Using Your Notebook As a Notebook: Three Top Diary Apps

It’s incredibly difficult to actually keep a diary. Here are three diary applications that have made sure I stick to it.

The best thing about these three apps is that they work on notebooks. That means you can carry your diary around with you, and record information as and when the moment strikes you. If you’re got an SSD – a Solid State Drive – in your notebook, you can boot it up from ‘cold’ in next to no time, you won’t be missing a single trick.


iDailyDiaryFree. The best part of iDailyDiaryFree is that it provides an extremely minimal interface. Supporting rich text and image input – but in a more stripped-down way that Microsoft Word – iDailyDiaryFree will remind you to write in your journal, allow for cutting and pasting and so on.

It’s not exactly pretty, but if you’re using a Windows PC you may be perfectly happy with the functional interface, designed to get you recording your memories fast (with little other intervention). It’ll keep a line count for you, which is handy if you’re rambling, and the ability to include pictures (even moving GIFs, which are movie-like) is a nice touch.

Evernote. Despite the functionality that iDailyDiaryFree offers, you may opt to elect a less specialised application from your notebook to do the job. If Microsoft Word typically gets your vote – or even if you hand-write your entries and then photograph them or scan them in – you should think about using Evernote. Not only will the application automatically back up your new entries to the ‘Cloud’ – a secure storage location designed to keep your entries ‘synchronised’ across all your devices, so you can access your journal from any hardware that you can log in to Evernote from – but it contains advanced handwriting-recognition features to make your journal entries searchable. That means that you can do a wee spot of analysis on yourself over the year, and identify trends in the kind of things you record, as well as being able to access a critical entry at a moment’s notice.

Google Calendar. If your diary entries are more for the day-to-day to-do than recording your experiences in a journal, Google Calendar offers a fantastic suite – fully compatible with virtually any notebook – and, once again, it has that natty synchronisation feature to keep everything in touch with everything else across any computing devices you use. What’s more, Google Calendar can be set to send you e-mail reminders of things that are coming up, which is critical if you use a diary to jog your memory but don’t have direct access to it. It can even act as a virtual PA, sending you an e-mail of your day’s schedule at the beginning of the day. If that doesn’t help you remember, nothing will.

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