The Best Business Journal Apps for Business Owners and Managers: Journals for Productivity, Wellbeing, and More


Some of the most successful people in the world journal every single day. Mark Twain (Samuel Clemmons), Albert Einstein, and Charles Darwin number among them. If you want more contemporary examples, look no further than Matthew McConaughey and Emma Watson, among a slew of others.

What’s the appeal of journaling? Why is it that so many people, from famous scientists to authors to actors find it so central to their lives? Journaling offers a lot of important benefits.

The benefits of journaling

According to health giant Kaiser Permanente, journaling is directly correlated with a wide range of important personal benefits. Those include the following:

  • The ability to track progress and growth
  • Improved ability to set realistic goals and achieve them
  • Improved self-confidence
  • Reduced stress and anxiety

However, those benefits don’t just apply to your personal life. They also carry over into your professional role and can have a profound impact on your business or team. Business owners and managers who journal can reap benefits like the following:

  • Enhanced strategy planning
  • Boosting creativity
  • Gaining critical insights
  • Goal setting
  • Improved communication capabilities
  • Clear decision-making capabilities

Sounds like journaling is a proverbial “no-brainer”, right? Before you buy a paper journal and pick up a pen, let’s talk for a moment about how digital technology can elevate your efforts and allow you to journal just about anywhere, anytime.

Digital journaling apps and your business

Once upon a time, keeping a journal required pen and paper. Today, that’s not the case. Digital technology has done for journaling what it’s done for books and music – liberated it from the physical world. All you need is your smartphone or tablet and you can easily capture your thoughts, emotions, the day’s events, and so much more

But what makes a good app for journaling in the first place, anyway?

  • Affordability
  • Ease of use
  • Sharing and exporting
  • Reminders
  • Easy-to-use interface

There are tons of other features to consider, such as password protection and the ability to add tags to your posts, but the ones here should be at the top of your list. You might also want to look into photo-uploading abilities and whether the journal offers prompts to help you get inspired. Not everyone likes prompts, but they’re quite effective for some people.

The best business journal apps for business owners and managers

While journaling apps have proliferated today, they’re not all created equal. Many are pretty basic. Others come with a high price tag that’s not justified by extra features. We’ve done the legwork for you and rounded up the best business journal apps specifically for business owners, managers, and other decision-makers.

Day One

Day One has always been one of the leading journaling apps. Since its debut in 2011, it’s even made the Editor’s Choice in the Apple App Store several times. Of course, it has, although, with robust journaling features like one-click entry creation, automatic metadata additions, hashtags, and even the chance to add photos and videos to your posts. The tool even includes prompts to help you get inspired.

With Day One, you can create multiple reminders to get yourself in the habit of journaling. You can even password-protect everything and format every entry in Markdown. Plus, it’s a simple design and it offers free access to the core features for those who don’t want to pay. Subscribers can have access to premium features like syncing, handwritten entries, and more.

Plus, it’s just $2.92 per month if you get it billed annually. That’s about what you’d spend on a nice leather-bound journal, and it’s got so much more to offer.


Diarium is a great choice because it allows users to add multiple types of media to a single journal entry. You'll no longer have to be worried about whether you want to add this photo or that video or deal with creating separate entries for media because you can do it all with this app. It's got a simple interface with big, easy-to-read buttons that let you create entries, add tags, add audio and other files, and more.

You can even use the handy rating feature to rate your entries. This could be helpful for productivity or mood tracking, for example. This app also syncs with a variety of cloud services and allows you to export files in multiple formats.

Diarium is free on Android, iOS, and Mac, or you can pay for the pro version at $4.99 for Android and iOS and $8.99 for Mac. It costs $19.99 for Windows 10.


Penzu is one of the best options for secure journaling that is available today. You can use it on the web or access it via iOS or Android. It’s a lot like using a WordPress editor to create a post, offering a text formatting toolbar and plenty of other features. It also keeps everything neatly organized in one place and reminders are available to help you get into the habit of journaling.

Penzu keeps everything private and 100% secure. Penzu lets you use 128-bit encryption free and Pro users upgrade to 256-bit encryption. Plus, it’s easy to use and it gives you the option for tags and other advanced features from the pro version. The free version is available with fewer features.

If you want full access, you can spend just $19.99 per year to upgrade to a Pro plan and take your journaling to the next level. The Pro+ tier is $49.99 per year.


