There’s A Lot To Like About The New App On Your iPhone

A woman is sitting at a table with a phone in front of her, using a journal app.

One of the reasons I started One Good Thing was to have a place to write about the little everyday things that made me happy as a practice in positivity. Thanks to a recent iOS update (17.2, to be specific), I now have another place to write about my everyday experiences: the new Journal app!

My mom was a big proponent of keeping a journal, both as a record of your life and a way to process your thoughts and feelings. It can be scary to put your most private thoughts in a journal if you’re worried someone else might read it, but Apple’s new Journal app offers strong privacy and security features that can help you start journaling worry-free.

In this post, I’ll be pointing out a few of my favorite features of this brand-new app, as well as pointing out some missing features I’d like to see added in the future. This just might be the journaling tool you’ve been waiting for!

5 Things I Like About The Journal App

iPhone screen in settings, showing how to lock your Journal app.

1. Privacy

You can lock your journal so that it’s only accessible by Face ID, Touch ID, or your passcode. Go to Settings > Journal to adjust the privacy settings to your liking.

A notification on an iPhone reminding you to journal, Journal screen showing suggestions, including photos.

2. Suggestions

The Journal app can offer suggestions of things to add to your entries, including workouts and exercise, podcasts, music, photos, locations, and more. I like the way it suggests recent photos I’ve taken because it helps jog my memory and enhance my journal entries.

You can pick and choose which suggestions it offers, or turn suggestions off completely if you don’t want to see them in the app. You can easily change your suggestion settings by going to Settings > Privacy & Security > Journaling Suggestions.

Screenshots showing how to set up your journaling schedule.

3. Reminders

If writing in your journal is something you struggle to remember to do, you can have the app remind you to do so. Go to Settings > Journal > Journaling Schedule, toggle the feature on, then adjust the time and date settings to your desired frequency.

Journal entry page on iPhone screen, showing icons to add photos and sound.

4. Take Photos And Videos

Not only is it easy to add existing photos from your photo library to your journal entries, but you can also take new photos and videos right in the app. You can choose whether those photos and videos get saved to your photo library by going to Settings > Journal.

Entry screen on Journal app showing how to type via dictation.

5. Dictation

If you’re not great at typing on your phone, try the voice-to-text dictation feature! Within a journal entry, just tap the little microphone icon and start speaking. You can even add audio clips to your entries — imagine having a recording of your grandbaby’s first words in your journal!

A woman sitting at a table using a journal app on her phone.

4 Features I Wish The Journal App Had

1. Ability To Draw

I love that I can use the Notes app to scribble, doodle, and jot down notes by hand, and I’d love to be able to do that in the Journal app too. So far, the only way to add something drawn or handwritten to a journal entry is to create a screenshot and add it as a photo. I hope they add a drawing feature in the future!

2. More Specific Privacy Options

You can access your journal using Face ID, Touch ID, or your passcode, but it would be nice if you could choose just one of those options. Currently, anyone who has your passcode in case they need to access your phone in an emergency can also access your Journal. It would be nice to have more specific privacy options to keep your journal truly private.

3. Desktop Version

The Journal app is currently only available on iPhone, but I’d love to have a desktop version I can use on my laptop, too. Regardless of your phone’s screen size, the photos and videos in my journal entries would be more impactful on a laptop or desktop computer.

4. Better Search

Journal entries currently appear in one long list, so I imagine that it would quickly become difficult to return to past entries. You can bookmark a journal entry to make it easier to find, but improved search and tagging options would be welcome additions to the app in future updates.

Update your iPhone to iOS 17.2, if you haven’t already, and start exploring the new Journal app! And to learn even more great iPhone hacks and how to get the most out of your phone, be sure to check out my iPhone hacks series!

If you’re already using the Journal app, let me know what you think about it so far by leaving a comment below!

Do you keep a journal?

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Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee

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  1. I’ll have to try this. My mom has always been so much better at keeping journals .She started writing things down when my younger brothers were little.

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