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Cloud Enabled Cross Platform Journaling

by Kerry Dawson

In a previous article titled “JOURNALING REMAINS A COMPELLING REASON TO USE YOUR MAC” I outlined a number of Journaling apps that most specifically related to the Mac ecosystem. However, cross platform is now becoming quite the reality so you might want to Journal on your Mac but use an Android phone for your mobile journaling all the while keeping everything in sync. This is now a reality and I have two favourite apps for doing the job. Yet, we are relatively at the beginning of this trend so it is well worth taking a look at this for various reasons.

Cross System Functionality enabled by the Cloud

The ability to be able to do this totally relates to the cloud/internet and software that leverages these services. You can have an app sitting on your Mac connected to the cloud, such as dropbox, an open platform and easily have a journal app on your Android that is identical to the one on your Mac.

The same goes for the iPhone, iPad or iPod touch. In fact, all these devices can be fully in sync as long as there is a client in each that is identical or mainly identical or at least pulling the right information and you are doing full cross platform journaling.

The Benefits of Journaling

As I discussed in the article I highlighted but which is discussed at length in different contexts, journaling can be a very beneficial activity. It can lead to overall health and wellbeing and in some cases success.

In terms of health, it can be very valuable just to journal to externalize the way your thinking and feeling. Thus, it can drastically improve one’s mental health so to speak. It can allow one to not only externalize feelings but then to sit back and reflect on what has been written. The process of reflection is very healthy for putting values into context. Knowing yourself better both can be relieving but lead to self direction.

The art of good journaling can provide context in time. So it can have spatial implications. As an example, you could look over the last year of your journal and see that you have been very active or not, quiet and reflective or outgoing and jumping into knew things. Journaling can help as your guidepost and complement the way your feeling or more importantly put it in context. You might be able to see things that make sense, are part of what you need to be happy and healthy or not and allow you, like a motivator to get on with something all the while bringing potential rationality to the front.

Harnessing your emotions in a health way can have numerous rewards one being better physical health. The more destructive self thoughts are, say put in context, the better you can feel. These are all important, in the long run, for having the sense of living a full and useful/meaningful life again very valuable in both mental and physical health.

Why the Cross Platform Approach

There are both technical and logical reasons for having a journal that can go far a field with you. Your journal is just that – your journal. The more it melds into your life and the more it works with you, the more likely you will be to keep it up.

This having been said, one of the most valuable aspects of journaling is consistency. The more you journal and the longer you journal, the better you’ll get at it and the more its benefits will accrue. It’s a shame when people put their journal aside because they find it to encumbering or lacking in value. The value is there and it grows with use and time. Thus, cross platform journaling just ensures the more the tool to journal with will fit with you.

Thus, you’ll want a journal or software that does exactly the same thing. So the hardware is important as this fluxes in your life and if the software can too you’re laughing.

Two Very Good Journals for a Cross Platform Approach

There are a lot of journals on the market. Some are definitely very beneficial whereas others can be gimmicky. The key thing with a journal though is that it flows with you and simply allows you to get down your thoughts and feelings.

A journal which is fluid in this approach, allows you to easily rediscover what you‘ve written and reflect is all you need for an effective journal.

A journal that is timeline oriented makes sense as your life follows a timeline. The journal should have a reference calendar, be oriented to writing in a timeline sort of view, easy to rediscover the past and preferably be multifaceted in what it can store (text, diagrams, pictures of where you’ve been or what you see as important, flexibility in its storage and very reliable).

The Two Journals – Journey and Day One Classic with Narrate

There are numerous journals for both the Apple system and Android. However, what I want to look at here is that which is considered the best currently and how well they do what we want, their plans and potential time frames for implementing any missing links.

Day One with Narrate

Day One is considered probably the best of the Journaling programs for the Mac. However, it currently only works in the Mac ecosystem. There is a Mac, iPad and iPhone/iPod touch clients in the system. All client sync seamlessly with each other using Day One Sync (v2 and this had many users upset who used use Dropbox or iCloud in v1).

Day One is a nice looking, robust system with many tools to assist with your journaling. You can have one or many journals for different purposes. You can basically comfortably write anywhere if you have all the platforms as it can be fully mobile or stationary or a combination thereof.

Finally, the other nice thing Day One does is incorporate photos from your library or directly from your camera. This adds a nice visual touch to your journal and aesthetically it can make it very attractive and yet meaningful. Record things like tags, moods and map locations to round it out.

However, if you want to currently go cross platform there is one very effective way to do this and that’s using Day One Classic with Dropbox and on Android, Narrate a nice Material Design journal that works seamlessly with Day One. It looks different of course but is very easy to use. What you are doing here is simply ensuring your words and pictures end up equally in both places should you use an Android. An Android can be very powerful, cost effective and nice looking tool. With cross platform in the mix there is no way you have to miss anything on your devices.

Voila now you have a robust, cost effective journaling system that is fully cross platform. The one thing though you can’t do is migrate to v2. For the short term I see no problem with this. However, you may have a need for the functionality of Day One v2 and to do this Day One needs to be cross platform.

Day One is currently working on their own Android platform which will provide seamless cross platform functionality. This ensures the future growth of your system a long with the ease of use of learning one interface. The interface of Narrate and Day One classic are both very intuitive to use in their own right. Yet, there can be nothing better than when the vendor provides the complete system.


Journey is an award winning journaling app on the Google Play store. It has been designed from the ground up to run cross platform. Sync’g between devices is a breeze. This is a very nice looking Journal regardless of where it’s being run.

The Mac version, downloaded from journey.cloud, is easy to use and visually very appealing. At Journey.cloud you will see a number of platforms that the system runs on including Windows, the Mac, the Web, Android and Chrome. What you won’t see yet though is IOS native apps. However, these are being worked on and if they are anything like the Android version, they will be impressive.

For now, the way to do journal entry from an iPad, iPhone or iPod touch you need to use the web. Although not as pleasant an experience as a native IOS app, it provides a concrete manner of getting your words and images down while mobile. In fact, the web version provides maximum flexibility in that you can look at your journal from any browser, on any platform and anywhere.

It will be very nice though when the makers of Journey, which is Two App Studio, have native apps for IOS. It makes a large difference in the manner in which you write and record things. All the apps will sync so your data, thoughts and reflections will equally present themselves on a platform regardless.

To Conclude

Cross Platform, not only in journaling but pretty well any significant app, is the way of the future as it is very liberating bringing people and teams together who can work on their platform of choice. It encourages innovation and both functional and cost competitiveness.

As described, Journaling, has numerous psychological and physical benefits. It can help you sort through problems by reflecting. It can lead you in the direction you were meant to go as it easily pulls from you your inner most thoughts, feelings and desires. However, journaling further goes on to describe what you like doing. When you put these two things together it is incredibly powerful.

Confusion is ameliorated, emotions are dealt with or least brought out and your goals become eventually highlighted. In many ways, Journaling helps you get to know who you are.

In some ways, we have distorted images of what journaling really is. Some of the most successful men and women journal. Those with depth are often found to be journalizers. Journal in the way it rewards you best. If that’s pen and paper go for it but don’t be dissuaded from using a computer. The benefits remain the same.

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