A Place to Store Memories, Thoughts and Dreams
Online diaries come in many different types. There are travel diaries that allow you to share your adventures with friends, family, or the world. Other diaries, like personal journals or food diaries, give you a place where you can express your innermost thoughts and feelings that no one can view.
When choosing online diaries for our buying guide, we chose cloud-based platforms you can access from any computer or internet-enabled device. We eliminated diary platforms that are stored solely as software are your computer. We selected online journals that give you options in how you manage your content. You can decide whether to keep everything you write completely private and secure, to share it with select family members and friends or with the general public.
For our final list, we included standout online food journals, online travel journals and personal journals.
Best Online Food Journal
FitDay is an online food journal that lets you track your fitness goals, caloric intake, your progress and how you are feeling -- physically and emotionally. This online food journal lets you keep your information private, only to be seen by you. Or, if you work better with encouragement from others, you can share your fitness progress with the FitDay network to receive a boost and fitness tips from other users.
In addition to recording your progress, FitDay offers bonus items like health and fitness articles, a calorie counter and food log, and access to registered dietitians, who can answer more complicated questions about your diet and exercise routine.
You access this online personal journal through your desktop or laptop, or by downloading the FitDay app on your phone or tablet. Its accessibility ensures that you can accurately track and manage your fitness goals.
Recommendation for Online Food Journal: FitDay
Best Online Travel Journal
When you go to new places, you want to capture every moment. Travel Diaries is an online travel journal that lets you create personalized online journal pages that show your unique journey. In this private online diary, you can write your experiences, add pictures and drop pins in each location. This creates a digital map so you never forget your favorite restaurants, viewpoints or hidden gems in the city.
You can keep your maps and journal private so that only you can see it. You can also share it with family members or friends, so they see your adventures as you travel, much like a travel blog except more personalized and private. When you share your online travel journal, you can share every entry or select certain entries to make public while keeping the rest private.
The true standout feature with Travel Diaries is the option to convert your online travel journal into a printed book. You can create a paperback journal or a hardcover book. This is a great option if you want to memorialize a special vacation or create a coffee table book that is special to you.
Recommendation for Online Travel Journal: Travel Diaries
Best Online Personal Journal
While diaries serve many purposes, one big reason for journaling is self-reflection and growth. JRNL is the best private online diary for those times when you need a quiet moment with yourself to gather and record your thoughts. Access JRNL from your desktop browser or via the mobile app, so no matter where you are you can record the world around you.
If you have never journaled before and do not know where to begin, JRNL helps you get started with its All About Me section. This section has hundreds of questions about your life. JRNL also offers journaling reminders and the ability to add emails directly to your journal, this feature is useful for saving important communications with family and friends.
You can organize and customize almost every part of your online journal, including your timeline, wallpaper and privacy settings. You can add photographs to each entry and tags, which make entries easier to find. Finally, if you ever choose to do so, JRNL lets you publish your journals into hard copies. You can add up to 900 pages per book.
Recommendation for Online Personal Journal: JRNL
The Importance of Security
Since journals are meant to be private, it is important that you have full control over when, how and where your information is shared. Private online journals should be password protected and let you specify the sharing permissions. This means that only certain people can access your entries. For example, if you give your mom the link to an entry and grant her viewing permission, the link will not work if she sends it to someone else, unless you grant them viewing permission as well.
Along with permissions management, you should control who can or cannot comment on your entries. Even if you make an entry fully public, you do not have to allow certain people or anyone at all to comment on it.
Select an online journal that gives you complete control over keeping some information private while making other information public. This protects you and your private thoughts from prying eyes.
Since journals have different purposes, like food journals versus personal journals, they should offer different customization tools. If you are looking for a simple journal where you can record thoughts chronologically, then DiaryLand is a good choice. This is a straightforward online journaling platform that automatically organizes your posts by date. However, maybe you prefer to organize your journal by category rather than by dates. In that case, Penzu online journal lets you organize and tag your entries however you choose.
The possibilities and benefits of journaling are endless, so the online personal journal you select will depend on your journaling needs. Our list and recaps of each online journal site in our buying guide will give you options – and a good starting point – in selecting the best online journal for you. Read our reviews or articles about online journaling to learn more.