Digital diaries

R Dinakaran | Updated on January 12, 2018

Multi-tasking: Apart from diary entries, these apps also track appointments

If you like jotting down how your day goes by, these apps might just be what you’re looking for

There’s no shortage of calendars and apps for getting things done. But what about the good old diary? If you remember what it felt like to keep a secret diary, you’ll want to know whether this can be done digitally or online. Surprisingly, there aren’t quite that many options. Not many companies have ventured into diary applications, for reasons unknown. There are a few websites that cater to this need, but they don’t have accompanying apps.

There are diary apps for certain, but some don’t have desktop versions — and one needs to be able to write on different devices.

There are just a handful of options available if we consider our requirements — availability across multiple platforms and major operating systems and solutions that have both apps and websites. Even the ones that are available have some drawbacks. Here are some of the available options:


This app has its shortcomings, but as of now, it’s the best available online diary app. Diaro is available for Android, iOS and on the web as an app. This means we can access it anywhere — desktop, mobiles and tablets.

Another feature that makes it worth considering is that it’s possible to upload pictures on the app. So, if we have made a utility payment and have a receipt, we can upload the picture of the receipt along with the diary entry noting the payment. Diaro also has a location facility that can be used to tag the location with the entry.

The entries you make with Diaro can be tagged for making later searches easy. Searches can be filtered by location, folder, tags, or date. In addition, entries can also be arranged into separate folders under headings like personal or official.

Diaro doesn’t have its own sync, but uses Dropbox. So, if you have to sync with multiple devices, it is important that you have a Dropbox account and link the app with it.

On the downside, there is no rich formatting, which means it is not possible to highlight, change fonts or enter links. All entries have to be in plain text. But Diaro says it is soon coming up with a rich text option. You can also find Diaro at


This app actually doesn’t claim it is a diary, but a journal. Although the difference isn’t much. Penzu is actually more popular than Diaro.

First off, it’s available across all devices and platforms — Android, iOS, mobiles, tablets and web app. Just like with Diaro, we can upload pictures with our entries. Penzu allows creation of multiple journals with a rich text formatting option — users can format text and also add links to notes.

Apart from using the links option to point to multiple sites, the feature can also be used to link pages or journals within Penzu itself. For instance, if you’ve have met someone today and got an appointment with them after a few days, you can create entries on both days and use the links option to connect both entries.

There are two versions of this app available: classic and modern. The classic is the old version of Penzu with a different interface.

There is no third party service needed for syncing here, which is nice and convenient. Penzu also offers a reminder facility. This is especially useful for those using it as a journal instead of a diary.

The biggest problem with using Penzu as a diary is that there is no way to add entries for future dates. As it is mainly a journal app, the dates are available only for the present.

There are many note-taking apps, from the famous Evernote to Google’s own Keep and Microsoft’s OneNote. These are available across platforms, but fall in a different category.

Published on June 21, 2017

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