There's no better feeling than being reminded of life's special moments. The Notes app in iOS 16 allows users to jot down notes and reminders, among other things. However, it lacks the iOS 17 Journal app's ability to aggregate content you've captured.

The Journal app in iOS 17 fixes this gap by offering more than just recording your thoughts with an iPhone. It combines various actions with your phone into a unique journaling experience. The experience is like nothing ever seen before.

This much-awaited app has finally appeared with the iOS 17.2 Beta 4 firmware update. The update is now available for download, giving users a sneak preview of what the app offers. Read on to discover how this app will change how we create and preserve those special moments.

In this article

Part 1 What is Journal and How It's Different from the Notes App

Journal is an application that Apple recently developed for iOS 17. It helps in writing journal entries. The app can suggest Reflections or other remarkable moments to write about.

You can also insert pictures, audio, videos, and other content into the entries. These entries are stored locally on the iPhone, but you can also create backups on iCloud.

How is the app different from the already existing iPhone Notes app?

  • 🌟It inspires you to write. Apple designed this iOS 17 Journal app to solve people's writing challenges. For instance, the app provides text prompts about your day's experiences. That serves as a source of inspiration. It can aid anyone struggling to overcome writer's block.
  • 📅Daily reminders. Additionally, you can set up daily reminders to write in your journal. As mentioned, the Journal app can give you prompts to write about. They are called Reflections. For example, "Describe that special person you really appreciate but forget to thank."
  • 📑Custom writing suggestions. The app can also use specific data and suggest what you should write based on that data. For instance, it could suggest you write about a local park you visited. And the best part? You can control what type of data and apps Journal can access to create these suggestions.
the journal app will remind you to write about your activities

Part 2 iOS 17 Journal: The App's Key Features Overview

Apple detailed critical features of the iOS Journal app during the WWDC 2023. Find out how they will help you preserve those special moments:

Quick List
  1. Suggestions/Reflections
  2. Media-rich Journals
  3. Integration with Share Sheet
  4. Bookmark Entries
  5. Notifications and Journaling Schedule
  6. High-end Security/Privacy
  7. Filter Journal
  • Suggestions/Reflections

Personalized suggestions are the most unique feature of the iOS 17 Journal app. The app curates the suggestions using on-device machine learning. That is based on your photos, location, workout, and podcast.

The app offers suggestions in two categories - Recent and Reflections. Each suggestion includes a writing prompt to help you get started. One such prompt could be "What is the story behind this photo?" Reflection prompts like "What activity leaves you feeling most refreshed?" will also inspire your writing.

  • Media-rich Journals

You can write journals and include photos, videos, and audio inputs. The app even allows users to insert location tags. Adding these types of content is fun. It enriches your journals and makes them more attractive.

  • Integration with Share Sheet

The feature allows you to add podcasts and music you're listening to your journal. You do that by simply tapping the share button. Also, you can share your thoughts about a news article you're reading. So, when you open the entry later on, it will be easy to remember what it meant to you.

  • Bookmark Entries

Specific journal entries are more important than others. Losing them in the heap of your other entries would be the last thing you want. The iOS 17 Journal fixes this issue and is the best iPhone app for journaling. It enables you to bookmark entries so you can later find them easily.

  • Notifications and Journaling Schedule

The iOS 17 Journal app will send you notifications whenever a new suggestion to journal is available. That means you'll grab every moment to jot down a particular moment in your day-to-day life.

It takes work to ensure consistency in journaling. Sometimes, people forget to pin down specific entries in their busy lives. The Journal app allows you to set a schedule for the start or end of your day. That helps make your writing a consistent practice.

  • High-end Security/Privacy

The iOS Journal app has end-to-end encryption between your iPhone and iCloud. That means your entries are private - no one else can access them, "not even Apple." Also, you can set the app to ask for a passcode or FaceID once it's been inactive for a particular time.

For example, you can set the app to ask for the passcode or FaceID after one, five, or 15 minutes of inactivity. The app even allows you to set it to "immediately lock" when your iPhone sleeps or after switching apps. That is if you want to avoid taking any chances in case of a snooping roommate. So, rest assured that your private journal entries are protected.

  • Filter Journal

Filter journals make your life easier. As the name suggests, the feature allows you to filter past entries. For example, you may want to find those with photos or videos you've bookmarked for later. That way, you'll spend less time scrolling through the tens of entries you have created. Undoubtedly, the iOS 17 Journal is the best diary app for iPhone.

Part 3 iOS 17 Journal: Writing an Entry in the App

Writing an entry in the iOS Journal app is as easy as ABC. Before you begin, there are two sections: Recent and Recommended. In the Recent section, you'll find suggestions to write about. The app curates them from your recent locations, photos, trips, and the music you were listening to.

Recommended section gives you some topics you can write about. Under the section, you'll see different suggestions to inspire your writing. For example, "What's the biggest challenge you've ever overcome and how did you do that?" Or "Write about that special someone you met today."

Alternatively, tap the "+" button at the bottom center. That is if you want to write from scratch - without any recommendations and suggestions. You'll follow these simple steps:

  1. Tap on the New Entry button at the top of the screen.
  2. Type the text you want to put in your journal. As discussed, you can add photos, music, and videos to the entry.
  3. After writing, tap the Done button. The iPhone will save your new journal entry on the app's home screen.
type in words and tap on done to create an entry

Adding Photos and Videos, Locations, or Voice Notes

  • Videos and photos - Tap the "Photos" icon in the bottom menu. Next, select the videos and photos you wish to add to the entry from the iPhone's Photos app.
  • Add Locations to Your Journal Entry - Tap the "Location" icon at the bottom right. Select a location from the list of options available. You can also search for a location by typing its name in the search bar.
  • Add a Voice Note - Tap the voice icon at the bottom. After that, tap the "Red Microphone" button to begin recording. Once finished, tap "Stop" to add the voice note to the journal entry.
tap the red recorder to create a voice note in the journal entry

Adding Music & Podcasts or Workout

Now let's look at how to add music and podcasts or workout history in the Journal app.

