’ll have to approve permissions for the app to locate you, it’s a nice feature if you want a track record of where you were or if you often forget to fill in the date.

Stickers: Digital stickers are a fun way to add color and character to your journal entries. Some paid versions come with a large sticker pack so you can add everything from hearts and flowers to angry faces or emoticons.

Popular Free and Paid Online Gratitude Journals and Apps

All the best online and app-based gratitude journals are free to use and come with paid version features you can pay to use. Here are the top 11 gratitude journaling apps and the features they offer.

1. Five Minute Journal App

The Five Minute Journal App comes from Intelligent Change, a company that specializes in providing physical and digital products aimed at helping people live better lives. The app is an all-in-one journal that provides gratitude prompts, a place to write down your entries, and daily encouragement. 

Specs: This is available from Google Play and the Apple iStore. There are in-app purchases, but the app and all of its essential features are completely free to use.

Free features: These features can be used by everyone from the time you download the app.

  • Easy-to-use templates
  • Minimal time commitment
  • Daily reminders and quotes
  • Passcode protection

Paid features: There are three different subscription models with monthly, yearly, or lifetime payment plans. Subscriptions come with upgrades and features such as:

  • Mood tracker
  • Add photos to journal entries
  • Custom prompts
  • Free-write section

2. Day One Journal

The Day One journaling app is a Mac-only offering but works on computers, smartphones, and even smartwatches for Apple fans. The app provides you with a minimalist, user-friendly interface and automatically loads location and time data when you start journaling.

Specs: This is compatible with all Apple products including Macs, iPhones, and Apple Watches. In-app purchases provide some valuable add-ons, but the free version is packed with features.

Free features: These features can be used as soon as you log in.

  • Add pictures and video clips to your journal entries
  • Sign-in includes biometric features
  • End-to-end encryption 
  • Automatically back up your journal entries

Paid features: These features come when you sign up for the monthly subscription plan.

  • Cloud syncing
  • Upload and attach unlimited pictures and video clips
  • Write on the go with voice-to-text transcription

3. Dabble.me

Dabble.me is like an email conversation with yourself. After setting up your account, you’ll get email reminders sent to you to journal. You respond to those journals by writing an entry, and, by hitting “send,” and you’ll have completed your entry for the day. It’s a unique method that’s ideal for getting started and creating a daily habit. 

Specs: This is email-based, so it works on any device where you receive emails.

Free features: These features are available to all users.

  • Simple reply, write, and send journal entries
  • Get reminded of past journal entries 

Paid features: These features are available when you sign up for the pro version which is priced at $3.00 per month or $30.00 per year.

  • Add photos and songs from Spotify
  • Customized reminders
  • Import journal entries from other apps
  • Text formatting options
  • Year in review
  • Calendar view

4. Momento

Combine all of your social media entries into one journal entry with Momento. If you already utilize social media and upload the good things that happen in your life, Memento will help you combine them all into one journal entry. The app can pull from Spotify, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and other popular social media sites. 

Specs: This is only available on the iOS App Store for Apple users.

Free features: These features are available to everyone.

  • Integration of up to three social media feeds
  • “Look back” reminders
  • Back up to iCloud
  • Share entries

Paid features: These features are available for the premium version billed at $2.49 monthly, or the premium gold version billed at $37.99 for the year.

  • Unlimited social media feeds
  • Journal export
  • Personalize themes, designs, and layout
  • Passcode and biometric locks

5. Grid Diary

If you’re just getting started journaling for the first time, the Grid Diary is a great app to download. It provides a slew of helpful gratitude prompts for you to begin journaling, guided writing, templates, and more.

Specs: This is available in the Apple Store, Mac Apple Store and Google Play Store. Paid features are available for increased privacy and customization options, but the free version is more than enough for most users.

Free features: These features are provided for all users.

  • Write in multiple journals at the same time, focusing on different prompt sets
  • Attach photos to your journals
  • Very friendly journaling interface
  • Export journal entries via PDF

Paid features: These features can be accessed as part of the premium version, billed at $2.99 monthly or $25.99 yearly.

  • Passcode lock on app
  • Across-device syncing
  • Customized reminders

6. Penzu

Penzu is a highly popular journaling app with over two million users. The free version boasts a full suite of tools to help you start your gratitude journaling journey and keep going day after day. Its blog-like user interface is a favorite feature for many users.

Specs: Penzu can be downloaded from the Apple Store or the Google Play Store. 

Free features: These features are available to all users.

  • Journal entries stored online
  • Custom journal reminders
  • Privacy lock
  • Interface similar to a WordPress blog 

Paid features: These items are available when you sign up for the subscription billed at $4.99 monthly or $19.99 yearly.

  • Export journals via PDF
  • Customized reminders
  • 265-bit military-grade encryption

7. Daylio

If you’re looking for a bit of a non-traditional journal in more of a bullet journal format, then Daylio might be just what you’re looking for. Rather than writing out an entry in response to a journal prompt, you’ll choose pictures and one or two-word phrases that supplement your day. For example, you might choose a happy face for a good mood and add icons like an ice cream cone, birthday cake, and present for the day of your birthday. 

Specs: The app is available for download on smart devices from the Apple Store and the Google Play Store.

Free features: There are quite a few free features, making this a good overall app to use.

  • Export journal entries via PDF
  • Customized reminders
  • Goal setting
  • Monthly activity and mood chart
  • Calendar view

Paid features: These features are available when you sign up for the paid subscription billed monthly at $2.99 for a year’s commitment, or monthly at $4.99 for a month-to-month plan.

Journal Your Way to Gratitude

Keeping a gratitude journal has been proven to lower anxiety and stress, boost feelings of positivity, and improve a person’s overall sense of health and well-being. With benefits like these, it’s no wonder so many people take advantage of downloading a digital gratitude journal to their mobile devices. We wish you all the best in getting started with your gratitude journaling journey.

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