You might be more familiar with ClickUp as a productivity platform. It also gives you access to a journal, and it brings all the productivity tricks to the table. It’s part of ClickUp’s mission to be the “one app to replace them all”. As you might imagine, ClickUp gives you the ability to create journal entries, but it ties in other functionalities, too. You can track and manage ideas, notes, goals, tasks, roadmaps, and a ton more, all from a single location.

For the business owner or manager who needs to dive deeper, this app gives you the chance to create sub-tasks, set custom alerts and statuses, and connect everything to your Workspace. That ensures ultimate visibility and the chance to connect the dots between journal entries and real-world occurrences.

ClickUp has a free forever tier, but if you want to bring the rest of your team into the picture, you’ll want either the Unlimited tier ($7 per member per month) or the Business tier ($12 per member per month).

Grid Diary 

GridDiary is a great option for those who like structure, templates, and guidance. The interface is set up like a grid and you can create custom headers for all the sections, with default titles in place to help get you started. This is kind of like a bird’s-eye view of your day and allows you to create an organized place to reflect on and manage your life.

You’ll also find the ability to sync between devices, attach documents, and even use the calendar to review entries and more. Unlike some of the freeform apps out there, Grid Diary keeps things structured for those who want something a little more rigid. Plus, there’s a free version available for those who just need the basics.

If you do want premium access, you don’t have to spend much. The paid version of Grid Diary is available for Android, iOS, and Mac for just $2.99 per month.

Let’s start with one of the newer journaling apps on the market. Journey is a very popular option that brings a lot of functionality to the table. It’s available for Android and iOS devices, for macOS, and via the web, and it supports plenty of plugins, including Zapier, so it should work with your tech stack.

Journey brings a lot to the table, including the ability to capture media, access to geo-location information, calendar details, and more. You can track moods, activities, biometrics, and a great deal more. Business users can even capture details from journal entries and turn them into emails.

Journey operates on an annual membership basis. There’s a free membership, but that doesn’t give you access to all the tools. For that, you’ll need to pay $4.17 per month.

Dabble Me

If you want to make journaling easy on yourself, this web tool is one of the best options. With Dabble Me, all you have to do is reply to an email each day and you’ve completed a journal entry. That's right — the app will email you each day to remind you to journal when you pay for the pro version. Then, you simply write a reply and you’re done.

With the free version, you can still email a custom address, but you won’t get the daily reminders. The website allows you to access an archive of your entries, look at a calendar view, and even check out Spotify links that you added to your other entries. You can export files, too, in case you decide to shut it down.

It’s free to get started and if you want the reminders and other features, it’ll cost you just $3 per month to start.

Five Minute Journal

Developed for iOS and Android, this app is great for beginners who want to start getting more in touch with themselves. It also makes it simple, asking you three questions each morning to help you create purpose and find gratitude in your day. Then, you get reflection questions in the evening that allow you to see how things went. It’s all based on science, super easy to use, and can be done in five minutes or less.

Five Minute Journal allows you to add a photo to your entries and export PDF versions for your own records. There aren’t freeform pages and you’re limited to using the prompts given, but that is part of the allure for a lot of people. If you just need a quick place to jot down your gratitude and reflect, this app has you covered.

The app is free to use, but you can pay a small fee to unlock additional features and capabilities.

The power of communication

Journaling has proven to be a powerful tool that has dramatic real-world benefits, whether you’re doing it for personal reasons or to build a stronger business. That’s because it’s all about communication. With journaling, you’re communicating details and insights that you might have otherwise missed and connecting the dots. The result is improved productivity, increased creativity, and the ability to make better-informed decisions.

At, we understand the power of communication and its necessity when it comes to building a thriving business. That’s what drives our team of virtual receptionists. We realize that by providing you with 24/7 answering service, warm transfers, appointment booking capabilities, and call recording and transcripts, we can help you communicate better and thrive.

Interested in learning more? Schedule a consultation with us today. You can also email us at or call us at (650) 709-2947.


Apps and Software
Written by Sean Lund-Brown

Sean Lund-Brown is a current Marketing Assistant for A graduate from Metropolitan State University of Denver, Sean graduated with a BA in Music and an individualized degree in Teaching Vocal Pedagogy.

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