Journaling. Writing. Note Taking.

Journaling, writing, and note taking inherently fulfill different purposes, accomplish different tasks & follow different processes. About a year ago, I realized that I had a been doing them wrong. I was using Apple's Notes app to take notes, write, and journal. It works but not well. Notes isn't made to be a journal or a writing app. I had tried 4 or 5 different note taking apps, but none of them stuck. I was used to writing in Word or Pages for school, but for personal writing they both seemed too cluttered. So I decided I would still use Apple notes for note taking, but I would find different apps to do my journaling and my writing.

Note Taking

For me in particular note taking involves writing down short snippets. I take notes to make sure I’ll remember the key points of a sermon or meeting. They aren't archival. Often times I throw away or delete notes after a few days or weeks. The fact that Apple’s Notes is simple and already on all my devices makes it a good fit for me.


Writing, on the other hand, is an iterative process. I follow a methodology.

  1. note taking
  2. writing
  3. rewriting
  4. editing
  5. publishing

I tried several writing apps, but again most of them didn’t stick for long. I used Byword for a few months, but I’m currently using Writer Pro on a daily basis and loving it. The built in workflow is exactly what I was looking for, and the syntax feature is extremely helpful.


There are many approaches to journaling out there. For me it has become stream-of-consciousness writing. I write what I'm thinking, praying, feeling or hoping. Because of this, I prefer for it to be locked. I don’t care if the files are encrypted. I just want to keep people from accidentally stumbling upon what I have written. I like to feel comfortable handing my device to a friend. That is why I have started using Day One.

Over the next two days I will be writing reviews of Writer Pro & Day One. They are both wonderful apps that have versions on Mac, iPad, & iPhone. If you know of any other note-taking, writing or journaling apps I should check out, just message me at @TimothyBuckSF. If you don’t have Twitter, you can find me on Instagram, Facebook, or LinkedIn.

P.S. If you are a pen & paper person, I am sorry, but I can't do it. I’ve tried paper so many times. For some reason I am exponentially more consistent in my journaling when I do it digitally.