  • Add Music & Podcast

1. Go to the Apple Music app and play your favorite song.

2. Tap the three-dot button on the music player screen next to the song's title. Next, tap the Share Song button in the pop-up menu.

3. Swipe right on the apps appearing on the sharing screen. Choose the Journal app icon to go to the new journal entry screen.

4. Type in how you feel about the song, why you like or dislike it. Then tap the Save  button at the top of the screen. Repeat steps 1-4 for the Podcast app.

select the three dots next to a song to share it in the journal entry

(Credit: Beebom)

  • Add Workout to Your Entry

1. Go to the Fitness app on the iPhone and choose a workout from the history.

2. Tap the Share button at the top right.

3. On the sharing screen, swipe right on the optionable apps. Tap the Journal app icon.

4. Write about your feelings and your plans for the next workout. After that, tap on the Save button at the top to finish the entry.

select the three dots next to a song to share it in the journal entry

Editing, Deleting, or Bookmarking Entries

The Journal app in iOS 17 allows you to edit, delete, and bookmark your journal entries. That makes it easier to find any entry you want at any particular time:

  1. Open the Journal application on your iPhone.
  2. Hold a journal entry until a menu pops up. Or, tap the three dots in the button-right corner below the journal entry.
  3. You can Edit, Delete, or Bookmark the entry.
  4. Once you've edited, deleted, or bookmarked the entry, tap the Done button. That will save the entry to the Journal app's homepage.

If you wish to set the app to remind you to journal, go to Settings > Journal > Journaling Schedule. Tap the button next to Schedule. You'll see a menu that allows you to set a reminder for daily or certain days of the week at a particular time.

Part 4 When iOS 17 Journal App Will Be Available

The Journal app drew massive attention when Apple launched iOS 17 at its WWDC event in June 2023. Unfortunately, the company didn't release the app with iOS 17 in September. According to a thread on, the app journal iPhone will come out later this year.

a post-suggests that the journal app will come to ios 17 later this year

The tech giant has not announced a release date for the final iOS 17.2 update. The good news is that the Journal was included in the iOS 17.2 Beta 4 download. We expect the app to be available for download with the upcoming release of the stable iOS 17.2 update. The update may be released any time before the year ends.

The only way to get the iOS 17 Journal app (currently) is by downloading the iOS 17 developer beta. The developer beta could contain some bugs, spoiling the overall experience. It would be best to wait until the Journal app arrives in the stable iOS 17.

Meanwhile, there are many journaling apps for iPhone you can try. Day One and Reflectly are some of the top-rated alternatives.

Part 5 Back Up & Restore Important Notes in Simple Steps

It is a good practice to write notes or journals for reminders or daily reflections. However, there exists the risk of losing important information if your system breaks down or encounters data hacking. You'll be unable to retrieve your journal entries and other important files stored on it.

Without backup, you can't restore apps' data on your previous iOS device. Plus, all settings will be gone.

But if you have backed up the iPhone, you can easily organize your Notes or Journal entries on your computer. Also, there is no risk of leaking your information, as nothing is on the cloud. When you need them, it only takes a few clicks to get them back. So, creating a backup for your iPhone is essential.

Wondershare MobileTrans - Backup & Restore is a trustworthy way to back up important files. The software's highly intuitive interface allows users to perform different data-sharing operations.

  • MobileTrans can back up your phone data to or restore them from the computer.
  • It can also transfer files between and across iOS and Android devices.
  • MobileTrans supports over 6,000 types of devices.
  • The backup process takes only a few clicks and minutes.

It doesn't matter whether you want to save, organize, or recover your iPhone notes, messages, or other important information. MobileTrans is your ideal tool to help you get the job done!

logo trustpilot 5 stars 4.5/5 Excellent

Simple Steps to Back Up iPhone to Any Computer

Step 1: Install MobileTrans on your Windows/Mac computer and connect the iPhone to the PC. Choose the "Backup & Restore" option from the MobileTrans main interface. Then select the "Backup" option under "Phone Backup & Restore."

choose backup and restore on in the interface and select backup under phone backup and restore

Step 2: Choose the iPhone files you wish to backup to your computer. Tick the checkboxes next to the data category, then click "Start."

choose the data types that you want to back up to your computer

Step 3: The backup process will be completed in a few minutes. After that, disconnect your iPhone from the PC.

Simple Steps to Restore an iPhone Backup

Step 1: Connect your iPhone to the computer on which you backed up its data. Open MobileTrans and click "Backup & Restore." Select "Restore" under “Phone Backup & Restore.”

choose restore under phone backup and restore on in the interface of mobiletrans to continue

Step 2: Preview your backup files in MobileTrans, then select data to restore. Click "Start."

selet files that you want to restore to your phone

Step 3: Your data in MobileTrans will be restored to the iPhone in a few minutes.


Journaling has been linked to many mental health benefits. It can manage anxiety, reduce stress, and help cope with depression. But many people don't know what to write about. Others find it hard to remember to journal.

Apple's iOS 17 Journal app combats these challenges. It offers writing prompts and reminders about what you have done in a day. That makes it easy to jot down your experiences.

It doesn't matter whether you're using the beta or waiting for the full release. The Journal app is here to help you be more reflective whenever you pick up the phone. It's the best diary journal app for iPhone ever.

Axel Nash
Axel Nash Dec 15, 23
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